The Gods Oppose Your Will


What strange things happen when one tries to go to the gym.

I somehow sleep through my alarm the first seven times.  It is ear-piercing to the point of East German torture yet I repose like the dead.  Why?  Because God makes my ears stop working at that particular moment.  I do not imagine that I can understand his purpose.  Scientists will one day discover that the laws of physics are suspended several times in a row when one tries to go to the gym.

Next I try to eat breakfast.  There are no eggs, even though I double checked yesterday.  They have disappeared, like a mother who disappears behind her hands when playing with her baby.  But the eggs fail to reappear.

The coffee, of course, has also run out.  I have prepared for this because I know the world is against me.  There is a stash of drip coffee packets in the back of the cupboard, hidden from God for just such emergencies.  They’re not as good as the real thing but they do the trick.

What’s the score?

God:  2

Nikolai: 1

I try to pack my bag.  The zip breaks.  I use another bag.

As I dress, I find that the air in my room has changed from gas into some kind of thick, treacly gel.  Each movement takes tremendous effort.  There’s more resistance putting my socks on than lifting heavy weights at the gym.  In fact, this is the main part of my workout.

A poltergeist joins the fray, hurling my things around around the room.  My water bottle is in the wrong place.  I locate it behind a box in a room I never enter.  I try to fill it and the ghost knocks it from my hand, twice.  I persist.  An important piece of paper falls to the ground and becomes firmly glued there by some invisible force.  My hands scramble against it for several minutes, trying in vain to lift it.

I get to my bike.  No flat tires (checked last night), all oiled and ready.  Off we go!  It is raining.  I care not a jot.  Pour away, God!  You’re going to have to do better than that.  Thunder rumbles.  Err . . . sorry, God.  The thunder is heard no more.

I feel the press of gravity as I battle the hill.  It is stronger than usual.  Earth has temporarily taken on the mass of Jupiter.  Scientists would know this if they kept a closer eye on such things.  Or maybe the coffee wasn’t strong enough.

Finally, the gym.  It’s at work.  I have ten minutes available because I’m late.  I do a single compound set for each muscle area, push – legs – pull, do a cursory stretch, then sprint to the shower.  And I have forgotten my towel.  I would like to blame God for this one but I suppose I just . . . no, it was God.  He obviously stole my towel or made me momentarily retarded when I was packing by bag.  He has something like a death-ray that he points at my head and scrambles the electrons in my brain at critical moments.  In fact he’s doing it right now.

I have a shower anyway and pretend to dry myself with a spare t-shirt.  Get out, rush to work.  People ask why I have wet hair and patches of water on my clothes especially around the groin and I punch them in the nose.  Or imagine doing so.

Morning is metaphysical combat.  Once I have completed twelve such challenges I’ll be qualified to accompany the Argonauts, though I’d rather just sleep in.



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  1. IMGrody · May 1, 2017

    Sounds rough man! Just do like I do and completely give up on the gym. About every six months or so I do a diet to get rid of the extra fat, and i figure thats probably good. Wtf you going to the gym for anyway? Gonna be an mma fighter? Navy seal?


    • Nikolai Vladivostok · May 7, 2017

      The hardest part is getting to the gym with all the stuff I need. Once I’m there I enjoy lifting. The preparation is the only part that requires discipline.


  2. · May 15, 2017

    This is why I exercise at home. If I had to go to the gym, I would burn up my willpower on the way there and fall lifeless by the side of the road.


  3. Bardelys the Magnificent · August 5

    You are being punished for skipping leg day that one time. Jesus does not approve skipping leg day.

    Liked by 1 person

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