The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 12, 2013

Mike Pound: Wife’s new exercise edict is painful

By Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — My wife and I have decided that it’s time to start exercising again.

Well, my wife has decided that it’s time to exercise again while I, on the other pulled hamstring, am one of those guys who exercises all the time. And when I say “exercises all the time,” I mean “when I can.” And when I say “when I can,” I mean “hardly ever.”

However, even though I haven’t exactly kept up a steady exercise regime lately, I have been exercising more often than my wife. The last time I remember my wife actually exercising, Bill Clinton was still trying to figure out the best ways to sneak out of the White House at night.

The problem with exercise, as I see it, is that it makes you tired. And sore. There are a lot of things that I don’t like to feel, and tired and sore are two of them. I’ve heard people tell me if you feel tired and sore after exercising, that means your exercise did you some good. I tell those people that making me feel tired and sore is not something good.

To help us stick to an exercise routine, my wife and I joined the local YMCA. My theory is, if we’re paying money to exercise, we might as well exercise. I admit paying money to feel tired and sore is sort of counterintuitive, but so far it’s working.

By the way, I think that is the first time I have ever used the word “counterintuitive.” I’m not sure I will ever use it again.

The problem with joining the Y is that the first few times you go there to exercise, you look like a dope because you don’t know how to use some of the machines. My wife’s solution to the problem was to take the one-hour orientation that the folks at the Y offer.

However, because I am a male person (code word for “moron”) I decided I didn’t need to take the orientation.

“Hey, I played sports in high school,” I told my wife.

“Were you any good?” my wife asked.

“No, but that’s not the point,” I said.

“You’re a moron,” my wife said.

So, last Monday, I walked into the Y to exercise for the first time.

“Hey sport, good to see you again,” I said to a guy who clearly had never seen me before.

Then I walked into the exercise room where they keep all the workout equipment. I casually sat down at the first weight machine I saw. Not wanting the other people in the room to think that I didn’t know how to work the machine, I didn’t look at the little card that explained how to work it.

Instead, I moved the little steel peg that determines how much weight you want to lift to what I thought was a manly amount, and then I pushed on the bar in front of me.

Nothing happened.

Well, actually, the muscles in my stomach, such as they are, yelled, “HEY MAN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THAT HURTS!”

So I snuck a quick peak at the card and saw that I pushed the bar in front of me the wrong direction. So I pushed the bar the way the diagram on the card said to push it.

“STILL HURTS!” the muscles in my stomach shouted.

So, hoping that no one was watching, I moved the steel peg to a less manly weight and pushed on the bar.

“That’s better,” my stomach muscles said.

I spent about 45 minutes in the exercise room moving from weight machine to weight machine. At each machine, another group of muscles yelled at me.

“HEY, YOU THINK I LIKE THIS?” I wanted to shout back.

But I didn’t.

I mean, no one wants to look like a dope.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.