Working Out

Rolled out of bed Tuesday at 5:15 a.m.  This morning it was 6:15.   Both mornings I lay in bed thinking, “Am I really going to get up and go do this?”  A couple of months ago, the Berrymans signed up for some treadmill, elliptical, and weight machine time, and though so far it’s been an on again, off again affair, now that kids are safely ensconced in midwestern institutions of higher education, I’ve decided it’s time to get serious about the love handles.  Not a huge thing, but I can always tell that when I’m actually putting in some sweat, the brain cells function better, there’s a bit more energy in my day, and my mood doesn’t tank nearly as badly.

What’s funny is that when I was young, like so many, I was an athlete.  Quarterbacked the Junior High football team, ran hurdles and pole-vaulted (often nearly killing myself), and even set a city record for the 6th-grade high jump.  I suppose this is part of the empty nest syndrome–wistful memories of olden days of physical prowess and youth.  Brother.   It’s silly, I know, but I do have this ridiculous instinct that I want to get the old energy back…actually, the young energy.  And of course, pop culture is more than happy to encourage me–we boomers can apparently live forever and look good the whole time.  Well, I’m not going out and getting a toupee for sure, but a bit more muscle tone, a little less midsection…

Here’s the rub.  What’s the point?  I can make a case for feeling better, being more productive, living longer, staving off disease, so it’s all well and good.  But the culture is so off the chart fixated with good looks, “successful” living, sexual dynamism, and sheer power that it often feels off-kilter to be running on a dumb treadmill for a half hour of my life.  And to watch everyone slaving away around me…I just wonder what we’re all doing, what we collectively think the days are for?

I’ll keep going, and we’ll see what the dividends are, but sometimes, I think we’re nuts.

Whatever you do, do it all for…

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