There’s a lot to be said for lassitude.
The best ideas come when one is idling around the house in a dressing gown.
I used to be incredibly athletic – often hitting the Oak Bay Rec two, three times a day.
I was preparing for the movies.
I didn’t smoke or drink excessive amounts of coffee.
Now I am the penultimate couch cucumber.
What mental tweaking brought about the change?
First off I was tired of being on display – a pawn of the greater athletic good.
Secondly I wanted to publish.
I could stand being called “portly” but certainly not ‘unpublished.’
I suppose I had different things to prove in the transition form action star to real thinking, feeling human being.
Are heaving, panting, sweating joggers really healthy I wondered to myselves one day in Oak Bay while contemplating knocking one of these specimens into the bushes.
I was capable of dropping twenty pounds in a month stavaging over hill and fern at all hours, still in love with the impenetrable grid of Oak trees and serried huts that pass for downtown.
There’s got to be something a little wrong with the mad individual who drags himself out of bed at five to run the empty streets, when he could be back in bed with an americano and a gorgeous blonde, I reasoned, not that I had either.
My transition to sloth took place at my mum’s place.
I lived with her for three years while she fought cancer.
But there was some strange mute evidence on the wire to support the idea that smokers, with all their ills, lived longer than joggers, when athletic guru Jim Fix fell dead of a heart attack in Hawaii in his forties.
It took me twenty years to fully realize that the sportzkabal was smothering the arts, but I digress.
There’s a lot of evidence to support the idea that the couch potatoes are generally happier people.
Just look at the tide of misery unleashed by these reality shows where people suffer the tortures of the damned losing ten or fifteen pounds.
I would last ten seconds on such a show before running to the Moka House for a meat pie, a smoothie and a smoke.
Yes, I miss being in better shape – it irks and annoys me that no longer am I being clocked at 28 mph beside the number eleven bus.
Most of my family is overweight.
However the supreme big one – the heart attack may come with the realization that while pounding the pavement, one has missed the very best things in life, hasn’t tasted food, hasn’t drunk of the cup of promises and considered everything there is to think about under the silver welkin of heaven.
Not that I wouldn’t like to be playing tennis at the crack of dawn in the park with the peacocks hooting and hollering at every missed shot.
Is there time enough to win at Wimbledon and produce Peace and War or Seven Pillows of Wisdom?
I don’t think so.
An element of surrender is involved.
The ultimate compromise is the pool, where one can pretend to swim a few laps, stretch out, yawn and stroll into the sauna for a really good discussion with the old timers about the merits of bascule bridges over blue monstrosities or why the HST is the msg of the new year.
No one talks about diet in there and a young lady informed me that she distrusts young bucks with six pack abs and ripped torsos.
They simply have to be selling something.
In today’s TV market, fat is the new svelte and overweight is as cool and commodity-worthy as the thin sirens of sixties commercials.
David Burke (‘David Jure’)
Men’s Sauna in Corpore Danno
Island Catholic News