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.
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.