First Things First

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December Aerobics -- Shop Till You Drop


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I’m about to convey my thoughts for this, the first week of the last month of 2013. I suggest you stand back in case there’s an onslaught of loose nothingness from the vacant spheres of my mind. I know a few people who’ve been bored to death. It can get ugly.

Tis the week after Thanksgiving, December’s upon us and that noise you hear is the sound of a high-powered shop-vac sucking away at our pockets, wallets, billfolds and piggy banks. There are Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, tiring Tuesdays, fretful Wednesdays, drained bank accounts and overdrawn credit cards to express and prove our love, generosity and joy.

Tis the season to be jolly.

Surveys have been done to determine how much we’ll spend on Christmas gifts ($767.12), when and where we’ll shop, and what catch-words in advertisements prompt us to spend more. Do not get caught in the trap, bombers. Debt is vile. Greed is contemptuous.

Did you know Bomber Blend builds merry muscles and makes cheery stocking stuffers?

Ha! Just kidding... make that Ho, Ho, Ho!

Enough holiday cheer (PC for Christmas, Lord have mercy), let’s get down to business. Getting in shape -- staying in shape during the holidays is next to impossible. Who has the time, who has the will, who cares? Actually, it’s the season for slobbery, as all things dietary and disciplinary are postponed till next year, 2014. Did you know the number one most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight? Me neither.

I’m still eating leftovers. When will they ever go away? Another plate of turkey and ham and yams, now empty, sits beside my keyboard. Yum! Guess what’s for dinner? Turkey stew. Guess what we had for dinner yesterday? Turkey stew.

Where’s a can of tuna when you need it?

Hey, as long as it’s protein I’ll eat it. It can be crawling on a multitude of legs and I’ll eat it raw with my bare mitts, no fixings. I’m bad. I lift weights. Now there’s a novel subject, lifting weights. Let’s start there with today’s conversation.

If I was a kid again and lifting weights was the hardy old sport it use to be, I’d do it all again -- curls and presses, squats and deadlifts. There’s nothing like it and it’s good for you too, no matter what your endeavors may be, doctor, lawyer, petty thief, drug dealer or belly dancer. Being fit, being strong and vital and disciplined makes everything better, easier and more certain. And nothing is more direct and effective in achieving the prescribed array of benefits as heaving the iron every day or so, with some lively jogging thrown in between.

Right about here, undetected by your conscious mind, I insert the powerful subliminal message to eat wisely, not in excess and to drink water in abundance.

Forget the big guns and the big bench press, unless you’re 15 to 20 years old, or you crave frustration and unachievable challenges. Go for vigor and fitness and the grand life ahead, kids. Gee, I sound like Grandfather Time and the Tic Tocs during their last gig at the annual townhall fundraiser. I’m the rocking dude in the skintight leotards with the tambourine.

Should I go to the gym, enter its doors and stand before the iron and know not what to do, I get out my autographed copy of Brother Iron Sister Steel from my back pocket and go through the worn and wrinkled pages till I come across the perfect routine, or needed words of encouragement or inspiration. Say, there... Speaking of swell gifts and shopping and Christmas and...

“A vile and contemptuous B71. Ignore him and he’ll go away.”

This is what I did at the gym today:

Seated alternate dumbbell curls supersetted with one-arm triceps extensions using the same 25-pounders on the same utility bench
(4 x 6 reps and 12 reps)

Lying bent-bar triceps extensions with last reps morphing into close-grip pressing
(4 x 12 reps)

One-arm cable crossover, back and forth, to and fro
(4 x 8 reps)

Wide-grip pulldown behind the neck, tight upper back contraction
(4 x 10-12 reps)

I saluted farewell to the front-counter attendant and jogged to my getaway car, which was parked directly outside the door, thank God... Dave

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