Working into last year's shorts

Making ends meet

Making ends meet


It is one of my presummer rituals.

I pull pairs of shorts from storage and lay them on my bed one by one.

I choose the widest looking pair, suck in hard, and put them on. Then comes the confounding step.

I struggle to zip them up. I wiggle and yank, wondering how my shorts shrunk over the winter. Moisture in the storage area? Too humid, maybe? A simulation of the dryer effect?

Certainly it could not be the Ho-Hos.

Maybe, just maybe, it could be related to those lazy winter evenings nestled on the couch under a warm, cozy blanket instead of oh, say, moving in some way. ANY way.

I concede guilt, but not defeat.

Then I set off, high-stepping through the park and around my neighborhood. Around and around I go, day after day, until I can zip without anguish.


I like walking or jogging near home because it's free and I can do it anytime. Others prefer something different to maintain fitness. Whatever your taste, there are plenty of affordable exercise options at home and elsewhere.

Gym membership deals

Gyms are teeming with enticements this time of year. It is, after all, the three months of the year when people who would not dream of walking around in public in their underwear do much the same in a swimming suit.

Here are some local fitness center deals:

A new fitness center in Hagerstown is offering a plan for $10 per month with a $29 start-up fee. You also get ongoing access to a fitness trainer.

Another relatively new club is running a first-month-free offer with no enrollment fee special. There is a 12-month commitment, but the deal saves $83 off the typical rate.

A privately owned South Hagerstown fitness club is running a promotion with a joining fee of $25 and $9.99 per month.

One fitness center sales rep recommend checking to see if your insurance provider or employer participates in a reimbursement program. Some will subsidize your monthly dues based on the number of times you workout each month.

These are just a sample of local fitness club offerings. Call around and see what works for you.

Fitness on your own

If gyms are still beyond your budget or just not your thing, you can get moving at home. Work out at home with some basic exercise equipment. A yard sale last weekend at Black Rock Estates was replete with gently used equipment. Take a Saturday morning and find something that suits you at a similar sale.

Likewise for exercise DVDs. Pick one up cheap at a yard sale, use it until you've had your fill, then trade it with a friend. The area's public libraries have a decent selection of fitness DVDs, too. I've found everything from ballet to kickboxing.

Load the family in the car and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail or walk around Antietam Battlefield. Strap on a helmet and skateboard with your kids or hop around the driveway on a pogo stick. If it's raining, boot up "Wii Fit" or hula hoop in the living room.

With consistency, you'll likely find that your shorts haven't shrunk after all.

For more creative fitness ideas, check out

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