WHILE some in the US have been exercising their democratic right, I've been exercising.
But, unlike a sore loser who refuses to admit defeat, my activities have not been calculated.
I've become an accidental exerciser.
As I would rarely elect to do a structured regime of strenuous regular activity, any sort of accidental motion is not a bad thing.
It's exercising by default. But let's be clear, there's nothing fraudulent about it.
It all counts.
My seamless regime is so amazing that I'm calling it revolutionary.
I saw the light at the supermarket this week when, for the millionth time, I realised that I'd left my reusable bags in the car.
But I'm well trained in this particular accidental exercise. Here's the drill: 1. Enter the supermarket. 2. Swear when I realise I've forgotten the bags. 3. Mentally argue with myself about whether I should just carry on and buy another bag at the checkout. 4. Inevitably listen to the voice that reminds me not to be a lazy bugger. 5. Put back the trolley, which I've just thoroughly cleaned with sanitiser. 6. Stomp back to the car. 7. Dig out an eco-bag from a pile at least 20 in the boot. 8. Slam down the boot lid. 9. Stomp back to the starting line. 10. Wonder whether it is too early to visit the bottle shop.
But, this week, the rules changed slightly. When I made it back to the supermarket I pulled out the ubiquitous trolley with a dodgy wheel. Powered by an adrenaline rush worthy of Nick Kyrgios, I laid the slipper into the wheel. The blow was delivered with such serious intent that the trolley fell into line and wisely decided to be a team player.
The crowd in my head went wild. They knew it was a personal best.
When I was rolling again I was a bit breathless. But not in a "get me a doctor" way. It was more "get me a Gatorade". I don't know how many calories I burnt in my brief burst of activity, but I reasoned it would be close to what Cathy Freeman churned through in the Sydney Olympics' 400m final.
But my medal would have to wait as another challenge loomed. I know this event as the minor marathon. I compete in it every few days.
You see, somehow I always forget where I park my car. Even though I had managed to find it in the earlier eco-bag heat, that was a good hour ago. I exited the supermarket with a full trolley and started the gruelling circuit. Sometimes I compete at the elite level, which involves a multi-storey car park.
Then there are the extra calories burned when I try to open the door to the car, have no idea why it doesn't unlock, walk around it a few times before realising it's not my car. This is followed by a swift escape before someone calls the police.
I know I have raised a few eyebrows with what may seem like a worrying level of forgetfulness. Yes, I am a bit absent-minded, but, like other elite accidental exercisers these days, I have a lot on my mind.
Recently I added a new sport to my repertoire. It's been inspired by the modern skills of AFL star Dustin Martin and ye olde running the gauntlet.
Richmond's "Dusty" is known for his "don't argue" manoeuvre, which involves him powering past any player who is invading his personal space while using his arm like a flamethrower.
I unleashed my don't argue this week while running the gauntlet of some charity guilters who had set up a roadblock in the shopping centre.
You have to be as sharp as an SAS soldier these days as you can easily be ensnared in this sticky guilt trap.
You know you are in trouble when you hear an earnest question such as "do you care about animal cruelty?" or "do you know what alternatives there are to that plastic bag you are carrying?" or maybe "do you care about political prisoners?"
Sometimes these wily guilters use undercover tactics. The other day I found myself grappling with a kangaroo puppet that suddenly popped up behind a cardboard sign. While nodding its cute little head, it asked me to stop and think about how I could help endangered species. Before Synthetic Skippy could utter "does the slaughter of Aussie icons upset you?" I shut it down with a (non-contact) don't argue and a powerful sidestep.
The crowd in my head went wild.
They knew it was a personal best.
But, like anyone in the A-Team (Accidental Team), I can't afford to rest on my laurels. Tomorrow is another day. There will always be another trolley to tackle, more don't argues to unleash.
I'm already mentally preparing for my next endurance event: negotiating the steel fencing maze outside Bunnings.
If I make it to the hand-sanitising station without passing out, I'll be home and hosed. It will be another breath-taking effort from this accidental exerciser.
At the end there will be no medal, just a cheery "thanks for coming" from the bloke at the exit before I proudly front up to be presented with a sausage sanga.
I think you'd agree that accidental exercising is a winning combo.
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