Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Take Me To Victor Conti

Recently I've joined a gym. Or rather, I'm using a 30 day free trial pass. I guess joining involves paying them money. I'm really more borrowing a gym right now. It's a block from my office and is routinely empty except for me and some staffers. So it's perfect.

I've been three times so far (Friday, Monday and Today). I've set a modest routine, running for 15 (then 16, then 17) minutes. Some lifting, pushing, twisting...and other muscle courting efforts. Muscles are sorta like my high school relationship with girls: They seem nice enough, other guys seem to have them. And I certainly feel a strong sense that I should want them, but in all honesty I'm easily distracted, and it seems like a lot of work.

But I've been doing my reps, feeling the burn and using work out terms. (Which seems to have as much of a role in being "buff" or "cut" as actually, you know, moving heavy things from one place to another).

Going to the gym provides several new experiences for me. 1) Watching 4 different tv programs at once. 2) Being naked in "public", or at least in the presence of people not societally obligated to tolerate my naked self (ie, parents and significant others). Number one has proven fairly uneventful. Same with number 2. Having played tennis in high school and having last period gym meant that I avoided being naked with other folks in high school. And frankly, that's just fine. Though I start to wonder what I was afraid of.

But these observations are merely prologue for the basis of this post: Aaron's exercise goals. So I have set out for myself the following goals, and welcome suggestions for meeting them.

1). I want to be able to run a 5K race in under 25 minutes.
2). I want to weigh something like 170-175, but be strong.
3). It'd be great to have some definition...and less tummy. And tummy is the right term because I look a bit like a kid with a juice box fed belly. No tone.
and most importantly
4). I want to be able to dunk a basketball. In college I was able to touch the rim of a regulation basketball hoop with my wrist. So that's about 5 inches above the rim. But I couldn't ever dunk. Bigger hands and/or about 4-8 inches of vertical were required. Never happened.

So my free time at work and quest for better information about exercise led me to search for exercises that help increase leaping ability. There were tons, some really helpful, others that read like the rejected copy from a 3am infomercial. My favorite though, was this one:

March Muscle Madness
Wanna dunk? This month's column dishes out an assist for your basketball training and conditioning.
LET'S FACE IT, WE ALL WANT TO DUNK. I mean, nothing says, "This is my house" more effectively than a two-handed, hang-on-the-rim-with-your-knees-at-your-elbo ws Shaq monster jam. "

Aside from stupid writing this seemed fairly normal. For a bit. There is the obligatory inclusion of "slang" to prove that while white, the author knows how to "hoop it up." Some of the exercises seem to make sense: plyometrics-- sounds about right, but strengthening your wrists... that sure seems out of place. Later in the article we learn that the "experts" involved are two guys who play "varsity" (, varsity?!) basketball in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs, hmmm. And it was that glanced up at the top left corner of the article, and saw the Focus on the Family insignia.

Yup, I'd been reading "A Focus on the Family Magazine for Teen Guys " Makes me wonder, you think John Podesta could take James Dobson on the low blocks? Could Alan Keyes drain a three from the corner if guarded by Dennis Kucinich. (answer, yes, Dennis plays terrible perimeter defense)

Hmm.. Maybe the wrist strengthening exercises for FOF reading boys are different from those of people I knew in high school, certainly the magazine that prompted WNHS efforts wasn't FOF's.

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