FITNESS AND VITALITY CAN BE YOURS – providing you have the discipline, drive and plain old-fashioned guts required to procure the necessary steroids. These articles may help, too, although that’s rather doubtful …
You’ll probably be the first person whoever actually tried this particular programme. I meant to try it myself, before these articles got published, but I had to buy some new tyres. So maybe it would be a good idea to have a friend try it first, and watch to see whether he actually does become fit, or starts lapsing into lengthy comas or something.
Anyway, enough of that. Let’s square our shoulders and take that first step toward becoming a Fitter You. (Those of you who’re unable to simultaneously square your shoulders and take a step may do them one at a time.)
The three simple tests below will determine how fit you are right now. Be sure to write down the results as you go along, so the police will be able to figure out what happened.
1. BODY FAT TEST
- a swimming pool
- a dozen concrete blocks
- some stout rope
- a knife
- a strong swimmer from the Caribbean
Directions: Fat tends to make you float, so the idea here is to determine how many concrete blocks have to be lashed to your body to make you stay on the bottom of the pool for at least a minute without bobbing to the surface.
Have your Caribbean friend perch by the side of the pool with the knife clenched in his teeth so he can dive down to cut you loose after the minute elapses. (Caution: don’t give him one of those Swiss Army knives with all the various confusing attachments. You don’t want him swimming down there and sawing at your rope with the spoon.)
How to Score: Count the number of blocks required to keep you submerged. More than eight is very bad.
2. HEART TEST
- a friend
- a job in a building with an elevator
- a giant weta
Directions: Give the weta to your friend and instruct him or her to wait a couple of weeks, until you’ve completely forgotten about it, then sneak up behind you at work and hurl it into the elevator with you just as the doors close. What we’re looking to determine here is whether your heart is strong enough to handle the rigours of an exercise programme.
How to score: Give yourself a five if your heart continues to beat unassisted. If you score any lower than that, you probably shouldn’t do this particular test.
3. AEROBICS TEST
- a stopwatch
- a minister of finance, past or present
Directions: The word aerobics come from two Greek words: aero, meaning ‘ability to,’ and bics, meaning ‘withstand tremendous boredom.’ This explains why a world-class marathon runner, who has undergone sufficient aerobic conditioning, can run for nearly three hours without falling asleep, whereas a normal person will quit after a few minutes and look for something interesting to do.
For this test, start your stopwatch, then see how long you can listen to the minister discuss the budget before you doze off. If a minister is unavailable, you can use televised golf.
How to score: 15 seconds is excellent. More than 30 seconds indicates some kind of brain damage.
To calculate your final ‘fitness quotient’ … divide your age by the number of blocks it took to hold you on the bottom of the pool, then add the number of seconds it took for the minister to sedate you multiplied by your weta score, unless you’re claiming two or more exemptions. This will give you your ‘fitness quotient’. File it away wherever you keep the instructions for operating your digital watch.
IMPORTANT MEDICAL NOTE: Before you begin any fitness programme, you should have your doctor give you a thorough physical examination in which he shoves cold steel implements into your various bodily orifices and sticks needles into your skin and makes you put on a flimsy garment made from a serviette and parade through the waiting room carrying a transparent container filled with your urine past several people you hope to someday ask for jobs. Or, if you’d prefer not to undergo this procedure, you may simply send your doctor some money.
Now, apart from fat, your body is actually made up of billions and billions of tiny cells, called ‘cells,’ which are so small that you can’t see them. Neither can I. The only people who can see them are white-coated geeks called ‘biologists.’
These are the people who wrote our high school biology textbooks in which they claim to have found all these organs inside the Frog and the Worm. Remember? And, remember how, in Biology Lab, you were supposed to take an actual dead frog apart and locate the heart, the liver, etc, as depicted in the elaborate colour diagrams in the textbook?
Of course, when you cut it open, all you ever found was frog glop – because that’s what frogs contain, as has been proven in countless experiments performed by small boys with sticks.
Anyway, biologists tell us that the human body consists of billions of these tiny cells, which combine to form organs such as the heart, the kidney, the eyeball, the funny-bone, the clavichord, the pustule, and the hernia, which in turn combine to form the body, which in turn combines with other bodies to form the squadron.
ADAPTED FROM STAY FIT AND HEALTHY UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD © BY DAVE BARRY. PERMISSION GRANTED BY RODALE PRESS INC.