Saturday, April 7, 2012

Keeping Fit

Keeping Fit
I’ve been an advocate of physical fitness pretty well all my life. As a child, I played every sport imaginable – not well mind you, but I played whatever anyone had to offer. Well, that’s what you did in those days if you didn’t have chores to do or often, even if you did. That is, unless you were a bookworm or had some kind of hobby.
I kind of forgot about that for a while when my own kids started to arrive until one day my oldest boy’s soccer coach got sick and I was drafted to take over. Doing warm-up laps around the field with a bunch of ten-year-olds soon made me aware of what kind of shape I was in. It was not pretty.
Since that time I have worked to correct that situation, believing that I only have one body to carry me through to the end – whenever that may be. I’d better keep it tuned up if I want to keep on trucking. So I started running – five miles a day at the YMCA indoor track. Cruel and unusual punishment it was on my knees and shins, but I persevered. Then the track went co-ed and I up and quit. You wouldn’t catch me running around no track with a bunch of women – nosiree! They can have the track and I hope they choke on it!
Naw, I’ll get my own equipment to have at home. That way I’ll get done what I want, when I want, without any outside interference. It seems that you can pretty well simulate anything you want to do with fitness equipment these days. I started out with a stationery bike. That way, I could fit it in the house, pedal my ass off and get nowhere fast. Not for me. The manual treadmill seemed like a good choice. It would even fold up and fit under the bed. It wasn’t long before it stayed under the bed for days and weeks at a time. Also no good. Pumping iron – now that was a manly sport I’d never tried before. I actually quite liked it and was doing well until I went over to my youngest son’s place one day. He and a friend were hard at it and naturally I couldn’t let these young punks outdo me. Well I didn’t either, and the upshot was that it took two years before I could lift my left arm above my shoulder. I guess I showed them!
Until recently I had one of those elliptical trainer contraptions that you pedal while standing up and alternately wave your arms as though you’re boxing. It’s the silliest looking exercise program one can imagine, but it actually did me some good until I broke my leg in a car accident. I could still use the arm part, but the legs would no longer go very far.
Then I discovered it! Eureka! A motorized treadmill – it has all the bells and whistles on it! You wouldn’t believe what this thing will do! You just turn it on and either push one of the exercise preset programs if you’re fit enough to do them or, set the track at a speed you feel comfortable with, jump on and go for a walk. When your leg gives out – get off. The gauges tell you how long you walked and how far. It even tells you how many calories you burned, and if you stick your thumb on a certain spot, it will even register your blood pressure. Now isn’t that a hoot?
Well, that’s only the half of it though. It’s also a stop smoking aid. Every time I feel like having a smoke, I go for a five-minute walk on the treadmill first and by the time I’m done, I don’t want a smoke. How’s that for a bonus?
But that’s not all. I saved the best part for last. See, the treadmill is right next to my night table in the bedroom. After I’d done one of my little walks in the afternoon, I decided an hour’s nap would be nice. Lying on the bed, staring at my new acquisition, I suddenly realized that if I left it running at the speed it was at when I was on it, within an hour it would have traveled three miles and burned off seven hundred-six calories while I was asleep. It was just one of those thoughts that comes to mind.
So you see, this treadmill has something for everyone – even the procrastinators who think you only have to buy the equipment in order to reap the benefits, or those others I can think of who can’t get off their lazy asses and get with the program.
As I said – amazing technology! At least that’s how it looks from here up on the top shelf.
Just sayin’.

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