Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #9 Go to the Gym

Go to the Gym

go to the gym

What it Entails:

Allow me to describe your environment. You’re sitting down, probably on a couch. You’re comfortable. You’ve had a long day, you’re tired, the TV calls to you. Your apartment is littered with wrappers from junk food and frozen dinners. Your eyes have lost their shine, this is where souls go to die.

Leave it all behind, go to a place filled with sweaty strangers and engage in mindless tasks for 30-90 minutes, 2-5 days a week. See limited results. Lose hope. Increase the profitability of Nabisco or any company that sells cookies or chips.

1. Temporary belief that you can improve yourself.
2. Justification to buy a whole new wardrobe.
3. Hours of time spent creating perfect exercise playlists.

1. Wow, this is way harder than you expected. Who knew that getting into shape was, you know, work?
2. Risk of hurting yourself and looking like an idiot as you do so.
3. All of this, and you get to pay for membership too. I’ll bet you got it for the full twelve months, because that was the best deal. You went for what sixty days? What a savings.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #8 Run a Marathon

Run a Marathon


What it Entails:

You’ve decided to get fit, but were too cheap to pay for a gym membership. Well, fine, at least you’re practical, or you would be, if you weren’t trying to run a marathon.

Let’s recount the history of marathons. They are so named in memory of the sacrifice of the Greek runner, Pheidippides, who ran from Marathon to Athens, delivered a message and dropped dead.

This seems like an excellent thing for you to emulate, especially seeing as you just got off of the couch.

You’re going to need workout gear, running shoes, an iPod, sunglasses and to have your affairs in order. You have written a will right?

1. You didn’t have to pay for gym membership.
2. People are impressed when you tell them you’re training for a marathon. They might even compliment you before you’ve done anything.
3. Rarely required to provide proof of your marathon training or participation.

1. May occasionally have to run. It’s that activity where you move your legs quickly and you sweat a lot.
2. You’ll realize what healthy joints you used to have.
3. You’ve already bragged about this, eventually people are going to expect you to back it up. No pressure.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #7 Climb A Mountain

Climb A Mountain

mountain climbing

What it Entails:

Step 1: The hubris to assume that a non-sentient conglomeration of rock, dirt, snow and trees cares what you do.
Step 2: A willingness to be cold and live in uncomfortable conditions.
Step 3: The ability to convince others that accompanying you is a good idea.
Step 4: Choose a mountain.
Step 5: Don’t be a pansy, choose a bigger mountain. That’s right, you’re making a statement.
Step 6: Climb the mountain.

Note: Step 6 is said to be complicated, especially if you executed Step 5 with panache.

1. If you’re doing this in style the Sherpa will carry your things.
2. You’re on top of the world. Good job. Now climb back down.
3. Consistently terrible cell phone reception.

1. Must either carry your own things, or associate with a Sherpa.
2. Trolls are mythical, none will appear to eat any companions who end up being annoying.
3. Utter lack of foie gras on both ascent and descent.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #6 Skydiving


Go Skydiving

What it Entails:

Suspending all logical judgment and jumping out of a perfectly good plane.

It’s true, some skydiving institutions have lesser quality planes… this still doesn’t excuse jumping out of them.

Past that questionable choice you may spend time watching the ground come up fast and (optionally) wetting yourself. Congratulations, you could have taken a bath and watched Google Earth. No, no, I’m sure you’re right, this is better.

Oh, and then there’s the parachute. Who packed that thing? Are you sure it’s going to open? Yeah you’re right. Why worry? It’s not like a mistake will have any serious consequences…

1. If this is a hobby your family will thank you for it, and take out a life insurance policy on you.
2. Wonderfully alone while in the air.
3. One of the few to take the advice of The Steve Miller Band and actually flying like an eagle.

1. Your chute might open.
2. People will want to talk to you about the experience.
3. Empty realisation that you’ve accomplished nothing beyond glorified falling.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #5 Sailing


SailingWhat it Entails:
Choosing to remove your feet from dry land and entrust yourself to a man-made vessel in the hopes that you won’t drown.

Oh, and the boat is powered by the wind. You know, that stuff hurricanes are made from. Brilliant.

Now that you’re seated in your seatbelt-free, ocean treading, hurricane powered device, sit back, kick up your feet and relax.

1. Might fall overboard and be eaten by a shark.
2. Sun burns. They give your pictures an exciting and authentic look.
3. Piracy. I enjoy the outfits and the flag, but the swords are pretty fantastic too.

1. Reefs. Global warming is failing to exterminate them fast enough to make navigating easy. Also, reefs have angry older brothers called rocks.
2. Salt. Free salt. Everywhere. Sure, you can sail on a lake, but where’s your sense of adventure?
3. Scurvy. Back when sailing was serious men lost their teeth. You’re not doing it right if you don’t lose yours.