Wrestle That Mad Dog

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Day by day I wrestle with an opponent I knew would materialize. He’s no older than me, not nearly as clever, yet his manner is shifty and his design is most unkind. He’s been sneaking around the neighborhood like a bum without a home, stealing stuff and making a general nuisance of himself. I don’t have much, but what I have I want to keep. I was here first.

I’m not complaining and I’m not running scared, but I am getting a little mad. Well-directed anger can be a healthy thing, so say grandfathers and fortune cookies. I plan to keep an eye on the old buzzard and out-maneuver him with my instincts, common sense, attitude and prayer.

Bloodshed is out of the picture, although wringing the neck of the merciless geezer has crossed my mind. One sure thing: You cannot give up, ever, not for a second. This means no discouragement, loss of enthusiasm, grumbling or hiding under the bed. There is no defeat if you don’t submit, so say uncles who were in the Army, and Kung Fu masters.

72 and the Mad Dog of age is barking at my door. I’d rather be locked in a room full of rabid Rhodesian Ridgebacks -- there’d be more hope for negotiation, placating or escape. As it is, I continue to observe and make the needed alterations in my training, adopt safeguards and precautions and put into effect all my natural resources. I will outwit the mean-faced miser.

A well-balanced diet with an accent on protein and a near absence of simple sugar will continue to restore my system and stay the mischievousness of age. Micronutrients from fresh vegetables will crowd my menu and meals will, of course, never be missed, gorged or hollow. Junk? I will pick up certain items and rotate them in my grasp. If they feel and look and smell like junk, I will dump them with a smile. I know garbage from a mile away, don’t you?

About water: more.

Train hard and smart to build, play for fun and diversion, work to get the job done and fulfill your life. Don’t mope, and whatever you do, don’t worry. Stress is essential and unavoidable and the human being is structured to accommodate a healthy load. But then, too much kills as sure as a bullet. Relax.
I enjoy musing and find it most productive to understand and resolve a problem, set plans into positive motion, create happy environments in which to experience forthcoming trials (visualizing), and overcome negativity that often thrives when one is idle. We’re pummeled with distraction in the busy new world, with sights and sounds and projects devouring us. We seldom ponder. I’ll continue to become more aware of being robbed of time by my own hands.

In the workouts, rest and recuperation are the biggies, as always, only more so these days. And injury does not take second place. Here comes the hard part for the long-time weight trainers and other athletes who have known power, the mighty pump, speed, freedom of movement and range of motion: Invincibility.

Eventually, when denial is removed and submission and weakness of will and lack of guts has been sorted out, there comes a time when serious evaluation is the next step forward. And here we make the alterations that lead to more understanding, productivity and excitement. Almost simultaneously, the word maturity has new meaning.

Today my workouts are intense, but done without drawing blood. I’m still defining them, though they resemble what I’ve done all my professional life: supersets 75 percent of the time, mixing the reps and poundage according to feel, repair and mood, yesterday and tomorrow. I look forward to the heavier workouts spotted throughout the month with lower reps in mind.

Watch the back. Watch the knees. Pushing is my big problem. The shoulders gripe, the elbows are nervy and the hands and wrists scream like scalded apes. Sound familiar?

I’m improvising and experimenting and inventing. I’m asking around and keeping notes. We’re all different. That’s been established. But I’ll collect clues, hints, tips, facts, fiction and old tales to feed the ole Mad Dog. Maybe they’ll be worth sharing when I’m 90. Stick around.

All in favor say “Aye.”



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