an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

. . .



I haven't said: my best friend is a personal fitness trainer, a talented professional who gets stroke sufferers and open-heart surgery patients back in the pool or on the golf course again, and who has several clients in their weight-lifting 70s in better shape than I am. Hip and knee replacements don't scare her at all. (But they scare me.) --Which usually means I secretly skulk around the room where she keeps her training gear and won't let her catch me looking interested. But I'm losing my knees to all those years of hitting the pavement in running shoes. So I've changed my mind. I'm going to let her make me strong. She's going to save my knees.

Glenda is a post-rehabilitation specialist who designs streamlined inexpensive home gyms that will fit even the laziest and whiniest preferences (me), so she can generally find a way to keep most people interested in staying mobile. And she's beloved. People are so grateful to her, that her long loyal clients all rallied together to help her family in its recent financial crisis: gift certificates, furniture loans, clothes for the kids, extra work, you name it. When the car went, one of her clients sold her a gently used van for a dollar, saying she'd been looking for an excuse to buy a new car anyway.

Here's my upper-body free-weight workout (every other day):

1. bench press, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 8 lb dumbbells
2. flies, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 8 lb dumbbells
3. one-armed row, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 8 lb dumbbells
4. overhead press, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 5 lb dumbbells
5. bicep curl, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 5 lb dumbbells
6. tricep extensions, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 5 lb dumbbells
7. abdominal work: crunches on the stability ball, 4 sets of 25 repetitions

I'm using a stability ball as a bench for all of this weight work (for strength, endurance, and balance), and a set of 5 lb and 8 lb dumbbells. That's it. Total investment: 50 bucks. And I'm sore. Try lying flat on your back on a soft round rubbery surface that rolls--with dumbbells raised over your head. Yeah.

For an indoor cardiovascular workout that will strengthen my knees (until I can run again), I'm using a mini stepper (highly recommended) which I can plunk down in front of the laptop or DVD player for a Netflix break. I'm no fan of gerbilizing--I like to run outdoors--trails even--but I can forget my suffering if the movie is good. And in the icy-rainy-snowy Midwest, an indoor option is very welcome.


All the trees of the fields will clap their hands.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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