Trappings of a modern human: Excercise is not your friend and neither is your chair (Why I run)

You ever watch history documentaries about the lives people led from yester year, how they had to work all day in a mine or farming in a field? You appreciate the hardship but at the same you’re thinking; ‘If they had fitbits they would have smashed 10,000 steps easy, lucky bastards’. These days, instead of being hunched over a rock chipping away; chances are you are hunched over a screen, typing away. An existence so still, fitbit has a reminder function to prompt you to get up and get some water. 
Food favourites today are still born out of that 10,000 step plus miner lifestyle. In Britain, the Cornish pasty is still a popular choice, rightly so, pastry, meat and potato what’s not to love? This glorious hand held meal originated as a miners lunch of choice, they’d eat only one half of it as their hands, dirty from all the coal, would ruin the half they were holding. Today, sedtary folks, like myself, will gladly eat the whole thing with are clean, alcohol free hand gel hands.

As a species, we have been hardwired to figure out ways to acheive what we need to acheive with as little effort as humanly possible. Trouble is, we have gotten so good on how to avoid physical effort, that we are at a point in human existence that effort has to be done for effforts sake. Or in other words, that one must exercise for the sake of exercise and who the hell has time for that? 

Exercise and me 

Personally, my commute to work is an hour and a half  each way, 7 hours for work and an hour lunch, so 11 hours altogether on a good day. As commute thats not bad, not good but not bad, people do longer people do shorter. As for the work itself, despite it all just being sitting and thinking and dealing with others it’s damn tiring (Must be the dealing with others part). That 5 days a week with 6am starts, is quite a run down, and you want me to stuff exercise in there too? Enough to make a man break down, go to KFC and eat his feelings from a bucket. 

Despite this upsetting reality, I don’t want to be a blimp, or even out of shape. I’m relatively young, there is nothing physically wrong with me which is more fortunate than plenty of others, no excuses muffin top boy! 

I manage to throw in 3 runs a week…most weeks, 3 long and painful runs. I force two of them as part of my commute during the week and slap a brutal long one on the weekend. I’m not one of those high on exercise guys…the so called ‘runners high’ is balderdash. 

It’s punishment, brutally, every heavy step is a jolt through my joints as my lungs wheeze like a 9 year old smoking a cigarette. It is self-inflifted punishment and an act of self loathing in an effort of self improving. But that’s something more personal to me, I can’t be doing fine but want to do better. No, it’s I’m offensively awful and the shame will force me to turn things around. That’s what works for me I suppose, is that mentally the best thing? Far from it, I rationalise it as it’s best for my physical health…. a trade off between body and mind. Which is reasonable, as mind gets to enjoy all the thrilling taste sensations of glorious food, whilst the body just has to deal with it, like a cleaner on the lonely nightshift. 

That is what makes me force to begin the run, what keeps me going is music. I need music, to lose my mind away from the full body assault that I’m putting myself through. I listen up to the cover up, essentially. This, folks, is stumbling upon the silver lining of truly masochistic endeavour. Only when the conditions are right and my body is feeling 100%, the brain can be switched off. That’s the only mental shine of the event, all these days sitting on that damn chair and thinking in work can be brushed away with a brain switch off. 

I encourage you to do the same and switch off, may do that by running,yoga, staring at the sun, whatever works for you.

The Smug Chair 

Running, for all of my internal conflict over it, is a million moons better than the alternative. Sitting on an office chair day in day out, watching your body slowly bloop over it and outgrow the chair, as you do nothing to halt it. It stands as the constant witness to whatever you put your body through, judging you like the smug bastards it is, as it retains its figure with ease. 

To conclude, neither sadistic exercise nor the smug chair is our friend. Quite the opposite, these are not to be celebrated but rather feared and deeply deeply loathed. However for our health and for a lot of our careers, we need both to keep putting one foot in front of the other and sit for a while.

Many thanks for reading.

Yours sincerely,

Muffin Top Boy

Running music recommendation: Kentucky knife fight. Google and get back to me.


  1. Tom,

    As one of the newer and more interesting writers among the Bloggers I follow, I value your input on the short-short story “Morning Flight” that I posted in response to WordPress’s 7/21/17 Daily Post prompt “Gate”.

    I know you’re busy and your time is precious, but please take a few minutes to peruse my brief post and offer feedback. It’s the first piece of completed fiction I’ve managed to produce in over 20 years. You can find it at:

    Thank you very much. Take care, be well, and happy travelng,


    • It’s quite the nasty bully. Aha same, activities more akin to civil folk! Even if I did have high metabolism, the amount of food I consume would beat it into the ground. Aha gotta run, often!

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