Why I Don’t Work Out

I get asked frequently why I don’t “take care of myself,” and of course anyone’s first response to this would probably be to get indignant and defensive about it. But after my initial instinct to punch someone passes, I always respond honestly, because frank honesty has become something of a staple of mine.

I’m not unhealthy—far from it. I’m just built like Jack Skellington, and make no effort to build any muscle mass that isn’t conducive to wailing away on the drums or pointing out an item on a fast food menu. I think people assume I don’t work out due to laziness, and yes, laziness may amount to about 15% of the reason. But the greater issue for me is that, of the handful of concepts I do believe in, I have what some would call an old-fashioned notion that there is someone else out there who… fits me. Not a “soulmate,” mind you, because I hate that word and find the very idea unrealistic and naive. What I’m referring to is more of a distinct attraction and deeper connection than one might have with any other random homo sapiens. What is a human but a quagmire of variables, anyway? It’s my understanding (or maybe my hope), that sometimes, two people have just the right set of variables for something amazing to happen, and that once these two people find each other, they are mutually empowered by their chemistry from then on.

Maybe my belief in this is just as archaic and naive as the irrational shit I normally tend to condemn, but I find myself wanting this to be true more and more the older I get.

But I guess my greater point is that if this is true, and the reagent to my reactant is out there somewhere, then it’s very important to me that this woman is attracted to me exactly as I am—which is, metaphorically, a good hardcover with no dust jacket. Or a killer Pearl Jam album burned onto a blank CD-R.

If I were to start working out now, every woman I met thereafter would be attracted to my body first. And I feel that a mind like mine is not equipped to deal with the endless neurotic apprehension that comes bundled with being beautiful—constantly asking myself questions like, “Would she even have talked to me if I weren’t hot?” or “Am I just a piece of meat to her?” or “Would she still be into me without these pectorals?” or “Is she really listening to me, or is she just waiting for me to take my pants off?” Screw that noise.

Instead, when I find someone worthwhile, I’d much rather she be drawn to the things about me that really matter. The things that tend to make for a lasting, fulfilling, and entertaining shared time on earth. Like capacity for laughter. Intelligence. Pragmatism. Talent. Wit. Sarcasm. Passion. The occasional Dutch oven. The things about me that will never change, or that aren’t likely to fade away with age.

Then and only then, once she’s fallen for the real Marc and been deemed worthy and deserving of all that is me, I will begin the gradual process of transforming myself into an aesthetic powerhouse. For her. And it’ll be much easier to undergo, once the proper motivation is there. Best of all, I’ll know that she’s with me for the right reasons.

Perhaps this is misguided or impractical, and I’m not normally in the habit of being either. But I do think it’s important to keep a healthy form of hope in one’s life. Even unrealistic hope, if it comes to it.

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