“Put the rabbit on the balcony before you lift” is something I have to tell myself four times a week.
As mantras go, I believe it’s a far more profound and actionable insight into the human condition than “Life isn’t about waiting for storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” or other such saccharine sentiment clogging up my Instagram and decorative pillows.
First of all, the latter quote is attributed to an “artist” Vivienne Green who refers to herself as a “visionary” on her own website, and secondly: lightning. For you and the loved ones who come to your aid.
But that’s a needlessly vicious aside. Getting back to my rabbit, Cookie who’s exercise regime this column is vaguely about. This is him on the day we brought him home:
His only form of exercise in his first few weeks as my roommate was to run away from my girlfriend, who would be chasing after him crying “Why won’t you LOVE me?!?!”
Seemingly more head than body, he seemed incapable of keeping both it and his Dumbo ears off the floor for more than a minute at a time. When he wasn’t running away from cooties he’d spend the day laying very heavily on the carpet, rising only for food.
So… like me on most weekends. But eventually his body grew into his giant, giant head and he started sticking it into trouble. I didn’t expect this. I thought he’d be a cat.
My best friend in infant school had a cat, and whenever I came to visit it would leave the room. I’d show up wearing a Spiderman shirt looking cute, and the cat would look at me heavily for a moment, mouth “fuck that kid” and saunter out the nearest door, twinkling his anus at me and not come back for the remainder of my stay. Every time.
I figured that owning a house rabbit would be like owning that exact cat: irresistibly fuzzy sure, but aloof and always bored of you. At best I figured he’d by like my middle-school guinea pigs, who had no discernible personality beyond biting my father.
But my rabbit’s a surprisingly curious one; scampering under and around the feet of enormous Samoan men attempting to deliver a washing machine, positioning himself right behind my feet in the kitchen so I can’t avoid back-heeling his little face when I’m cooking, bouncing high onto my bed to inquire where his breakfast carrot is,
and waiting for my visiting dad to rest his whisky glass on the balcony floor so he can stick his face in it.
Twice, I’ve heard an approaching “nyooom” sound, followed by tearing carpet at my feet and looked down to see he’s stopped just short of clattering into my ankles on one of his light speed sprints around the apartment. At the velocities he obtains, if he hit me I believe he’d explode like an overstuffed pillow. Regardless, he does more cardio than I do.
Anyone with a dog knows that if you do anything moderately athletic in the house, like yoga, they’ll immediately attempt to put their face into your face to say “WHATCHADOINGTELLMEWHY!”
Cookie won’t do that exactly, but he has run under me and jumped on my back while I do push-ups. Now that I have a barbell set, his reaction to the 20 kg weight plates descending toward him is to sniff and bite them.
And that’s why I have to remember to “Put the rabbit on the balcony before you lift.” I’m terrified of wiping out on a deadlift and smooshing him real good. And then it’s off to sunny Mexico before the girlfriend gets home.
I’ve acquired a barbell and heavy plates for my health, because weaning myself off the processed standards of my supermarket as detailed in my last entry is, frankly, fucking impractical to adhere to all the time. To eat to peak Instagram nutrition here’s how I have to go shopping now.
- Trek across city parkland, past a group of muscle bros doing shirtless chin ups who always glare at me for not being chicks, to get to the butchers for free-range, nitrate-free bacon.
- Trek over to the Pyrmont fish markets to find sustainably caught oily fish.
- Trek to the high-end deli which stocks the sugar-and-other-additive-free peanut butter.
- Trek to the “artisan” bakery with the slow-rise, wild yeast sourdough.
- Say “fuck this, seriously” and forsake the organic greengrocer and get my veggies from the stupid, practical supermarket.
The entire ordeal takes over an hour. If I owned a Fitbit it would tell me I’m doing a good job getting my steps up.
Supermarkets actually came into being for our convenience in the 50’s and 60’s. So really, the last generation to only shop this way – buying individual items from individual stores – wasn’t even my adult-age grandparents, it was my great grandparents.
I can picture ol’ Great-grandpa Bost now, stumbling through the morning fog of Edwardian-era Glasgow, stopping by the abattoir for haggis, exchanging mutterings about “The fookin’ Kaiser” with the blacksmith, then hitting up the apothecary for a big snort o’ cocaine before clattering home on the family mule to get to the wife before the milkman did.
But, by observing my bunny I’ve come up with an idea that combines nutrition with exercise AT THE SAME TIME by locking away all your food. Observe Cookie’s carrot ball:
To get pieces of sweet, sweet carrot goodness, Cookie needs to nose the ball all over the balcony until pieces fall through a small hole. Getting every piece out of the ball can take up to ten minutes of cardio.
Now, picture a refrigerator that can only be opened by a weighted cable row machine. Or, imagine a microwave that only turns on when its Kinect camera has observed you complete ten burpees to its satisfaction. Brilliant, is what that is.
I call it the “Exercise or starve you fat bastard” program. Patent pending.
I will accept kick starter funding from $1 million.