Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Shape and Out of My Mind

So now that I've reached my final goal weight, I'm able to do a lot of stupid things that I always had a pretty good excuse not to do when I was fat.  Saying "no" to authentic New York pizza comes immediately to mind.  Not that it's easy to find New York style pizza in Southern California, but I think you get the drift.  Come to think of it, there is a great place about fifty miles from where I live called NYPD (New York Pizza Department) that can whip up an outstanding pepperoni pie (comes in two sizes -- BIG and BIGGA), virtually indistinguishable from the culinary masterpieces available at Ray's Pizza in midtown Manhattan or Mr. Assante's in Green Brook, NJ.

But I'm not here to talk to you about pizza.

No, today we'll be discussing the other ill-advised things the "new and improved" me has decided to subject myself to.  For example, walkjogrunning.

walk-jog-run-ning [wok-jah-GRUN-ning] verb: Moving forward at varying speeds while remaining upright, usually done by someone trying to run full speed but who is not in good enough shape to pull it off.

Every year, our little community has a weekend-long festival, including a parade, carnival, and all sorts of fun events.  There's also a 5K run (jog-walk) for anyone to enter, regardless of age, fitness level, or apparently intelligence.  Well, a bunch of folks from my workplace decided it would be a good idea to sign up as a group and go for it.  So we did.

Now, I know darn well that if I just show up on the morning of September 22nd having not trained even a little bit, take a three-point stance at the starting line and take off down the street, I'm going to look pretty foolish.  Mostly because the 5K run is scheduled for September 15th, but also because I'd probably develop shin splints (whatever those are) sometime during the first half-K.

So naturally I've started "training."  I measured off a 3.1 mile course (that's the real world equivalent of five kilometers (or kilometres) for those of you in Canada (or maybe Europe) and now it seems like I've gone and let the parenthesis get away from me.  Hang on, while I count back.)))


Okay, I measured off a 3.1 mile course and gave it a go.  The first night was heavy on the walking, light on the running, and I turned in a time of 44:28.  Clearly, no one is going to mistake me for Sebastian Coe.  But since then (a week ago) I've been able to get my time down to under 35 minutes, jogging almost the entire way.  So now I'm probably ready for the big day, coming up this weekend.

At least, I should be able to avoid the hospital.

But wait, that's not the only stupid fitness-related endeavor I've signed up for.

Later this week, I'm headed off to glamorous Burbank, California (about a 90-minute drive) to interview for the hit insane television show "Wipeout."

For those of you unfamiliar with this mass-media menagerie of masochistic mayhem, the premise of the show is to take about a dozen unsuspecting saps and run them through a variety of obstacle courses designed to kill them.  From bouncing off gigantic red balls, to getting punched out by a wall of boxing gloves, it's a no-holds-barred one-sided pummeling.  The good news is, if someone manages to survive this gauntlet, they win $50K (or about 30 miles).

My interview (along with my teammate -- we're auditioning for the "Bosses and Employees" episode) is scheduled for this Thursday night.  I've already completed the online questionnaire, which in itself was a blast, so it's on to the "meet the producers" portion of the competition.  Who knows where it will go from there, but it'll be fun to give this a shot.  If I don't get massacred.

And just think, a mere eight months ago I got fatigued just going from the couch to the refrigerator to grab another slice of leftover New York pizza.

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