by Cameron Bradford
Welcome to my abode. I know this place is a bit rustic, but I think you’ll get used to it. My uncle Allister lived here for years before dying and bequeathing it to me. Yep, no living heirs; he had seven wives and they all died in child birth. Allister’s children all seemed to die from genetic diseases or freak accidents usually before the age of ten—bad luck I guess. Of course, all that drove Allister absolutely mad. Anyway, I know this place isn’t exactly a fitness complex but by being creative, I’ve found a lot of fun and unique exercises to do here. Here are just a few.
This estate is littered with ways to spice up boring, old anaerobic standards. Like doing sit-ups outside the abandoned east tower and, with each up motion, trying to get a look at the watchful, old owl that roosts up there. After about thirty reps, it becomes clear that the owl knows things no owl should know.
Lunge-walking through the overgrown garden until the blind woman grabs your wrist is a perennial treat. In my experience, you can get around fifty lunges in before the mourning, old widow startlingly grabs you and draws you into the rheumy void of her gaze. Looking for an extra challenge? Do five extra lunges for each time she asks you if you’ve seen Gregory.
If you like doing push-ups or Supermans, there’s no better place to do them than on the lake quay. As you do the exercises, gaze into the serene water. You may see one of the faces of the drowned lovers. They may even invite you in. DO NOT ACCEPT.
If you can brave the famously hard chin-up, the perfect place to do it is in the shady pine forest. You should be able to find a branch to do them on without too much trouble, but keep an eye out for any tormented townsfolk who were driven to hang themselves, that’s been a problem lately. Remember to go all the way up, they’re not called ‘chin-ups’ for nothing!
For some low impact exercise, I would recommend power-walking around the perimeter of the house. The laps equate to about a quarter mile. Look up, and you’ll see that the weather vane is following your every move. That’s because it’s trying to protect you. “Protect me from what?” you may ask. Only the weather vane knows. If anything is wrong, it will spin erratically.
Lay out a mat or just embrace the always-damp grass and do yoga by the gravestone that displays your name. The onyx headstone marks the grave of Allister’s faceless son, Albert. Albert’s epitaph becomes a palimpsest bearing the name of whoever stands before it. If the stone sees that you’re gradually increasing the difficulty of your poses, it may just add a few years to your date of death. No personal trainer is that good of a motivator!
Explore the house enough and you will notice that there’s a fully-equipped weight room. You’re welcome to use it but be sure to have a spotter because the weights inevitably become much heavier once in use and end up crushing the foot of or asphyxiating whoever’s using them.
If you’re the type to go in for high-energy workouts like spinning, Jazzercise, Zumba, or just doing aerobics to music, then I would hit up the music box room. It’s a little dusty (what room isn’t?) because no one goes in there, but for some reason the music boxes just play and play, never needing rewound which you’ll be thankful for when you’re in the heat of your workout.
Row out to the middle of the lake and find your way back to shore through an ever dense fog. If you take the boat out on a clear day, within minutes you will be inundated in a disorienting and profuse fog; this just happens to add the perfect extra challenge for anyone who’s trying to blast their upper body.
There are many great destinations for runners on the property. My favorite might be the endless tunnel. Run for as long as you want—nay, physically are able to. The end is always in sight but never gets any closer. Once you’re completely self-resigned, just turn around and the entrance will be right in front of you. It always gets me!
Does a tunnel sound too stuffy? Take to the winding roads and jog to the docks in town before sunrise to try to speak to the quiet, old fisherman. He can answer any questions you have about the history of the area but be warned: he hasn’t spoken to anyone in years and will most likely dodge any attempts you make to speak with him. Jog back to the estate for a challenging but not-too-hard morning run.
Are you more goal-oriented? Try Chasing the mysterious woman in the flowing dress up the winding set of stairs. Why use a stair-stepper when there’s a perfectly good set of stairs and a beautiful woman, whose face is always obscured by a brush of hair or her flailing arm, always running from you?
Do you get overheated pretty easily? Take your workout down to the wine cellar. Avoid any rooms that have music, laughter, and a warm flickering glow coming from them though; that’s generally a trap.
If you have an ambitious workout regimen but can’t find the time in the day for it, check out the time dilation room. I slept in this room once, and when I awoke the next morning, it wasn’t the next morning at all, but rather only a couple minutes later than I had entered the room. I don’t know what the deal with that room is, but we set up a treadmill and Bowflex in there, so feel free to use it!
A Brief Note to Dieters
Try to avoid the dining room that is always set with a lavish feast. Walk in on this gorgeous and extravagant spread and you’ll think it was prepared just for you (and maybe it was). But don’t partake; not only would you be sabotaging your diet, but as soon as you leave your seat, the illusion fades and you realize that the lavish feast was nothing but fetid carrion.
Enjoy your stay and always remember to keep your goal in mind!
Cameron is a humor writer based in New York. He currently contributes to ClickHole. You can find more of his jokes on Twitter @cameronbadfood.