Sweat and Fret: Weight Loss and the Threat of Nuclear Annihilation.

I’ve started exercising again.

I know, I know. I hate New Years and it’s new yous, but this isn’t like that. I’m just trying to move around more, y’know, to get the blood flowing, get some strength and tone my legs.

I used to run on the treadmill at the gym, remember? I’d watch the TVs overhead and collect what I could from the rare and primitive cable television. HGTV, Sportsnet, CNN.

I’m not much of a gym rat anymore; I prefer running outside now. I’ve read that the elevation outdoors is better for my training. But every now and then I pop by the gym, lift some weights and catch up on my “sweat and fret” shows. Property Brothers, Misplays of the Week, Anderson Cooper 360.

The world is a frightening place. On one screen there are pot lights, ottomans and brick siding, on the screen left there are racists and fires and homocides. Close by a new weight loss fad is in flux. No need for full meals! Try this green juice! Somewhere to the right is Kawhi Leonard, and a row of suited men who claim to know him better than his wife and child.

I think it’s the news that keeps me at the gym. But I also think it’s the news that keeps me away.

As Iran launches their missiles and the US’s maglomanic enrages the globe, I feel the soreness in my arms and wonder if I am training for a war.

Wake up and run, check the news, then run.

Australia is burning. People are being evacuated from their houses, animals are dying, square acres have been lost. To fire.

Feel the burn, the treadmill hums beneath me.

Maybe it was the drought that caused it. Unforeseen, weather conditions and connections resulting in fire.

I pour some water into my mouth. Running makes me thirsty.

Meghan and Harry are taking a step back for their royal tidings, a headline like no other.

The public is distraught, and the Queen, betrayed! I hear a voice shout, Not on a taxpayers pound! Then another says, They care about their family and their future. This is beyond and above visits and waving.

These are modern times…, the reporter continues.

No pain, no gain, you’d say.

I check my heart rate, slow the mph and switch to another screen. Even real estate and renovations are political. This dog owner and his florist wife have a 2.3 million dollar budget. Nice. Casual. Cozy. Old money bunnies and their infinite flexibility.

The machine slows, but I want to run more. Further and faster. Instead, I tie my hair up, my existential dreadlocks. Panic prone, my lungs fill too fast and burn–my legs too.

I grab my things, rip my bag from the locker and run home.

That’s how it started, by the way. The news scared me the first time, then my feet became an aquaintance of the concrete. I’m certain now, I was wrong before, this is a new you thing, for sure. My heart pumping in panic, my calves are convinced, my body is preparing for war.

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