Saturday, July 26, 2014

Man with a Mission!

When you hit middle age, however you want to define its span of years(I'm figuring, roughly, 45-65), there's a strong inclination to revisit old situations, old segments of one's life. To go back and do 'em again, maybe better- but certainly differently. The whole Second Time Around/Bucket List thing..I've seen a fair amount of folks hitting this age get their guitars out of storage and revive the bands they had 15-20 years ago. Others are back in the gym, using the muscles they used to have 15-20 years ago. 
    I'm one of those folks in the second category here(not that I had all that much muscle, but some- more than I started with at any rate). As a 20-something-year-old, I worked out with weights for a couple years, and am now resurrecting that practice as an almost 60-year-old. A much older(and thus less vital)me, but doing it all more intelligently. I'm about 6 weeks into an exercise program at a local gym, under the tutelage of one of their trainers. My trainer is, like me, named Roger, and is also the age I was when I worked out for the first time. Strangely enough. 

My first foray into all this was in 1978-79, in Baltimore, at the local YMCA. I was very skinny and very determined. To that end, I remember one of the characters in the weight room remarking, "Here he comes- man with a mission!" as I came in to do my workout.  It got a chuckle out of me. "Well, you're a nice pleasant fellow, professor!" What the hell. You have to be able to laugh at yourself, especially in an undertaking like this..

Baltimore was a friendly city when I lived there, and the Y was no exception. There was a nice camaraderie as far as the denizens of the weight room. None of the attitudes and Alpha Male posturing I feared would be there(although there was a "pose-down" in front of the mirror by two competitive friends--this was actually pretty funny, even though of course you wouldn't dare laugh!)Everyone was friendly, and helpful. And encouraging.  

One of the regulars was kind enough to write out a workout routine for me. He was a little squatty guy named Basil(pronounced BAZ-el)whose big weight room claim to fame was being 3rd Place Mr Virginia in 1958. What the hell. Those were credentials enough for me.

So Basil got me started with some basic exercises like the Bench Press, Squat, Barbell Curls, Military Presses and so forth. It was good. I got in fairly good shape. You're limited of course by your body frame and basic musculature, but I guess everyone has their anatomic pluses and minuses. I am a mesomorphic ectomorph, which means I'm a basically skinny-boned person who can put on muscle in a couple places. My upper arms, and back, and shoulders filled out nicely, while other parts kinda lagged behind. 

I have a Popeye the Sailor physique. At least those are the results I got back in the 70's. The current routine(s)work the body differently than good old Basil's(this kid who trains me has a slightly different routine for me every time, all of which he has stored on his phone--younger folks reading this would be saying, 'of course-how else?!', but it's still novel to us almost-geezers)and more attention is paid to the dietary side of it, so 2014(or maybe 2015)'s results may actually be better. 

If there's a mission to this current wave of activity, it's really to flatten a spare tire I've been carrying around for a good while now. A bad while. It's nice seeing the beginnings of results in other places(yes, the Popeye places: shoulders and arms), but nicest seeing the belly receding. That long-hated hula-hoop of blubber around my middle. My trainer tells me it's dropping off. I remind myself that it's not an overnight process. 

So we'll see. At least I'm on the path. Hard to say goodbye to some of my old carbohydrate buddies, but judging by my still protuberant middle, maybe they weren't my real friends after all.

Resuming Transmission- again.

  The again in the title indicates that, yes, this isn't the first time I've dropped out and then back in again. The will to blog comes and goes- an alternating current, as it were- so I'm off and on with it just like I am with musical performances.
I think in both instances it's a need to step back and re-group for awhile. With the blogs, though, it's also a case of just letting more stuff, more lifestuff accumulate. And it's that lifestuff buildup that brings about more blogs. Blogging, for me, is often a kind of depressurization.
  My last one, Women 101, was probably not the cheeriest I've ever posted , but hopefully it was at least a fun depressing read. Entertainingly lugubrious(or, better, lugubrious lite). What can I say? I was in a deep blue funk. It's best to get that stuff out of you, to expel its toxins from your system. And of course you try to do so without taking your reader to a Funeral..
   (Always liked that expression. There was an intern in our office a couple years back, a young lady from Lithuania, whose English was excellent--no, I never had her say moose and squirrel, although the temptation was there!--but of course some American expressions were new to her. Foreign, even. I described a particularly dour client to her thusly, and of course she took me literally: this client was driving me, transporting me to Kirlin Egan Funeral Home or another such facility!)
   But I digress(!). So here we are in July. More lifestuff. I still haven't passed Women 101, but figure sooner or later I'll have taken that second-semester Shop class for the last time, and will actually graduate. Since April's plaintive post, I've been taking another course, as it turns out. I'm doing it for a variety of reasons, but it just might help me pass Women 101. 
   For about six weeks now, I've been working out at a local fitness center,  two 60 minute sessions every week, under the tutelage of one of their trainers.  Cardio, plus exercises for every muscle group in the body. Whatever the outcome,  at least I'm taking responsibility for my appearance, and taking steps to improve it. 

More on all this thrilling stuff as we go. Rog is back in action. 

Oh yeah. I never did get around to the picture. Gee, what can I say about it? Welll, it made me laugh. And I figured it'd make you laugh too. That's about the long and short of it.