Back in sixth grade

exercise became my first aid 

against any anxiety grenade

that I tried to evade

whenever I was dismayed

by a mishap or blockade

I would retreat into my 

aerobics-fortified palisade


Exercise was my diversion

from any problem that could worsen 

and I had aversion to dealing with an issue in person

so any problem or misfortune 

was ignored like a Peruvian orphan


Some people drink when faced with sorrow and woe

but I worked out to undergo the tidal flow

an addiction to exercise may sound good for you

but a person who does push-ups in a department store loo

is not someone you want to turn into


My situation needs to be improving 

and this fiend in my brain needs a bruising

So I’m gonna demand command and take a firm stand

My mind is my own land and I’m taking it back

You understand?


By the summer before eighth grade 

the beast had been slaid

And the walls surrounding my mind decayed 

I could now have a glass of homemade lemonade

without worrying about the number of calories it contained



I have also entered this poem into the Salt Hill Philips Booth Poetry Contest.

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