Wednesday, September 28, 2011

strong, like bull

My dad, the scholar and athlete, was a serious weight lifter until he was unceremoniously felled by ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. In fact, the first symptom of this nasty motor neuron disease for him occurred in the context of his weight lifting. He noticed he was having trouble with some sort of back extension. It turns out that’s where the disease struck first. Knowing he had a tendency to go overboard, but then gut it out, I told him maybe he was working himself too hard, but no, it was the first warning. ALS seems to strike a disproportionate number of athletes, and I’ve always wondered if Dad’s weight lifting might have had something to do with it.

At any rate, he always loved staying in shape. My sister suffered the brunt of this more than me and my brother (“my brother and I”, thanks, Mom), because of circumstances. Her bedroom was next to where he stashed all his suits for work, and he’d tromp up the stairs to her room at some ungodly hour in the morning and make her sit on his feet while he did sit-ups.

I’ve lifted weights myself on a couple of occasions, but I never really stuck with it for long. Third time’s the charm, I hope: yes, I’ve joined a gym. I went for a free workout last week as a test-drive, and I’ve been twice again so far this week. (This is my long-winded explanation for why there is nary a picture of Nature in this post. )  I have no particular goals at this point. I have a medium-size frame: I’m no waif. I’m told I’m small, but actually, I’m kind of dense, especially in my back and shoulders. Point being, I think if I can channel Dad, I should have some impressive guns to show for it.

Strong, like bull.

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