One knows that one hasn't exercised lately when one is so estranged from a former friend, Gym, that now one uses the more formal James (or Gyames).
Our hero stands in line to enter the James. It seems familiar yet foreign. The high walls and open spaces are reminiscent of a cathedral. He vaguely remembers repenting here, months ago.
He has returned, virtually indistinguishable from the other visitors. Many of them are the New Years Newbies. Both CC and the Newbies are welcomed by the staff. There is no sign of recognition in their eyes. After all both CC and the Newbies have not been here in a long time; both have been on a recent diet of personal destruction; both have "let themselves go" for their own individual reasons of erroneous priorities.
It is time to repent. Time to suffer. Our hero respects the Newbies, but he is not one of them. He decides to stand out from the crowd.
At mile 2 on the Tread, he is sweating profusely. 4 months ago, at this pace, it would take 5 miles to hit this level of exertion. Good news: many of the Newbies have already retired. Bad news: his knees start to twinge with pain.
The exertion is much more serious now. The knees ache. Most of the Newbies are gone; a fresh crop have arrived. Our hero digs down deep for further motivation: he analyzes the last 3 months for wanton acts of selfishness, stupidity, and sloth. Payback's a bitch and it starts now. Gritting his teeth, his legs burn.
Though heartened at outlasting all of the Newbies, our hero is chained in his own prison. The cardio system seems to remember the Great Days of 07 (pre-August) but his legs and knees cannot bear the burden. His form is creaky; his face contorted with suffering. Children cling to their mothers at the sight. A fallen hero punishing himself through impotent rage.
Zounds! The software of his brain is overridden by a hardware interruption: the right knee fires a sharp shot of pain across the bow of his consciousness. We need to stop now. Our hero slows to a walk.....
Later he hobbles through the parking lot. It is 72 F and sunny. As he collapses into the driver's seat of his car, he exhales heavily.
2008 is looking better already.