I hate to exercise, but since I’ve gotten older I’ve found it’s not a good idea to completely abandon the practice. I used to have an OK figure for my height although I’ve never been one of those prom queeenesque girls who could wear any style of clothing or bare any body part. My body can only best be described as having the shape of a troll doll. You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout – those little tanned rubber dolls with short stumpy legs and squatty bodies, hank of bright pink hair sticking straight up. I had loads of these things when I was a kid, feeling a vague familiarity with them, as if they were some kind of lost civilization I had a genetic connection to. I would gather them all together around me and we would stare at each other, me their benevolent human counterpart, they with their sad but wise little eyes. We communicated through the sameness of our shapes.
Over the past 5 years I gained a lot of weight. Some of that is due to not exercising regularly but mostly it’s due to this and this. So now I’m making an effort to lose it and I’m doing pretty good so far, even though I know it’s going to take a few years. I could lose it all in a few months but (1) I’m lazy and (2) I’m not tring to attact men so why knock myself out? I’m real lucky that my boyfriend Ken doesn’t mind too much about the weight gain cause when he met me I still looked pretty damn good, even with the stump-leg thing. He says I still look good, but I think he just says that to ensure he keeps having regular sex. Nobody can accuse him of losing sight of what’s really important.
I’ve always had to perform some kind of exercise in order to maintain a weight appropriate for my abbreviated height and since I came of age during the Age of Jogging, that’s what I’ve always done. Not well, mind you, and not far – maybe 3 or 4 miles at a time when I was in top form – but it takes more effort to move the stumps I call legs the same distance a normal person would run, so I figure it probably really was the equivalent of about 10 miles. These days I can barely eek out a mile on the treadmill, or 1/4 mile in the real world. I blame this pathetic showing on my age and a rapidly deteriorating right knee whose tendons and ligaments regularly flare up into an inflammed mess that makes it impossible for me to kneel down on the floor. This interferes with things like tying my shoes or wiping up dog pee or praying to God for more disposable income. When I do run, I like to do it in places where pretty much nobody can see me and my jiggling fat blobs – like the cemetary, which really is a great place to exercise if you don’t like being around other people. Sometimes I go to the local park/hiking trail and inevitably there will be this one man there jogging. I call him the Real Runner (vs me, the Fake, Loser Runner) cause he trots along at this consistent rapid pace, barely breathing, and does two complete 3-mile circuits of the park in the time it takes for me to go halfway. He passes me about 3 or 4 times and it’s getting to the point now where I’m avoiding going there at certain times cause I know he’ll be there and I’ll just end up feeling fatter and clunkier than I already am.
Christopher Reeve once said that he didn’t have any sympathy for able-bodied people who complained about themselves, and I guess I’m supposed to feel guilty for griping. But come on, just because he got bucked off a horse and ended up in a hideously expensive wheelchair doesn’t give him the right to lay a guilt trip on ME. What? I’m supposed to just be thankful I HAVE LEGS THAT WORK instead of complaining about their freakish shortness? No, my friend, it’s my God-given right to feel sorry for myself and I’m not giving that up until the day when me and my short-legged troll relatives once again rule the earth.