Let’s Get Physical. Or not.

I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s. With that I’ll pause while many of you groan, “crap he is old.” Yeah, perhaps I am. But, you know what they say, you’re only as old as you feel. And, I often feel old. But, I really try to act young, or more likely immature.

Acting juvenile can only get you so far though. Therefore, I try to stay in good shape. I find that I enjoy working out even more these days. It just makes me feel good.

Actually I’ve always been athletic. Maybe it was because President Reagan told me I had to back as a young lad. Hey, if they President says I have to take “his” physical fitness test, then I had best just do it. But, I quickly learned that what Ronnie told me I should do was bull shit.


As a student, after taking your first “fitness test” you quickly learned that the President had no clue about physical fitness. I mean our first clue should have been the fashion of those times. ‘Nuff said.

She's pretty limber.

She’s pretty limber.

The second clue would have been the actual test questions…events…cases…whatever. The shit they made us do.

Exhibit A – Hang from the monkey bars for as long as possible. If you were super thin it was a sure A. Chunky monkey on the monkey bars? Probably couldn’t even get up to the bars. F for sure.

Exhibit B – Jumping jacks? Any moron who has half an ounce of coordination can do these.

Generally speaking, these things had very little to do with being fit. And, while javelin throwing wasn’t part of the testing, there was a kid named Wayne who looked just like Lamar Latrell at my school and he always kicked butt in the tests.

Lamar has mad javelin skilz!

Lamar has mad javelin skilz!


Flash forward to 2013. Once again, I’m faced with the President’s fitness challenge. Only this time Barry O isn’t challenging me or one of my kids. No, this was a direct challenge from my company’s President.

It all started with an email lecturing us on the importance of being healthy and working out to stay in shape. Then came the challenge:

Should you accept the challenge to become a better, stronger you, you’ll join your other health conscious coworkers in an attempt to lose weight, get stronger and possibly be one of the select group of Corporate Fitness Leaders.

Here’s some more details:

    • The company will organize after work workouts. No these won’t be at a gym, they’ll be in the lobby and sometimes in the parking lot.
      Because nothing says fun like doing sit ups on the ground of the parking lot.
    • You’ll track your weight, steps taken during the day.
      Ummm don’t we need one of those pedometer thingamabobs or are we expected to literally count each step all day? P.S. it’s 75 steps to the men’s room from my cube.
    • If you complete the challenge, you’ll receive public recognition of your fitness commitment.
      While a Xeroxed award announcing I’m one of my companies Fit Stars is tempting, it’s not very impressive if you’ve seen this bunch.
    • You and your coworkers will encourage and push each other to be the best you can be and will get to see great results!
      Yeah, because showering at work within eyesight of Cubicle George isn’t the last thing I’d like to do, it’s actually one thing after the last thing.


Now, how could that not be enough to get me doing the Sweatin’ With The Coworkers Challenge?




One of the other things I distinctly remember back from my youth that the US President would push on us kids was eating healthy. Actually, it was the President’s wife, the First Lady, who would push the food aspect of this critical government initiative.

One of the main duties of the FLOTUS, other than going on Oprah’s show, was to tell us how we should eat. We were told that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc were critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. Even the elder George Bush proclaimed. “I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!” You go GHW Bush! Word.

While the wife of our company President isn’t involved, his Executive Admin most definitely is. She’s not only participating in the great work exercise exercise, but also is the prime person who provides food to us at company events.

We have an unwritten rule that if you schedule meetings over the lunch hour you need to provide food for the attendees. Typically, this means sending a message to the EA saying, “can you order food for my meeting?”

Most of the time this means we will get something über healthy like pizza. But, other times when we have a full company meeting we’ve had someone cater in a pasta lunch. Because, there’s nothing better than heavy pasta and bread topped off with a 2 hour lecture by execs in a darkened room to initiate a company-wide nap.

We’ve also been known to have ice cream socials for the company. I like ice cream.

Oh, and did I mention we also have all you can drink soda at our offices? Take that liter soda bottle and shove it Mayor Bloomberg!

But, aren’t all of these things very much counter intuitive to the whole get in shape so you feel better (and I can get our co’s insurance premiums lowered) message that our President is pushing?


Like I said, I enjoy working out. I also try to eat healthy, or at least healthier than I used to when I was younger. Society already puts a lot of pressure on us, perhaps more on women than men – trust me ladies, I know how you feel.

However, I think both our government and my company should stay out of it. How, where, when, or even if I work out and what I decide to eat is my decision thank you very much.

So, I’m going to continue my personal quest to not let my abs disappear faster than an ice cube on a summer sidewalk. And, I’m also going to continue mocking my coworkers in their super short shorts and black socks trying not to have the parking lot asphalt burn them while they try to feel the burn.


About CubicleViews

Observations, thoughts & random bitching about cube life, food, beer, wine, whiskey and sometimes politics. Living the dream in a 6×8 doorless polyester walled cell.
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7 Responses to Let’s Get Physical. Or not.

  1. All we have here is Walking Wed. And in the summer when it’s about 110 with a humidity level of 90 outside, walking out side is the last thing I want to be doing with my hump day. They do offer us 3 hours a week to use for exercise (at the place of our choice) but that has to be used in the middle of the day (so you can’t leave early or come in late) which pretty much voids that option in my book. I will stick with my Tony Little Glider in the privacy of my own home for my workouts.

  2. katybrandes says:

    We were given pedometers to participate in a company fitness plan but had to pay $45 for them if they were lost. The actual retail value was ironically $25 if you wanted to buy one outright.

    Please know you’ve been an inspiration. You inspired me to count the steps to the restroom from my desk (112, in case you care). And I didn’t laugh at you for being old. I remember the Presidential Physical Fitness Tests and watching the skinny girls’ arms shake as they hung from the bar, but I was a sit-up champion myself. Quite an accomplishment to brag about to an online stranger all these years later, eh? I also remember singing “Let’s Get Physical” on the bus enroute to a game in my cheerleading uniform. Oh, the good ol’ days!

    Thanks for the memories!

  3. lablover22 says:

    I work for my brother. If he told me to exercise I’d respond with, “I’m telling mom!” I also work from home so the number of steps from my kitchen counter where I work, to the bathroom is 12 steps. FYI. As for the Presidential Tests- my kids go to a private school and like most private schools we have are waaaay behind the times (although everyone thinks private schools are advanced and have tons of money which is ridiculous when you think about the fact that tuition pays for everything from lights, to pencils to salaries to the grass) and they still have those tests. In fact, my 9 year old spent Monday afternoon practicing his pull ups on the bar I have in my gym in my garage. What a dork!

  4. Pingback: The Weekly TPS Report – March 22 | The Cubicle Views

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