The Second Third, Week 39: No Sympathy for Sympathy Weight

I’ve heard these hardheaded Russian devils eat fat. In my Second Third, I hope to feed it well.
My senior year of high school, I stood about six feet, two inches. During football season that fall, I weighed around 175 pounds; I started wrestling season alternating between 171 and 189 — wherever the team needed me — and by midseason I was a lean, mean 152 pounds, wrestling 160, 171, and 189, plugging holes in the lineup to keep us from forfeiting. I could make weight with my gear on most days, was well-fed, had good energy — and wrestled my best season (which was only a little above .500, but still…).

A year later I entered an intramural wrestling tournament at Yale, weighing in at around 185. All-you-can-eat dining halls and student lethargy were taking their toll; was exhausted even wrestling short periods, and threw up in a snowbank after my first.

I was still hovering under 200 when Jodi and I met in Wall. We married, settled in a bit, started having kids…and I have always joked that I put on sympathy weight with each child, only unlike Jodi, I’ve never taken it back off. This explains why, 15 years after we married, I’ve gained 40 plus pounds. Ten per child, see?

I’m told by friends that there’s no way I weigh 240 these days; when I insist, they say I carry it well. Perhaps so (and thanks!) — but what had long been a joke seems less funny this summer. After seven years, we’re expecting again, and I feel as though I’ve been busier and more active than I’ve been in a long time — except that the scale today is pushing 250.

Two hundred and fifty pounds? An eighth of a ton?!

I’m 36. I don’t have the energy to pack that extra weight around for no reason. Plus my 13-year-old is getting bigger, faster, and stronger by the minute. Thus far I still intimidate him. I need to keep it that way — but more Chewbacca, and less Jabba the Hutt.

So. My training komrade is a 35-pound cannon ball with a handle. It’s simple, compact, and I’m told it will kill me or cure me. I say cure, since I plan to live to 105. Wish me luck.

3 thoughts on “The Second Third, Week 39: No Sympathy for Sympathy Weight

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