It’s no secret to any of my close friends or acquaintances that I’ve led a very indulgent lifestyle. I drank too much, I smoked too much, I ate too much, and I barely got any sleep during the time period of early nineties until about 5 years ago. I don’t regret it, although now it’s time to pay the piper for having lived so lustily.

Years of abusing my body and disregarding the advice of both general practioners and psychiatric specialists has led me to an excruciating process I have to go through 3 times a week. It begins early in the morning and tortures me with its brutality throughout the late afternoon.

Three times a week I go exercise at the gym.

I’m awakened at 7am by the dulcet tones of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson singing Good Morning Sunshine while he gently strums the guitar. Thanks, Google Play Store!

Each morning a thought briefly enters my mind that if I leave in the next ten minutes I will definitely beat the traffic to the gym, as well as the crowd once I get there.

At 8am I’ve successfully checked and responded to every text message that has come in through the night, including ones that send me unsolicited information on lowering my homes’ mortgage. It would be very rude not to let them know they had made a mistake by contacting me, and had not in fact, asked for follow up information, even if they are computer generated messages.

The majority of my friends work in bars or are in bands, so the messages I get from them are disjointed, drunken messages reminding me of things that are taking place months in the future and definitely don’t need to be addressed at 4 or 5 in the morning after they’ve consumed 8 shots of whiskey. But they’re my friends, and I love them.

 It takes me about another 45 minutes to let each of them know that yes, we’re all going to see the same show in June. I don’t believe in mass texting. It’s so impersonal.

Around 10:30 I finally decide it’s about time to get out of my bed. The beginning of the process is Aspercream on my back, and about ten more minutes of staring at my phone while I let it do its job. I’m a huge fan of Twitter. It shows me lots of cool stuff like rats absconding with pizza in the New York subway, and also gives me the opportunity to judge how cute people’s dogs are. You know. Important stuff.

11am brings me to my favorite thing: professional wrestling. I’m talking WWE, NJPW, PWG, ROH etc. Twitter keeps me apprised of the latest news. I have to find out if any titles have changed overseas while I was asleep, and also check to see if any of my favorite wrestlers stateside have sustained injuries at house shows. If there are title changes, wins, losses, or injuries, each wrestler gets a largely ignored tweet from me thanking them for the sacrifices they make to entertain us wrestling fans. It’s just the polite thing to do.

It’s 11:30. I’ve usually made it to my living room and gotten dressed in the process of playing music and opening and closing Instagram like an addict smoking crack. After deciding what shoes I want to wear for the brief walk from my front door to my car which is right out front, I have to figure out if I’m going to eat something before I go lift weights. If I eat something now, I’ll have a lot more energy which will  be smart since I’ve been hitting it pretty hard. Do I make a smoothing, or do I make oatmeal? Well since I have a really big issue with eating breakfast food after 12pm, I better hurry and make it if I’m going to eat it. I eat oatmeal plain with a little cinnamon trying to fool my body into thinking we’re going to be healthy all day long.

When I wake up at 1:30 after my oatmeal nap, I grab all of my stuff and rush out of the door. I’m usually barefoot because I never made the decision which shoes I was going to wear. Oh well. It’s only for a few seconds.

I finally make it to the parking lot of the gym. It’s not crowded, and it’s still relatively early. Here’s where I make the biggest decision of my life a few times a week: ‘is there some way that I can put this off until tomorrow?’ My inner dialogue begins with these old favorites: Maybe I should just start a whole new program next week. Maybe I can change the days that I work out. I heard somewhere that it’s good to switch up your schedule.  Is there really any point to this? What difference does it make at this stage in the game? I could always just have someone else carry stuff for me. Maybe I should get married so I don’t have to carry things. I don’t need to be lifting weights. What am I trying to accomplish?

It’s 2:45pm. I get out of the car and head into the locker room. I check for texts that might be telling me I’m needed somewhere, anywhere else but here. There aren’t ever any of those.

Around 3:15, I hit the weight room, I do my circuit. It’s not overly taxing, but even still I hope for someone to be blocking my way to a machine I normally use so that I have an excuse not to complete the whole workout. There’s never anyone there. They always seem to be done when I’m headed that way.

I’m usually sitting in traffic for about an hour on the way home. Had I gotten to the gym earlier I would have been home in less than twenty minutes.  While I sit fuming on 183 mere minutes from my house, I promise myself that I’ll be at the gym at 8:00am the next time.

H.M. Quarry

3/7/2018