Exercise has become an essential pillar of how-I-do-my-bit, which is as sacrosanct a concept as any to inmates, because they’re buoyed by a pair of truisms: everybody does their time differently; secondly, no one knows better than the guy whose doing the time on how best to do it.
That being said, there are definitely wrong ways and right ways to go about it (and this is equally self-evident). The wrong way has a dude sweating store day, anxious as fuck about covering his debts. The wrong way leads to a body getting fat, soft, and doughy. The wrong way fronts like a “straight” man, but opts to fuck sissies and prey on naive kids. (Granted, these guys were likely preyed upon when they first came down years and years ago…Long story short, they are a very specific, recognizable prison archetype.)
Commonsense, observation, and a few difficult experiences have helped devise my own principles on how-I-do-my-bit. I’m sure I’ll revise them over the years. I try to emulate the guys who’ve done at least a five-piece and are still sane, shredded, and straight.
Too long in prison has a tendency to contort the mind into seeking refuge in extreme religious beliefs. Gettin money aka working out buys a muscular build while also producing those feelgood chemicals that’d militate against getting-a-nut-at-any-cost.
Several prohibitory guidelines are part&parcel of how-I-do-my-bit: don’t owe more than I got coming. don’t act like a fiend. No deals with a devil. Likewise, dont deal with everybody. don’t be a bitch.
Conversely, I adhere to some positive principles, which are expressed by my specific goals : first, cultivate mind and body. Stay in my lane. Keep a TV on my shelf. Project strength. Hit back if someone puts hands on me. Demand, and give–unless they prove unworthy– respect to everyone. Prepare for life after prison.
Specifically, that means hitting the back 40 at least 3 times a week, but ideally 5, for a run and calisthetics. To read as much and across as many as genres as possible. I write at least a couple hundred words per day, even if they’re trash, and ultimately erased. Come up with a TV schedule for count times and from 8pm on. Stay off sanctions. Only fuck with a couple decent guys.
The only thing missing is a good hustle to develop some self-sufficiency. My assigned job to clean the yard only pays .17/ hour. Otherwise I’ve wrote papers and done homework for guys in the college program, but the pay is almost as shitty. I only got $25 for a whole semester of work (and got an A to boot), when I’d charge hundreds of dollars for the same work in the world.
Like karma, the prison economy is a bitch, I swear.