Slip Slidin’ Away

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Maintaining a blog like this will tap your sap. I’ve only been at it a couple of months but sometimes, as with every other writing venture,  you sometimes run a little dry.

It is all too easy to let a day go by without posting here. In that way, it’s exactly like exercise. You promise yourself you’ll get at it tomorrow..and..well…you know. Exercise is something I must simply will myself to do. I feel much better after a workout but dropping down for those first 40 push ups is all mind over matter.

A few years ago I bought a home gym. I had belonged to a commercial gym downtown but it went bankrupt. Luckily, my yearly membership had almost expired so it owed me virtually nothing but there were a few people, literally, left holding the bag.

I have never been an athletic guy. I broke my collarbone once playing touch football. You can’t believe what it took to get me to walk in the door of a gym that first day. I felt exactly like Jerry Lewis’ Nutty Professor character Julius Kelp.

Gym worthy?

There was not a single piece of equipment that was familiar to me and the guys walking around there looked like they could crush me between their thumb and their index finger. But eventually I lost my self-consciousness and began to feel better…right up until the gym closed.

Clearly not mine. Perhaps available through mail order.

I researched the home setup online. I found the best piece of equipment I could for under a thousand dollars. It wasn’t one of those things with bows and arrows. It didn’t promise to give me Parmesan-grating abs. It was a good counterweight system that looked like it wouldn’t kill me. Some kid who worked for the retailer, and was less than half my age, came over to the house and put it all together. I consider myself to me moderately handy (see To Build a Better Barbeque earlier in this blog) but there was no way I could have assembled all the pulleys and pivots and flywheels and cables and superstructure of this home gym.

It looked good sitting there in our catch-all recreation room. If you’d seen something like this two hundred years ago, of course, you would have rightly assumed that someone was about to be pulled apart slowly and painfully under sanction of the state.

So I worked out. There was no one watching over one cracking the whip. It was all self-motivation. I started slowly and built up the repetitions and resistance. I did the stretching so I would at least be able to get out of bed the next day. Sometimes I’d get on a real roll…every day for maybe three weeks in a row and it paid off. I knew it paid off when I went for an annual physical and my doctor asked me how I was getting so muscular and was I , perhaps, ingesting supplements. I damn near fell off the shelf-papered examining table.

A Gerry leg

But I was still a pencil-neck. A lean mean pencil-neck and I would always be that way. There are no Gerry men who kicked up sand at the beach. It’s not in the genes. First, there are the Gerry legs ( like Chippendale furniture). Then there is the Gerry ass (missing like Amelia Earhart). I did, and continue to do,  about as well as a Gerry can do.

Writing and exercise are the only two things that are going to get me through this miserable winter.

In brains, as in (limited) brawn, it is now completely evident that if you don’t use it you’ll lose it.

Even if you never had it to begin with.


One Response to “Slip Slidin’ Away”

  1. Keep writing Dave. Seeing a new entry from you is a lift to my far too stressful day. 🙂

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