Three seconds into what was planned to be a 45-minute workout on a stationary bike, I had this thought.
Why am I doing this?
I’m 70. Officially old as dirt. Young people offer to help me across the street. When I stroll into Wal-Mart, I’m handed a walker. In many cultures, I’d be taken out back and put out of my misery.
So, what am I trying to do by riding on a bike that doesn’t go anywhere?
Extend my life?
My knees and shoulders are shot. I wake up every morning with an ice pick in my butt. Not literally, but with the same sort of pain as if the person who says she loves me stabbed me with the one she keeps under her pillow.
This is what I want to extend?
At what point does a body scream “Uncle!!!”
When you come right down to it, I don’t really need to work out. I have long lasting genes on my side. My mother is 93. My dad passed away when he was 91.
Pop’s idea of a exercise was to sit down with a good book, and when his eyes began to betray him, to listen to a good book. Mom’s exercise came from yelling at me.
Though she never played sports, my mother had quite the arm.
Once, when I was 7 or 8, I did something to incur her wrath. I was always doing something to incur her wrath.
Anyway, seeing the anger rise in mom’s eyes, I started running and she started chasing. I was fast in those days. Well, fast for an overweight kid with an insatiable appetite for orange Twinkie cupcakes. My knees were still pretty good then and the ice pick hadn’t yet been stuck in my butt. I whipped through the kitchen, threw open the back door and swung like Tarzan under a wrought iron railing and was sprinting to freedom when she took off a shoe and fired a Nolan Ryan fastball right to the back of my head.
These days when I visit her, I make sure she’s not wearing shoes before I come in the door.
If she does, I grab my walker and hightail it in the opposite direction.