The gyms may be reopening, but I’m not going back to mine. I don’t need it anymore. Before COVID-19, I went to the gym six days a week. Now, I have my own home workout program. It’s demanding and free, if you exclude the cost of a snack here and there.
My workout begins outdoors around 7:20 a.m. with the rapid lifting and lowering of the garage door. I do this many times, getting in 20 to 30 reps of stretching and bending. This is a pretty noisy activity and, although the neighbors may object, I figure it’s time everyone was out of bed.
From the garage I go to the basement, where I put a bowling ball in my knapsack, put the knapsack on my back and head for the attic. That’s three flights of stairs. I try to do this 15 times every morning, stopping only for a drink of water in the kitchen — and perhaps an Oreo or a handful of SunChips. Here is another reason I don’t need the gym. It doesn’t offer Oreos or SunChips.
Next up is the bike in our bedroom. This is not a bike with audio and video of a half-dressed instructor yelling at you to step it up a notch. At my age, 82, you don’t have notches. Flab, yes. Notches, no.
This machine weighs approximately as much as a refrigerator and has to be maneuvered away from a bookcase before it can be mounted. To accomplish this, I use several muscle groups — biceps, quadriceps, fingerceps, in fact, all the ceps.
I ride for about 20 minutes, sometimes reading a newspaper, other times wishing I had never learned to tell time because it is taking so long to get to the 20-minute mark. This boredom is eased if I’ve slipped at least one Oreo into my pocket during my last breeze through the kitchen.
I’ve never done much for my upper body, but now if I’m in the mood I will use what is at hand in the kitchen — a piggy bank packed with pennies that must weigh 6 pounds. Standing with feet wide apart, I lift the pig over my head 10 to 15 times. On days when I’m ambitious, I will thrust the pig into the air with my left arm while my right raises a Pringles container loaded with, yes, more pennies. The container is hard to grip because it’s perpetually greasy.
It’s now time for breakfast. After my cereal and toast, I need to shower and shave. Sometimes I feel I’ve earned a nap, so I take one. By the time I wake up, it’s time for lunch. Since I’ve napped after lunch for years, my second snooze of the day comes before a shower.
By 3:30 p.m., I’ve showered, put on clean clothes, and I am raring to take on the world.
When I was a gym rat, I was out of the shower and on my way home by 9 a.m. My new routine is much more relaxing, and I’m no longer cheating my body of all the sugar and sodium it craves. I’m respecting its wishes.
I hope my doctors are proud of me, but I don’t dare ask them.
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