I’ve told you before (but not today) that whatever my love life was at any particular moment, ol’ Hank had a song that fit. It has also come to me of late that ol’ Hank had a lot of understanding in which love has no role.
With that, go with me to along about 8:05 Friday morning during a visit with an acquaintance of mine, Mr. Pro-Form Trainer 420. Mr. Pro-Form Trainer came to me via Sears Roebuck in a co-visit with the blonde.
To cut a long story short, she looked at the array of exercise equipment on display, took a look at my belt line, and decided what I needed was a Mr. Pro-Form Trainer 420 ... a bleepy-bleep treadmill.
What Momma wants, Momma gets.
Over the years, Mr. Pro Form and I have had an off-again-on-again relationship. Truth is, it’s been more “off” than “on.”
Anyway, for the last couple of months, we’ve been “on-again.” And I’ve been true, so to speak, five mornings a week, 30 minutes, one and one-quarter of a mile at 2.6 miles an hour.
I hate it, flat out hate it.
Which gets me back to 8:05 Friday morning. I am treading along, reading a display that tells me I am at 2.6 mph, that I have just over a quarter of a mile down, that I’ve burned 27 calories, and have been walking just over six minutes. I’ve got 24 more minutes.
The boom box on the shelf in the blonde’s barn (yeah, when I got my barn, she wanted one, too) is silent. A small TV (25 years old, at least) is also in the silent mode.
That is when ol’ Hank drops into my mind with ...
“As time goes crawling by, I’m so lonesome I could cry ...”
I’m up there all alone and nobody cares about the pain in my knees or the muscle cramps in my legs or the fact my belt is still in the same notch it was two months ago.
Time is crawling, but self-pity can be as wonderful as it is lonely.
And, as I turn the second 440 (the display has blinking squares to measure distance in quarters), my mind turns from pain and self-pity to a few things I’ve heard about exercise along the way.
One that comes to mind is ...
“Thanks to exercise and eating green stuff, more people are dying in good health than ever before.”
I’m not sure who said that, but I threw in the “green stuff” myself ’cause I also hate eating healthy.
Then there was this one from the late Winston Churchill, whom I consider the greatest man of the last century and who has always made a lot of sense ...
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
I keep going, nearing the end of my third 440 ... but it is just like Winnie said, hell.
Then there is this from Thomas Jefferson, another great man and main author of the Declaration of Independence ...
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it, and hang on.”
With a mile in the rearview mirror, I’m definitely “hanging on.”
Thing is, although I am bravely putting one step in front of another, I am basically a believer in what Mark Twain once said ...
“I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.”
If I were as good a writer as Mr. Twain was, I probably could get away with that.
But I also remember what Dr. Wilfredo Grana said to me on a recent visit to his office.
Dr. Grana, whom I consider the best general practitioner of medicine this side of the Mayo Clinic, was delighted when I told him about my exercise.
“Wonderful,” he said, with a beatific smile. “I wish all my patients would do that. I’ll see you in a year.”
I felt like a little puppy getting a pat on the head from his master ... so I’ll keep this bleeping-bleep treadmill going.
Until I decide to quit ... again.
George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5286 or email: email@example.com