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Exercise

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Palm Sunday

Two days ago, I reduced myself to a sturdy hobble by learning to jump rope. Never in my youth did I jump rope. Where I come from, males did not even consider it, except behind the walls of gymnasiums, and then only with the ultimate goal of pummeling an opponent in mind. But I’m a long way from youth now, and, having become convinced of rope-jumping’s merits as exercise, I strode boldly into a toy store, bought a candy-striped, red-and-wheat-colored rope, and went home to use it.

By David Brendan Hopes July 2000
Readers Write

Mirrors

Mescaline, step aerobics, Pike’s Peak

By Our Readers May 1998
Fiction

Vespers

Awkwardly, in fits and starts, the words came back to me.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee . . .

By Michael O’Neill June 1994
Fiction

Treadmill

Like a warm cloak, the mundane settled onto his shoulders. He pulled the edges of his days close around him, nestling into their routines.

By John Benson April 1994
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

How To Kiss The American Dream Goodbye

Here’s one small metaphorical leap from travel literature: the journey of life can be enjoyed even in cheap hotels. This idea is standard in any folk philosophy — better to have modest means and do what you enjoy. Even in the carpeted corridors of yuppiedom, people are considering “downsizing” their frenetic careers, although this is more a search for sanity than the pursuit of an ideal. What I advocate is more radical than winching down from six digits of income to five.

By Patrick Nelson January 1993
The Sun Interview

Pedestrian Dreams

On The Virtues Of Walking

I’m a native New Yorker. I was born in Greenwich Village and raised in Brooklyn. I don’t live in New York now, but I still work there, and I consider it my goddamned right to go anywhere I want in the city. I’ve got to watch out — if a place looks dangerous, or people look dangerous, then I’m going to steer clear. But not on principle.

By Pamela Altfeld Malone August 1992
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

This Body

My daughters want to know why I’ve started working out at the Y. I want bigger muscles, I tell them. I want to be stronger. They think this is hilarious: a forty-six-year-old man acting like he’s sixteen.

By Sy Safransky December 1991
Fiction

Plum Island

One of Quick’s students is fishing at the foot of the beach beneath the shack he rents on Plum Island. The dog wants walking. There is no escape. The girl’s name is Harley and she is barely passing Spanish.

By Michael Wade Simpson March 1991