The first two steps are easy…then comes the third:
3.) HAVE YOUR HEART BROKEN
And not just broken; shattered. Into itsy bitsy tiny little pieces, by a girl who never loved you and never will. Join the gym at your work. Start going to the gym regularly, and even though you don’t know that much about exercise and you’re way too weak to do pretty much anything but lift 5 lb weights and use the elliptical machines with the old people, do it until your sweat makes a puddle on the floor. Then go home and go to bed early and the next day do it again. And then again. And then again.
Listen to stories of your ex-girlfriend…from your friends who think they are doing you a favor. Go to the gym and make more puddles of sweat. Buy books. Learn about different muscle groups and how they work together. Start eating healthy. Learn about nutrition. Plan out your week of meals. Try to forget her.
Get on the treadmill. Push yourself to level 3, then level 4. Then 6. Run so fast you feel like you are going to die. Hit level 10. Pray for death. Think of how bad she makes you feel. Find the strength to keep going.
Late one night, make the mistake of looking at her Facebook and Instagram posts. Feel lower than you ever thought possible. Unfriend her and try to forget what you’ve seen. …She is having a great time without you, and you are wasting your life listening to Taylor Swift on repeat and making sweat puddles on a gym floor.
Watch as your life shrinks down to four things: 1.) work, 2.) the gym, 3.) the food you eat, 4.) sleep. She wears the necklace you bought her and tells you that she got it “from someone who’s really special”. That night you discover that Slayer’s “Angel of Death” might be the perfect song to do squats to.
You listen to all her favorite songs. You run farther and lift more than you thought your body was capable of. It is a good workout. It leaves you numb. You go home and eat a single chicken breast and steamed vegetables. You go to sleep. You dream of a bottomless black puddle.
You make puddle after puddle after puddle and eat single chicken breasts and work and sleep and the weather gets warm and then gets cold and you know all of Taylor Swift’s songs by heart and the only things that exist in the entire universe are you and The Gym and then something different happens: a night comes where you are not the last person in the gym.
It is you and the girl who does the weird leg exercises. You end up walking out at the same time.
You look at her in the lights and she smiles. Something in your chest expands.
– this is an excerpt…read it all (and step #4 is also easy…).
Personally tested. Long time ago. It works. But don’t want to do it again…
I am such a boy…
Vintage Charles Atlas ad