THE POOL AND HOT TUB?
many times have you said, no way do I want to be as big as Ronnie
Coleman? I know what you mean. What are we going to do with all
that extra, weird muscle? I just want to be half as big. This I
can work into my schedule... it's a lot more realistic and not so
freaky. Furthermore, I don't need to win a Mr. Olympia title, do
A couple came into the gym not so long ago looking like a pair of
middle-aged porcupines in a field of wolves. I stood close enough
to say, "How are you?" but not so close as to get a quill in my
sweats. After I assured them that I wasn't there to sell them a
membership, rob or mock them, they relaxed and pointed out that
they weren't interested in building massive muscular bodies.
"We simply want to get in shape for the summer and our 20th High
School Reunion in July." He eyed the menu hanging above the juice
bar and ordered a Jucy Lucy with extra Mango extract. She fussed
with her pantsuit that was beginning to gather around her thighs,
"Where's the pool and hot tub?"
I stood my ground and contemplated the typical and sad catastrophe
before me. No pool or hot tub to be found, I suggested that perhaps
they consider a more aggressive approach to getting in shape by
applying sensible weight training and sensible eating for the next
month or the rest of their life. Her name was Millie and I think
she actually hissed under her breath. Biff was content scanning
the gym floor and slurping his hefty protein drink in disguise.
He thought out loud that maybe the weights were the way to go. "We
could hire a personal trainer for a few weeks and learn the ropes,
dear." She frowned and took a gulp of his drink, then another and
another. She drained the 28-ounce plastic cup and tossed it.
have a selection of aerobic equipment neatly laid out on an L-shaped
balcony with plenty of height, light, viewpoint, breeze and TVs.
This pressed Millie's button (living treadmills, climbers and such...
civilization) and I promised Biff an appointment with our trainer
the following morning at 10 AM. They both were relieved when I offered
them a free week, giving them a chance to try out the ole shoe to
see if it fit.
"There's something you need to know." I called out as they headed
for the door of escape. We made it. Well, almost. I walked over
and looked them directly in their eyes. "What you are mildly undertaking
this day is probably the most significant responsibility of your
lives: your physical health and welfare. We grow up and grow older
and watch from a safe distance. Today you've decided to participate.
You're going to love this. Get a good night's sleep."
showed up early their day off revealing a humility
and reserve undetectable the day before. New sweats, gym bags, sneakers
and water bottles matching bookends ready for a marathon.
I greeted them and we headed for the bikes without preamble. A ten-minute
warm up before crunches and leg raises was the order of the day.
I remained with them and told them about high intensity interval
training and promised we'd be doing that in no time to accelerate
their progress. In five minutes the sense of involvement was achieved
and they began to feel loose, sweaty and comfortable.
It turns out he had recently been diagnosed with adult onset diabetes
and she had been... er... sort of binge eating regularly. Married
for a bunch of years, their small thriving business is in the convulsive
industry of computer engineering. Stress had a strangle hold on
them. They were overweight, under-muscled, weak and vulnerable.
They were brilliant yet ignorant. I think they were lonely. They
were riding the bikes, smiling and I was filling them with propaganda.
The Goodwill Conspiracy.
Crunches and leg raises on floor mats were less of a delight but
they endured like champs. We hit the gym floor and decided that
the Hammer Chest Press for shoulders, chest and tris mixed with
the seated lat pull for back and bis was enough for one day. Three
sets of twelve reps, pushing and pulling alternately and they were
pumped and pooped. Hey. It was their first workout in a tired and
Here's to commitment, discipline, courage and fear. They come in
four to six days a week around sunrise to get a giant step on the
world stress-makers and spend some exhilarating time with new, like-minded
friends. Millie eats the right foods in the right amounts (usually
good nutrition accompanies good training) and Biff no longer takes
medication. All the symptoms of diabetes are gone. They are really
good people and didn't know it.
true story. Only the names, places and circumstances have been changed
to protect the innocent. Till next week, as the frolicking sun sets
over our endless and hopeful horizons, this is the Bomber signing
off... may your squats always go up and your bench press never go
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