Jogging for donuts

Offering up the rationale that she had to go out of town, my trainer canceled our appointment. I knew the "real" reason: She had grown tired of me, leaving to find another greybeard to tutor; tossing me to the curb like yesterday's recyclables. As revenge, I would forgo my exercise regiment; opting instead to sleep late, eat immense amounts of sugary snacks, gain lots of weight, and make her feel guilty. Don't mess with the male ego; it is a bewildering and convoluted place.

However, fate interceded and my eyes popped open at 3:30 a.m., leaving me restless and incapable of returning to the embracing arms of Hypnos. Since I could not sleep, the question became, "What do I do at this hour?"

I could exercise.

The notion of huffing, puffing, bending, and squatting in the cold morning dampness with no trainer guiding over and coercing me struck me as being as appealing as bathing in ice water. Yet, in this pre-dawn mentally fuzzy state, activity sounded more attractive than staring at dark bedroom walls; so I ventured out doors, thinking, "I can walk to the bakery and get a donut." Strapping on walking shoes, iPod, and fleece vest, I set forth into the inhospitable chilly climes of dawn.

Soon my fitter angels won out; I detoured to the park, and was indeed huffing, puffing, bending, and squatting at my usual workout locale. As uncoordinated as I felt, I assumed passing motorists would deduce I was in the midst of a seizure and stop to offer assistance. Since none did, I continued uninterrupted, completing my routine well before the bakery opened. I then urged myself to kill time by actually jogging, establishing short goals to avoid over-exertion.

Upon reaching the sidewalk that bounds the park, I thought, "That's easy" and set my sights for a telephone pole down the block. Pole by pole, house by house, I advanced until, flush with the ecstasy of accomplishment but reaching my limit, I prepared to stop - until I saw a woman running ahead of me.

Still smarting from being jilted by my trainer, a greater cause now made itself known. No longer about me seeking conditioning, this was now a battle between the sexes. For all that is good, noble, and fit in men, I must outrun this lone female jogger, demonstrating what I can do on my own so I could boast to my trainer, proving my independence.

Summoning all the machismo inherent in a middle aged, slightly soft, non-runner on the verge of collapse, I nonchalantly accelerated next to her, acting as if this was a typical practice. Without breaking stride, she waved, "Hi."

Attempting to return the salutation with a husky, deep-voiced, "Howdy," I was stunned when, instead of my usual manly, dulcet tones, all that exhaled from twixt my lips was a thick gasping, airy, sickly wheeze; akin to a pipe organ blasting with rotted bellows. Stunned (and probably frightened), her eyes opened huge and she stopped dead in her tracks.

Humiliated beyond belief, I accelerated with the last remaining tidbits of energy I possessed, disappearing behind a tree and collapsing in the grass, where I lie until I had enough strength to crawl to the bakery and claim my donut.

Credits - would like to thank the website ( for the authorization to reprint the article "Jogging for Donuts" by Scott "Q" Marcus.

Since September 7, 2007 - © Aerostato, Seattle - All Rights Reserved.

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