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Potter: Surviving the pull of my couch

Surviving Everything

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Until today, my bathroom scale made me so depressed that my belly protrusion and I would immediately sag back into the couch with a comforting bottled soda.

But today is momentous …

Today I leave the couch!


Yeah, I’m getting fit. For real. Not some resolution, but a fact. I’m going to find the perfect workout routine — and you get it free of charge … once I create it. But before I actually brush the Cheetos off of my shirt and start honing my middle-aged, somewhat fat body, I need to set some ground rules.

First, I’m not going to the gym. If my workout required that, I may as well give up now.

Second, I don’t want a big pre-made plan with a dozen different things to start doing all at once. So many new exercises to start doing right off the bat gets me psyched out before I even begin. Also, as per my style, I only write about things I’m doing, not what I plan to do. So no lists for me.

And third, I want at least some of these exercises to be things I can do during regular life, meaning I don’t have to get set up and plan a time for the workout. This also means being able to do things maybe in fancy shoes and jeans, and probably with one to five of my kids with me.

Here’s what I researched. (Note: I’m a bit obsessed with the zombie apocalypse, hence all of the workouts I researched are apocalypse-focused).

At this point I was at exercise overload. I couldn’t figure out how to pick just one of the routines. So I started combining them, pulling exercises from any one of them that met my three rules and would get me the results I want (super buff, but in a lithe, feline sort of way … a male feline).

Fit monkey bars

Then, with increasing clarity, my starting point emerged …

Pull-ups and box jumps!

Fit bench

I know … groundbreaking. Actually, though, it is. Common exercises, sure, but for me they are well-researched, thoroughly-thought-out, self-selected exercises that fit my very specific guidelines, so that means they’ll stick. (Or am I fooling myself again? We will see.)

So I started. I first hunted around for the easiest, most convenient place to do my workouts, and discovered the park. (The backyard brick fence was kind of a fail.)

Fit wall 2 feature

I doubt this will work for many, but I’m a stay-at-home dad for the moment, so I’m there anyway with my kids, and I get bored just sitting on the bench. And the equipment to perform these exercises is conveniently all right there.

Let the workouts begin!

For the first week, I did two reps of 20 for the box jumps, then I would hang and grunt for as long as I could and called it pull-ups. But the next time I write, I’ll bet my chin clears that monkey bar at least once before I pull something and crash into the wood chips (adding a dozen slivers to my injury).

What I’ve learned: It’s two easy-but-effective exercises done conveniently at the park that’s finally gotten me off the couch. What gets you to leave the sofa behind?