Saturday, March 31, 2012

The bouncing in my chest? Those're muscles

When I look in the mirror after the average night in Wrigleyville, all I see are flaws. Bulging stomach. Bags under eyes. Two-day stubble I'm simply too lazy to shave.

When I look in the mirror after (or, in certain hipstery gyms, during!) a workout, all I see is awesome. Shrinking stomach. The weary, driven eyes of an action hero. Stubble so manly it has its own stubble.

Today I did a 20 minute session on a treadmill after some very, very basic weightlifting. I stared at myself in a TV screen damn near the whole time. Even as I listened to classic TAL in an effort to distract my brain from my struggling, plaque-encrusted heart, even as I glanced repeatedly out the window and tried to count roof tiles, even when I stopped and panted like a man who'd escaped a forest fire instead of just running a couple miles. I kept looking at my face in that inactive TV screen and thinking:


I look awesome.

Of course, objectively, I didn't look awesome. Sweat drops had long since evolved into sweat rainstorms across my skin; my eyes made me look more like someone out of the Hunger Games than Die Hard. And my stubble had its own ecosystem.

But to the camera of my eyes: I looked like a man who'd faced his demons and tamed them. If only slightly.

Then I came home and had a beer, because 1) it was offered and 2) the bike ride back was really hot and a Stella Artois sounded not just nice but necessary.

So basically your hotel took cues from shoes owned by Disco Stu?

"Uh...your apples are dead."

"I know. I...can't get them out."

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