Talk about a sight for sore legs

Sometimes when my wife forces me to go to the gym because I’m “not beefcake studly enough” for her, I find myself confronted with many other humans. Normally I accept their presence with disdain and mild annoyance, as I perceive them as sweaty flesh getting in my way and preventing me from getting this over with so I can nap.

Unfortunately, this last time, there was a class of First Time Gym People (FTGP) annoyingly using the machines I wanted to use, mostly the soda machine. It was as if they couldn’t divine my process, no matter how many times I projected my annoyance in their direction. It was like they were playing an odd adult game of Keep-Away. I knew they were FTGP, not only because of the way they dressed (some jeans, some dress shoes) but also by their technique, which was akin to the first time I ever attempted to SCUBA dive: random flailing and faces of panicked confusion. They were the gym equivalent of whenever I attempt to iron anything: just awkward and afraid followed by sadness and defeat.

So I decided to lift legs. My legs. With weights. I do this on occasion, though never as regularly as I probably should, as women rarely say, “Ohhh girl! Did you see the CALVES on that guy?” As I started the stupid exercises I began hating the FTGP with renewed vigor. For extra motivation I would stare right at one of them and grunt, using the face I make when I’m trying to play-scare my three-year-old by transforming into a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Upon completion, as I was walking out, I remembered that going awhile without exercising one’s muscles has a tendency to make them disgruntled. My dad would say that’s how I spent my entire high school career.

Below is a transcript of what was going on in my head the next day.

I’m up. Let’s see … I feel pretty good. I don’t know why people complain so much about being sore the next day after exercising. They must not be in such incredible shape as I am. Maybe I should try out for the Olympics. Time to get out of bed!

OK, so I fell on the floor. I’ve never actually felt blood rush into a part of my body before. Could it be possible I acquired more blood during the night somehow? Am I a sleepwalking vampire?

Legs feel like two floppy elephant trunks filled with gumbo, or a couple of dead wet pythons. It’s cold down here on the floor. Let’s try to move legs again. Oh, good, they aren’t dead. The feeling of heavy numbness has been replaced by a new feeling: agony. I’ve awakened the pain demons and they are angry.

Daughter: “Daddy, what’s wrong?”

Me: “My legs … stopped …working. Go … get help … blueberry muffins.”

[Daughter jumps violently on back, giggling]

Attempted to swat daughter away like King Kong.

OK, I pulled myself upright, which was like the hardest thing any human has ever had to do. Legs, let’s do this.

Brain: “We can do this!”

Legs: “No. We can’t.”

Brain: “We’ve been doing this for 34 years. It’s not that hard.”

Legs: “Leave us alone. We outnumber you.”

Brain: “We have to go!”

Legs: “No hablo ingles.”

Brain: “Right now!”

Legs: “Fine!

[stands up, wobbles, crumples onto floor again like a baby giraffe learning to walk]

Nobody is dressing me. What’s the point of anything anymore? Maybe I’ll call into work. Can you call in sore? I’m never making it into the kitchen and daughter didn’t bring muffins because she’s terrible.

Maybe I can get one of those Hoverounds. Or some kind of cyborg suit. I wonder if Robocop technology is available? It’d better be, otherwise what is Science EVEN DOING?

You know, if some predator – like a bear or cougar or squirrel or something – chased me right now I would just die.

Asked wife for a massage. But not one where she touched me in the pain places. Like, a leg massage without touching. Or if she could “score” some Vicodin, which I think is a thing.

Maybe I can get a really cool cane. One that has a duck on the handle; and sword inside. Or a piece of really long licorice.

Daughter is running around my useless body. Good to see this is how she treats the disabled. I can’t believe she’s mocking me by running with her perfect little legs.

Got pants on. That should be enough for today. But no; wife says I have to go to work. I don’t know when she joined the Nazi party. I bet when I leave she puts the three-year-old to work making shoes.

OK, I’m going to leave. Where are my keys? There they are. Oh, great. I just dropped them. I obviously can’t go to work now. This is the male version of being nine months pregnant.

She just looked at me annoyed when I shouted, “You have no idea how hard this is!” Sure, when SHE was pregnant I was at her beck and call. She has no idea what this pain is like. Maybe I can get an epidural?

Made it to work? How? Because I’m a champion. Nice lady that works in the building attempted to assist after watching me spill out of car.

OK, I’m inside. Oh, drat: stairs. More like kryptonite. Whoever invented stairs anyway? What’s so wrong with a gentle, gradual slope?

How do they expect people to climb all six of those? Might as well be climbing Mount Everest. I don’t see a place to hire Sherpa guides. Would it kill them to put in an escalator? Or even a ski lift? We all can’t be the Lance Armstrong of stair climbing.

I’m so hungry.


Kelly Van De can be reached at