Of course this does not appear in any legitimate medical journal or even on an ‘official’ calendar anywhere, but there are two ‘Guilt Trip Exercise Weekends’ during the year. The first occurs sometime in the early- to mid-Spring and the other occurs in the early-Fall. These weekends are exceptionally painful for regular folks who visit the parks and walkways as they endure this psychotic disturbance twice each year.
Here is how it works – Early in the Spring all of those people who have laid around the house watching football, basketball, ping-pong, badminton, competitive cycling, arm wrestling and all of the other Winter TV sports suddenly get motivated to exercise. After those months of lethargy, the need to bolster up the muscles becomes an overriding driver in their lives. Likewise in the early Fall those same people who have sat comfortably in the air-conditioned homes on those lazy Summer days feel those first bites of cold Autumn air and the urge to exercise comes back and, therefore, the second of the two weekends happens due to the same overriding drive to get the ‘beach-bod’ back.
Those weekends come very abruptly and end just as abruptly. While we ride our bikes, Charlotte and I usually see about a dozen other bikers, about a dozen runners/joggers/walkers and a few people out with pets. However, on a ‘Guilt Trip Exercise Weekend’ those numbers rise to somewhere in the 15 to 20 million range, give or take a few. Those people, dressed in ‘Shoppers-at-Walmart’ sports apparel, fight off the cob-webs and the six-month accumulation of fat as they waddle around the walking trails. There are so many extra people on the tracks that mob-mentality quickly prevails and anyone whose face is not buried in a phone screen is in fear for his life. Bicyclists make sudden turns at random, kids dart to and fro across the track, dog-walkers extend their animals on 25-foot leashes, and larger groups move as a single mass sometimes twenty or thirty feet in diameter obliterating any view of the track or its surroundings. Fortunately, the obsession to exercise quickly subsides by the end of the weekend and those people all hibernate for another six months before the ‘urge to get fit’ again rears its ugly head.
This Fall’s ‘Guilt Trip Exercise Weekend’ was two weekends ago and was every bit as terrifying as usual. We will get out of therapy soon.