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Why to Exercise Today: The Male Baboon
I have spent far too much time studying the cats in my house and wondering—deeply, for long, embarrassing periods of time—how I could possibly turn into one and spend the rest of my life napping in the pool of sunlight on the warm, beige carpet, not so that I don't have to go to work or don't have to fix the broken water purifier in the kitchen or don't have to beat myself up for not learning Spanish or even taking a self-improving pottery class....but so that I don't have to exercise again. It's not that I am lazy. I am tired. I am busy. Most of all, I am uninspired about slapping on some jiggle-enhancing Lycra pants and lugging myself over to the dreaded giant purple ball over which I am supposed drape myself and engage in stomach-firming crunches.
Meanwhile, miles and miles away in Brooklyn, a 15-year-old boy is keeping busy watching a different kind of animal. Henry Lim, who, as the New York Times reported won a Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History, has been observing the troop of six baboons who live in 4,000 square foot rock enclosure at the Prospect Park Zoo. Baboons, apparently, have 67 previously identified behaviors observed in the wild, which include: approach, look, grunt, lip smack, carry on back, genital inspect, eyebrow raise, short running attack, grimace, and sleep. But as young Henry told the Times, there is a "60 percent chance that a baboon will spend time sitting."
In addition, he produced a stopwatch for the reporter and recorded the following observations of one particular male baboon:
2:30pm: Sitting/shake fur
Reading this, it dawned on me that I no longer have to wish I were a cat. For all intents and purposes, minus the hair, I am a baboon.
Should Henry observe me this morning, he might jot down:
11:30am: Sitting/ pretending to type
For the most part, I believe in positive inspiration. For example, I probably should reward myself every time I finish exercising with one of those fresh and nutritious yet appalling expensive fruit juices. After reading this, though, I realize a little negative push doesn't hurt. The truth is, baboons come with lovely fur and winning personalities, but they also come with less-than-toned baboon bottoms. Should you be experiencing some trouble getting to the gym to get fit and healthy, remind yourself of this small but fundamental truth: I do not want a baboon bottom. Repeat as necessary.
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