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'Exercise' - A Nice Way to Say Torture
You wouldn’t guess it to look at me, but I am a body builder. Really. I just hide it under several inches of flab.
As a bodybuilder (albeit a secret, flabby one) I spend an inordinate amount of time in my home gym, formerly known as the garage, picking up heavy things, putting them back down, and then picking them up again. That’s pretty much the whole shebang, right there: Pick things up, put ‘em down, repeat until you faint.
Of course, what you pick up and how you do it is kind of important, too. Bodybuilding is all about dividing your body into muscle groups and then working them in isolation until they explode and you have to have someone come out to the garage to load you into a wheelbarrow and take you off to the emergency room. It’s heaps of fun. And if it happens as often to you as it does to me, you’ll soon make friends with all the doctors and nurses in the ER, all of whom are very helpful, especially when it comes to suggesting new hobbies for me. Stamp collecting seems to be the staff favorite.
But no. I am committed to blasting my trapezoids, crunching my abominables and pumping my bivalves (that’s bodybuilder talk) every day with time off on Sunday for good behavior and paralysis.
Well, I needed something to do, for starters. My favorite day job (I have several) is on hiatus for a year, and I thought weight training might be a way to use the time. So would pounding myself upside the head with a Louisville Slugger, I realize, but this seemed more productive.
Besides, I fooled around with weight training as a younger man – a much younger man – before giving it up because I thought I had better things to do, such as watch television and eat potato chips.
The other reason I am taking up bodybuilding at my age is because someone told me I couldn’t. This person said it was impossible to build significant muscle at my advanced years. I don’t know about you, but telling me something can’t be done will pretty much guarantee I’m going to try it, especially when it is accompanied by a wisecrack about my age.
Besides, bodybuilding sounds cooler and than “I want to get into shape.” I was already in shape. A pear shape.
And guess what? You CAN add muscle after 50. Not only that, you can even add muscle and lose flab at the same time. I’ve been doing it. You just have to work extra hard because it’s not as easy as it was when I was 20. We have more gravity now.
I’m not kidding. By my estimate, the amount of gravity has increased at least 20 percent in my lifetime. When I was a kid, a 50-lb. dumbbell weighed 50 pounds. I’m pretty sure my 50-pounders weigh at least 60 pounds now -- maybe more – because of that extra gravitational pull. I’m as strong as I ever was. It’s just that this time, the entire planet is working against me.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go out to the garage. I need to work on my deltas and lattes. You can come along if you like. Just don’t ask me to pose. Remember, I’m a secret bodybuilder. Just stand there by the wheelbarrow, and be ready.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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