Posted by: jspiegel | April 7, 2009

#2: Working Out

Physical exercise certainly is not an activity that is limited to the ranks of the jobless.  The act itself, however, and the benefits gained by doing so certainly hold unique meaning to the growing disengaged faction of society.

I have had an exercise bike in my bedroom for the past three years.  Over that span of time it has collected an inordinate amount of dust, and the most action it has seen is when my girlfriend tosses her bra over its handlebars.  She and I would have a weekly argument as to why ‘someone’, also known as ‘me’, would not take an hour out of my day to use her makeshift underwear rack as a means of physical exertion.  My response was always the same.  “I did not have enough time in the day.”

When you become unemployed you end up losing a lot of things: Your paycheck, your house, your dignity, but one thing you immediately get too much of is time.

Greg Plitt is so happy because he knows you lost your job and now you have all the time in the world to look like this.

Greg Plitt is super happy because he knows you lost your job and now you have all the time in the world to look like this.

The Nu Metal sensations, Linkin Park once rapped that, “Time is a valuable thing.  Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings.”  Obviously Mike Shinoda and his posse have never watched a full season of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in syndication over a two week time span.

I have also been told by someone in a less than reputable profession that it can also significantly improve your physical and mental well-being.  Frankly, Dr. McQuackerson, those of us in the ranks of the unemployed are not concerned about that holistic new-age jargon.

Although I am doubtful, there are those who tend to agree with this “cardiologist’s” opinion.  Studies have shown that consistent, strenuous, exercise will cause a regular secretion of endorphins, which are chemicals that block sensations of pain and produce an overwhelming feeling of euphoria.  Strangely enough, a bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey and a Percoset replicates the same effect.

In the interest of proving these midwives wrong, I have been working out on my exercise machine every morning.  My forty-five minute routine usually consists of the following:

0:00-5:00 – Warm Up

5:00-10:00 – Sweat

10:00 – 15:00 – Heavy breathing

15:00 – 20:00 – Grimace

20:00 – 25:00 – Sweat some more

25:00 – 30:00 – Groan inaudibly

30:0 – 35:00 – Curse

35:00 – 40:00 – Scream

40:00 – 45:00 – Cool down

Nowhere within that process do I reach a happy place.  In fact, I sometimes cry in the middle of the workout.  At the least, it is an accomplishment for the day, and will certainly help to pass the time.

While I have the luxury of convenience in having exercise equipment in my home, as an unemployed individual it can also be counter-productive.  Most people, in order to successfully work out need to join a gym, which requires them to leave their homes.

The unemployed can find solace in working out at their local gym.  They can also do it during the day where they can avoid the crowds, and more importantly, the after-workouters.

The unemployed can find solace in working out at their local gym. They can also do it during the day where they can avoid the crowds, and more importantly, the after work regulars.

Obtaining a gym membership, though often costly, can be a safe-haven and a constant in the unemployed’s daily life.  For starters, there is the matter of getting to and from the gym.  This may take five minutes, or thirty minutes.  Either way, time is the enemy you are looking to waste.

Once you are at the gym, you will notice a significant less amount of people present.  The worst thing you could do is show up early in the morning or in the evening.  This is when the working world comes to get ready for the big presentation they have to give that day, or to shed their frustrations and stresses of being yelled at by their boss.  All of that corporate mumbo-jumbo is of no interest to you

That’s the difference between exercise for the working world and the non-working world.  The working world sees it as an extracurricular activity used to keep their minds and bodies whole.  For the non-working world it is an activity to take up time which we cannot get rid of quickly enough.

Make sure you add a workout to your day.  It may help you lose some unwanted pounds, but more importantly, it will keep you from losing your sanity.



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  2. love this one!

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