Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Steps

Nope, still haven’t been on the scale. It’s just killing you, I know.

“The King’s Speech” is playing on TV right now; it’s the scene where Lionel Logue gets the Duke of York to curse a blue string (this scene is what got the film an R rating). The cuss string the Duke lets go sounds a lot like me when I miss my exit off the 210. Or 405. Or 60. (Colin Firth. Sigh).

To all the guys who wear their baseball caps sideways or backwards or somewhere in between: it’s time for that fad to go the way of the Edsel, Tyrannosaurus Rex and dodo bird. You look like douches, especially the half and three quarters look. The cap on backwards or sideways is cute on someone who is of an age when dressing oneself is a skill yet to be mastered. Like this:

Fair warning: if you don’t straighten out the cap, you WILL grow up to look like this:

And yes, that is the same person in both pictures.

Besides, GENTLEMEN (and some ladies), traditionally, it is considered very bad manners to wear a hat indoors unless it’s for religious purposes, like a yarmulke, turban or veil in a Catholic church. Of course, the argument can be made that wearing a Yankees cap at all times marks the wearer as a devil-worshipper.

I’m happy to report that with the shift from the circuit machines to the free weights (and keep in mind that I’ve been working in some free weight exercises for the triceps for a couple of months), things are starting to pop in a good way. I have detectable triceps under both arms. The back boobs, although never really enormous (I’ve seen men with bigger ones) are almost GONE (for that, I’m thinking that working the core muscles on the Roman chair). The Great White Belly will be the last to go (and that’s normal according to all the sources), but like the Soviet Union and its satellite states, once the Wall comes down, it’s pretty much over (See “World Events: 1989”. Berlin Wall reference. As a teenager when the Cold War was raging I would wonder if that thing would come down in my lifetime. It did). I would call the vanishing back fat Hungary and Czechoslovakia saying “Buh bye” to the Warsaw Pact.

I hear from people who want to work out and exercise but don’t have the time or place. Or, in some cases, the ambition to start. Like me, their jobs have them sitting for hours in front of a computer and the most active body parts are the hands and fingers as we type away furiously at a keyboard, keeping the free market rolling along. And if the office environment is stressful enough, by the time you get home, all you have the energy to do is make microwave nachos (heavy cheese) and watch whatever’s on TV.

If you can find the time, space and energy to do some pushups or sit-ups, that’s great.  They’re resistance moves using your own body weight.

My friend, Run, is fond of the movie “What About Bob?” (Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss) and especially the psychologist’s philosophy: baby steps. Gotta do it in baby steps. With respect to starting an exercise program, you don’t need to join a gym, invest in a lot of equipment (or clothing, no matter how cute. And by the way, leg warmers have been out of style since 1983. “Flashdance” sucked. I said it, I mean it. I’ll stand by it) or even clear a big space to do it.


Isometrics (noun): A system of physical exercises in which muscles are caused to act against each other or against a fixed object.

You can exercise your muscles with small movements. Contract, count to ten (“One Mississippi, two Mississippi…”) and release. Try it right now as you’re sitting and reading this. Clench your butt muscles as hard as you can (Pretend you’re in the middle of a silent religious service and that burrito you ate 2 hours ago is threatening to make itself known). Count to ten. Release. Repeat (Thirty times).

Or let’s go to the abdominal muscles. Same idea: pretend the newest Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl, Kate Upton is walking past you:

 (That suit on the cover probably cost north of $150, but it looks like a reject from “Blue Crush”).

And you’re male. Or lesbian. Whatever, you want to make a good impression. Contract your abdominal muscles (aka suck in that gut). Imagine you’re pulling your belly button back towards your spine. Hold for ten seconds. Release. Quick! She’s coming back! Suck it in again! And she walks past another 28 times.

And for the gays and women:

Any voluntary muscle in your body can be contracted and released at will. That’s their work, that’s their purpose. Even the small contractions are making them work.

And if you get ambitious, try a plank:

That's a full body contraction, my friend. Butt, gut and everything attached.

Not quite up to that? Baby steps: start with the butt.

Hey, it’s a start. Now turn that hat around the right way.

1 comment:

  1. Fester rocks my world. Especially in second Addams Family movie (family values, maybe?)

    "Fester, you shouldn't be loved, you shoud be studied"


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