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It's Easy to Grumble

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Kicking and screaming, I recently pulled on my size-75 costume. At first the thing was uncomfortable and, I thought, very long and humiliating...certainly not my style. It was baggy in the bottom, tight around the waist and tugged under the arms.

Alas, like most things we were forced to wear growing up, I'm getting used to it. I expect after good use, I'll spring for a smart and dashing size 76 before I know it. No rush, mind you, as I intend to take good care of this particular creation now that it fits.

It's easy to grumble, I'm sure you agree: weather to wars, taxes to traffic, jobs to jerks. And that's the inconsequential stuff. Dig a little deeper and we get to the core issues: the weights are too heavy, biceps are too small, can't find my abs, got no definition and getting old sucks.

Hey, Bub! Quit griping. Such is life -- grow up, get a job, it is what it is, you do what you can with what you've got, roll with the punches; go with the flow, what will be will be, deal with it. God's will be done. Smile, be happy. Be original.

Little-known, well-concealed, heavily disguised and deeply hidden secret: We take grumbling to the gym and search for relief somewhere between the adjustable bench and the dumbbell rack. Tell no one, say nothing. Barbells and pulleys, even kettlebells, have been known to afford comfort as well.

And, it's not always in the immediate iron actions, but within the haven of time between actions. There are reports from the rugged past -- the Muscle Beach and Dungeon days -- stating the sheer nearness to the still steel serves to soothe scarred souls.

Now, if you really have problems, you could break out the Slumpbusters, those nasty yet lovable exercise combinations I conceived and revealed to you, my worthy comrades, so many years ago. Like the wheel, flint and the bow, they're not complicated; they are simple and marvelously effective. The pain, pump and burn derived from any one of the combinations, robustly executed, will distract you from the nags you confront.

Slumpbusters are notorious for breaking training plateaus and developing solid and powerful muscles. These incidental byproducts may or may not be consequential to you, but I feel compelled to mention them...never know who's reading my pointless nonsense. They are extraordinarily satisfying too, swell time-killers, and give us the very cool appearance that we know what we're doing.

Another little known secret: June, July and August, three dan-dan-dandy months of the year, are soon before us. Savor them, day by day, month by month, moment by moment. These are the times that free the souls of bombers, boys and girls and kids. Let's not gather in the fall and ask, like typical dopey idiot fool nincompoops, what happened to the summer, here one day and gone the next.

Make a conscious effort to notice who you are, where and why. Look and see, touch and feel, engage your surroundings, talk and listen, wonder and discover. One of the best venues for the practice of this charge is the gym.

Think about it: A man or woman who hoists iron knows who he or she is (tough), where you are when you bench press (the bench) and why (pecs and power). There's the guy at the front counter, a prime opportunity for conversation (Hey, man!). There are pictures of muscle guys on the walls (Steve, Reg, Zabo) and mirrors with one's pumped reflection to be observed (cool horseshoe triceps) and the inimitable sounds (slam, bam, thud, clink).

Try this trick: Instead of counting sets and reps, pretend they're months and days of the week -- June, July, August -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. This provides relativity to passing time and appreciation for the inevitable forward motion, the unavoidable continuum, the irresistible life-happening experience.

Be there then, be here now and be wherever tomorrow.

By the time September rolls around, you will be relieved -- cool evenings, bench presses, 5 sets x 8 reps, outta here.



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