Thursday, 9 May 2013

Reading on a Treadmill: Take 2

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
-Hunter S Thompson

A year ago I attempted to increase my endurance and burn some fat by walking on a treadmill for over an hour, whilst reading a book.

In retrospect I felt that I could have trained a little longer, and that I hadn’t pushed myself to see what happens when you go “all-out-” to keep reading until your legs seize up and the words go blurry in front of you.

In order of taking things “to the edge”, I figured I needed a book written by someone who knows exactly where that edge is: the good doctor and godfather of Gonzo, Hunter S Thompson.

I managed to read about two-thirds of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, walking at a stroll of 5kph.

Thompson’s stories of following the presidential candidates across the country, whipping up ridiculous scenarios (accusing TV station NBC of reporting that their own reporter Doug Kiker was found trying to unscrew his own “neck pipe” makes for an interesting anecdote) and finding himself involved in rumours that he may or may not have started himself (accusing presidential candidate Ed Muskie of taking speed, smack, downers and Ibogaine whilst implying he was trying to overcome some kind of speech impediment, for example) are hilarious. I’ve got to admit, though, my interest in 1970s politics isn’t so strong as to hold my attention- especially not whilst I’m trying to get fit.

I read for 2hrs 39, then toilet-stopped, then read again, stomping for a further 2hrs 56. Total time walked: 5hrs 35. I stopped when my legs- and my brain- had totally seized up. My brain healed quicker than my legs. They’re still killing 4 days on.

Conclusion: This was a silly idea. It wore me down, and I’ve been falling asleep at stupid times ever since.

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