PUMPING IRONY: Tasting Retirement

My eldest sibling likes to remind those of us who envy his retirement lifestyle that the one big problem with life after work is that “every day is a Saturday,” which is to say a day in which you tend to go shopping, have lunch or dinner out and generally open your wallet on more occasions than you might otherwise do so.

I was reminded of this concept last week, as My Lovely Wife and I sampled the fare at several of our favorite local bistros and happily drained our checking account.

Still, if my week away from work was any indication of how we’ll spend our retirement years, I’m thinking I’m going to be OK with that next chapter.

Sure, we ate out like we were on vacation, but we also hit the gym one morning, put 25 miles on our bicycles one sweltering Saturday afternoon, enjoyed a good long swim in Lake Nokomis, visited St. Paul’s legendary Swede Hollow for a 3-mile hike, did a 45-minute yoga session at a new studio in the neighborhood — I even played 18 holes of golf.  So, despite all the fine dining, when I weighed in at the gym this past Tuesday, I was pleased to discover I was holding steady at 159.5.

(I mention this to MLW, who suggests that I’m acting like a woman. This might be a compliment.)

I’ve been spending long, and not especially grueling, stints on the EDM for the past several weeks — typically 45 minutes at steadily increasing resistance levels — and I’m finding that it’s a pretty reliable fat-burning regimen (the machine informs me that I’m burning a little more than 600 calories during these sessions). But, last night, I decided to shake things up a little and climb on the stationary bike for some intervals. After an easy five-minute warm-up, I cranked up the resistance on the machine and did six 30-second sprints (about 105 RPM) interspersed with 60-second rest periods. It’s a nasty workout, but there’s nothing like it for getting the heart pumping and ridding your body of a quart or two of perspiration.

A little, mostly clueless, stretching (how do you get those hammies to loosen up?) and I was ready to descend into The Pit. It had been awhile since I’d run through Marty Gallagher’s “purposefully primitive” lifting routine — barbell squats, bench press, dead lift, biceps curls, overhead lift, and tricep extensions — and, one set into the routine, I remembered why. Barbell squats are just killers. With only 110 lbs. on my back, I managed three sets of eight, but it was not pretty. I was off balance and rushed and, if the bar hadn’t been secured in a sliding rack, I suspect I might have created a bit of a scene (think old guy stumbling backward with barbell flying toward unsuspecting victim).

So, I back off a bit on the dead lift (80 lbs.), which is probably a good idea, since I’m having some difficulty keeping my chest out and back straight while bringing the bar up past my fragile knees. I  avoid the barbell-oriented bench press in favor of pressing two 30-lbs. dumbells. That works pretty well, which is to say nobody got hurt. And I breeze through my curls and extensions with no further damage to my dignity.

I’m feeling it all over this morning. But, hey: It’s the start of a long weekend, so who’s complaining?

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Newsletter Signup
Weekly Newsletter
Special Promotions