It was sunset by the time he reached the cabin. He was out of breath, in fact he was completely exhausted. He was never a runner, never had much cause to run, but this was not a regular day. He had pushed himself to the limit of his physical prowess and as he stumbled up the steps he knew he had perhaps pushed too far.
There was a sharp pain in his chest. He felt it shoot down his arm. Everything told him this was not a good thing. He reached for the door handle and let himself into his little hideaway. He barely made it through the doorway before he collapsed and gave in to unconsciousness.
When he awoke, he was hurting. Not just his legs, but every inch of his body. As he moved he felt new sensations of pain. His arms, his chest, his stomach, and yes his legs. This was why he had come to this place, to finally take his health seriously. No pain, no gain was something he had to get used to. He peeled himself off the floor and heard his bones crack as he moved. Doubt was starting to creep in to his brain, which also hurt like hell.
The fridge offered little by way of comfort. He had stocked it full of the nutritious foods he had read up on. This meant one thing, nothing in the refrigerator would make him happy. He grabbed a water bottle, not a coke, and drank it down in a few gulps. No instant sugar rush there, just cold nothingness. Proof to the health of it, he guessed.
He was starving, but all he had was vegetables and fruit, grains and nuts, tofu and other items that looked as bad as they were pronounced. He had no access to ordering in, so he made himself something from the evil. As he ate he dreamed of pizza, burgers and other sexy meals he was now free of.
This was his last chance. He knew this and so he cast himself away from all the entices of the modern world. Some called him insane, including himself, but after the amount of failures he had racked up, he needed something radical. No bad food, no access to smokes, no booze, nothing…a force detox in the middle of nowhere.
It had been 2 weeks now. He still wanted a smoke and a drink, He still wanted a burger and he felt no better than when he came. He ran everyday, he did yoga at night, he even went to bed before 9pm. He felt like he was doing it all, but still felt no better. He sighed, looking up at the clock on the wall.
“Shit,” he said aloud as he noticed the time.
He walked over to his desk and opened up his laptop. He was allowed 15 minutes a week and had almost missed his window. Powering it on, he clicked a few buttons and waited for the screen to open.
“Hey darling,” the image said as it slowly came into focus.
The woman on the screen was wearing a lot of make up. Her chins hanging down below the camera sight. She was giant, squishy and his wife.
“Hey Dalia, hows my lady?” He said to the lump.
“Lonely, haven’t you given up on this silly experiment of yours?”
He laughed, “the experiment isn’t mine, I am just a volunteer.”
She scowled, “I know, but come on honey, I want you home. You are wasting away to nothing! Look at you, you are half the man I married already!”
He shook his head, “don’t exaggerate dear. I am the same man I was when i left,”
Her eyes widened and she shook her head,”Calving C Morrison…are you insane? You have lost so much of yourself. I don’t even recognize you anymore. My handsome man has shrunk into some sort of freak.”
“Dalia, the average lifespan of a North American male is 45 years. I am 43, so if I didn’t volunteer for this, I would be dead in 2 years. Is that what you want?”
“She pouted and her entire face sagged, “No, but you look so…well…ugly!”
That was what he was waiting for. He knew it would be coming, but didn’t think it would come so soon.
When he found the banned books and realized that once, mankind was not judged by excess. Men and woman were healthy and not obese. The age mentioned in the books was twice the lifespan that was the average now. When the scientists showed him this, he had to volunteer for the experiment.
So he was ugly, and not a part of the norm anymore. So he walked now, ran now, ate healthy and did not partake of the excesses. Did that make him a freak? Or a champion? Only time would tell. He saw the image of Dalia flicker.
“I love you honey, See you in a year.”
Her face crunched up with a padded scowl and she was gone before she could reply.
He sighed, closed his laptop and walked to the treadmill. This was his time to live, even if he would be scorned. He would ignore what society deemed right and live.