Fun and Games of Growing Up

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Now what? It’s been a week since passing the great columns of 2010 and my steps are short and tentative. It’s as though I’m in a land of unknowns and dare not step with confidence or security. What to do, who to follow, what to say?

January is not the time for plunging ahead with the momentum of December at my heels. It’s a time for untangling, reordering and resetting. This is good. There’s comfort -- cleansing and clarity -- in tidying small messes. Much more, there’s instruction and growth in defining and redefining my goals. Steps are not double-long or double-time, but they are forward and certain.

I say these things to reassure myself as my training has been less than stupendous in the final days of the old year and early days of the new. It has been sustaining at best.

I say sustaining with doubt, as if to sustain were a questionable thing -- unacceptable, failing. I’m beginning to realize sustaining is a powerful force for good in my future. Huge and ripped I can speak to, of might I can refer, but wear as a garment or effect as a tool I cannot.

Those days have come and those days have gone. 

Gasp. True confessions of the Bomber. Makes the tales of gophers, golfers and tigers sound tame. 

I’m not over the hill (OTH), but the grade ahead looks like the treacherous slopes of The Kilimanjaro. I only approach the subject matter -- OTH -- because no one else is willing, and cuz some of you bearing wide wingspans may relate and appreciate the entree.

Self-absorbed as ever, I drag you into my dilemma so I can go on, and in going on, we might learn something together.  Ka-click... I just lost every ironhead under 50 to See ya later, Bomber. Don’t explode, blow up, detonate, or otherwise go puff.

This new territory for me, kids. 67, going on delirious.

Here’s the thing: As long as I have a pulse or twitch in me eye, I’ll be going to the mound of metal to rattle loose parts and dust the rust. The range of exercises I can, need or desire to perform is considerable, though they are appropriately altered to suit the machine, the contraption.

There are aches and squeaks and limitations, but plenty of warming up and a little oil here and there does the trick. Heavy loads, high speeds and excessive miles cause big problems, and care must be applied when starting, stopping and backing up. No more racing, less off-road careening.

I eat from the same table of foods, only I eat less -- less appetite, less need, less effort. I weigh less, 200 pounds, rather than 215 to 230 -- healthier, smarter, less burdensome, though I miss the mass. Step aside, coming through is no longer my style.

My training is similar to bombing and blasting, only more fluid. I go with the flow, surging when I can and floating when I must. I work everything twice a week in some direct or indirect fashion within a day-on, two day-off program. Too much and I sink like waterlogged driftwood, or a rock, or a 50-pound dumbbell.

Scuz me, boys and girls, it’s time to go to the gym. Step aside, coming through... Rusty scraps of iron, creaky benches and bones, ooph and oomph... gotta love it... medic, CPR... clunk, thump... home again. 75 minutes, that was swell... gotta pump. 25 sets, that was hot... I’m burning.

No matter the day or the month or the year, four sets of 50 rope tucks of various shapes, shades and descriptions precede all my other movements or thoughts or songs and dances. They do so much to engage the near and distant muscles and remind them of their responsibility to each other. They fill in the gaps, replace painful noise with soothing rhythm and offer entryway to interesting places we fail to visit. No GPS required, no map, just a go button.

Every other workout I include low-incline leg raises and hanging leg raises to stimulate the hip flexors, stretch the body and load the grip with action. That I would rather forget and forego these rascals tells me they must be good. I’ll believe anything.

Ever have tuna and water? It works for me. See what I mean?

Now, on any given day at this point in my WO (workout for short -- old Muscle Beach Dungeon speak) I will have determined the best way to proceed with my iron venture. Energy and injury are major determining factors. What I want to do is seldom the driving force; what I can do has taken control.

Step aside, coming through.

Here’s a list of my most commonly preformed favorite exercises:

Pushing, pressing for shoulders and chest:

Smith machine front press and press behind neck and all-angle incline press
Dumbbell presses, flat to 45-degree incline
Cable crossovers, one-arm and two-arm
Flys, flat and low incline
One-arm laterals raises

Pushing, pressing, extending for triceps:

Lying triceps extension, bar or single dumbbell
Overhead triceps extension, bar or dumbbell
Pulley pushdowns in all its variations
Overhead pulley extensions, whatever
Machine dips

Pulling for back:

Pulldowns, front and back
Seated lat row, high cable or low cable
One-arm dumbbell row
Stiffarm pullover

Curling for biceps:

Standing barbell curl
Seated dumbbell alternate curl
Low incline dumbbell curl
Standing thumbs-up curl
Under-grip pulldown


Leg press
Bodymaster Squat Machine
Freehand sissy squat

From this plentiful menu I mix and match exercises like a dazzling dieter at a scrumptious smorgasbord. The movements are as familiar as the back of my hand and, provided the resistance is disturbingly mild, I apply them like the wand of an orchestral maestro. Listen closely as the sound produced matches the weight I employ... very light to the touch.

I miss deadlifts, squats and bench presses, huge and ripped and bulking up. I miss bombing and blasting. But wait, this is bombing and blasting.

I miss democracy and freedom of speech.

It’s a bird, it’s a plain, it’s a bee... for Bomber

Zoom zoom... God’s speed... DD

Post Script -- There’s always a wiseguy saying, “Gee, the Bomber’s on a bummer, he’s folding his wings, he’s flipped his cockpit, he’s going down.”

Get outta town. I was just joking. I feel like a million bucks. Of course, in today’s economy that ain’t much... one of the reasons I lift weights like a maniac.

We press on.


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Scoop the blend into a glass, stir and drink with pleasure and satisfaction, when you need to, want to or should. All the time.

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