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I Shoulda Kept My Weights


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A keyboard full of letters and digits sits before me, yet not a single word is on my screen. At least that was the condition of my commission before you arrived.

My head is rocking, the mind is rolling and I don’t know what to say. In the blink of the eye the world has turned upside down. Between exercises, sets and reps, focus and form, it all went sideways. It’s like someone pressed a button, pulled a lever, activated a switch and enacted an order, and everything is wrong.

What happened? What’s going on?

The newsletter as I write, the one you are reading, is not scheduled to appear for a few more days. The US Marshal, with his plastic badge, golf clubs and bewildered deputies, left Dodge on the midnight express. They, like the three monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.

The rant goes on for 20 blistering pages, but IOL’s vigilant editor-in-chief, XLD, took a sharpie to the content and directed me to stick to the simpler, less scandalous matters of delts and pecs, protein and carbohydrates. No wars, no politics, no scams, no catastrophic events, no dirty jokes, no slander, no sex, no religion.

So much for my juicy repertoire.

You’ve heard the word, haven’t you? But you must hear it from me. Well, then… you might want to pull up a chair… Yes, it’s true. I’m seriously thinking of investing in a simple flat bench and some light dumbbells for tossing about when I get the urge, need or desire.

Gyms are cute, but they’re way over there and I’m way over here. Going to the gym is like an outing: gear up, drive to and fro, traffic, parking, jostling for equipment, stumbling ’n mumbling in public places.  

I plan to visit Play It Again Sports, a colorful used sports equipment store downtown. They should have what I need. Get this: The last time I purchased weights for home use, I was 12 years old, 60 years ago. Just think, Dave, they will be heavier and more expensive today. Somebody shoot me.

I can effect some decent damage with a sturdy flat bench and a handful of agreeable dumbbells. A comfy space downstairs has been cleared where I can arrange the essentials and my poster of Steve Reeves. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter; there’s a bar for hanging and a rig for dipping. Perfect to feed those hungry yet lingering, muscles established over the years.

Nifty workouts, as I perceive the teeny tin tussles, are fun and satisfying, a joy to employ. They’re playful with a nudge, delivering clarity to the mind, comfort to the body, ease to the nerves and satisfaction to the appetite. And all this with sufficient sets and reps to pump and burn and entertain, yet not so many as to antagonize or despise.  

How did we do it, we ask ourselves -- two- to three-hour workouts at the crack of dawn, six days a week year after year, winter, spring, summer and fall. Flues, falls, aches, breaks. Protein, protein and more protein; no carbs and zero fats, except for Sunday if you’re sane, religious and still standing. This routine, that system, the split set, super set, drop set, get the net methodologies, rest ’n recuperation, sunshine and warm bull blood.

Just do it, brother iron. Never let go, sister steel.

I also heard there’s something to grabbing each and every day by the seat of its pants and giving it a good toss. Prompted by passion, the energy exerted is an invigorating release of frustration, anger and loathing. Sadness, fright and disappointment travel a similar hands-on procedure, though tingling tenderness rather than stinging pain is perceived at the fingertips.

This procedure is most successful when accompanied by screaming and screeching, flailing arms and jumping up and down.

I’m off to the gym after all. A nifty workout sounds good right about now -- a short drive in the buggy, bang the metal with a few buds, zip home, kiss the bride, protein up, shower down, turn on the tube and relax to the max, jax.

DD

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