I have been described as a physical specimen to behold. Thick, broad shoulders. Etched, defined muscles. Huge. The picture of strength and health.
I am often asked how I attained this physique. Some deride it as God-given: simple genetics; a lazy man’s lottery winnings. Some assume it is chemically enhanced. Some think it’s prosthetic—a body suit. But I say, “Nay.” ‘Tis the result of decades of training, both of the body and the mind. If the reader shall so indulge me, I will share with you my secrets and stories on how I attained this award-winning body.
In a word—lots of discipline.
I rise from my bed (which is a slab of reinforced concrete wrapped in burlap) no later than 11am. Some people roll lazily off their mattress when waking, but I feel that this makes for a sluggish circulatory system. I prefer to leave my bed by performing a kip, throwing my legs skyward and letting my torso snap up into position, landing on my feet. Granted, I do not always complete the kip successfully (so far I have a 3% success rate), and last year I accidentally fractured by coccyx due to a failed kip attempt on a concrete bed. However, I now sleep with a foam rubber safety girdle so that any future failed kip attempts will only fracture my ego and not my ass-bone.
Next, I center my mind. For this, I prefer to sit zazen-style and focus on my breath, sometimes for up to 45 seconds. Before I begin my breath exercises, though, I make sure to coat in insides of my nostrils with Vicks Vaporub™ and two sprigs of rosemary. Usually after a couple of breaths, my mucous membranes have started bleeding—that is how I know that my mind is centered and that I am focused and ready for my workout regimen.
I put on a terry cloth head band, my mesh tank top, knee-length tube socks, Converse high tops, prescription sports goggles, bicycle shorts, elbow guards, shin protectors, and reflective tape, and head to my weight room. It is time to chalk up. I pull out a tray of talc and meticulously begin the process of coating various surfaces of my body with this fine powder. First, I coat my palms, as any sweat will compromise my grip and lead to a potentially unsafe situation. I also take great pains to ensure that the back of my neck and arms are thoroughly covered, lest any moisture form on those out-of-sight-out-of-mind surfaces of my body. Next, my belly and chest. Finally, everywhere else on my body. Once I am white as an albino cadaver, I am ready to begin a grueling five minute workout that will be only the first of two workouts for the day.
I start with the elastic band. This simple device, a long elastic band with a handle at each end, may not sound like much, but when used properly, it will fatigue muscle tissue to failure and lead to a greyhound’s physique. I hold one handle in my left hand. The other handle is held to the ground by my foot, and I begin performing bicep curls. Unfortunately, because I chalked up the soles of my feet, the handle slips out from under my toes and hits me squarely in the mouth, knocking out four teeth and lodging a sprig of rosemary deep into my sinus cavity.
Stunned, I momentarily stand bleeding into my tray of talc, creating something of a pink concrete mixture, which gives me the idea of creating some fake teeth using this new-found construction material.
After my new, pink talc-teeth have hardened, I am ready to resume my workout. It is time to work on the medicine ball. Unlike the medicine balls you will find at sporting goods stores, my medicine ball is actually filled with medicine. Today it is filled with Nyquil. I open the valve and drain three or four cups worth of the fluid into my mouth. The action of lifting the medicine ball over my head gives my deltoids a lasting workout that will be felt for hours to come. In five minutes, I have fallen unconscious, ready for my body to begin the rebuilding process. This is where the muscle growth really happens.
When I wake up the following week, I feel refreshed and strong enough to wrestle an ox, though I don’t think oxen actually wrestle. I think they are more inclined to stampede and gore. I am not ready for that. But I am ready to take a look at the results of my hard work in the mirror. Despite the fact that I now have pink teeth and that I have sweated through my talc shell, I am pleased with the results. And I see the way you all look at me. I can tell you are pleased too.