Tag Archives: exercise

Tom’s Adventures In Fitness.

Exercise. It’s one of those things that I avoid with the sort of relish and dedication usually seen in recovering alcoholics when they walk past the pub. To give you an idea of how anti-exercise I am, the sneakers I currently own are from 2006. I bought them when I was fourteen for a school camp. And despite this fact, they look about six-months old. This is not due to some magical anti-ageing footwear spray. This is simply from being preserved and protected in a fine layer of dust.

If there is a way (or even if there isn’t) to get out of participating in the act of deliberately exerting myself then I will I find it. Unlike that other E-word, excuses come to me naturally. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but they do. I can make excuses for just about anything. I will apologise and make excuses for food that I haven’t prepared if it wasn’t very good. I give inanimate objects the benefit of the doubt and try to justify their inactions. My excuses cover a wide range of topics, but they come to the fore when it comes to why I don’t exercise.

“I don’t have enough money to afford the various forms of personal fitness afforded to me, a young twentysomething in the city.” is a personal favourite, as is “I just ate and don’t quite feel up to it.” The list is long and varied. Which is why it came as such a startlingly surprise that I recently found myself inside a gym. A building designed with the sole purpose of exercise in mind. There is no other way around it. It is a building of a singular function. The only other architectural marvel that comes close in terms of a narrow-mindedness surrounding it’s purpose is a prison. An apt coincidence if you ask me.

My arrival in this hall of pain and muscle-mass was (weirdly) deliberate. I was not abducted by a mob of personal trainers, tied-up and tossed into a bag. Nor was I lured by the promising smell of baked goods emanating from the gyms glass doors, only to find myself locked inside once I crossed the threshold, duped by a boutique candle. Really it’s my girlfriend’s fault, but before you protest and say that sexual and emotional blackmail does not a ‘deliberate’ choice make – allow me to expand.

While it is true that my first foray into fitness machines and grunting behemoths came as direct result of my girlfriend signing up and using her ‘free-trial pass’ on me, what happened next was not her fault. She is blameless in this. What happened next was entirely of my own doing. After completing an hour of what I had originally thought would be hell but turned out to be a treadmilling purgatory, I was given the option of leaving. Of never coming back. I’d made it clear to the lady at the desk that I wasn’t interested, and she made it clear that that was totally okay. She didn’t even try to coerce me into anything. In fact…I ASKED HER ABOUT MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS.

Maybe there was some crazy reverse psychology marketing plot at work. Maybe I’m an idiot. Maybe my belief that I wasn’t being coerced was in fact me being coerced. There are a few maybes floating around, but the cold-hard truth is: I joined a gym. I joined a gym about a month ago and I’m still going. That’s right. I am still (deliberately) walking down to the gym, handing over my little card, going in and exercising. And while I’m not about to break any records for muscle mass gained or metres ran, it’s a big step-up from my pervious forms of exercise (walking from kitchen to the lounge room [which in small apartment is about half a step] and sitting up from lying down after tactical naps). Not only that but I persisted with my attendance even after my body was destroyed by a ‘free personal training session’ (which I have now learnt roughly translates to: a free test of your body’s ability to stand up under torture if you were ever kidnapped by extremists for six days). Yeah. I’m scared too.

So what have I learned from my initial adventures in fitness? A bit. I now feel guilty when I ate an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s (this guilt is usually soothed by another tub of Ben & Jerry’s and the cycle repeats until I’m crying into a pool of melted ice cream). I don’t resent stairs as much (we aren’t friends but we can no co-exist, kind of like China and America). I’ve also found that it’s an excellent way to clear my head from all the clutter that I pick up throughout the day. And some of those machines aren’t really contraptions designed by the guy from Saw. In fact some of them are okay. However there are some other observations. Some…interesting discoveries about the specimens who hang out at the GYM. An entire sub-genre of humanity that hang-out amongst the bikes and weights and sweat. Here are some my favourites (and least favourites):

  1. Proteinero Maximus: Those guys who seem to flake a fine layer of protein powder onto everything they touch. The guys whose penises are so small they have to absorb extreme amounts of various supplements in order to justify their own existence. These guys walk around showing off the biceps on their biceps and generally act like whatever brain cells they had, fell out during some serious upper body work-out. They stare you down when you’re starting to navigate equipment (because urinating on it as a sign of ownership is just slightly unacceptable) and they make noises that would make a nun blush. They also shit. A lot. Loudly. Causing that particular part of the changeroom to smell like someone let off a small localised atom bomb made of asses. Mostly harmless though. If you ignore them they’re low self-esteem will cause them to go flex near something with boobs in the hope of making them forget about their tiny, tiny willies.
  2. Texty Texty Tit: You see them. They kind of look like you (the uninitiated) and they don’t seem to have a clue about how the machines work. What they are really good at though is using the machines as reclining furniture on which they can relax and text so and so about this and that or update their Facebook profile to let everyone know “They’re @ the gym #workout #gymlyf #lololol smileyfacesmileyfacerocketshipcat!!!”. Now again, while I am not a hardcore gym enthusiast I do understand this isn’t how one should use a leg-press machine. And frankly while I am also slow and still finding my feet (and abs) I actually use the machines for their intended purpose. These iPhone addicted morons will be lucky if they do half of a stomach crunch or lat pull (look at me pulling out the lingo). Harmless in the way that pigeons are harmless but everywhere and just generally in the way.
  3. The Biggest Loser Candidates: Not to sound like a dick or anything, but for someone like me the biggest thing that was keeping me out of the gym was people like the people outlined in point 1. I didn’t want to drown in testosterone. And while there is occasionally a risk of that (timing your arrival to avoid peak-periods does the trick) for the most part it’s pretty chilled. And the best part is that there are a lot people who are in worse shape than me. These guys are making a go of it. Big dudes or dudettes who want to lose weight and get healthy and all that but who’s life stories didn’t have anything poignant enough for reality TV. They sweat profusely and can’t run as fast as regular people so they make you feel better about yourself. Does this make you/me a terrible person? Probably. But does it mean I feel a wee bit better about myself ? Fuck yes. Does it also mean that the slight pang of guilt makes me go a little bit quicker? Oh yeah. So it all balances out in the end.
  4. That Old Guy Putting You To Shame: Not to be confused with the above, this dude is in his late 80s and looks deceptively like a stiff breeze would send him into the next room. And initially you see him and are buoyed with confidence that once again there is someone worse than you at this (in the early days of gym participation this sort of thin gets you through). And then the fucker starts cranking out sit-ups and push-ups and chin-ups and running like death is after him (which is probably the case) and you just watch in awe as grandpa is not only better than you, he’s better than everyone else in the room. A word for the wise: DON’T TRY TO KEEP UP WITH HIM. You will die. The Grim Reaper, who was already puffed from chasing the old bastard, will pause to catch his breath, see you panting and choking and pat you on the back as if to say: I know right.

So that’s all I have time for today. I’m off to go and exercise (or should that be exorcise?) the days demons away. Before you start panicking though, don’t worry I’m not going to turn into a protein guzzling, low-cut singlet wearing, douchebag. I’m still the same idiot I was before. I still have the same runners. Just slightly better lung capacity when going up stairs.



Leave a comment

Filed under Life & Times Of

Irony, Definition Of.

It’s seems now that Uni is over for another year I have lost my best blog topic; namely essays and how not to do them. It seems that this blog thrived on my insightful (I’m sure someone out there found it insightful…right? Mum?) commentaries on my inability to stay focused on the task at hand. I spent a great deal of time and energy discussing the merits of not essaying in most of (if not all of) my posts. In fakt most started off with introduction paragraph (similar to this) explaining all of the essays I should have been writing but wasn’t. But now that those essays are all done and the year is slowly winding down, I find myself drifting aimlessly around the Internet with a distinct lack of intent.

Procrastination only works when you have something to procrastinate about.

However as a serial procrastinator (that’s still immaturely hilarious just because it sounds the same) I strive to be unproductive, so instead of doing other things instead of my assignments, I’m now doing nothing instead of doing other things. I now have all the time in the world to do whatever I want…but my compulsive procrastination is getting in the way of my blissful lack of activity by forcing me to participate in an avoidance of a blissful lack of activity. I’m like a leaf that was once caught in a breeze but has now become stuck in a holding pattern over an air conditioning vent, swirling around and around in circles. See I’ve even started making analogies involving nature.

So what am I going to do now that I have SPARE TIME? I saw a quote on the Internet today that said: lyk dis if you feels. Underneath that was another one about a guy and a girl who stabbed one another in an act of love “five-ever”. On the next page however was something useful (as is the way with most Internet based wisdom, you have to trawl through a lot of pseudo-motivational images of birds and sunsets and intertwined hands talking about individuality and life and how beauty is found in all things if you look hard enough posted by people who don’t believe any of it but are just trying to create an air of intellectuality and spirituality, but really are taking selfies of themselves in the bathroom with the piece of fruit they have started calling their boyfriend/girlfriend/mother-in-law. Parenthesis motherfucker) about time being a form of currency that resets at the end of the day and none of the extra hours or minutes or seconds are carried over, so you should make sure you spend it wisely…because time doesn’t reward you for saving up.

Anyway this quote did three things. First my imagination ran away with me (we had to come back home though because, in our haste to elope we had forgotten to pack sensible footwear and we couldn’t leave again after that because it just looks awkward and silly) and I started to think of this place where wasted time accumulates over the years which then turned into a concept of immortality based on saving a few extra seconds here and there in order to live a little bit longer. Second I got annoyed at the poor grammar (he kept asking me for spare change despite my repeated refusal). And thirdly I thought to myself: “Tom Reed you spend money like a sixteen-year-old who’s just been given a bank account for the first time, you should be kicking asre [sic] at this spending time folly.” I even used the word folly.

So I quickly seized upon this momentary increase in purpose and decided to do something about it. Of course I’m still a procrastinator at heart so I couldn’t immediately start behaving like supporting characters from Dead Poets Society and go and do that Latin thing Robin Williams tells them to do in a creepy voice. No. I had to do it my way (P.S When did I change tense? I hate tense sometimes. I have decided this is a symptom of excess time travelling).

A List of Things Tom Will Do In Order To Carpe The Fuck Out Of Some Diem.

1. I went for a run once. My body hated it. My body is not a temple. It is a restless city full of criminals and I’m Batman. Perhaps a run or two may help clean up the city once and for all? After all, after running for a minute or so my voice becomes hoarse and breathy just like the Dark Knight’s throaty growl. WHERE’SMYRUNNERS?!

2. On the exercise front, I used to swim quite a bit and I find it’s the perfect way to wash away the grit and jaywalking guilt after a day in the city. I also feel a lot more comfortable swimming than I do running. However swimming costs money. So my plan will be twofold. I shall run when poor and swim like a rich man. #richardbransonswimseverydaybecauseheisloaded.

3. James Bond. He’s back guys. And while some would argue that spending an extended period of time in front a large screen indoors is not a way to seize the day and so on, I would like to tell them to politely fuck off. There are a smorgasbord of movies washing up on the cinematic shore in the next few weeks and I want to see all of the things. The best part is I can do it without feeling guilty about not doing something else because of the distinct lack of essay requirements.

4. Write that thing I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. A collection of short, unsettling fiction (not quite horror but stuff that just makes you uncomfortable and nervous to shower alone). To really make it weird I’m going to go to nice, happy places and do my writing there to make me feel like a creep. Because there’s nothing better than writing something truly horrible in the middle of a nice cafe and seeing the waitress’ expression when she accidentally glances at your screen and sees the phrase: “He cut out the bitch’s eyes.” Because you’re by yourself in a cafe. Writing this. Wearing a sweater. An ominous sweater.

5. Buy a watermelon. I did this last week. It was the best. I was going to buy a whole one…but don’t have a high enough skill level to attempt cutting it (nor do I own a machete). WATERMELON UP IN THIS.

6. Follow the various Mormons I see wandering about the place back to their nest, I mean hive, I mean…no actually I do mean nest. I see them on the corner of Lonsdale and Russell most days and always in threes and always with suits and badges and I want to know where they’re coming from. It unsettles me that they’ve managed to slip into the city without anybody noticing. I imagine once I arrive back at their nest I will find a large xenomorphic being laying Mormon eggs. That’s how it works right? Right?

7. Learn to cook something that isn’t spaghetti related. It’s not that I’m getting sick of spaghetti (I’m not. There’s no way that’s ever going to happen) it’s just that I do need to broaden my culinary horizons. Also if I understand it correctly it means I have to invest in some cravats.

8. Finally finish playing Slender. I’m kidding. I still stand by my statement of a few posts back: There is no fucking way I am going into that building.

9. Start solving pun related crimes for little old ladies. In a cardigan. I shall call myself Horatio Cardigan.

10. Get better at writing lists instead of starting with gusto and slowly, slowly petering out around item number 5 or 6. Seriously Tom.

So I am aware that this post is a bit of shambles and isn’t really full of anything poignant or important or you know whatever…but I’m struggling to find something to write about now that there are no essays to be done. So be nice. Please. Carp Diem (it’s the fish equivalent of making the most of the day).



Leave a comment

Filed under Life & Times Of, List-o-mania

The Consequences Of Motivation.

By now you’ve probably picked up on a running theme here. A theme of procrastination, of not doing things, of slowly and surely drowning in my double stacked beanbag (because a single beanbag is just fucking uncomfortable and leads to fatigue despite the body being in a reclined position) and of a general lack of oomph.  You’ve surely noticed the trend as we go through the photo album that is my daily activities: Here I am at my regular LazyArse Anon meeting, I have a name-tag and “Hello my name is Tom and I’m a lazyarse.” You know, that kind of thing. But for the first time in this blog’s short lifespan we have breaking, and possibly slightly disturbing, news; I have done stuff.

Yes. At some point during the morning of Tuesday the 16th of October 2012, I came into the possession of some ‘motivation’. I am unsure of its origin but the main theory we’re working on here is that it slipped in on a soft breeze through the open window and somehow managed to ingrate itself into the fibres of my dressing gown, whereupon it was slowly absorbed through my pores and entered my bloodstream. From this point I recall feeling a sudden, almost crippling sense of purpose. I released myself from the cuddly and intoxicating embrace of my double-decker beanbags and, seizing my laptop, took up a position on the much sturdier and forcefully motivating hard-backed, wooden, IKEA dining chair.

The results were profound. Remember that philosophy essay I hadn’t completed? The one that I had complained about not doing on repeated occasions? Well that essay was the first to fall victim to my newfound motivational attitude. I cranked out 1600 words on the contradictory nature of God and evil before watching an episode of Gravity Falls. I then proofread it, printed it out and handed it in a whole day earlier than was necessary. You’re welcome punctuality. But alas it did not stop there; I shopped for supplies and even got a start on my other essay. In fakt so ‘oomph-like’ was my behaviour that the large shark-bear currently squatting in our wardrobe felt it necessary to come out and check on me without attempting to maim or frighten me (he has since departed the premises under the excuse that, “this wasn’t what he signed up for…”).

Of course the effects of motivation are often short-lived in a master of procrastination such as myself. However, to my surprise I found that my enthusiasm had not waned when I woke the next morning. After feeding Dolores some ham and battling with him for shower supremacy (needless to say I had a tentacle free shower this morning), I set out to find a new outlet for my brimming energy and focus. You recall in our last conversation I mentioned running. Well that happened. I ran. It was not pretty. I do not resemble a gazelle in full flight. I’m more like a heron wading through quicksand, but I did it. I put on my runners (take note of my lack of land based sporting participation when I tell you I have had the same runners since I was 14 and they still only look about a year old at worst) and cranked some dub-step and ran through Melbourne like some sort of unfit, hirsute Achilles.

At the time it was an excellent idea. Today I am cursing my past self for making me walk like a Thunderbird. Stairs are now my nemesis as my legs are experiencing such a severe case of pins and needles that I cannot bend them to climb steps without looking like I have shat myself. On a totally unrelated note the sensation has prompted me to create a 1940s periodical crime drama about a hedgehog detective and his sultry, leggy blonde assistant called “Pins & Needles”. Anyways I thought that the ‘extensivity’ of my cement legs (because there was nothing really pin or needle-like about my joints today) would cause my motivation to ebb out of me like…butter…on freshly toasted muffins? Bad analogy is bad. However my motivation was not only still present but just as aggressive as before. I ran errands in the morning, did more work on my final essay and cleaned the apartment to such a degree that I unsettled dust motes that had been set in place during the Howard years.

I have to tell you I was a little frightened that I would do something really radical with my new superpower, but it seems that motivation can only take so much. “And on the afternoon of the third day he rested.” I have returned to my double-stacked beanbags of comfort and am resting my weary legs. It seems that the motivation snuck out the open window when I was trying to air the smell of our newest monstrous resident, a big, purple guy named Clyde. It’s out there right now. Drifting on the updrafts of bus-exhausts, flitting over the heads of morose commuters and sniffing out its next host.

For motivation is not a symbiotic beast, oh no. It is a parasite. It sucks the energy from its host by making it participate in a range of various beneficial activities…and then, when it’s host has completed almost everything it has to complete (I still haven’t finished that second essay), it leaves, having had its fill. I wait in fear, that one day it will strike me down again and I will join a gym and start shaving on a regular basis.

That’s all for today. Also props to Jonathon Lawrence (Ed. I’M AWESOME) who has kindly started editing these posts in order to check for erroneous errors that I don’t notice (read: WHAT IS PROOFREADING????).

Treed…AWAAAAAYYY (slowly though, due to the sore legs).

Leave a comment

Filed under Life & Times Of, Urban Monsters

Procrastination Means Always Having To Say You’re Sorry

And in a dramatic turn of events I am once again forfeiting my essay writing responsibilities and doing something else with both my time and energy. It’s kind of sad. I’ve gone back through all of these posts recently and discovered that most of them discuss, at length, my inability to do constructive work. And by constructive work I mean work associated with University and getting a CAREER (which is not at all like The Sims showed me it would be…) and all that other fun stuff involved with GROWING UP, GETTING OLDER and RESPONSIBILITIES. So basically instead of sitting down and writing a philosophy essay (or have I already written my essay? Or is there even an essay question? There is. I’m just being facetious) I’ve found several other ways to occupy my allotted essay time.

The first is watching Totally Wild. It’s on TV. Right now. In front of my face. I’m not really watching it. It’s on mute and is just confusing because I keep looking up and seeing people walking along beaches and pointing at things. Anyways the point I was making with Totally Wild is that everyone on it is really awkward and does not want to be on Totally Wild. It’s a thing you only notice when you get older (see I am being relevant because I’ve mentioned my age twice now). Instead of seeing cool people talking to awesome science people, you now see a group of hip, twentysomethings looking bored shitless as a fifty-year-old suspected pedophile discusses the merits of kites. I remember I used to be repeatedly disappointed with Totally Wild as a child because they didn’t do enough stories on lizards and sharks. Lots of stories about rabbits and kids who are good at skipping though. Neither of those things were on my list of Awesome Things That Should Be On Totally Wild…

Awesome Things That Should Be On Totally Wild
By Tom Reed Circa 1999.

1. Sharks.
2. Lizards.

It’s a short list. I was pretty content as a child. Anyways the second thing I have decided to do with my time is write mysterious, stream of consciousness nonsense…you know because that’s what all the cool writers did. Shakespeare, Orwell, the guy who wrote the novelisation for Godzilla (the one with Matthew Broderick and the guy who does Apu’s voice on The Simpsons). Whatever. Now watch me proudly display my artistic endeavours like a ten-year-old’s artwork on the fridge (only I don’t have a fridge…I have a blog…it saves more energy and doesn’t accidentally freeze the milk which makes for a bad Milo cereal experience).

What Tom Wrote Instead of a Philosophy Essay…
Warning: Wankery Abounds.

You ever wonder how many people actually click those ads telling them that they’ve won a free iPhone? How often do reckon someone legitimately thinks they’ve won something? More to the point, how do the guys behind them possibly think that any of these scams are going to work? Do they sit down and go through focus group responses and analyse statistical data? Is there a testing phase for each new idea? What part of them actually believes they can pull it off? It’s sad.

But you wanna know what’s even sadder? They wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t work. They would’ve stopped and packed it in a long time ago. And they haven’t. In fact it seems like they’ve increased their output…so that can only mean one thing; it’s working. People are going into these things to redeem their iPad or ten million dollars, and then getting pissy when it blows up in their faces.

They ring some hack, telling the prick they got a story for them. It’s about a decent person being ripped off. A decent Australian, they’re very specific about that part. Very specific. Next thing you know there’re six news stories running that night about innocent people getting scammed by heartless pricks over the internet. Innocent people…fuck. ‘I swear I’m innocent I was just trying to score a free iPad that I don’t remembering ever trying to get in the first place.’

You know what I wanna say to them? The innocent people? Fuck. You. Serves you right you dumb motherfucker.

Word Count: Not My Essay….

So that happened. After that I bought the worst Subway sandwich I’ve ever had (the wind stole the lettuce and the guy who made it was a cheezewidget, who didn’t seem to understand that when I said I wanted onion that meant more than four pieces, who had entered the witness protection program and ended up tasting like bread). May be it was the universes way of telling me that I ought to start my essay. Which sent me back the apartment quick smart and resulted in me doing this instead TAKE THAT UNIVERSAL GUIDANCE! I’m still finding ways to procrastinate with the Fates involved in my destiny. Because I am dedicated to the art. Like that guy who’s taking a swan dive from space. Except there is a minimal risk of death with my dedication. I just might congeal in the corner under a layer of Snickers and socks.

The other activity I partook in was scrolling through the SPAM folder of my comments page. Apparently people think this blog is worth spamming (I feel so very, very honoured). This was the pick of the lot: Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nonetheless seriously worth taking a search, whoa did one study about Mid East has got additional problerms at the same time.

I hate it when my Mid East has got additional problerms concurrently…so frustrating.

Anyway all this talk of procrastination has made me feel guilty and sad. So, next time we speak I will have gone for a run. That way I will be forced to do something (or alternatively if you never see another post on here again you know that my laziness got the better of me and I’m trapped in a comfy sofa somewhere). Have a joyous time.

Aloha, Treed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Catharsis, Life & Times Of, List-o-mania