First Things First

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Musclehead Daydreams


Still photograph from the movie Don't Make Waves

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I lie flat on my back on the living room floor with my head resting on a five-inch squishy exercise ball, a perfect fit for my weary bean. It’s near that time when Laree closes up shop and descends the Tower staircase to join me in our evening relaxation therapy. Motionless, I wait, stare heavenward and listen to my body hiss in pain.

My stare is fixed with a grin and the hissing pain is more like a memorable throbbing from a meaningful thumping.

The kinks in the right knee and instep are from hoisting kettlebells up and down the roadway. I believe I can eliminate the detractors if I replace the few all-out sets with multiple medium-effort sets. Time to take your time, hotshot. Like, what’s the rush and where are you going…  and what do you expect to find there when you arrive, anyway?

The soreness in the lower back and hip area is no doubt the result of one-arm dumbbell rows. Probably why I haven’t done them lately -- the antagonizing aftermath. Reconditioning between random routines is a witch with a capital B. If I want to enjoy their muscle- and power-building benefits, I need to do them regularly and with less rigor. Rats! Rigor is what makes me tick.

Tough to make and accept these dinky adjustments: reduce, lighten, lessen, abbreviate, moderate, eliminate, alter, substitute. Will I ever grow up, or will I only grow old? Don’t answer that.

When’s the last time I stretched out to relax and didn’t endure the familiar neck and trap stiffness? Not since I was 12. How many times have I vowed not to flex my neck muscles and use my head to stabilize my torso when performing stiff-arm pullovers? A gazillion. What’s new? Nothing. What are you going to do about it? Nada. Some things never change. Nope.

Hmmm… little tender around the heart and chest. Hate that. It could be angina, imminent cardiac arrest or the lumpy, in-the-way pacemaker with its leads and wires… or yesterday’s incline dumbbell presses supersetted with cable crossovers. Love those supersets. I particularly appreciate the extended single-hand crossover immediately after the double-hand crossover to ratchet up the pectoral workload and engage the more remote areas of the drooping pec line by deliberate body-positioning. Let’s face it, iron physicist… those maturing pecs seek gravity like winos seek fermented grapes.

Ho-hum… relax, breathe deeply, meditate… ohmmm. Hmmm… that tautness in the neck and traps might be from the farmer walks… same with the ache in the hips. Sheesh! Attending muscles and health and strength is no stroll in the park or waltz on the dance floor… more like a march on the plank.

Guess that’s why so few people take care of themselves. Too much work and not enough time. Hogwash, the two biggest copouts. There’s always time and energy for one’s health. They’re lazy and irresponsible and have no self-respect. Get busy and don’t load yourself with junk food and TV and play-stations and tweets and texts and general negligence. How can a person overlook limp muscles and a big belly?

Meanwhile, my midsection isn’t exactly suffering, yet it does hurts. It feels miserably fat and round. Laree suggests I’m frequently out of breath ’cuz I self-consciously hold my stomach in, preventing my diaphragm from functioning properly. I call it good posture and self-discipline. The muscle exertion is consistent exercise for the abdominal area. I like that. Besides, should I release the clutching muscles, my gut would hang over my belt and tumble floorward.

Well, not really, but that’s my perception, and perception, like ownership, is nine-tenths of the law. Which reminds me…

Where’s the Chief, or better yet, the chef… getting hungry, need nutrition… skirt steak, pasta, salad, milk and water… a new and revolutionary menu. I hear her little fingers digging around assorted food supplements, a ritual only the hardy and healthy understand… One of these, two of those, three, four and more…

Hmmm… my hands and fingers tingle like they’ve been whacked with a mallet… all that gripping and grabbing and grasping and groping. Imagine the bars loaded, the plates stacked, the dumbbell shifted and the iron lifted. Gotta laugh… in gesture, I occasionally raise my hand and point pointedly to make a point. Point is, my pointing finger is curled and points back at me in critical defiance. Laree is usually the recipient of my… umm… pointed finger-pointing remark and snickers, implying “You get your point, don’t you?”

No respect.

Oh, here she comes now. My girl.

What’s that, dear… go out for dinner…pizza, hot dogs and ice cream at Yo Mama’s Trough? You betcha!

Big Dave Joke. Har har…

“Big” in that statement is an adjective describing joke, not Dave. I’m not Big Dave anymore, not since I lost 10 to 15 pounds in the past few years and hang shamefully at the girly end of the dumbbell rack… and my favorite muscle-T fits like a Turkish towel.

I am about to abandon my keyboard and attend the kettlebells nestled at the foot of the driveway. No marathon toss today, just a fond tug on the well-balanced iron. I shall enlist the lovable creatures for 10 sets of 40 paces, with muscle-mind attention to the picking-up and the putting-down actions. Call me Sue.

Have mercy, bombers, I’m trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. My off-day inaction is taking its toll. I’ve got good news and bad news. Bad news: my metabolism is slowing down as I slow down. Fat threatens to misplace muscle. Get ye behind me, Satan. Good news: I’m willing and able to do something about it, a capacity I did not enjoy a month ago. A good sign, like a fleet of skimmers along the coast of Louisiana and a plug in the hole at the Gulf’s leaky bottom.

Gee, I feel bound to stick in my inflated two cents. I might add I love Mexico, but I’m all for a fence along the border… and tax relief and non-government jobs and American invention and entrepreneurship and one nation under God and justice and liberty for all. Do not burn the flag and be nice to your neighbor, as your neighbor is nice to you. Drill until we do not have to, drink your milk, respect your parents and beware of credit cards and snakes and spiders.

Golly-gosh, I could go and on. Train hard, eat right, be humble and be happy… push that iron, lift that steel, press on and on and thank God…

Bomber Blend for everyone… Davio

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