Anima Sana in Corpore Sano

One year ago I submitted what turned out to be my last job at the office. I was contracted to design a residential building in Tartous around mid March 2011. By April the 20th, all the drawings were completed and in order. The client came in and took delivery of the dossier. We shook hands and hoped for the best. He was my last paying client. Like most Syrians today I'm out of a job.

What we're going through, whatever we call it since we can't agree on that, isn't going to be resolved overnight. No one in his right mind can imagine going back to the way we were. As for those who wish we could.., oh well screw them. The thousands who lost their lives, the hundreds of thousands who became homeless and the millions who can't find work are not mere numbers. There's no turning back. No matter how long it'll take, the fat lady is going to sing and there's going to be a huge crowd, the largest this country had ever seen, cheering and partying. What comes afterward is another long and perhaps painful healing process but that's the way it goes down in history books. There seldom is a shortcut to liberty and freedom.

With plenty of time on my hands and even when I'm traveling or staying at my new home in the States, I've divided my attention equally between body and soul. I went back to being fit and resumed my writing. Six months ago I started going to the gym then not too long ago I picked up that unfinished novel and never looked back.

I've been training between two to three times a week since, but in the back of my mind I always wanted my own little gym. Luckily, I was able to reclaim a very small room in the basement (not more than 8 by 10 feet) and convert it into my own Sile Fitness Room. It's not fancy by any means but it contains the basic equipment for cardiovascular and physical fitness exercises. All of a sudden I'm working out at least five times a week and I'm wearing Medium T-shirts again and 34” waist pants.

I feel great physically. It's ironic that at over fifty I'm in a much better shape than during my forties. Actually I haven't felt so good since I stopped hunting regularly back in the late 90's of the last century. As for the writing, and although I'm progressing slower than I'd like, I'm focused enough to realize the importance of this book amid the turmoil around me. It's a story about a man lost between two worlds and about the woman who made it worthwhile for him to go on through life. I've set a deadline for myself, February 2013, but hell I'm not working for anybody and I'll finish it when I damn please. In truth though, I will try my utmost to respect this target date because I need it to maintain my own discipline.

I've been hesitant to take a break from “real” work and to devote my energy and time to writing for a few years. Now, however, I have no excuse. Despite of the darkness pervading my conscience, or perhaps because of it, I'm trying to make sure that no moment goes in vain. This article turned out to be too deliberate to go with the attached video, which inspired it in the first place, but at this junction in our modern history the comic is mixed with tragedy. If it were not for the sense of humor of my fellow countrymen and women who are suffering the most every single fucking day we would've all lost hope and purpose.

One last word, if you think my video is silly you should check out the original one made by LMFAO for the music I used as background “Sexy and I know it”. (Parental Discretion is Advised)


Gabriela said…
You won't believe it! I've started a gym routine six months ago too. I won't have the chance to have a personal one at home, no space for that. But I walk two blocks from my house, early in the morning, to sweat away for an hour or so long.
On Sunday, I took part on a 10K walk/run (there were 42K and 21K too, but that's out of my league) for the third year in a row. Guess what? No pain the next day. So the gym is doing it work.
As for your country, all I can do is wish the best to all of you.
We are all waiting for that book!
Isobel said…
It's great that you're keeping busy with such positive activities, Abufares, during such a time of turmoil. I'm sure exercise helps alleviate the stress somewhat. Your fitness room looks the mat! That alone would keep me hopping! You will no longer be known as Abufares the will be Abufares, Man of Steel...from Tartous. Lol! Good luck and I can't wait to read your book too!
Gabriela said…
We'll wait until we see a picture of Abufares tomorrow!
BIL said…
Waiting for the fat lady to sing can take a long time. Glad to see you doing something very constructive, and who knows I may personally know the next Mr. Universe in the process! Now that is a claim to fame:-) But call it what you want, I wish everyone in your country the best, you all deserve to live in dignity and peace, to provide your children a better tommorrow. My thoughts are with you. BIL
Abufares said…
Wow, what an interesting coincidence!!!
It feels good though getting back in shape, doesn't it?
I'm still going to the gym and appreciate the wide array of available equipment and machines there. I also needed the advice and the supervision of the trainer as a beginner. Soon though I think I'll only use my Sile Fitness room :-)
I've always been an active person but never a gym confined athlete. My room is very small. It fits the treadmill and the multipurpose bench. Over the last 6 months I found out that I prefer dumbbell exercises over anything else. There are over 76 routines which cover all the major groups of muscles in the body.
What I really like is to get a Powerblock set
that will cover all my training needs instead of buying several pairs.
Thank you for dropping by.
Abufares said…
It is an excellent treatment to the tremendous stress we're living under. At first, it felt more like a chore but not anymore. I look forward to exercising now and it's becoming one of the highlights of my day :-) I'm more like an egg, lol, hard on the outside, soft and mushy on the inside.
Abufares said…
A little too old for Mr. Universe, lolll but how about a handsome middle aged man? That would appeal to some (younger) women I guess ;-)
Thank you for your comment and support my friend.
Joseph said…
I prefer the other Sile :-)
However, I'm glad to learn about regaining your fitness, Abufares. And, resuming work on the unfinished novel.
Keep on walking!
Abufares said…
I prefer the other one too and it's only a wall away. That's where I head to after a good workout anyway :-)
KJ said…
I am very happy for you, my friend. Discipline is difficult to come by these days with what is going on around us, whether it be work or a relationship or a war or just laziness. And, just like the conflict around us would not be resolved overnight, we also need to understand our internal struggles will not be overcome by tomorrow morning. Nor would we be able to achieve what we would want in a day, or a week. Months, perhaps.

I believe with certainty with the world becoming "faster", we have been conditioned to deliver results fast and expect results even faster. Faster phones. Faster internet. Faster loading times. Faster cars. Faster ways to diet. Faster ways to do this, or that.

Two things, though, people focus on delaying are ageing and orgasms. Why? Because the finest things in life take their time. My mother cooks in thirty minutes and my grandmother prepares the same dish in two hours. The latter tastes better; the rice is textured, the meat is moist, and the vegetables are beautifully flavoured.

Take your time writing that novel, and let your body shape itself at its own pace. Feel good inside and feel good about yourself. Have faith in yourself and in what you are trying to achieve.
Abufares said…
So much older than your years. I hope you're not missing out on the silly stuff in life :-)
I agree with you verbatim. The bastards have already ruined many people's lives and wasted so much of my time. I turned inside for self improvement and I am literally working on my body and soul.
In addition to the therapeutic value of my endeavor I'm having one hell of a time and fully enjoying myself. I even installed a wall to wall (well almost) mirror in my little gym, lolll.

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