Meets Lone Ranger
from the chief-of-staff, Ms. Laree, are stacked upon my desk and
the heat of deadlines brings moisture to my brow: two articles by
Wednesday, (this IOL newsletter and the Sentinel piece), back cover
and front cover artwork for "Straight Talk" and a forward to the
new "Ironline Training Log." Hurry. We have tickets for New York
City and leave this Monday for five days in Manhattan. The urge
to walk the streets, see the sights and smell the air ascended upon
us a year ago. Like turtles, better late than never.
plan to travel light to our hotel in the City, walking distance
to Times Square. Non-stop from San Jose to JFK means carry-on only;
tuna packed in vacuum-sealed bags, cheap paperbacks, our best jeans,
Ts and pullovers, a sharpened stick with a non-slip duct-tape handle
and a matching pair of his and her deluxe pepper spray. Life in
the war zone that is America. We are compelled to visit the town
that's skyscrapers stand tall in my memory, having grown up on the
banks of the Hudson and Laree a frequent visitor while stationed
in Maryland in the 80s.
fitness will be maintained by lots of walking at the speed of New
York City crowds, smart eating and a climb to the top of the Empire
State Building if Laree agrees and the authorities permit us. Who
needs squats? Plenty of workouts at home between now and then offer
ample time to overtrain and possibly injure myself. Repair in N.Y.
who doesn't know me very well read last week's squat article, which
also appeared in our local newspaper. He bawled me out in five stern,
newspapery paragraphs for saying that "No man or woman can boast
of exercise unless he or she performs the full squat." Okay, I exaggerated,
maybe… shoot me. Leg presses are pretty good. In fact, when I'm
not up to squats I do leg presses. If I have an injury, strain or
lack ambition, leg presses slide right in there. I apply the same
preparatory combination of extensions, curls and calves after the
obligatory mid-section work, crunches, leg raises and hyperextensions.
Briefly, I prefer a high-rep scheme when hitting leg press work,
starting with reasonably moderate poundage for twenty-five full
range, mid-pace reps and incrementing in stages of 45s and 25s till
I am limited to fifteen reps and ten reps. Goes like this: 25, 25,
25, 20, 15, 10.
on the machine, the mood and the need, I'll begin with three or
four plates and load till seven, eight or nine. Some dynamos like
big John Defendis, aka The Crane, have more severe methods of operation.
My purposes, knees and muscle structure agree with the high reps.
Lots of heart and lung, great for gals.
Laree was on a similar leg press strategy for six weeks not long
ago. She added four sets of stiff-legged deadlifts supersetted with
lunges, her favorite combo for key female factors; no cardio on
this day or you automatically expire. We went on a vacation up north
for a short attempt to relax a couple of weeks ago. While cruising
through Sonoma searching for a motel that had a vacancy, we came
upon a stout fellow whose car had stalled at a light. He was with
small success pushing his heap across the intersection as the inconvenienced
cars and drivers swerved to his right and left. I stopped behind
him and Laree instantly hopped out and grabbed the back bumper like
it was an Olympic bar. That's my girl. She lifted with vehemence
and the car, a Toyota from a long time ago, surged forward astonishing
the guy who pushed and steered and now sprinted to catch up.
"You're looking good." I shouted to the pair as I followed closely
to assist in the safety of the rescue operation. Laree was hitting
her stride expecting the wheezing wheelman to take the car to the
roadside and park it. Instead he got greedy, aimed for a distant
gas station and flopped belly-first on the asphalt, almost succeeding
in running himself over with his own broken-down, out-of-control
automobile. We all watched the car pick up speed, driver's side
door dangling wide open and nobody behind the wheel. There was a
desperate last-second burst of speed from the disheveled owner as
the ill-fated import torpedoed a telephone pole. It shook, the car
sank and a lonely hubcap rolled toward on-coming traffic.
parked in a deserted parking lot and, once out of sight, laughed
real tears like a mischievous brat. We untangled Hector, who could
speak no English, pushed him mightily until he resumed his journey
toward the far-off Shell. Laree and I, not going there, stared as
he weaved downhill in and out of traffic with horns blowing and
cars halting. Hector was last seen standing with his stalled wreck
twenty feet from a gas pump wondering who the muscular masked lady
was and where did she learn how to push a car.
be those leg presses.
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