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Connecting the Dots, Filling in the Blanks

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I’m a disciplined and prudent (obsessed and pathetic) plate plucker, and consider it healthy and healing (indolent and slothful) to hit the mattress midafternoon for some smart R&R. Within five grimacing minutes I’m able to undo the skeletal hitches and untangle the muscular snarls. It’s rewarding and wise to lay the body down, flat and straight. Ahh, yes! There I lie immersed in diminishing pain, resolving world problems and crafting new and exciting training routines for future generations.

Five minutes of that peculiar entertainment and I instinctively stretch, the cat of nine lives within me. The stretch feels oh-so-good that an ample left and right sideway-reach to complement the action instinctively follows. Habits die hard and before I know it, another stretch and reach combination follows the first, and another and another, in familiar repetition. I perform a total of six reps of the combination with focus and form.

By golly, Wally! Was that what I think it was? A bona fide set of six expansive extensions, reaches and stretches? That which started as a quiet afternoon respite, possibly a blissful snooze, blinked, winked and turned into a vital workout.

Sitting with feet dangling off the edge of the firm and ample mattress, I rolled back to a back-to-mattress feet-overhead position, and rolled forward to a tense-armed forward-leaning position. Whoa. I completed several dynamic flex and relax motions to engage the tris, and rolled back again. Up and overhead go the legs, a modified leg raise, and forward go I, a silverado sit-up before your very eyes. Ten of these holy molly rolly pollys and the crowd is cheering.  

I’m energized and warmed up and multiple muscles are activated, stimulated and exonerated. Yes! And I am not cross-eyed and gasping; I’m breathing heavily, meaningfully and gratefully.
The thighs extended and contracted like obliging doormen at the Ritz, but they didn’t labor like the workman who built the grand edifice years ago. A walk across the gym floor knocks me out, yet sitting I can exert the upper body all day long. Leg work is exhausting and exacerbating. I settle for the essential daily get-up-and-goes.

Two 30-minute gym workouts a week is agreeable and sufficient for this war-torn drone; more could be disastrous. Speaking as a bomber, however, additional non-iron activity on off-days would most beneficial. Walking, running and biking are super supplementary activities, but no can do. And I’m not alone.

All those who cannot stand up, please raise your hand.

Thoroughly brainwashed, ignorant and single-minded, I think exercise is of secondary value unless it’s ironbound and clangs obnoxiously. But wait, is not the effort innocently engaged at the edge of a firm mattress exercise in disguise?

At last, Charles, let’s call the action dynamic tension.

I sit upright, tightly grab the hunky edge of the mattress and begin to rotate the upper body in an arcing circle, leaning forward and clockwise I go, way right, way back, left and forward. At all times I’m griping intensely and flexing with might every muscle that gets in the way. Counterclockwise, grab on tight and more of the same, six rotations serve me right.

When you know your muscles well through practiced focus and exertion, you can separate and contract and extend them meaningfully and convincingly in thoughtful movement. The heart and lungs come along for the ride.

The above whirling act, rhythmic, tight and determined, engages the torso, grip, bis, tris, back, delts and chest. I see eyes rolling. No, you’re not gonna build muscle and might, but that which you have will be pleased, grateful and long-lasting.

In 15 minutes of continuous flowing and forceful exertion I feel I have enlivened and fortified my system and body. I have, since the inception of bedside dynamics, expanded my repertoire by feel, instinct and commonsense. Back and forth, this way and that with deliberate and vibrant effort.

I call the smart and serious execution of these low-tech, low-impact movements the Rolly Pollys. More to come, like the seated, hands-on-the-rim Toilet Bowl Dip ’n Stretch, aka The Johnnies.

Whaddaya think?




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