Old Men, Change & Drinking

Well we’re on to new and better things at the gym now. They just finished a major reno, added stairs to access, not the second floor of the building, but the third floor. Not so bad you say? I want you to think about this. The ground floor has a 16′ ceiling. The next floor I am sure is 100′ high because by the time you get to the third floor you need an oxygen bottle to breath. I mean it’s a beautiful hike to the men’s change room, and who needs a trainer. If you make it to the change room you’re done for the day. Well Friday I trudged up the stairs, sat for ten & got my altitude adjusted, my wind back & then headed back downstairs to do some stretches and a little warm up before my training session. I was tempted to put a droge chute on my back in case I got going down the stairs a little too fast. But I got down to the main floor, miraculously without mishap, did my warm up & stretches. Then Rich comes out & says to me “Let’s go upstairs & we’ll workout up there”. I am sure I saw these biddy horn nubs sticking out of his hair when he glanced my way – you know, when you catch that brief glimpse of evil, but not enough that you can say for sure I saw that? Anyway off we go, ostensibly to heaven, but let me assure you, hell is an upward journey. So we get there & he has these wonderful black straps, with yellow belts & foam covered D handles that look pretty awesome, hanging from a D ring bolted to the cement column. “So here’s what we’re going to do Don” – which immediately gets me thinking “What in hell do you mean we? I’m gonna bust my hump & you’re gonna count like mafia money launderer”. Anyway, I have to tip back at about a 45 to 50 degree angle while holding onto this strap/belt contraption, fully extend my arms & pull my entire fat ass up by bringing my hands (that are not being used to direct rude gestures at Rich), to my chest. Fifteen Times? Then, using the same position, I have to do upper arm curls – AGAIN, 15 times. Then using the same – that’s exactly the same position, 20 squats. So after three sets of these (that’s 45 of each & 60 squats) Dungeonmaster says “go get yourself a drink Don”. I says “I can’t”. DM says “What. Why not?” Says I “Because my freakin’ hands are cramped in a death grip on these friggin’ handles!” So he pries my fingers from the grips & I head over to grab my water bottle. Well I can’t pick it up, never mind unscrew the cap. When he saw me picking the bottle up between my forearms Rich tells me “I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s a water fountain mounted on the wall behind you!” There’s those horn nubs again!

Well we made it through the torture & watering, only to find at the end of my session that my gym bag, containing my necessaries to change and go home, is on the main ground floor. So it’s strap on the parachute & down I go. Grab my kit & back up the freakin’ stairs AGAIN, and following resucistation along with glances at some serious use of the portable defibrulator to maybe do myself in, back down the stairs & home for Good Friday. All in all, I survived. I’m happy.

Saturday! Well out of bed I hurtled first thing this morning to go & turn the coffee on. All I can do is stand there & stare at the button because honest to God I cannot lift my arms to push the damn thing. Under my skin I know there are these little stringy things that on cows, pigs & chickens we call meat, but they are rebelling at even being, never mind being used. I stare at the coffee maker for a while then get down & after making sure nobody was looking, turned the unit on with my nose. Rather enterprising I thought & thank God for proboscises. Then, as the aroma of fresh brewed coffee tantalized my senses – teasing me while it perked to caffeinated perfection, the epifany! “Idiot. You can’t even pour it, never mind drink.” So here we go – arm stretches. Straighten them things attached to your body on which your hands are mounted. Massage them. Try to make them feel like they are something more than a useless appendage that is good for nothing but making you realize you are getting older!!! But by the time the beeper went off it all worked out – I got my coffee & my drunken housemates arose & partook of the delicious, warming caffiene fix without any realization of the dramatic, potentially life altering sacrifices I had made for them. Oh, and Happy Easter all!


A Progress Report & The Mantracker

Well now I’m five months into this get fit business & I am definitely feeling better about it. Not during the exercise of course, nor for an hour or two after, but definitely before and after. I actually now look forward to going to the gym, and not just for the pretty girls. I just have to get Rich back to school – he can’t count worth a damn. I know he counts in fives, so on the last five he’ll count down 5, 4, 3, 2, and, one, more (see how he gets one more in there?). Sneaky bugger. I’ve been calling him on it. If my arms weren’t so freakin’ tired I would fire a water bottle at his head. I think I am going to add a codicil to my next contract renewal. Once every couple of weeks the client should be allowed to fire a water bottle at the trainer. If it’s a plastic or aluminum bottle it can be full, but if it’s a stainless steel one it can only be 3/4 full. You don’t want to kill them – just a little ‘humblization’.

On the bright side on my last review I am down 2.2 pounds or as I like to view it, a whole kilogram from last time. I’m a couple of centimeters toward being svelte and … and …! I guess at 58 there is no ‘and’. Doesn’t matter. It’s progress, & I’m making progress in my diet as well – except for fried chicken. I absolutely cannot resist fried chicken. And I love home made macaroni & cheese. And spaghetti & meat sauce. Be right back – I have to eat.

Anyway, I like to keep life in perspective. Most of the folks at the gym are pretty ordinary people just trying to make themselves a little better. Then you get Joe Jock Strap who is all powerful & loves to show off how strong he is. But then I remember that I have an uncle who will be 80 this year. He has lived most of life in the bush, as a park warden, trapper and general outdoorsman. He isn’t built like Arnie, but he is powerful, like farm life powerful or bushman powerful. Even at 79 I would not want to ‘test’ him. I can guarantee you that he, actually both he and my auntie, can outhike damn near any young person out there. I have always felt that they should invite the pair of them to be contestants on the Mantracker show. They would make it through the course, pluck the prize at the end & be back at the start without the Mantracker even knowing they’d left the starting gate. Either one could probably swipe Mantracker’s horse out from under him while he is glassing the horizons and he’d been none the wiser, for a few minutes anyway. That’s the kind of healthy I would like to be. Hells’ Belles’ it’s the kind of healthy we should all be, but I’m about forty years too late. But it is our way – I’m workin’ with what God gave me, and along with Rich, Cheyenne The Terminator and the rest of the crew down at the gym, I will get as close as I can. Have a great weekend all.