Thursday, March 11, 2010
The 'before' photos
No, I'm not a tease, if that's what you're thinking, Michael Bluth.
Oh, there's a good couple thousand words' worth of (blurry, rather amateurish, cell phone-quality) pictures below, but in the interest of keeping things Safe for Work I thought it'd be best to pad this entry with enough of my own verbiage to keep you, Dear Reader, a security-scroll away from any scandalous shots of Your Humble Narrator in the semi-buff.
Which explains the oddly timed line-breaks and parenthetical insertions.
That's Mike Laws — always looking out for ya.
(Though I do apologize for using the word insertion in a post such as this.)
(And sorry in advance if I spoil anyone's breakfast with my man-panties or general hairiness.)
There, that should do it. On to the photos! (WARNING: You may want to dim the brightness on your monitor or throw on a pair of sunglasses. I'm blindingly pale.)
Now, let me be clear: I'm not in terrible shape going into this project; you're not going to bear witness to anything remotely resembling MTV's "True Life: I Shed a Small Horse," where the intrepid subject forgos liposuction and begins an exercise regimen, modest at first but increasing in intensity, completely turning his life around along the way, and by the end of the show we petty viewers feel really good, having lived vicariously through this amazing overcoming-of-all-tall-obstacles, and the only question left as the credits roll is what to do with all the residual flapping folds of mottled flesh that hang loose like sleeve of wizard.
But yeah, nothing like that here. There was a time in my life, now five years gone, when I cracked the 200-pound ceiling — pretty heavy for me, at 5-foot-9-and-a-half, and the result of a steady diet of beer and Buffalo wings. Here's a picture:
And yes, I did proceed to finish both plates. Anyway, since those sad days I've become obsessed with ice hockey, joining two teams and playing three to four times per week. I also set about on a more sensible diet, one heavy on salad and lean meat and sushi and with very little in the way of anything red or deep-fried (though I'm still a sucker for Wendy's). I weigh in now at 160.
Lest this sound like so much self-congratulating, my point is that I've gotten off to a decent start but seem to have plateau'd — understandable, being as hockey, up till now, has represented the be-all-end-all of strenuous physical activity in my life. Hence, then, the shocking dearth of musculature in the above photos; hence the pectoral muscles, or lack thereof — I've logged countless sweaty hours on the ice, and all I got was the chest of a preteen Korean boy. Worse, playing one sport and nothing but one sport has left me lean and hard and ropy in certain places (the outside of the thighs, the upper abdomen, the shoulders) but still slack and doughy in others (pretty much everywhere else). Hockey, God bless it, has done to my entire body what tennis has done to Rafael Nadal's arms.
So that's another reason behind The Orioles-Fan Punishment Plan: to find that extrinsic motivation for completing the job, as it were, and turning this —
— into this:
Er, minus the swastika ...