The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Fan Mail + Working Out

Dear DumbFunnery,

Do you have any thoughts or advice about working out?

Fictional Reader

Hey Fictional Reader, thanks for writing in. As always, feel free, dear readers, to hit me with questions at my Facebook page (though I’d likely never see it), Twitter, comments on posts, or email (

It’s cold where I live now (having come from Houston and now living in Colorado – I laugh at my previous definition of cold) and excuses during winter time are easy to find. Sure, those excuses might take different forms like a tough day at work, getting home too late, being hungry for dinner already, etc, but I think right now the only real reasons I am opting out of jogs are – it’s dark early, and it’s so dang cold.

Here are my rules for myself when it comes to working out.

1 – Have a plan

  • That’s not just what I am doing today, but what I am doing for the course of a month, or longer. Ideally, there is a goal I am working to – some 5k or half-marathon.
  • I think a plan is important because it’s easy to work out once and then reward yourself with a day or two off, which can easily change into a resolution to start working out the first day of the next month.
  • If you set realistic goals (realistic meaning not too much progress, goal means yes you have to be uncomfortable and push yourself) then you have a course of action to follow.

2 – Remove any available excuse you think you might use

  • Life happens, and sometimes you stay at work til 6 when you’d planned to leave at 4:30. If you still work out that day even though you wanted to start your work out at 4:45 or 5? Phew, good on you. Did you have one of those truly awful days of work? Are you upset over news, or celebrating some news? I get it, it’s easy to pass on the work out and pay attention to that.
  • But if life happens regularly, and if you often come home a bit later than planned or have something unexpected pop up at a regular rate, or are generally home too happy or annoyed to work out … it’s time to start planning for that.
  • It is very easy to come up with an excuse for taking the day off, and so you’ll need to put some practices in place to limit the availability of those excuses.
    • Work too late regularly? Bring a banana for a late afternoon snack
    • Worn down/annoyed/whatever after work? Time to try working out before work (or embrace the fact that a post-work workout wipes out stress like a champ)
    • Too cold out? Start pinching pennies until you can afford some running tights and a balaclava (actually I use a neck gaiter, but balaclava is more fun to say)
    • Weather is just intolerable for outdoor workouts? Find a gym you can afford, or find some workouts for inside your home.
    • Know that you just can’t do this alone? Find a buddy. Don’t have one? Hit me up (see above) and I’ll check in on you to see what you’re doing, or if you’re not doing it what your excuses are, and then we can gameplan together on how to reduce those


That’s it friends. It’s winter, it’s the holidays, it’s the perfect time to chow down on good food. Why not make it tastier with a workout?


1 – Pull that puppy up around your nose and oh life is good; 2 – The minus 33 neck gaiter is what I use and it’s delightful; 3 – I think I look cooler than this guy when I wear mine

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