Swimming like Frankenstein’s Monster


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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30 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:

    Thanks Todd, you’ve depressed me just before xmas. I’m almost your age. 🙂Report

  2. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    As someone who got depressed about turning 24 because it was halfway between 18 and 30, and more so every birthday since, I feel for you. 50’s a ways off yet, but it’s never as far as you’d like.

    I have to ask, though: Why did you jump twenty feet out of a window? Drunk, trying to impress a girl, or just assumed first floor would be safe without looking?Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    Beautifully written my Tod.

    I’ve never jived with the music and exercise thing. Maybe it’s because I want as little impeding heat radiation as possible? Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a reliable artist I liked. Maybe it’s because I loathe exercise with the fire of a thousand stars (and yet I’m a clockwork three times a weeker for a decade now) and don’t want my eclective collection of music I like tainted by the association.

    Age is a terrifying thing. If you think it’s bad for a straight man imagine the terror it holds for a gay one. With women all the social pressures are aligned in your favor. Many an attractive younger lady would consider an older man, many middle aged women certainly would. Gay men, on the other hand, treat each other the same way that straight men treat older women*. Roll that one around in your mind. Thank God(ess?) for marriage eh? Then we don’t have to worry so much about what happens later.

    *I do not celebrate any of these social phenomena but I won’t pretend that they aren’t real and incredibly difficult to tackle.Report

  4. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I hope that female friend paid for those martinis, and I don’t think you should get advice from her any more. I’m sure she meant to make you feel better, not even more shitty. 🙁

    “Forty-five pounds is a backpack stuffed inexplicably with a dozen Chihuahuas.” Instant classic.

    I was recently dumped by this amazing guy (it happened as best it could, but it felt bad enough to warrant “dumped”) and I was feeling pretty disgusted with my physical appearance. I have vowed to lose my extra weight, follow my dreams, and make other long term changes, but, you know what made me feel a little bit better *now*? Right now, so that I don’t wake up feeling defeated that I haven’t lost the weight yet? Nail polish. I got my nails done, I shaved my legs, I did up my hair, and I put on *all* of my make up, not just the two pieces I’m embarrassed to be seen without. When I looked in the mirror, it gave me more hope that I could lose weight, a little bit each day. You need confidence in order to get through the hard work, right?

    What is the male equivalent of getting all dressed up? If you haven’t done it in awhile, everyone will notice. You won’t believe how many compliments I got at work! It kind of made me feel like I was even uglier than I thought before, but it also made me feel good that people recognized my efforts of self improvement. A little instant gratification while you are feeling like Frankenstein’s monster.

    Unless this sounds like martini lady advice. Then forget all about it because I don’t know what I’m talking about and have a drink on me.Report

  5. There are music players made for swimmers – just google “swimming music players” or something. It’s probably been 10 years since I swam and was on the verge of trying one, but found the sensory deprivation of swimming kinda compelling, as the path to the flow state. Which is I’m guessing is a lot of what you’re missing, that loss of flow, ironic when the activity is swimming. But then I’ve found that irony is frequently over rated.

    Keeping good thoughts for you in this effort.Report

  6. I met this woman at a party, and we got to talking. I mentioned that my kids were in their early twenties, and she said “Wow, did you have kids when you were in high school?” Feeling pretty good, I asked her how old she thought I was and she said “Late fifties?” I’m nor sure exactly what look I gave her, but she giggled and said “Did I mess up? I guess a computer guy like you would catch that.”

    Good times, good times.Report

  7. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    This is all great writing. I especially liked this:

    Father Time didn’t forget, though. Father Time remembered and he waited, patient and perfectly content. Father Time knows he need not chase us, ever. Sooner or later we all circle back to him. Of all the old gods, he is the one to which all our bodies are ultimately sacrificed. Me, you, our parents and children; Olympian athletes and ivory-tower intellects; the oldest living woman and the babe born still; all the world’s prophets and their gods alike — it doesn’t really matter. In the end, we are all Time’s bitch.

    I suppose because it’s true, not because it’s cheering. I will say that swimming is one of the most enjoyable pastimes I can think of.Report

  8. Avatar J_A says:

    On a completely separate issue, there is an underwater MP player. Several guys in my club use them and they all swear it’s great. Not cheap, I’m told. About $200. But will probably help you.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    This is a wonderful bit of writing, Tod.

    Good for you for taking care of yourself. My weight gain came later, and I’ve never torn up any joints like that, but my knees would be happier if I dropped 30 pounds. Being in my 60s, I think it’s harder than ever to make the changes.Report

  10. Avatar CK MacLeod says:

    Am pursuing and advocate denial in regard to most everything in this post.

    OTOH, when I was taking my afternoon constitutional the other day, a small boy in animated conversation across the sidewalk with a young woman saw me approaching and exclaimed, “Here comes an old man!”

    I could not resist correcting him.Report

  11. Avatar Andrew says:

    Hi Tod,
    Great writing – but I didn’t know your ankles had gotten so bad. I’m sorry to hear that. Can your arm joints take kayaking? Come on out to my place and I’ll get you started, with a Greenland paddle designed to be easy on the joints. P.S. to the other commenters – I know why he jumped out of the hotel window, but I’m not telling.Report

  12. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Oh man, this was a good read. Well done.

    On another note, there is some research from Timothy Ferris that suggests you’ll burn a lot more calories in a cold pool, if you can stand the temps.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      It seems like you’d burn a lot of calories just keeping your body temperature up. Though that’s reminiscent of the old Jornal of Irreproducible Results theory that you can lose weight drinking ico-cold martinis.Report

  13. Avatar Michelle says:

    You jumped out of a hotel room window? Ouch! My stepson did something equally stupid when he was 18 but fortunately his injuries involved lots of stitches rather than major bone breakage. I attribute it to testosterone poisoning. Still, I couldn’t hardly read that part of your essay without cringing.

    And yes, time does come for us all. I’ve been thinking about that fact rather a lot lately as we’ve moved my husband’s parents here from Chicago and it’s pretty clear that time is nipping at their heels. We are all time’s bitch in the end.

    Best wishes on losing the weight.Report

  14. Avatar Robert Greer says:

    Beautiful writing, Tod! Best of luck on your journey.Report

  15. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    As it happens, I have the same weight goal and have roughly stalled out at the same point you’re at, @tod-Kelly. And I’m not that much younger than you at the ripe plump age of 45. So, after the holidays, I’ll race you to a near-midpoint. Last guy to reach 185 picks up the tab at dinner next time we get together. Should motivate us both.Report