Friday, June 2, 2017

Planked for the Count, or in June Swoon?

After adding some strenuous exercise to my regular dawgwalking, I am beginning to wonder if I would be better off just being that fat old man who walks his quirky senior dawg at a snail's pace around the neighborhood. I started Senior Fitness at a local recreation center the first of February. The class is for folks 45 and over, and I gather most of the participants are not much older than that entry level, which makes them 25 or even 30 years younger than this steadfast dawgwalker.

Nevertheless, I have strived to do all the exercises rather than sitting back and taking it easy on some -- no doubt my dubious macho instincts kicking in. The regimen has included an odd exercise that I had never heard of -- planking. My only previous experience with planking was an annual political gathering down in Southside Virginia where politicians gathered 'round to feast on barely edible shad being cooked on planks -- The Shad Planking. Revelers consumed more beer and stronger spirits than shad, and political gossip flowed just as freely.

Planking of the exercise ilk is basically a push-up held without going back down, and up, down and up, down. I gather it has evolved from being a fad to becoming a staple as an isometric exercise to strengthen the core -- i.e., your gut. A long, long time ago, in Infantry Basic Training, I could do 75 push-ups when commanded by a surly drill sergeant; however, holding a plank for as long as a minute may be tougher. (Of course I am older.) Anyway, I have gotten in the spirit, worn silly t-shirts to class, even gotten compliments from my shapely instructor, who says she loves my spirit.

No we don't do our planks on Pepsi machine!

Here is the sad part, though. After last Tuesday's class, my replaced knee started feeling gimpy. It hasn't felt that way since I had the total replacement in April 2013. It didn't help any when I pushed my DW in a wheelchair to our granddaughter's high-school graduation and basically had to park near'about a county away because the event was ultra-packed (nearly 500 graduates!) The knee felt gimpier after that joyous but tiring experience.

In sum, I am hoping the knee is just fatigued and will bounce back with rest. I am continuing the dawgwalking of course -- never will give that up willingly. However, I am wondering if I should drop the exercise class. Since I have imprudently paid ahead for the whole summer, I guess I could just drop in occasionally and do only the less-stressful exercises. But that is not like me. I go all in; I love workouts. Physical therapy sessions for the heart, back, and knees have been some of the happiest times of my life. (I know; must be a dull boy.)

So maybe it is time to take it easier? That is a depressing thought, frankly.

@ Robert Gray Holland  2017


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