|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
In case you haven’t heard, Paul Ryan works out. A lot, apparently; he’s so much of a “fitness guy,” as he’s said, that for days after Mitt Romney chose him as his vice-presidential candidate, the media could talk about little else but the fact that Ryan leads a group of congressmen in a daily workout called P90X, a hugely popular, high-intensity workout routine with a cultlike following.
The legend of Paul Ryan’s physical fitness got even crazier when the boy-wonder V.P. candidate bragged to Hugh Hewitt about his marathon running, claiming he’d run the 26.2-mile race in “under three [hours], high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something. … I was fast when I was younger, yeah.”
Of course, we now know that was a lie. As Runner’s World discovered, Ryan’s time was 4:01:25, and as a Ryan spokesman admitted, it was his one and only marathon. He was 20 when he ran it, and yet he still would have lost to a 40-ish Sarah Palin. Whoops. Diehard runners were ticked off, of course, and the Ryan marathon soon became a punch line.
Left unexamined, however, was another, equally outrageous claim: That Ryan has 6 percent body fat. This was endlessly repeated at the time of his selection—trumpeted in headlines (both here and abroad) and even in editorial-page cartoons. “Oh, to be a pair of calipers,” swooned Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. “Paul Ryan shirtless” became one of the most popular Internet searches—despite yielding only one softish vacation photo—which makes it all the more strange that nobody has taken a closer look.