I knew it was time to get back in shape when I looked in a full-length mirror while topless and came to the conclusion I was about to give birth to a set of octuplets. What made this even more alarming is the fact that I’m not even pregnant. Or female.

At first, I was at a loss to explain my fall into fatness. After serious introspection over a barrel of Double Chocolate Mocha Fudge Brownie ice cream, it dawned on me that it probably had something to do with my exercise regimen, which consisted of vigorous sloth followed by intense laziness.

I decided to make an appointment at an inexpensive gym, a place called something like “Hal’s House of Groin Pulls.” I was met by a trainer with a physique so rock-hard that if he suddenly died he could donate his body to bricklaying. A nice enough guy, but I had a little trouble understanding him due to his muscle-bound jaws. When he said his name, it sounded suspiciously like “Ben Gay.”

Ben took me around to various barbells and other contraptions that looked like they were built for the sole purpose of turning once-sturdy ligaments and tendons into Ramen noodles.

I looked on, torn between fear and terror, as a guy with a neck the circumference of a truck tire grunted, grimaced, and growled while lifting the equivalent of several city blocks above his head. After allowing the blighted neighborhood to gently crash to the floor, he turned and stalked out the door, no doubt on his way to devour several heads of cattle, along with the rest of their bodies.

Now it was my turn. I climbed into a contraption called a seated leg curl machine, which Ben told me would give me “firmer glutes.” This apparently translates as “hard butt” in muscle talk. I tried to think of a possible reason I’d want a hard butt, but the only thing I could come up with was to make sitting on it even more enjoyable.

I attempted a few curls, and my butt, while firmer, felt like it been kicked by Tire Neck with the full intention of turning my backside into my front side. I decided to stop before I pulled something that could never be pushed back.

“Maybe we should try some cardio,” said Ben, smiling.

“I’m not sure what that is, but it has to be better than never being able to sit again,” I replied, weeping.

Ben climbed onto a treadmill. After about 10 seconds, his feet were a blur and his arms were pumping like pistons. Somehow, I knew if I tried that thing, it would send me catapulting into my next life. Grudgingly, I climbed aboard. After two minutes, my lungs were reaching for my cell phone to call 911.

“Breathe!” Ben yelled, as if I were giving birth. I know that couldn’t be true because giving birth couldn’t hurt as much.

“Need drink…feel weak…death coming!” I replied, not breathing.

“How about a sports drink?”

“Does it include tequila? How about a hemlock on the rocks?”

I decided I’d had enough, and I told Ben I was going home to do something less painful, like sticking my head into a vat of boiling grease. I thanked Ben and told him I’d be sure to come back soon, like right after the Apocalypse.

The next morning, I woke to what sounded like several .12 gauge shotgun blasts going off inside my brain. Fortunately, it was only every joint in my body popping in agony. I decided right then to return to my previous exercise regimen. Sloth never hurt like this.

Chris Joseph is a full-time freelance writer residing in Pennsylvania. When he’s not hunched over his his laptop, Chris enjoys breathing, eating and not giving a rat’s ass. Twitter: @ChrisAJoseph

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