Archive for January, 2009

The Steely Gaze of Cast Away Hanks

This guy is in one of his patentable downward spirals with regard to his exercise regime.  Generally speaking, this means the introduction of more and more cigarettes, in combination with piles of undone laundry and dirty dishes lying around the house, in combination with a sense that there is too much to do (there is a lot to do — teaching college classes sucks time up like decaying jack rabbit sucks moisture from the earth).  But this guy doesn’t agree.  He’s not going down without a fight.  He’s throwing out the cigarettes, so as not to escalate (and maybe not be able to concentrate).  He’s doing laundry as he writes (one load to down, fourteen to go).  He’s staring at the dishes on the table filled with a week’s worth of dirty old dinner and he’s saying, look out, dishes… your time is at hand.  This guy knows that Tom Hanks had to drop a thousand pounds to look like a cast away.  This guy knows what a good time Tom Hanks must’ve had humping it gazelle style around that island once he was light as a feather.  This guy knows it took Tom Hanks hard work to get there.  This guy takes inspiration from the steely-eyed gaze of Mr. Hanks himself.

Steely Mr. Hanks

Steely Mr. Hanks

Steely Mr. Herbach

Steely Mr. Herbach

And so, gym.  It’s on, as they say at the gym.  Nobody gonna break-a-my-stride.  I’m like a cast away giant sea turtle, a hundred and ten years into life…  I will survive.

Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle

Herbach Sleeps.

Does dreaming of the gym help?  Herbach, who is me, cannot get the motivation going.  It is cold again and I am so busy and there are things to do every hour of every day.  I feel my fat pectoralis major loosening.  That is also true of my incontninentia buttorelocks.  It is only a matter of time until it all slides away back to nothing good.  And meanwhile, Herbach sleeps.

"Gym Dreams"

"Gym Dreams"

A Break From Physical Activity

Today, instead of exercising my substantial ass, I am hauling it to a bookstore where I will read from The Miracle Letters in support of my pal David Oppegaard.  Below, see me reading his brand new book, the much critically trumpeted and dark and awfully delightful (if dark is your delight) Suicide Collectors.  Check out this great write-up in the Pioneer Press.  And now, to prepare, mentally, through deep breathing and concentration for our 7:30 reading at Common Good Books in St. Paul, MN.

Reading From Oppegaard

Reading From Oppegaard

Fat Man Calf Split… So Yoga

…and the damn yoga ball.  Here’s the real issue: last evening when I went running, I was motivated to run too fast by the throngs of young professionals at the gym who were running when I was.  When Herbach hits the gym during the day, there are mostly moms and other writers (who are always in terrible shape from drinking) there .  During the day, Herbach is leisurely, even feeling good about himself.  During the evening, with the young professionals passing him by, he feels competitive and angry and races and loses, but not before straining a muscle in his calf.

Hey fat man!  You are not built for speed!  Act your age, jack ass!

And, so, today, he does what he can to keep progressing, to keep on keepin on.  Herbach hits the yoga mat and also the big green ball.  It is fairly unpleasant and not thrilling in the slightest, not like racing young professionals at the gym.

 

Straining on Floor

Straining on Floor

Bouncy but not Thrilling

Bouncy but not Thrilling

Happy Herbach

You see that?  That’s because fat assed ill boy slept for a moment then hit the running track anyway, and hard and fast, and now he is not ill, but Happy Herbach.  Let us not forget the healing powers of exercise.  Let us also not forget personal responsibility.  That starts at home.  With your own self.  Today, for the first time in years, Herbach smiles in the mirror, for he is proud.

 

Try To Remember Smile

Try To Remember Smile

Herbach Inspired. Herbach Ill

I would like to get out there and hit the running track right now, except for the fact I woke up at 2:45 and I was blazing hot, sweating, on fire hot.  I went up river to Campus and I taught my classes.  I came back down the Old Man.  That River.  Me and the lady watched Aretha Franklin wear her hat and were indeed inspired by the whole scene.  But now, although inspired, I can barely move, as it seems obvious I’ve gotten some kind of energy-zapping butt.  It makes my insides tremor and I don’t feel solid.

Inspired outside, shaking like an unwell baby in.

Inspired outside, shaking like an unwell baby in.

The Gym Is Closed, Perfect Opportunity To Steal My Shovel

I did not go to the gym this MLK day, because my gym is the YWCA and they take this holiday seriously, as they should.  Instead, I stayed home working on a couple of things, getting things done, crossing a thing or two off the to-do list.  At a certain point a straggly fellow in a Vikings coat knocked on the door.  He smelled of booze and cigarettes.  He was holding an ice chipper.  He and his gang of straggly friends offered to chip away my ice for $40.  I offered $20, as that was all the cash I had on hand.  We had ourselves a deal.  

You know what?  The gang did a helluva a nice job cutting away the ice.  I was glad to give them the cash!  But now I can’t find my shovel.  It has been stolen, it would seem.

 

Looking For Shovel

Looking For Shovel

That shovel was a nice shovel.  It cost me $40.  So, I paid the scraggly crowd of alcoholics $60 plus the transaction costs of having to go buy a new shovel, about $40 more, because that’s what I pay myself for breathing.  

Have I mentioned that the petty crime at my house puts me in a bad mood and makes me a little bit crazy.  I am crazy.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the gym!