You know who we are. We’re the ones huffing and puffing on our way from the Village to the science buildings, complaining about getting shin splints from the long trek. We are the ones who proudly proclaim that we “feel the burn” after half-heartedly completing a set of five crunches. In P.E., we were the kids who gave out the high fives and only passed the class because of participation. We are, quite simply, lazy people.
We admit with much dismay that our laziness is not a newly developed characteristic. It is, in fact, our most enduring trait. From childhood, we were never successful athletes; the other kids quickly learned that it was no fun to be chased by someone walking, and we were henceforth never chosen to play tag during recess. From this deeply rooted inactivity grew our fondness for couches and our inability to move quickly.
Our love for staying stationary doesn’t mean we are completely unabashed about our laziness. There are passing moments, usually right before digging into jar of Nutella with a spoon, where it occurs to us that it might be a good idea to burn a couple calories every now and then. Of course, being teenagers in today’s image-conscious society, it is impossible to live this exercise-free lifestyle without guilt or the occasional feeling of crippling insecurity. From “Twilight” movie posters to innumerable tabloid photos featuring Celebrity X’s dramatic weight loss, we are bombarded on a daily basis with bulging biceps and angled abs not perpetually hidden beneath food babies. These glossy images of physical perfection depict a level of fitness we could never hope to obtain. It is clearly easier to resign ourselves to this fact rather than to harm ourselves in attempting to emulate these icons. To the athletes who undergo sprained ankles and torn muscles to stay in shape and on point, we salute you. We are in no way trying to make a mockery of your diligence with our own complete disregard for the value of physical fitness. We know that our indolence can appear offensive, even despicable, but we have only the utmost admiration for your dedicated athleticism.
In spite of these confessions, the truly debilitating factor isn’t the body image complex or the lowered expectations of others. Rather, it’s that quiet voice in the back of our own heads that calls into question, not the strength of our quadriceps, but fortitude of our spirit. Are we lazy to the core? Left unattended, will we be bound to a slow-moving, exertion-free future? We sincerely hope not. Examining our own lives, we may have a certain distaste for physical activity, but we are not apathetic. No one who has seen us work a cumulative thirteen hours to perfect a front-page layout or finalize a Centerfold graphic can condemn us as useless couch potatoes.
We have the same passion and motivation as athletes; that passion just happens to manifest itself in non-athletic endeavors. Perhaps one day we will find it within ourselves to move at a faster pace, if only to prove to ourselves that we can “just do it” like all those shoe commercial athletes with their thousand-yard stares of intense focus. We aren’t expecting to run a marathon anytime soon—just a few extra minutes on the elliptical to stave off the effects of those midnight snacks. We want to be able to declare a triumph of mind over body, to proclaim through the blood, sweat and tears of a real workout that we are, at the very least, healthy. For now, we will live on as the stout and red-faced Gimlis in a world of sprightly Aragorns and Legolases, decrying that our hitherto undiscovered athletic prowess is simply wasted on conventional sports.
Our message is not one of derision; how could it be when the writers of this very article are so incredibly inactive? We simply want our lazy brethren to know that they are not alone. Not every person can sprint 500 meters or successfully pass a ball, nor should they be expected to. Who is to tell us that doing seven push ups is not good enough, or that being pleasantly plump is not the ideal body shape? And so, our dear lazy readers, we urge you to disregard the public opinion and keep trying your best. Keep lifting the neon three-pound dumbbells next to the perfectly sculpted body builders; keep briskly walking next to old man who has been running longer and faster than you. Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how miniscule others may think they are; believe in the motto that any activity is good activity. Which is why we would like to end by telling you that writing this article successfully fulfills our cardio quota for the week.