Game off… Game on…


The End, Almost

Last week I drove from San Diego to visit my father who resides in Las Vegas, at an elderly care facility.  That 4-hour drive through the desert is always unmatched contemplative time for me.  No radio, no i-pod, just me and the 10,000 or so other Roys in my head, hurling rocks at one-another in an attempt to work out the problems within.  On this drive, the voices were in a rare harmony, all suggesting that writing this blog might be nearing an end.   

San Bernardino Mountains; I-15 from the driver's seat...

I decided that I would write one final column, and let this part of my life come to a close.  I have been writing about fitness, in the form of newsletters, several websites, and some occasional newspaper pieces, for nearly 10 years.  In that time I have written nearly 300 columns, 83of those columns are available on this blog.

Recently it has become harder to find fresh subject material which I feel is relevant, and harder still to work that subject matter into creations with an agreeable flow.  Add to that, that I’m not sure anyone is listening, and even less sure that my message even matters.  The desire to invest time in writing about that which may not be heard, and might not matter, had begun to fade.

Innate Passion

When I was 16 years old, I sat with my father in the Holly Inn restaurant in Denver, and told him I was going to be the Beatles of exercise.  When he was done laughing he began talk of law school.  I am not the Beatles of exercise.  I’m much more like a pretty good garage band of fitness – and that’s okay; my gigs have been fun, and the tips have been meaningful, if not large. 

But investing all this time in writing, as a part of being a pretty good garage band of fitness, has taken me away (some) from the teaching and practicing of what I like to call, daily action.  So the writing, I had decided, was going to come to end – at least for a while.

The garage where the garage band plays...

Las Vegas, Cigarette Smoke Cohesion, And A Nursing Home Patio

It should not be a surprise that when I left Las Vegas after visiting my dad, I smelled like cigarette smoke.  Everything and everyone in Las Vegas smells like cigarette smoke – that smoke is the very fiber of that city.  What is surprising is where I picked up some of that cigarette smoke – at the nursing home where my father lives!  And no, it was not the staff who had smoked me out, it was the residents.  I spent the afternoon on a patio surrounded by obese, chain smoking elderly people, in motorized scooters, lighting up and bantering to one another about the woes of aging and ill health.  It was not a sight for kids.

Cigarettes are nothing more the a shoehorn for a coffin... Or, Benson & Hedging your bets...

A Trick Not Turned, Turned Into A Fitness-Tip Treat

Fast forward 6 hours: As I was waiting for my hotel room to be prepared, I stood in the casino/lobby of the hotel wishing I was anywhere else.  Leaning against a bar, trying to be invisible, I listened to a Fleetwood Mac tribute band sounding so bad I wanted to jab my ears with a salt encrusted ice-pick.  A woman bumped me from behind and then softly spoke,

“Hi, I’m Ariel.  For $100 I will be your best friend for the rest of the night, and I mean your best friend.”

 I have to admit that Aerial had compelling eyes – cute even.  What was less compelling was that at about 5’ tall, she might have weighed 200 lbs, and was stuffed into the clothing of a 10-year old Oompa Loompa.  Worse yet, were all the scabs which covered her forearms – eclipsing all those elegant tattoos.

In a quick and clever moment, I responded to Ariel by offering her this,

“Thanks Aerial, but if you step outside this situation, you will be quick to realize that if this would-be relationship between you and I would take place tonight, you should be the one scratching the check.”

As always, I was in a sleeveless t-shirt in my ongoing gun show.  Aerial laughed at my glib comment, grabbed my arm, and then began asking about toning and shaping her arms – and her butt.  I gave her a few tips, answered some questions, spent a few minute discussing dietary concerns, she thanked me and we parted ways.

Palace Station, Las Vegas. Station? Yes. Palace? Perhaps to Ariel and those like her, but not me...

Lessons Learned From Motorized Scooters To A Stalky Whore

Smoking obese geriatrics in motorized scooters, and a rotund prostitute with a sense of humor seeking toning and shaping advice – and I thought I had run out of fresh things to write about…  Yes, I will keep writing because the world needs me, even if they don’t know it yet.

I could write endlessly about the ABC’s of exercise; sets, reps, protein, cardio protocols, etc.  That’s not my cup of meat.  There are 10,000 people already doing it, and though I know I can do it better than most, that isn’t the side of fitness that interests me any longer.  

Frick!!! Even my voices are hearing voices...

I will continue to seek out and find new subject matter, and fresh ways to present it.  I will strive to be unique and contemplative in matters of fitness, and attempt to illuminate areas and ideals untouched.  Though it may be less often, I will strive for at least 2-3 per month, and more as I am so inspired. 

Between geriatric smokers, scooting and complaining of ill health, and a chubby hooker wanting to tone up, all I could contemplate while driving home was my next workout.  Be well – and be on the lookout, because I ain’t done yet.  rc

A footnote of sorts:  My father is not one the smokers.  Though he doesn’t walk anymore, he is sharp as a tack, mean as a snake, and at his core –is  good as gold.

17 responses

  1. Good god, Roy, I love you & your posts! You best be “visiting” me even if you slow down on writing! I find every one of your posts fascinating & meaningful to me & others. That is why I will continue to share them on my blog as I will share this one too! I will let you know when.. but soon.

    As for the other part & people & all that.. I shared this with you on your previous post: You might find this “interesting” and sad all at the same time since it relates to the above. I was headed out the other day & I saw a man at the bus stop. He was obese – very – and had one of those walkers with a seat attached with all kinds of crap too. Well, there he sat waiting for the bus AND… wait for it… SMOKING!

    You wrote this: Add to that, that I’m not sure anyone is listening, and even less sure that my message even matters. The desire to invest time in writing about that which may not be heard, and might not matter, had begun to fade.

    I feel like this too yet, sometimes I get this comment out of nowhere that keeps me going.

    Yes, there is so much more for you to write about & YOU BETTER! I will take 3 times a month.. whatever is good for you!

  2. First, let me say that I’m thrilled that we’ll still be hearing from you from time to time. I find your posts to always be thought provoking and well-written. I don’t think I’ve missed a single one since discovering this blog on Jody’s site.

    The world has a way of giving us answers to our own questions and your answer came in the form of a rotund prostitute and a group of geriatric chain smokers.

  3. Roy!

    I know you have the strength of character and a love of truth that will sustain you and overcome these challenges.

    For whether you sing as a free bird or a caged one. you will sing.

    Not because you have found the answer, though you may be looking for one, but because you have a song.

    Long may you sing!

    And if that doesn’t work I’m giving Ariel your address!

  4. You really had me going there. Reading this post I felt many emotions…

    Sadness that you may be closing your writing doors; frustration that you don’t realize how many lives you are likely helping and changing; sympathy for your father and all of those smokers out there; laughing so hard that coffee just came out my nose because I could picture your portly prostitute encounter; and lastly appreciation that you came to the realization that WE need you – (“we” as in the fitness community and world at large). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you are a very talented writer and that will overshadow your gun show any day of the week (even though it’s a show that I’m sure is worthwhile). :D

    So glad you’re going to keep on keepin’ on. You know I’ll be reading.

  5. Jody: Yes, I will keep visiting you — as I have said, you are a gem. And it’s comments like this, from you, that I appreciate, and will serve to keep me going. What I have learned is that I just need to keep looking for it, because it always seems to be there. What is the “it”? Life. Plenty to write about.

    Diane: You like me, you really really like me…. :-) Thanks for the compliment — I do love to write. But I love to read as well, and if Jody and Brother J will forgive me, I will acknowledge that yours is the first one I read each monring — well, sometimes Jody’s, sometimes yours :-)

    Karen: “The world has a way of giving us answers to our own questions and your answer came in the form of a rotund prostitute and a group of geriatric chain smokers.”

    That is such a great sentence, and thought, and you are sooooooo right. As previously mentioned, if I’m not looking, I won’t see it. My eyes will remain open.

    Brother J: Thank you for the comment, and the subsequent poem you emailed me. I first heard the Angelou poem by way of the Chicago band, The Old 97s. That may seem like a strange connection, but it happened for a reason — perhaps written in the stars. Nobody else reading this has any idea what the heck I’m talking about. :-)

    Bobbie: Thank you. It’s funny, we, as fitness bloggers, really are just another tribe, and tribes stick together, right? Humanity has this great way of dismissing things, such as tribes, and remaking them — again and again. Whether we make a difference or not, is not as important as whether we try to or not. Defer to Dr. J for “ripple” commentary.

  6. I’ve only just discovered you and I am sad to hear that you may not write as often anymore?! Your posts have become a very valuable part of my week. There are a million weight loss and health and fitness blogs out there, but yours is unique and offers something special. I am just learning to stop looking outside myself for answers and to find them within myself, and that’s what I feel you are trying to show people.

  7. Sagan: Thank you. I’ll keep at it, but will probably only say something when there’s something to say.

    Carla: You read between my lines very well. I promise, if I do write something, it will be something that (I feel) really matters.

  8. Rob,

    I’m very sorry that I didn’t know about you before today. Wow, is all I can say about your writing.

    I just started blogging about 3 months ago trying to uplift and motivate people in their weight loss journey as well as keeping myself inline.

    You are an asset of this community, I hope to see you again. I really enjoyed your post on Karen’s blog today!

  9. I was about to admonish you for not mentioning your DAD was not one of the smokers..until I came to your footnote. Not only did you redeem yourself, you out-did yourself as well with a fitting tribute to your father.

    Uncle Ron

  10. Uncle Ron: I appreciate your comments more than anyone else’s – true. You should know by now, I always disappoint until the very end — when I always come up smelling like a rose. A trait I learned young!!!

  11. Not sure what to say. But I know I’m glad I get to see you once or twice a week. Depending on our topic for the hour, it’s like a post!

    Cheers, my friend.

  12. Roy – Please keep on writing; you’re such an inspiration! Although I enjoy and actually put to use many of your workout tips I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on the greater world. Keep up the good work; you have real talent. You’re also the old buddy from the days of “fence wrecking” I’m most proud of…. Doug

  13. Roy Cohen…don’t you ever stop witing your thoughts about life. I always read them a smile. Am I not the one (of many I’m sure) who told you to make them into a book and title it “Something to Read While on the Treadmill.?” You are so gifted and have offered unique and real insights. God Bless. e

  14. Dawn: Well, I will have a GREAT live post for you Wednesday — guaranteed!!!

    Doug: Again with the kind words — you’re making me blush. Kind of makes me forget the time you screamed at me driving through Galveston at midnight so many years ago, looking for A&M.

    Eva: Thanks! Yes, you were the first one to plant the “book” seed in my head, and it will happen day some point, just a matter of time and $$$$. Interested in investing….?

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