My wallet's lighter, even if I'm still not
By JIM AYLWARD
Published July 14, 2006
I was about 12 years old. Maybe 13. I was skinny. There was a time there when I was about as tall as I am now, 6 feet 4 inches, and I weighed in at 127 pounds! That's skinny.
I wouldn't take my shirt off in the summertime; I looked skeletal. Today bodybuilders call that "ripped." I was ripped before it was popular. No fat, no muscle. Just ribs.
I sent away for a Bob Hoffman York barbell set and instructions on how to use it. I had seen a photo of Bob Hoffman and I wanted to look like him. He had a 50-inch chest. No waist. I also had no waist. Unlike Hoffman, I had no chest.
The set arrived, and I set out on a program of weight training, proper diet and clean living. That lasted about two weeks. I put the weights under the bed and took them out once a month, when Strength & Health magazine was in the mailbox.
When the summer ended, I began to fill out a bit. I suddenly was 140 pounds! Over the years I've added more and more weight. In the Army I really packed it on. Eating that creamed chipped beef will do the job.
Today, all grown up and way beyond ripped, I'm still following the same exercise program I developed when I was a kid. Naturally, now I have one of those home gyms that you see on cable TV. It has all the attachments, and a set of photo exercises showing washboard stomachs and Chippendale chests.
When I first got it, I worked out three times a week. I did that religiously. For three weeks.
This new Soloflex, however, is just too big to put under the bed. So now I'm forced to use it every day - by hanging my shirts on it. It makes a wonderful wardrobe organizer. I have all my Florida palm tree shirts on the left side of the bar. The right side is a tie rack. I don't wear ties anymore, but I hate to throw them out, and I have to put them somewhere. They're color coordinated with the shirts on the left. Shorts and socks are all in neat stacks on the bench. Talk about a workout, this works out beautifully.
I don't know what it is about exercise. I know that it's good for me. I know I should do it. I know I should have a 50-inch chest and no waist, and I realize the reverse is wrong. But still, I'm a very busy man. I have a lot of things to do, and before I know it it's 10 p.m. and time for my pie and ice cream.
When my mother was in her 70s, about my age now, she would get up from the breakfast table, brace her left hand on the back of the chair, lift her right leg slightly off the floor, and shake it in a circular motion while carrying on her conversation.
When she was done with the right she would shake the left leg in a circle. She did about 10 on each side.
I said to her one morning, "What are you doing?" She seemed surprised. She said, "I'm exercising." I said, "You call that exercising?" She said, "Well, I don't want to hurt myself!"
If it was good enough for my mother, it's good enough for me.
Jim Aylward, an author, former radio personality, recording artist and producer, lives in west Pasco.
[Last modified July 13, 2006, 22:46:21]
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