Somewhat Fit: A Mild Success Story for Those Seeking Mild Success by Jason Kornblatt

By Jason Kornblatt
From the Pork Pony days, Jason Kornblatt's very serious take on fitness (if by serious I mean not at all boring and very funny). (CL)

I've been working out and, as you can probably tell, am in some seriously mild, good shape. This all comes from my newly acquired, mild work ethic, which was borne from years of listening to parts of self-help tapes. They're finally paying off, albeit mildly.

This partial transformation all started in December, when my doctor told me I weighed 212 pounds. Though still less than a Chevy, that was 15 pounds heavier that I'd ever remembered weighing. And aside from eating too much and never having exercised since high school, I didn't know what could account for it.

My doctor, being trained in medicine and used to making obvious suggestions, suggested that I join a gym. Little did he know that I already belonged to a gym, and received a lot of satisfaction from paying them $77 a month without ever going to work out. I never went, because I feared the dirty looks the portly girls at the front desk would give me when they ran my membership card through their machine and saw I hadn't been there in months. It was a vicious cycle that I had let snowball out of control.

Weight-gain wasn't my only problem, of course, but it was the only one I felt I could take care of, given my financial position. For instance, I'm basically a good person, but I think I'd be a much better person if someone would just take some of the thick, lustrous hair from the back of my head and sew it onto the bald patches in front. Or if someone would buy me Lasik surgery from Dr. Joseph Delaruso, one of the leading practitioners of Lasik, who pioneered the technique in the Tri-State area, performing over 10 thousand surgeries, without being publicly sued by anyone. Or if someone would just curb my violent tendencies towards the Amish.

Well, I couldn't take care of that stuff yet, but getting in shape was under my control. After all, the universe weighs billions of pounds and I just had to lose 10. All I really had to do was get myself back to the gym and start eating like a normal, G-d-fearing human being.

After finally reaching that point where enough was more than enough, I faced the music and returned to the New York Sports Club which, as anyone could smell, was right next to my place of business. Handing her my card, I told the portly girl at the front desk that I was just returning from a serious leg-injury I'd suffered while snow-boarding, slunk past her dubious glare and hopped onto a tread-mill, ready to begin the journey back to a body that would be able to run in the event of an alien invasion - one of my greatest fears.

The tread-mill felt great and, after five minutes, I got off of it, afraid that if I didn't, it would toss me itself soon enough. My wind was shot and my balance was gone. I found that I wasn't able to watch Seinfeld on the complimentary TV to my left, without actually running left, and there was no way I was going to injure myself after just deciding to get my old body back - not just so I could watch a stale re-run I'd seen a hundred times.

Instead, I ventured to the weights, deciding to ease in by embarrassing myself with how little I could lift. I tried playing racket ball, and though I had no partner, managed to injure myself rather quickly.

After a few weeks back there, I had to admit, I hated this gymnasium. Though I was still committed to working out, I felt that this particular gym could do without my particular brand of sweat. First of all, since the gym was so far away from my home, I was forced either to shower there, or to watch people edge away from me on the subway, as I myself have edged away from many members of the subway's homeless population; who take their shoes off and pretend to sleep on the train, so they don't have to see people edging away from them.

So, showering. But showering at the gym is a traumatizing experience, especially for people who've never been molested by older men. This is because the towels they give you at the gym are minuscule, and can't cover all your erogenous zones at once. Instead of deciding to hold them either over their fronts or backs, the older, thicker men at the gym somehow have signed an agreement, which says it's okay to just not use towels at all. The result is that they all walk around naked, save for their shower shoes; talking about their investments, stretching for their toes, comparing scars and hugging each other when one announces that his son is getting married.

Even working out at that gym made me feel bad about myself, and not just because I was out of shape. Since many of the women who worked out there were good-looking, I would constantly find myself being caught looking at them. I wouldn't mean to, but I became conscious that I was constantly having to avert my eyes and silently apologize. Even the ugly women there assume that just because you're eyes are focused in their direction, you must be thinking about having sex with them, when in truth, you're usually just wondering why they're even bothering to work out.

Just as it looked like I was going to have to stop working out for these pet-peeve reasons, fate or one of its close cousins, stepped in. As it turned out, The New York Sports Club conglomerate had just opened up another muscle-man facility, a mere 5 minutes from my childhood and current home. The closeness of this gym meant I would never have to shower there and also that the women I was caught staring at would first assume I was staring because I recognized them from high school. I could reinforce this thought by approaching them when caught and saying something like, "are you... oh, sorry, you looked like a girl I had sex with in High School," or some less offensive variation.

Having worked out there now for 2 months, I have lost 15-17 pounds, and seem to have leveled off somewhat. My muscles are noticeably stronger, and I have even become so cocky that I bought a shirt the other day, which was labeled as "slim fit". I'll never wear it, of course, as it makes me look like a chubby, male ballet dancer, but the important thing is that I was cocky enough to buy it.

What could the future hold? Lasik Surgery from the pioneer and leading practitioner in the Tri-State area? Someone taking the thick, lustrous hair from the back of my head and sewing it onto the bald patches in front? Who knows? But what I do know is, one simple runaway bus can wipe these problems out for good.

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This page contains a single entry by Jason Kornblatt published on June 3, 2002 8:10 PM.

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