WHILE I was working at a fitness club, a co-worker was showing a new member
around. Turning to the trainer the woman said, "I don't feel comfortable here. I feel
fat, ugly and not properly dressed. Everyone seems to be thin, beautiful and wearing the
nicest aerobic outfits." In an attempt to make the unhappy woman feel at home, the
fitness trainer replied, "You shouldn't feel that way. Not everyone here is the way
you describe. Look at the fat man riding the bicycle over there. He's not well
dressed." The woman stared at the trainer and said, "That's my husband."
I WAS talking to a new acquaintance at a dinner party, and
the conversation got around to unemployment. "You know, it's really sad," she
said, "when so many people are out of work, and here I am living off the fat of the
land." "How do you manage that?" I asked. She lowered her voice to a
confidential whisper and replied, "I'm an aerobics instructor."
OUR waistlines were getting larger, so a group of us
sedentary executives started a lunch hour workout session. We called ourselves
MY HUSBAND, an exercise enthusiast who spends an hour and a
half at an athletic club every morning before work, encouraged a middle-aged - and quite
overweight - friend to join him for his morning sessions. The co-worker decided not to tell
his wife about his new project until after he had shed some weight, and he faithfully
began meeting my husband at 6 a.m. every day. At the end of the first week, the friend's
wife of many years rolled over in bed and offered this parting advice: "I don't know
where you're going, dear, or what you're doing. But just remember: You aren't used to
EVERY morning my father, an early riser who enjoyed keeping
in shape, sprinted the four blocks from our house to the bus stop, carrying his briefcase.
One evening at a social function in the neighbourhood, he overheard one man telling
another, "There's a fella living up the block who has to run like a madman for the
bus every morning - he'd save himself a lot of trouble if he only had the good sense to
get out of bed five minutes earlier."
A FRIEND wanted me to enroll in an aerobics class. "No.
Absolutely not!" I exclaimed. "I tried that once." "What
happened?" she asked, looking puzzled. "I twisted, hopped, jumped,
stretched and pulled," I replied. "And by the time I got those darn leotards on,
the class was over!"
WHEN Francis hit his late 40s, he started jogging. A few
weeks later the familiar figure was no longer going past our house. "Have you stopped
running?" I asked him. "The first week I ran one block and walked one
block," Francis began. "The next week I ran two blocks and walked a block. The
third week I ran three blocks and walked two blocks. "The fourth week,"
Francis concluded, "the math got so darned hard that I just gave it up."
CAUGHT up in the fitness craze, I joined a club that offered
a reasonably priced membership. Although I never went, a year later I hurried back to
renew. "Do you guys have a name for people like me who join and never show up?"
I jokingly asked the well-muscled man behind the counter. "Sure,"
he responded with a grin. "Profit."
CONCERNED about fitness in my middle 40s, I enrolled in an
aerobics class. To my dismay I walked into a room filled with much younger women and
decided to combat my nervousness with humour. "I'm here to do my postnatal
exercises," I told the instructor. She gave me an appraising look. "How
old is your baby?" "Twenty-six," I replied with a laugh.
MY WIFE and I are avid joggers but seldom run together
because our speeds are different. One day she started out before I did. Three
later, I overtook her and said in my best Humphrey Bogart voice, "Where you going,
sweetheart?" Without missing a stride, she replied, "Your pace or
WAITING for our aerobics class to begin, several of us were
standing around chatting about fitness and diets. One woman said that her brother-in-law
had quit smoking, gone on a diet and lost weight - all at the same time. Thinking to
myself that no human being could possibly do this without acquiring at least one other
undesirable habit for compensation, I jokingly asked her, "What did he start doing
instead of these things?" After a slight pause, she smiled and said,
"Well, my sister is pregnant now."
I'VE been a serious jogger for about a year, and as I was
warming up for a race I saw a man doing a stretching exercise. He was sitting in his
parked car with one leg inside and his other foot on the ground outside the car. I
watched as he bent his head down until it almost touched the ground. I walked over
to my car and try the same thing. As I bent downward, I could feel new muscles
stretching and complimented myself on this discovery. Then I heard the man yell to his
wife, "Hey, Honey, I found the keys! They were under the car after all."
JOGGING for the first time in my new neighborhood, I saw
another solitary figure running toward me. "Nice day, isn't it?" I called out.
We passed before he could reply. The next day I set out again, and saw the same
runner heading toward me. As we quickly passed, he shouted back, "It sure
THE day after my husband participated in an
Iron man Triathlon
- a 2.4-mile swim, 112 miles of biking and a 26.2-mile run - we stopped at a picnic site
for lunch on our way home. Getting out of the car, Pete dropped the keys on the road.
As he slowly, carefully, painfully leaned down to pick them up, a passerby said,
"Looks like you could use a little exercise."
MY FRIEND Bill and his secretary were jogging from their
office building to the parking lot. As they ran, one would challenge the other, passing
and running ahead; then the other would do the same. Nearing the lot, Bill sped ahead,
running at full tilt, his secretary in hot pursuit. They passed a security guard.
Smiling, he remarked, "Now there's a Switch!"