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20: 1989

When I was 20, I was a sophomore in college. I led a vice-ridden lifestyle (including but not limited to cheap vodka and Alfano’s 2AM pizza), and so gained not only the Freshman Fifteen, but the Sophomore Extra Six Or Seven, Maybe Twelve. Arriving back on campus from spring break, the day was warm enough that I was able to wear shorts for the first time in months. I went by a friend’s room and was standing up talking to my friend, while one of his friends was sitting down nearby. He was looking at my legs and asked “Are you knees swollen?” As if I’d injured myself. Except I had not. That spring term, I asked my friend Chereka, a badass track athlete, to help me get fit as I shed some of my vices. She introduced me to the weight room and showed me what and how and how many to lift. I started jogging a bit. I got my first Walkman, and walked a ton  because it was now so much more entertaining just to walk. By the end of the summer, my arms were CUT and I was running fairly well.

Riding my bike to a neighboring town, having an espresso, and riding back sounds like a morning well spent to me.Soon I’ll be 44 and I haven’t stopped working out since. Now it’s training with a purpose, though: I do triathlons and half-marathons, and just got my first road bike so I can start doing century rides, conquering the massive hills on 360 or 71. Riding my bike to a neighboring town, having an espresso, and riding back sounds like a morning well spent to me. I no longer need vodka (even the good stuff) or pizza (well, anything’s better than Alfano’s) to amuse or medicate myself. I mean, feel free to offer me some; I’m healthy, not dead.

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