How to avoid workouts

July 10, 2013 Comments Off on How to avoid workouts

This morning I viewed nude photographs of Gary Player and was inspired. Good Lord, that sounds bad – let me explain.

I came across this article on Twitter and compared Player’s 77-year-old body to my 44-year-old one. I did not come out well in the comparison. “I know!” I thought. “I’ll ride my bike to my biokineticist appointment later this morning.”

As I begin to write this blogpost, I’ve already decided I’ll be driving because, truth be told, I’m too lazy. I’m also singularly unathletic, as a former post will attest. However, I have realised that something good can still come of all of this. And so, since I’m a self-proclaimed expert in avoiding exercise, I thought it would be selfish not to share what I’ve learned over the last 44 years.

Here then, is your five-step plan to avoiding a workout:

1. Don’t join a gym. You’d think this was obvious, but I know plenty of people whose gym cards mock them from the pockets of their gym bags, inducing all kinds of guilt. Just be honest with yourself – you’re going to pour money down the drain every month, and you’re never going to go to gym. And on the odd occasion when you do make it there, you’ll be so unfit, you’ll just feel terrible for days afterwards. And you’re paying for this?

2. Always have the wrong shoes. I’m told that the wrong shoes can be very damaging, and as someone with a pretty permanent foot injury, I feel one can’t be too careful. Ensure that you always carry the wrong shoes for whichever activity people are suggesting you try. Golf shoes don’t work on the squash court, for example, and squash shoes aren’t good for dance classes. Make sure you get that right… erm… wrong.

3. Don’t risk training when you’re ill. Obviously if you’ve taken to your bed, exercise is out of the question, but ‘ill’ also means you have a headache, hayfever, insomnia, a cold, a fever blister, a pimple, or worse. Any breakdown in your health, no matter how trivial, is an excuse to miss a workout.

4. Double book yourself. Coffee dates with friend always trump planned workout sessions. Just practise looking contrite and telling your trainer or workout partner this: “I’m so sorry, I doubled booked!” As soon as you’ve delivered your line, preferably over the phone, hightail it to that coffee shop so your latte (skinny, of course) doesn’t get cold.

5. Keep an eye on the weather. Having given up your gym membership (see point 1) you are now forced to exercise outdoors. There’s just no space at home. But frame your excuses carefully; be specific. “I really feel like swimming, but it’s far too cold.” or “I’d go for a ride, but it’s far too windy.” (I used that today.) Or even “This darn rain is messing with my running schedule.” Don’t leave yourself open to alternate suggestions by being too general.

Finally, there will be those naysayers who try to persuade you that exercise is good for you. I have incontrovertible proof that it isn’t. My husband is the team doctor for a professional rugby team — people who are paid to exercise — and they spend half their lives in hospital. Things break, they shatter, they tear, they become inflamed. Exercise is dangerous, people. Avoid it at all costs.

And as for Gary Player? Well, he’s not a real athlete, is he? He’s a golfer, and golf, as someone once told me, is a stroll in the park ruined by a little white ball. I’m always up for a gentle stroll, preferably one that doesn’t involve hills.


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