Tag Archives: Exercise


Certain names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

It all started in Connecticut. I was standing outside the Stamford train station waiting for my old friend Bruce when a colossal creature came barrelling towards me. I stood transfixed, it was like a Michelangelo statue come to life, an ideal of the human form. After it lifted me bodily with one hand and placed me into a car with extreme care, my luggage hanging off its pinky by a strap, I began to wonder, “Could this be Bruce?”

“Sam, it’s so good to see you again!” exclaimed Bruce, extending his arms for a hug.

Indeed, after a few more days of contemplation over the weekend staying at his house, meeting his family and hearing him tell me, “yes, I’m Bruce,” I decided that this must be none other than Bruce himself! I sputtered and blurted my surprise at his transformation, and he only smiled the burly smile of the ultra-bro. “Sam,” he intoned solemnly, “You, too, can be like me. Let me take you to my Dojo.”

The dojo was unmistakable. What else but sinewy glory could be found in a place such as this?

As we approached the dojo, Bruce stopped me. “We are not yet worthy of the front door. We must go to the back.”

As I descended the stairs into the basement, a man stepped out of the darkness. This was the man Bruce would refer to only by a name I later forgot. Flexing his athletic fingers, the man sized me up. When I looked at him questioningly he said, “Tonight we fight to the death. Don’t worry, we’ll go easy on you.”

Two weeks later I was out of the hospital and getting ready to put together my dissertation proposal. My neck ached from staring at the screen, and I wondered what I could do to keep my body from falling apart while I stared at a screen and typed on a keyboard for twelve hours a day, seven days a week. My answer came in the form of another hulking beast, who grabbed me with both hands and threw me fifty feet into the air, leaping like a gazelle to catch me and place me gently back onto the ground. “Hello, Alice.” I smiled, “I think I need an exercise coach.”

This is an undoctored photo of Alice.

Alice looked at me like she was seeing me for the first time. “Sam,” she said, in muscular tones, “Ever since I first met you I have dreamed you would one day ask me that.”

And so my fitness regimen began.

My Personal Trainer

That time I climbed mount Iwate

Now that she’s been sick and nearly bedridden for two months, my girlfriend Alice is at about the same level of physical fitness as I am. This makes for an interesting opportunity – while she trains herself back into shape, I can train alongside and get into shape for the first time. So far, things are progressing nicely. I suspect that even recovering from a debilitating disease, Alice is still finding she has to go easy on me, but that’s not much of a surprise.

Currently our plan is to exercise for twenty minutes each time she visits, which is frequently. We’ve just started recently, so we’ve only had two workouts. The first workout we used a Wii game in which you perform various exercises that are measured by Wiimote instruments strapped to your body. I thought that I had mine in the right position, and when I squatted as the game asked me to my on-screen character squatted, but the game still didn’t register it. So, I did about five or six squats for each one registered, and then I squatted over and over again twelve or thirteen times with no response on the part of the system. Fortunately, we were on our second run-through (the first did not have this issue) so eventually we turned off the system and called it a day.

Nevertheless, my quadriceps are quite sore. When I’m in a state like this, I feel that I can begin to empathize with the plight of the arthritic. I walk stiffly, fall rather than sit into chairs and couches, and approach stairs with suspicion and distrust. I dare say I haven’t been this sore since that time I climbed Mount Iwate.