See Your Doctor Before Reading This

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"My doctor loves P90X," a friend told me. "He says it brings him a lot of business from all the people who get injured."

"So what does he recommend?" I asked.

"Moderate exercise, like a half hour's walk three days a week. He says that's the healthiest thing. Not this extreme stuff."

I looked at the woman. She was at least 60 pounds overweight. She had knee problems and walked with a limp. She was at risk of Type II diabetes, heart trouble, even cancer. Good thing she didn't have an exercise injury.

I've done P90X, twice, along with P90X2. It has made me very, very sore. But no wounds. 

Outdoor sports haven't hurt me much, either. I've been lucky.

Well, I did hit a deer once. I was cross-country skiing in the dark and the collision knocked me cold. Next day I showed my unbelieving wife the marks in the snow. They were like a New Yorker cartoon: imprints of my body along with that of the deer. Dorothy almost injured herself from laughing.

Two years ago I broke my baby toe while running up Mount Moosilauke in Five Fingers, those "barefoot" shoes with separate toes. Every time I ran after that, I had to re-break my toe to get it into the shoe. You could hear the crack every time. Probably stupid. 

I once pulled a tree down on myself while running around a tight turn a trail. Saw stars.

And while running down Moose Mountain I almost fell over a couple copulating in the middle of the trail. I saw them just in time and managed to leap over them. The girl's eyes went very big as I flew over, This was more than a decade ago, and the poor woman is probably still in therapy. Me, I'm fine.

Honestly, my biggest long-term harm has come from sitting, drinking martinis, and watching Fox News. I'm two workouts away from completing Insanity, the most extreme DVD workout of all. Getting up at 4:30 after a grueling four days on the road, I almost threw up during one of the jumping routines. But that's not nearly as painful as hitting a deer.

In three days I start running outside again. Champing at the bit.