Allan Harper just did some stretching, a sit-up, a couple of push-ups, and jogged around the block in his first workout in almost a decade, but unfortunately there’s not the slightest improvement in his body—as far as he can see.
“It’s not that I expected to look like Charles Atlas or anything, but I thought I’d look a little tighter or something,” says Harper a 39-year-old policy analyst in Washington.
Harper’s been meaning to get back into workout mode for years, especially since several of his friends have taken up running and his girlfriend is starting to make snide remarks about his weight. But it’s hard to get started. “I don’t want to just start doing some sit-ups, you know? I want to build it into my lifestyle.”
Harper was set to take up running about a year ago but he only went out one time. “I got up early on a Saturday morning and ran about half a mile,” he says. “That night I set my alarm for the next morning to do it again, but I was just so frickin’ sore I thought I would wait until Monday. But on Monday I overslept and just had enough time to get to work. Long story short, I just never got into the routine you need to get into.”
Part of the problem, he thinks, is he’s just not into running. That’s why he’s focusing on his core this time. “Especially the abs,” he says. “The first thing I did after stretching was the sit-up, because I really want to get rid of this gut.”
Harper did what he thinks is one “really good sit-up” and then a kind of half sit-up, half neck-bend. “Tomorrow I want to do two really good sit-ups,” he says.
On the push-ups, he really only did one good one; the rest were kind of just elbow-bends. “It’s hard to believe I could do half a dozen of those suckers in school.”
Exercising at home is a lot better than wasting money at a gym, he thinks. “I had a gym membership before—a few times, actually. You start going and you’re really motivated, and then you just stop going but you’re still paying the monthly fee. It’s a rip-off.”
It would help if he could see some visible sign of progress early on, because that would motivate him to do more, he says. “Like today. If I could just see a little more muscle tone in my abs after I did that sit-up, I would really be motivated to step it up the next day.”
Even so, his chest was puffed out and his gut sucked in a bit more than usual after he showered. “Everyone should exercise,” he says. “You just got to do it.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: rh and B-2013 (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
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