exercise is only imaginary.

By lazy, lazy Emmet

Now that I fallen deeply in love with my couch, that issue of Men’s Journal becomes even more critical each month. I do a little less each month and now that the cold weather is seeping through the floorboards, I consider sitting up as major exercise.
Those three cords of wood are still sitting, mockingly, in the driveway. With the latest monsoon approaching I didn’t exactly move any inside the barn, but I did cover some of it with a too-small tarp. I’m sure the neighbors are impressed.
At one time, I skied Sugarloaf, biked “the loop” to Lincolnville and climbed Mt. Battie a time or two. I paddled Megunticook Lake semi-religiously until a fatal accident occurred on my usual run. After that, it was always too cold, too hot, too windy or too rainy to launch the kayak. It must be at least a mile drive to the lake.
But in the pages of Men’s Journal I am an (imaginary) Iron Man Triathlete.
Henry Morgan, sitting on a couch with Hugh Hefner once described Playboy Magazine as “a masturbatory aid to middle-aged spinsters.” I think MJ is an (pretend) exercise aid to middle age couch potatoes.
My latest hero is Colorado’s Anton Krupicka who routinely runs 36 miles a day-through the mountains. He also lives in his Chevy S-10. Need I say more? When interviewed by MJ, he had just completed an eight hour, 46 minute run-climb of the 13,775 foot Grand Teton Mountain. Most people take three days to complete the climb.
Our boy describes the high he gets from extreme mountain running as “getting lost in the activity of moving.” I get lost in the activity of moving when someone leaves the remote on the TV stand, a good 2.5 feet away. I have become an addict to all those Alaska homesteading shows which replaces my need for any mobility of all.
Feeding that wood stove is about to become a major hassle.
In case you didn’t know (because you don’t read MJ) ocean rowing, like New York to Africa, has become “The New Everest.”
Our other New Hero is Adam Rackley who got bored with ultramarathons and decided to row the Atlantic Ocean. Really. He even talked pal Jimmy Arnold into joining the Atlantic Rowing Race and paddled from the Canary Islands to Antigua. The pair rowed for 76 days. Yes, 76 days. In his book “Salt, Sweat and Tears,” Rackley said “For an ocean rower the best moment is when you step of the boat at the end,”
I’ll bet.
Pick a friend. Say, David Grima. Put your boat in the water tomorrow and paddle for about 10 weeks. You would get out of the boat (Maybe Antigua, maybe North Haven) somewhere around New Year’s Day. I pick Grima because he is the only person I have ever found who is lazier than I am. His father considered naming him “Bone Idle.” I like that.
The most exertive thing I ever did was canoeing the Allagash. That was because Jefferson Phil organized the trip, and then did all the cooking. JP did it again this year, but I begged off because mycouch was calling.
Enter our third New Hero, Ben Stookesberry, a Canadian paddler, filmmaker and lunatic. Last summer he and his band of maniacs completed the first descent of the Nachvak River in Eastern Canada. They call the Nachvak to be Canada’s “most remote” river. Consider that. This was nothing new to Stookesberry, who has completed 125 first river descents in 31 countries. Yes, 125.
“That was the most miraculous part of this trip: The Nachvak descended 1,200 feet over 18 waterfalls in 10 miles and we kayaked the whole stretch-every bit of it,” our boy told MJ.
I occasionally wake up screaming, dreaming that I am back on the Big Black Rapids on the St. John River. This guy did 18 waterfalls in 10 wild miles.
I thought I was an Olympic-level peddler after doing 20 miles (two days) last week on the Downeast Trail in Machias. Naturally, MJ seeks to bury me. Bury me they did with a story on “Extreme cyclist” Jacob Zuri who set a speed record of 38 hours and 40 minutes on India’s Leh-Menali Highway commonly known as “The world’s most dangerous highway.” While climbing eight different mountains he kept his MP3 playing the same song, “Free” by Natalia Kills. Imagine the sheer pleasure of finishing that trip and turning off that damn song.
I shall confine my exercise to reading MJ on the Cobb Manor couch, and occasionally changing the station to watch another “Cops” or maybe another Alaska homesteading show.
Then I will take a nap.