Prime of strife
This article was written by our account manager in the 1980s when he worked at The Notes. Although it was written for the beginning of summer, it rings true regardless of the season. And, Fit4Fall contestants, there’s no substitute for hard work. Special thanks to Andrew and Mark LaBrie at The Notes.
The warm sunlight of a Maine summer day yearly has presented me with the same dilemma: should I take my shirt off, get a little sun and reveal to all that I have the figure of the Michelin man, or should I keep it on and deprive everyone of a good laugh. These and other questions of similar gravity we will examine in this week’s work.
I have always viewed the approach of each summer as an upcoming title bout for which I must train incessantly. However, my manager has been the devil. Somehow he gets the job every year. He talks so smoothly and makes everything sound so easy.
“We’re really gonna gettum this year, kid.”
“There’s no way you can lose, kid. You’ve got me to look after ya!”
“Ya know, you really pushed it today kid-ran a couple miles-did some sit ups-hit the weights, so have some fries with your salad and take tomorrow off.” Yeah that’s my coach during one of his more helpful moments.
The recurring desire to get in shape for summer goes back to that wonderful chamber of horrors known as age thirteen-or the prime of strife. You’re not quite a boy; you’re not quite a man-you ain’t quite sure what you is! But I was sure I didn’t want to be what I was.
I was built like one of those home cement mixers standing upright and I had about the same level of mobility also. While reading all my seasonal baseball and football magazines I came across a number of ads that seemed to be written only for me.
“The insult that made a man out of Mac.”
I always loved that one. Some beach-bully behemoth would kick sand in some worms face and the little guy gets upset by the incident, goes home and does $750 worth of damage to his own room. He then answers Charles Muscle’s ad and in about six days, the kid throws on 55 pounds of muscle, beats up the bully and gets smothered to death by a crowd of adoring women.
The advertisement my manager wanted me to answer was the one for a miracle drink called “Crash Weight Formula 69.” Its title alone sounded pretty sophisticated. All the guys in the ad were bulging with muscles just like I wanted to be. All I had to do was send them $9.95 for six 16oz. cans. There were all sorts of benefits too. I could check the kind of body I wanted.
Check as many boxes as you like, it read.
Bigger Arms-yes by all means.
Trimmer Waist – Number 1 priority
Broader Shoulders –They’d come in handy against the beach bullies.
More Powerful Legs – Sure I’ll take it.
And, as an added bonus they had a box marked “More Dynamic Personality.” Sure couldn’t hurt, so I added a check. Also, I had my choice of vanilla, chocolate and Dutch chocolate. I chose the Dutch chocolate because I felt that I might as well live a little while I was getting in shape. My manager agreed.
After six weeks my case of muscle arrived. I raced to my bedroom and locked the door behind me. I got out a can and slugged her down in about two minutes. I was in heaven. Just think, drinking on muscle! There were about 900 calories on each can, but I didn’t care about stuff like that. After ten minutes I stood in front of the full length mirror to see how the stuff was working. Hadn’t really lost any at the waist, hadn’t gained at the arms, but it was still early yet. So I downed another can of Crash-Weight Formula 69 and sat down to wait for the muscles to grow.
So I waited for a few hours for some sort of transformation to take place. I just sort of sat around and watched TV for a while and every now and then I’d check my arms for increases in size and strength. The progress was too slow I thought, so I guzzled the rest of those universal-gyms-in–a-can and said to myself “There! Now we’ll see some results for sure.”
To this day I’m still trying to shed those extra pounds of flab I gained when I was thirteen and, I have since fired my manager of training.