Between Me and the Walls

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It’s a beautiful mid-summer morning and yet another workout looms before me. Once again I ask myself, “What shall I do today and how will it go?”

We all have these little conversations with ourselves periodically, perhaps regularly. It’s okay. They can be automatic acknowledgements of the deed ahead: casual reminders, dutiful considerations, meaningful preparations, and, occasionally, thorns in our sides. Some days we can’t wait till we enter the gym and embrace the weights. Some days we ignore the immovable piles, wish we could, or are sorry we did.

Every workout is a step forward, a test, a blessing, a curse, an investment and a liability; a game, a study and a statement. We win, we lose, we learn and grow. Training is no less important than breathing in or breathing out. Each is vital. Each is precious. Collectively they keep us alive.

I’m just saying... to myself... “What should I do today... the same ole’ same ole’, or add a little twist, or do an entire 180? Blast it or stay cool? Whatever, I want to make sure I’m fueled and focused and unhurried. The workout will fall in place; it will happen, it will come together, it will be done, it must be done.

“Can’t say I’m setting the gym on fire lately, but I am there and I am doing my best. Consistency, that’s the ticket. Press on, no matter what; aches and pains, splinters and blisters, casts and splints, bruises and contusions.

“Gotta maintain a degree of personal excitement, continue the positive input, call on personal encouragement, though each is lacking in mouth-watering inspiration.

“Stay strong. Dig deep. Blast it. Merely going through the motions is unacceptable... might as well stay home. A workout without a pinch of dynamite makes no impression, no bam, no bang, no boom... a dud, a poof. I hate poofy workouts.

“I am weary, now that I think about it. Then don’t think about it, Draper. You’ll stay home, eat something dumb, watch the tube, take a nap and you’ll feel guilty, stressed and fat and won’t be able to sleep tonight. Not good.

“The gym will get you going... the first coupla sets. Ease into it, what’s the rush. Some midsection, some calves and the juices will start to flow. Today is shoulder and back day, but I feel like a slug. Maybe I’ll do some dumbbell presses instead of Smith presses and press-behind-necks... and some one-arm lateral raises. A sufficient change to suit my mood without upsetting my training order.”

I do like order, for someone who claims (before anyone who’ll listen) to be an instinctive trainer, an iron rebel, a spontaneous improviser and a daring maverick. Not to forget a rather dashing fellow, cool and devilish.

Never fails! The workouts that have all the prickly allusions of failure turn out to be the all-time winners, the unparalleled successes, the stunning tributes. I manage to dig a hole for myself and crawl in, expecting only darkness and desperation. And then, powered by self-induced pressure on all sides, I erupt like an explosion in slow motion. Guttural sounds, upending steel and blazing bodyparts, I emerge victorious, the sum total of maximum hypertrophy, an unwillingness to submit and two scoops of Bomber Blend.

Triumph: Astonishing to witness, astounding to behold. Being a bomber can be lonely. Let us move on.

Despite the increase in cautionary chatter about obesity and its wreckage of humanity, the preventable disease grows like stink on a steamy garbage truck. Instead of responding intelligently to the grim forecast, the masses continue to display ignorance, inaction and irresponsibility. Like muddy waters in Mississippi, excuses, rationales and pro-fat arguments are on the rise. And we’re cashing in, as well. Fat-people businesses are booming (fashions, clothiers, weight management, specialized counseling) and we now have a fat-people reality show. We’re not fixing the problem, we are accommodating it. Fat begets fat, fatsos beget fatsos.

Fat is not in, but there’s a large movement to make it fit. Fat is not where it’s at, but it’s getting there. Fat is fat. Oversized clothes are becoming an oversized boom, big bellies are bloating insurance costs, reality shows exploit the bulging blunder and excess eating solutions are toothless; the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the fat get fatter. We’re goin down (couldn’t help but laugh as I wrote this... not a joke... just sounds funny... we’re goin down).

Do you hear the clock ticking? When will the alarm go off? Will we wake up or just roll over? Is it too late?

Fat gone wild is disappointing and exposes mankind’s weakness in all its outrageous forms: physical incapacity, laziness, ineffectiveness, carelessness, recklessness, procrastination, stupidity, conformity, lack of discipline, gluttony, short-sightedness, self-contempt and disrespect.

Negativity on my part? No, not, nope, never, none! Nada and nay! I underscore the catastrophe in hopes to halt and reverse the cross-eyed direction in one or more lives, as our lean, mean team grows in number, muscle and might.

Obesity is a public health crisis. If it continues to grow at today’s pace, 75 percent of adults will be overweight in seven more years.

We don’t have time to exercise. We can’t eat properly. We dare not deprive ourselves. We refuse to sacrifice, though we abundantly deny. We just don’t care enough.

We need a revival in personal responsibility. We need an antidote to apathy. We need an education in common sense. We need to practice self respect. We need to reevaluate our values. We need to wake up, exercise and eat right. That doesn’t mean we can’t laugh, have fun and enjoy each other. Indeed, the former constructive proposals enable and ensure the latter cheery possibilities.

Excuse me while I have a shot of Bomber Blend and head to the gym. Join me? American Idol can wait. The whole world can wait.

A report this week on a public broadcasting station highlighted a recent 30-year, multimillion-dollar university study on obesity. Beyond establishing the facts and figures of obesity in society’s young and old (75% obesity by 2015), it deduced that when an overweight man, woman or child associated consistently with other overweight persons, they tended to further their oversized condition. Misery loves company.

Furthermore, it was concluded when a person of normal weight regularly accompanied an overweight person, the normal-weight companion tended to gain weight. Once it was determined by the subordinate subject that some degree of fatness was okay, gaining weight became dominant. If it’s okay for you, it’s okay for me.

This phenomenon was observed in family settings, at the workplace and in social situations. It was also noted that overweight people tended to hang out with other overweight people. Birds of a feather...

The same trend was seen among thin (not skinny) people. Thin attracts thin and sets the trend. Thin rules.

We need to thin out fat by education and continuing to expose the bare naked truth of the overweight condition. Obesity delivers a host of debilitating diseases and is considered by the researchers as more dangerous and insidious than smoking.

The study’s conclusions look more like common sense than critical scientific breakthroughs to me. We wing-nuts could spin our propellers for an afternoon and offer a similar report with fewer words and more insight and at a cost of a membership to a good neighborhood gym... if we could find one.

Anyone spot a place to land, tip your wings and we’ll call it a day. Sun’s going down and we need to train hard, eat right and rest.

Chins and dips... Draper


Not much to say as I’m awaiting assorted blood test results. The doctor reported my levels of lead are excellent. Eat your hearts out, bombers. The more we read about EDTA IV chelation therapy, the more we are impressed. Laree has already gone to Toys R Us to pick up some games to keep me busy during the proposed two-hour treatments; marbles, pick up sticks, jacks, a Hulk coloring book and crayons, a Rubik cube (which I will gladly trade for Leggos if anyone’s interested). This is gonna be fun.

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