Southern Man

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Feel the Burn

There was a time when Southern Man was a formidable athlete. Well, no, not really, but at least he was a pretty fair long-distance runner. A good friend in graduate school got a bunch of us started on LDR and it's a sport I held to for, oh, seven or eight years, until dating and marriage and children put an end to spare time in general and running in particular.

Since all runners want to know what your best times are, here are a few of mine.
Best mile: 5.01 (I just could never break a five minute mile)
Best 5K: 16.45 (5:40 pace on a cold, windy, rainy day)
Best 10K: 36:45 (just under a six-minute-per-mile pace)
Best Marathon: 3:15:00 or so (about 7:45 per mile)
Of course this was about twenty years and eighty pounds ago. Southern Man's shape is better described as "well rounded" these days.

Now comes one of the few silver linings in the great grey cloud that is divorce: my mornings are my own. If I want to work out for a couple of hours first thing in the morning there's nothing stopping me from doing so other than my own general sloth and laziness. And it turns out that the instructors of the early-morning phys ed courses at Southern Man's place of employment are more than happy to accomodate members of the faculty who wish to join in the pain. So for the first time in a long, long time, Southern Man found himself in the gym at seven in the morning for half an hour on the treadmill and an hour of cardio-kickboxing. Well, the others were doing cardio-kickboxing; Southern Man is not quite with the program yet. While he might be accurately described by any number of glowing adjectives (like the aforementioned "rounded") "limber" is not among these. The cardio-kickboxing courses are taught by a tiny little ninety-pound wisp of a woman who is also the director of the school's adult studies program. I wonder if the students who argue with her realize that she could beat the crap out of any one of them. Tomorrow's weight-training class is taught by a former basketball player who looks like he could toss Arnold Schwartzenegger over the next building. There we will add "weak" to the list of adjectives that is Southern Man.

So Southern Man is feeling the burn tonight and looking forward to more of the same tomorrow morning. Strange for an educator to say this, but perhaps becoming less well rounded will be a good thing.


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