It may be hard to believe, but I used to be a fairly active guy. As a teenager I’d play basketball all day long, until we couldn’t see the ball well enough not to get bonked. In college I tried fencing and judo, with little success and even less effort.
In my 20s I got no unnecessary exercise whatsoever.
I was a runner for a few years, until shin splints got the best of me. In the ‘80s I rode a bicycle up to 300 miles a week, which was fairly tedious, as I recall, but excellent for quadriceps and oxygen uptake.
I joined a sports club in Saint Paul for a year, but it was way too far away and too much trouble, and there’s something about the whole apparatus of middle-class fitness that offends me. If I were a lean 28, I’d probably feel differently.
One of my favorite forms of exercise has long been sport coitus. I might be running or riding, but I could always find time for coitus. One of the Lindas was my longest doubles partner in the sport, from six months into her first marriage until several years into her second. We were fond of each other, but our being a couple never came up. We were in it for the sheer love of the sport. I knew all the motel clerks up and down Stony Island.
I still ride a bike and expect I will until I can’t balance anymore, but the bulk of my exercise these days is walking, mostly from the house to the car, and then back inside the house to get the stuff I forgot. Of course, I’m losing my mind now, but I’ve been forgetting things and going back inside the house to get them for years. Living in a high-rise was a major hardship.
A recent workout went like this. I went out to get in my car to pick up a son from school. I got in the car and sat down, and decided I wanted my water bottle, not mandatory but my current religion involves lots of hydration, so I went back inside and got my bottle. That’s like one rep.
When I got back out to the car, I realized I didn’t have my glasses. I’ve got to have my glasses.
By the time I got back inside I’d forgotten what I’d come back for; I’d forgotten what I’d forgotten, if you see what I mean. You old people know what I’m talking about. So I went back out to the car. When I got there, of course, I realized again that I’d forgotten my GLASSES.
So this time I went back in saying to myself, “Glasses, glasses, glasses, glasses, glasses.” I didn’t even feel stupid, and it worked; I got ’em.
And you, too, can adjust to idiocy, thank goodness. A mind is a terrible thing to lose, I think. I don’t remember where I heard that.