Pumping Irony

Craig Cox, EL’s director of business operations and resident geezer, explores the joys and challenges of aging well.

Experience Life Magazine

Random Acts of Fitness

At the dentist
this morning, the hygienist took my blood pressure: 119 over 84, which she told
me was “very good.” My resting pulse was 59. Also pretty good, I’m told.


I’m trying not
to feel smug, which is pretty easy, since I’m so sore from last night’s
sweatfest. Or is it still lingering from Monday’s workout? My hamstrings and
glutes were still barking yesterday, so I climbed on the old reliable EDM to
work out the kinks. Thirty minutes later, I figured I’d do some stretching, but
all the mats had been grabbed by a particularly large aerobics class. So no


That’s the thing
about this whole fitness mission: You can plan the coolest workout routine, but
reality can intervene. I was planning to hang out in The Pit and do some
upper-body work, but when I got there I noticed some guy perched on his elbows
on some contraption that allowed him to swing his legs up and to the sides — a
core move that looked pretty interesting. So, I stood out of sight and stretched
my calves a bit, waiting for him to finish up. But, then, when he did, some
other guy grabbed it. So, no core work, I guess.


The Pit is like
that — a bit more chaotic and random than the resistance machinery. There are
people who clearly have a set routine, real pros who will cut in like Fred
Astaire when you’re stepping on Ginger Rodgers’ toes, and get their reps in
between your paltry sets. It hasn’t happened to me more than once or twice, but
it’s always kind of embarrassing: You put down your iron, which seemed plenty
heavy at the time and then you watch this guy slap on an extra 50 pounds. Very


Anyway, I had
upper-body work on my agenda, so I left my core dreams behind for the moment
and grabbed some dumbbells and got to work on some overhead presses, when I
noticed this guy next to me doing what looked like a really cool balancing move
with a dumbbell — one leg up, leaning over and hoisting maybe 25 lbs. toward
his chest. I’m thinking I’d like to do that — and maybe the lat raises this guy
to my left is doing. But it feels goofy to imitate exercises — even cool ones.
So I didn’t.

Still, I got my
work in despite all the distractions, and I was heading out of The Pit when I
spied that core contraption one more time. Nobody was on it. Maybe I’d sneak in
there for a little last-minute push. . . . Oops, too late.