It is probably time for you to start getting in shape for the season ahead. Ski resorts are opening across the map, so you can't put it off any longer.

Before you ever get to a ski hill, there are a few things you should do. That's in addition to getting a bank loan so you can get to the ski hill.

There have been hundreds of books, video tapes, and magazine articles created about getting our over-indulged, flabby bodies in shape so we can be covered up with expensive, colorful, baggy ski clothes.

Body builders have made millions with their get-In-shape-videotapes and DVDs. Health food stores are everywhere so people can diet their way to a firm body. I have skied for most of my life and a few years ago I even did a push up to get in shape.          

So, here's how to get into shape for the ski resort that is just a "short" five hour, hundred mile drive away:

Buy a 24-inch television set. Remove the set from the box. Place the cardboard box in the middle of the living room floor in front of the TV set. For the next month, climb into the box each evening after a hard day at work.

Have some of your least favorite things available nearby to eat and drink. Make sure the coffee is cold, the cold drinks are warm, the sandwiches are stale, and the TV set is not even plugged in. You are ready for your snow-riding trip when you can sit in the box for two hours without any part of your body going to sleep.

Next is the most important exercise. Start doing it while you are reading this column:

Stand with your back against the wall. Now move both feet away from the wall as you slide your back down the wall. Do this until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor and your lower legs are parallel to the wall. Pretend you are sitting in a chair.

Do this for as long as you can. Add 10 seconds to your imaginary chair sitting time each day. You are already in good shape if you are still sitting there with your back against the wall when you finish this article. You are ready for a nonstop ski run down Mt. Whatchamacallit when you can do this exercise for five minutes.

I believe aerobics only gets you into shape to do aerobics. Even though our forefathers said, "All men are created equal," we know that is a myth because women are different, and I thank our forefathers for that difference.

But, I pose a question. If every man and woman participating in an aerobics class in America loses some fat every day, where does all that fat go? You can't bottle it, package it, or sell it. Is burnt fat the major cause of smog?

Here's how to get into shape for après-ski dancing:

Practice 300 deep knee bends in your basement wearing a quilted parka, turtle neck shirt, ski pants, and long underwear, with the furnace turned way up. You are ready to go apres-ski dancing when you can do them without sweating.

Practice your deep knee bends to the beat of the worst songs you can download. The good part of all of this gyrating, jumping, and grooving is that it shakes out all of the wrinkles in your long underwear.

Here are some baggage carrying exercises: Fill up two large suitcases without wheels with vitamin-enriched, expensive, bottled water. Put one suitcase in each hand, your loaded ski bag under one arm, and your heavy boot bag over your shoulder. Now jog five laps around the block.

You will look like you have just robbed a house and are running to your car with the stolen loot. So be sure and have a jogging companion to be there to identify you to the police or to call an ambulance when you pass out.

You can easily ski 1,000 vertical feet without resting if you have read this entire article with your back against the wall, your thighs almost parallel to the floor, and your lower legs parallel to the wall in the artificial chair position.

If you ski in Colorado, you will only have to stop two or three times on the way down. If you ski in Wisconsin or Illinois, that 1,000 vertical feet of skiing could be as many as seven or eight runs, so bothering to get in shape at all, is merely academic.

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(Copyright, 2009:

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