Run, Luke, Run

by

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Desc: Drama Story: I wasn't always this way, don't laugh but I used to be a cross country and marathon runner. Then I took up programming and spend most of my waking hours behind a computer. Very energetic I can tell you and over the years, the weight has gone on.



Author's Note

This is a another short story in the Fat Geek series that I've been thinking about and I'm posting it unedited. So in the same vein as terriblethom, and to partially quote: Enjoy without complaining. Any grammar and other screw-ups are mine and I don't need to be reminded that I can't spel rigth (sic).

Tetley


Fat geek in the corner, that's me. Middle-aged, severely overweight, I believe obese is the correct term, and as timid as a mouse. Yes, that describes me alright.

I wasn't always this way, don't laugh but I used to be a cross country and marathon runner. Then I took up programming and spend most of my waking hours behind a computer. Very energetic I can tell you and over the years, the weight has gone on.

Being fat and sweaty has made me the butt of many jokes and much ridicule. The blokes are the worst. Not all of them just a few of the neanderthals that work in the same office as I do. I'm not the only one either, there are many people that work here that are fat, just not as fat as I am although the MD does come close.

Really, the MD is where my story starts. six months ago he suffered a massive coronary in the board room. Luckily one of the other directors volunteers as a life guard at the local swimming pool and knew what to do. We were told that this prompt action saved the MD's life. Since then he's been in and out of surgery a few times and then away at some hospice to recover. He's called a meeting of all staff for 10am today, all appointments have been rescheduled, all other meetings postponed and everyone is required to attend. So at the appointed time I heave myself out of my chair, walk to the door of my office and join the rest of the staff heading for the canteen, the only place in the building big enough to hold us all.

We wait for a few moments before the MD arrives and when he does there are gasps of amazement. He is slim, tanned, radiating good health and looking much younger than his 60 years.

"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are all well, this fine day. Firstly I want to thank all those of you who sent cards, gifts or best wishes after my heart attack, it was a salutary lesson to me to realise just how many of you were thinking about me."

He paused a moment and looked out over the silent faces.

"As you can see I've changed a little from when you last saw me" there was a murmur of agreement at this "and my wife will tell you that it extends to other areas as well."

His wife, standing beside him as he said this smacked him hard on the arm, which then caused laughter in the canteen from the rest of us.

The MD waited until the laughter died down and there was silence again. "It's a very painful thing, a heart attack and the aftermath is just as bad both physically and mentally. The worst part is when I realised that it was all my fault, it was, if you will, self inflicted. My doctor and my family had been telling me for years that being so fat was going to kill me if I didn't do something about it, but I, like many other people shrugged it off. After all, heart attacks happen to other people not me. Well, I'm hear to tell you that I was wrong and so are you. It did happen to me and it will happen to you if you don't do something about it."

The silence was absolute.

"But you, like I was, won't do anything about it unless something external to you provides the reason to do it and that is what this meeting is all about. I want to provide you with concrete encouragement to loose that excess weight before it kills you."

He looked around at his captive audience.

"Most of you are probably aware that I'm not a poor man, even without the salary I get as MD for this fine company and I'm going to use my personal money to try and provide the reason for you to slim down. My first thought was to give each of you a gift on money if you slimmed down to your ideal weight, but my lovely wife here pointed out that this penalises those of you how are already slim and she then mentioned that it was also underweight people that have a problem. So we talked it over and came up with another idea. The gist of it is this. I will give each one of you right now ten thousand pounds from my own pocket which you can collect in a year's time." There was an extended murmur at tis as people realised just how much money he was willing to give away.

"It has one major condition. Those of you who are overweight must slim down to your ideal weight in that year. Those of you who are underweight must put on weight to reach your ideal weigh in the same time and those of you who are already at their ideal weight must stay there. Now to make this fair, I've paid for the services of external consultants to measure you to determine accurately what you weight now and to set your target weight. They are also trained and accredited councillors that will be available to you throughout this year to help you to reach your target weight. There are other conditions such as what happens if you leave before then and what if you don't quite reach your target in time. Of course, you don't have to do this, in fact all those who wish to take part need to come and see me personally to sign on. I'll be available for the next few days and Jenny has already made appointments for each of you. If you don't want to join in, just cancel the appointment. However I will be very disappointed in anyone that does cancel."

He stopped and looked around again.

"That's all, thank you for your time and I look forward to handing you your money in a year's time. Thank you."

With that he turned and walked off the podium.


"So, Luke, how would you rate your physical condition" The question came from one of the councillors after I had undergone a whole heap of measurements. Calipers, scales, electrical resistance measurement, even my volume by breathing out and submerging myself in a small tank of water having breathed out totally. Then there were blood tests for cholesterol, diabetes and a number of other things as well.

"Well, not to put too fine a point on it the words 'shocking' and 'appaling' immediately spring to mind." I was amused to notice that her face showed shock at my words only momentarily, then she schooled herself into a pleasant non-committal face.

"Oh, and why would you say that?"

"Look lady, you're not dealing with some delicate flower here, I know what I am so you don't need to be all PC with me. I am fat. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am probably the fattest person in the company. I don't know if there is a category above obese, but if there is, I'm in it. I can tell you that normal scales, even the special electronic body-fat-ratio measuring kind for over weight people can't take my weight, so please cut the condescending bull shit and deal with me straight."

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not a fan of psychologists, councilors or whatever you want to call them, if you want to deal with me, call a spade a spade.

She looked at me for a moment, a look that I returned and I waited for her to continue.

"Very well. Here are your vital stats." She started to read them out one by one explaining each one as she did so.

"Oh for heaven's sake!" I exclaimed and grabbed the sheaf of papers out of her hands. While she spluttered for a moment at my effrontery I read the figures for myself. I'm not stupid I know what the test were for, I know how they are measured and calculated and I know what the normal ranges are. I cheated and looked them up on the internet after the battery of test were completed.

When I finished reading them I handed the papers back to her.

"So, in a nutshell, well out of the normal range for all of the except the cholesterol which appears to be normal and the glucose likewise indicating that I don't have diabetes."

I looked at her and then continued "Medically speaking I'm a prime candidate for a heart attack, although not from clogged arteries, and in the very high risk of one or more strokes in the next five years. Insurance-wise I wouldn't be able to get any form of health insurance based on these figures. Otherwise I note that I have no STDs nor are there any early indications of AIDS which is not surprising since the only sex I've had in the last 15 years is with my right hand. Fat people don't get laid."

That last statement did get a smile out of her. Now I waited for her to speak. she looked at me for a while and I could see her reconsidering her strategy in the light of me not being your average kind of guy.

"So, what is your plan to fix all this?"

Now we're getting somewhere.

"Good Basically, I used to be a long-distance runner and that's what I will be again. I'm going to find a plan to go from nothing to marathon standard in 10 months and use the constant heart rate method of training. I'll target a 75% MHR until I can run at that rate for 30 minutes and then up it to 80%. At that point I'll also start fartlek training. After the ten month program I'll tone down the training to a less intense level."

"You've obviously thought this through and come prepared. Is there a reason for all of this?"

I almost decided not to tell her but then decided, what the hell.

.... There is more of this story ...

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