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Worthy to Print Column | Getting Strong

George Worthy

As I begin this weekly addition to the greatest periodical in South Monterey County, I should warn you that some words might need explanation. OK, I can hear the mumbling. “What is this wanna-be Hemingway talking about this week?” That’s a fair question, so I will attempt to keep your attention while I relive the past week and my reaction to the deeds I did.

Getting out of bed this morning was much harder than usual, although it is always hard to get up on Saturday. I suppose, since you are reading this, that you deserve an answer. Fair enough. Yesterday I was sitting in my backyard soaking up the sun, which I often do. Well, I work hard on my backyard and I try to sit and observe its splendor when possible. 

I was thinking about my daughter’s visit this past week. She tries to come down from Discovery Bay when possible to attend to her customers and her father and mother as often as she can. She makes people prettier by attending to their skin and hair and anything else she notices that need her expertise. 

With me she uses a … well let’s just say she keeps me from having to comb the hair in my nose and ears. Isn’t it funny how the hair grows so abundantly in those two locations and falls out on the top of my head? I love her for her attention and the fact that I don’t have to pay the going rate. Oh, we pay her, it’s just that we get a discount because I remind her of the cars I bought her. Just between you and me, she repaid those debts years ago when she presented Lorraine and I with our grandchildren.

Anyway, this time she mentioned that she had been working out at the gym. I smiled because I too used to work out pretty much every day when she was young and my sons were completing grammar school. I knew it took a lot of willpower to pick up those unforgiving plates of pig iron and stress your body. Suddenly, she pulled up her blouse to show me her stomach. “WOW!” I said as I saw her rippling muscle. 

The wow was earned by my surprise. I knew the pain that went into that new look to her midsection. Lifting weights and getting all sweaty running on a treadmill or “heaven help us” a street or something like that. I couldn’t stop thinking about how proud of her I was.

Ironically, this visit coincided with her bringing some photos of the Memorial Day services that American Legion has at the cemetery to honor those who have served and who are no longer with us. She has a very good friend who was a professional photographer and volunteered to take some photos of the day. I am honored to be the leader of the firing squad that honors their service, and the pictures were great. 

All the volunteer members of the squad will now have a memento of the day. That’s when I saw an unexpected sight. It was me wearing the white shirt and black tie. I looked so skinny that I had to turn the picture sideways so I could see that I wasn’t going to blow away in the next windstorm. 

If you are near Gonzales, you know we have a windstorm just about every day. I made up my mind I was going to remedy that situation. No, I wasn’t going to go to a full carb diet or anything like that. Well, OK, a few carbs, but mostly protein. I was going to emulate my loving daughter by lifting weights again. Not that day, of course. And no running!

Perhaps, I thought, maybe I should go about this with some restraint. I already had all the barbells and dumbbells needed, and to be honest it wouldn’t take much to find the time in a day. It was this day thing that had me stumped. I knew this was not going to be easy. 

Like just today. Lorraine and some friends are going to the peninsula and Carmel Valley to taste wine. I could have gone, but I chose to begin my new body. Unfortunately, that sentence is not completely true. OK, not true at all. I probably could have talked them into letting me go, but I was so sore it took me three tries before I could even get out of bed this morning. 

You see, yesterday I began my journey to a new me. It was not as easy as I thought. First I had to get all my weights in order. Then I had to give a bunch of them to a neighbor who expressed a desire to own them, after I told him I was going to throw them out. Then a distinct location in my backyard to dedicate to my body movement that took almost all the time I had allocated. Eventually, I told myself that I was wasting time. So, I got into it. I only do one body section at a time and this was my upper body day.

I’ll be honest. It felt real good to finally get going. After my biceps and shoulders, I did my triceps. It was good to simply remember all the body parts. I went a little crazy and did a few squats. I knew at the time I would probably regret those, so I quit.

Last night I woke up when the neighbor’s dog barked. I was laying on one of my arms and a little uncomfortable, so I sort of rolled over and straightened my arm and a moan came out of me. I was very near to saying something children should not hear when I remembered. I rolled over and told myself that this was just the first payment I had to make to the body, and it was just the beginning.

After it became light, I tried to get out of bed, but then remembered this was the day of my leg workout. I shushed that voice and went back to sleep for a little while. My rest period was shattered when Lorraine asked if I could still mow the lawn when it was wet. If you have been married long, you know about those types of questions. So, I got as far as the desk where I write and thought it would be enough to mow the lawn … later. I’ll keep you informed of course when I can; that is, if I can still move.

God Bless.