By Alphonso Rudolph (FT New England Social Media Maven)
I find it hard to keep to a regimen, like many of our clients, but I try at least. My Uncle Todrick, the family clown, knows how hard it is for me and always tries to get my goat when he drops by. This Memorial Day BBQ was no exception. First he starts with his “Let me give you a one-two,” his slang for a punch to my stomach to see how hard it is. He has the power of a teddy bear, so I gladly stand there and “take it” in front of everyone. And usually everyone gathers around Todd and me to check the act, as after he lands the punch Todd falls back in “pain.” Holding his fist and screaming epithets, he’s a sight to see. He is our clown.
This year, though, he slammed into my stomach. Hard and it hurt. I’m sure I said more than “what the…” and had to sit down.
Toddy had been exercising. Now if you look at the guy, you would think he knows all the contestants of American Idol, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and half a dozen other reality shows, as well as sports stats galore. And you would be right. He lives on the couch and snarfs up snacks. When he’s full, he falls asleep, usually on the couch. My uncle was the poster boy for The Lazy Bum Club. But he was doing a little exercise, “EEEEE-ZEEEE!” was how he described it.
“Anyone can do it,” he said. “And you don’t need your expensive gym tech crap either.”
Then gave us the step-by-step.
“Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.”
“With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.”
“Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.”
Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. “I’m at this level,” he said. My mother was in awe of her little, underachiever, brother.
Toddy paused, looking like he was really painfully thinking of holding that 100-lb bag.
Then, he said; “After you feel real confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.”
As we were laughing, Toddy grabbed a beer and plopped into the lounge by the grill. He was laughing a bit too. At me, not with me. And my stomach still hurt.
“Ya think I think you don’t need to exercise and be fit?” he asked. “Doing some stuff like I need to and so I could give you the one-two and make it mean something.”
Toddy had been going to a studio for a month or so, he confessed later. His doctor’s orders.
I know it’s hard to get into the habit of exercising, believe me I know. What I try and do is focus on the “getting healthier” part of exercising, but it really doesn’t have to be a chore for anyone. It’s better with a trainer who knows you, your own personal style, your needs, your dislikes and be able to coach you well to keep you on track. And, all kidding aside, I know you can even have fun with us here at Fitness Together.
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