About a month into the layoff, I was in serious Physical Exertion Withdrawal, because not only did the old gig have a massive, tricked-out gym, but they let me work out daily on company time. Chasing my 15-month-old around the park while he ricocheted off of things was a poor substitute, because let's face it, he was slow. My wife saw how irritable I was becoming and found a gym that despite its overall crappiness had three crucial attributes--it was close, cheap, and open 24/7. So I joined, and for a while my world made a little more sense.
Six weeks later the branch closed, and the surly gentleman with the tattooed scalp referred me to a slightly larger, slightly cleaner outfit three blocks farther away. And I never went once, because those were crosstown blocks goddammit and there was no way I was going to exert myself on my way to exerting myself.
Time passed. I spent a year stressed and broke, and another year (the first at my new job) stressed, slightly less broke, and wolfing down lots of free, carb-heavy food. Before too long, it became time to bust a moob, but even though I could afford another gym membership, I never had any time. As I've done so often over the past three years, I turned to my children.
Robert has served as my personal home gym for a while now. Mostly, I just bench-press his 46 flailing pounds while we're rough-housing. But I missed the high of a good run, and I'd pretty much given up on it. Then it hit me. There was a perfect way to spend more time with the kids and spend far less than I would for any gym membership: Buy the boy a bike!
As Robert learned not to look straight down while pedaling as if he were Manhattan's sole power source, I ran around like crazy, alerting passersby to the veering dervish I'd let loose on society. And I've lost five pounds.
More later, after I get my wind back.