Sunday, March 7, 2010


Well, I have a few admissions to make:

1. Regular readers of this blog (both of you) are probably wondering where I've been for the past couple of weeks. Well, I've been very very busy at work, and I've been recuperating a little, but mostly I've been home looking at my bank balance and deciding that I'm out of money to invest in personal training for a while. I'm not really embarrassed by this; as my mom used to say, it's no disgrace to be poor, just damned inconvenient. Anyway, given that I have a son on a mission and a daughter planning for college, and a new car to buy, and some things like that, I'm just going to have to save up for a bit before I can really afford J2's services again.

2. In addition to being short on money, I am also quite frankly short on time. The way I have been working this has just taken me away from work too much and I've got to get back to a regular schedule. Which means working out at odd times, and maybe shorter times, and probably times when I can sleep it off at night instead of in the morning or mid-afternoon. So I've got to make this weight training thing my own, and make it workable in the long term, and without "you've paid for it" to motivate me. To a great extent, that's happened with my food choices, and I've got to make it work for lifting as well. So I've been thinking through that a bit, too, as I've slowly started to climb to the top of the pile at work.

3. What is a little -- well, not embarrassing exactly, but odd -- is that I miss working out. I consider that good news. So I really want to go back and do some myself. That's also what I've been up to, a little bit. Planning my own assault on the gym. I went in last night, to reconnoiter, to see if the roof would cave in on me, to try to make peace with the shoulder press and lat pull-down. I would say we greeted one another cordially, if not warmly. I took B with me, so that the discussion wouldn't get too heated. So I sort of got a plan, and I'll try it out to see if I can 1) keep building some muscle and losing some weight, or 2) at least hold my own while my bank balance grows some.

4. I noticed that I lost my ability to count. My friend and I have started doing some laps at the track at noon. (Notice the clever use of the term "doing some laps" here to obscure the fact that we neither jog nor run, but in fact walk. Still, at least I walk 1.5 miles a few times a week now, much better than I used to do.) We go around the track about 7 or 8 laps. If at any time you asked me how many we had done, I would mumble something and try to change the subject, because I would have no idea. If my friend Moosebutt didn't keep track, I would probably just walk until they closed the track and kicked me out. Or maybe I'd put 7 marbles in my right pocket and move one over to the left pocket after each lap. Or use M&M's and just eat them. But I'd probably mess up because I have completely surrendered my logico-mathematical apparatus to others when I exercise. And I blame that on letting J2 count for me for so long. Gotta get my arithmetic mojo back.

5. OK, the most embarrassing admission is that I slipped on the ice yesterday and fell down again. But this time it really was because I was coming to the aid of a woman. She needed help moving. She also had a landlord that needed to re-engineer the way the gutters dripped water into a big sheet of ice right by her car. This time, although I did feel it a little in my right hamstring, it was my left knee that caught the brunt of it. After I iced it and kept it elevated for most of the morning, I thought it was going to be OK, but oh my how it did tighten up last night after sitting down for an hour or so in a normal chair. So last night and today I've been trying to deal with swelling and some pain. Summer can't come soon enough for me.

So there you are, the exciting adventures of Me, Mr. Physical Fitness, during the last couple of weeks. I've maintained my weight, but I'm sure my muscle mass will soon start to suffer if I don't get back to it soon. Tune in again for regular reports on my own Special High Intensity Training program. It will be everything you've come to expect from me.


So J2 asked me, "Are you ready for the best biceps workout you've ever had?" Given that he was personally present for most of the bicep workouts I've ever had, I assumed he was in a position to judge this. And it didn't really matter whether I was ready for it or not. My only choices were to participate or to make a run for it. So I nodded weakly and set my teeth.

Turns out there's a new machine. Well, new to me. It was actually an old machine that J has moved out of the gym for a while, and brought back when J2's wheedling and pleading finally got to him. Apparently it's J2's favorite machine. High entertainment value, I imagine.

This is a biceps machine that lets you put the weights in three different positions so as to provide the most resistance at the beginning, middle, or end of the contraction (or combinations thereof). We did all five recommended combinations: beginning, beginning-middle, middle, middle-end, and end. I recognized that it was getting hard near the end. I can't remember now if I finished all five sets or if J2 let me off the hook a little. I do remember that I assumed I'd be sore.

I was sore, but that's not the most memorable part. The most memorable part was trying to shave about a half-hour after the workout. The only way I could accomplish it was to rest my left arm across the top of my stomach, put my right elbow in my left hand, and use that support to keep my right arm in the general vicinity of my face. I honestly couldn't do it without support.

I thought of Moses, having to keep his arms up in the Battle of Amalek so the Children of Israel would prevail.

Where were Aaron and Hur when I needed them?