[the palaverist]

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

[personal achievements]

Today at the gym, I made it for the first time through 20 full minutes on the treadmill. For those of you who jog regularly, this may not seem like much of an achievement, but I have always had a tough time with jogging, ever since I was first forced into it by the venerable Mr. Starn of the Terra Linda High School Physical Education Department. My father has never liked jogging either, claiming it beat up his knees. Once I'd had my knee surgery, that was pretty much it: I now had a ready excuse for ruling out jogging as a form of exercise.

But it was never quite true. Jogging sometimes leaves my knees a little sore, but the pain is primarily in the muscles. Specifically, five minutes of jogging would leave my tibialis anterior screaming for mercy. And the thing with muscle pain, as opposed to joint pain, is that you can overcome it through regular exercise and strengthening. Jogging was never impossible, just uncomfortable because it worked muscles that were weak.

I have now reached an age at which my Adonislike physique will no longer maintain itself without my active intervention. To slow the inevitable decline, I go to the gym, except sometimes I don't, which is why I want to take up jogging. For all those times when work is too busy or I'm too lazy and I don't get to the gym often enough during the week, I'd like a cardiovascular option for the weekend, and I'd rather not spend a fortune on an elliptical machine that will dominate whichever of our two rooms we put it in.

As such, I've been hammering away at the treadmill for maybe six weeks now, gradually increasing my strength and endurance. I think our week of intensive hiking in Acadia National Park may have put me over the top, and now, at long last, I can jog.

Mr. Starn would be proud.

*

Yesterday I had another sort of personal breakthrough. Ever since I got an MP3 player several months ago, I've had a bit of a pocket problem. I carry my wallet in my left front pocket, while the right front is dedicated to my cellphone, keys and a handkerchief. There's just too much junk in the left pocket for the MP3 player, so it goes in the right pocket, but that gets me tangled up whenever I reach for my wallet to get out my Metrocard or buy something. And I hate carrying things in my back pockets, so that was never a good option.

But yesterday I made a discovery. It turns out I have another pocket, and it's right on the front of my shirt! So now I've begun carrying my MP3 player in there, and all is right with the world. Genius! I should have myself bronzed.

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