Growing up, I was talented in many things. I learned how to play the piano when I was six, I loved to act, I could crochet scarves at eight years old, and by 12, I was dishing out professional psychiatric advice to people four times my age. If there was one thing however, that I did not do well, it was sports. I just didn’t get the point. Why would one purposely run 90 feet in one direction, only to turn and run 90 feet in another direction, only to turn and run another 90 feet, and then run a FOURTH 90 feet, just to end up in the exact same place you started? I mean, really. Wouldn’t it just be easier to say you scored a home run without actually doing all that running?
And then I met Mr. Ex-Football Star, starting linebacker for the Florida Gators, and I went and fell in love with him. Suddenly my lack of athleticism became a real issue. Not because he would love me any less because I was unable to run anything better than a 28-minute mile, but simply for the sheer fact that I am the world’s most competitive person. I could not, under any circumstances, live with someone who was better than me at something.
So I joined a gym.
I ran like the wind. Or, at least, like a taxicab on Madison Avenue at rush hour. I managed to go for about three months and then it was Christmas and people kept shoving cookies and liquor in my mouth and I just couldn’t keep up with it all. I settled back on the sofa, vowing to take it up again once winter was over.
And I did. Kind of. I set up a system, where every day I went to the gym I would get a star, and for every 20 stars I would get a $5 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Four weeks ago I started that program, and I am still nowhere near 20 stars. Take away a zero and you’ll have an idea of how I’m doing with that program.
Today the gauntlet has been raised. If positive reinforcement and bribes don’t work, perhaps the threat of public humiliation will. I have signed this contract over at Citizen of the Month. If I do not go to the gym at least twice a week for the next month, beginning today, then I will write something on this site that will publicly humiliate myself, as well as donate $20 to a health-related charity (likely the American Heart Association) for every week that I fail in this effort.
Let the challenge begin.