Thursday, November 17, 2011


There is no doubt that exercise makes one happy, healthy and wise.  After my recent troubles, I began to exercise  regularly out of sheer anxiety.  Spending weekends at my Dad’s house near a shore, I would often escape to  a certain boardwalk to just walk, think and often just stare at the sea.  

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

                                             -Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Ah, Mr. Melville.  It has truly been the damp, drizzly November of my soul and muscles.

That particular boardwalk is exactly 0.75 miles long and I would often just walk up and down so that could get at least 6 miles in.  Just me, my iPhone and sometimes a book after the mileage. On beautiful summer nights, it was glorious; cool, clear and not crowded.  I hate the beach during the day.  To much skin, UV radiation and the annoying smell of sunscreen.  The hot sand burns my feet. Lying in the sun seems like such a waste of time, energy and melatonin.  I am more of night beach person.  I had plenty of company too.  The young male surfers were delightful to watch, ahem. A squadron of older ladies would walk, chat, laugh and enjoy their slow strolls in unison.  Older gentlemen would be sitting enjoying poker at one of the tables.  If you’re lucky a friendly dog would come visit for a nice pet.

I continued this regimen once at home at a nearby trail seeped in history.  It's an old railroad track that conservationists have turned into a biking, jogging, and walking trail. You can even take your horse.  It is glorious too and runs along a small stream.  The flow of water adds a certain calming effect just like the sea. Occasionally a blue heron will delight the scene.

But life started again. Schedules to keep.  Stop exercising for 3 days or so and you feel like the kids on Wonderama.  You freeze.  Ah, Wonderama.  Wonderama was a Tri-state children's staple on Sunday mornings on WNEW (Channel 5) TV.  Broadcast for 3 hours, interspersed with cartoons,  everyone watched it.   I even knew two classmates who went on the show. What celebrity!  One of the many segments featured the "Exercise Song."  Even at my age I still remember the lyrics:

                                              Exercise, Exercise, come on everybody do your exercise
                                              Exercise, Exercise, come on everybody do your exercise
                                              Then freeze........

Freeze after the music stopped and if you move again, you lose.  Sounds exactly like my situation.

Only this time, I lose if I don't move again.  I have to overcome this inertia . Stop the excuses that seemingly come out of the woodwork-the phone calls to be returned, the massive amounts of paperwork, the laundry, errands, etc.  Ignore your flower bed of habits and life has a nasty way of encroaching like wanton weeds.

Where’s Bob McAllister when you need him?  If you find him tell him to bring some pruning shears.


  1. Juan and I sing that song all the time. "And FREEZE! One, two three Four!"

  2. Thanks snake can for you. You both get the one with the flowers!