Thursday, January 22, 2015


Tim, by far, is the best athlete in our family.  He's not very tall, maybe 5'6" or 5'7", but has wide shoulders, thick legs, and heavy hands.  Add to that he's very quick and has a motor that just.....doesn't......stop.

And yet, in high school he had no real interest in sports --- go figure. He spent his days working on his truck and wandering about town riling people up.  In fact, he took great joy in riling people up.

I don't know if Tim is actually the one who did it -- but it's a great story and it sounds like something Tim would do.  So I'm going to share.

One Saturday night a girl was complaining about her car.  She couldn't put her finger on it but something about it just wasn't right.  Tim, (if it was Tim --- he's never claimed responsibility) walked around the car once and said, "Yup, I see your problem."


"Yes, you need muffler bearings.....Just go to the auto parts store and ask the guy at the desk for two of them.  He'll know exactly what you're talking about."

For those who are not mechanically inclined (like myself), there is no such thing as muffler bearings.  Tim just sent her to the auto parts for a good laugh.  The girl spent the next Saturday evening looking for him.  She was going to kill him.

But that's just Tim;  he loves a good laugh.  Did I by chance mention that seeing others suffer also makes him laugh?  Oh, yeah.....Let me tell ya.

I had just finished my 5K walk.  Yes, I said walk.  I'm the kind of person that doesn't see the point in running unless there is a ball involved, an axe wielding psychopath giving chase, or beer at the finish line. Not saying that I don't try to run --- I'm just not a fan of it.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my walk I get a text from Tim:

"Do you have any special plans during the day?"

Oh boy.....What fresh new Hell is this?  Any time you see him ask a question in this manner you just know there is going to be some pain and suffering involved.  I can just see him smiling as he typed up the text.

"No plans," I text, "What's up?"

"Are you interested in a light run and a workout?" He text, "Just a few miles and then a light lift."

I quickly noticed he said "light" twice.  That can only mean one thing ---- burnout.

But, as much as I shuddered, I was well aware that I have not been very motivated over the last few months.  I push the kids constantly about staying physically active, so I knew that I would be a hypocrite if I declined this offer.  Plus, as much pain as I'm sure he will put me in, I know that I will walk, well, maybe crawl away from this experience having learned something new.  That is the great thing about Tim -- I can't think of anyone that can vary a workout the way he can.  He's always talking about some new exercise that he's using.

So I accepted the offer and within thirty minutes Tim was at my door ready to go.

As we walked out the door I warned him that I haven't been keeping up on my workouts and that I'm out of shape.

Tim thought nothing of it --- "Eh...You'll be fine."

I think we both knew that that was a lie.

Before we go any further allow me to give you just a little background.  Tim is a police officer who happens to be well trained in the art of hand to hand combat, loves to scuba dive and I believe is l working to become a dive master.  He also likes to take his dogs on "short" two mile "motivational" runs.  There are other things that he does as well but I digress --- I think you get the idea.  Tim is a very physically active man.  Ok, moving on.....

When we first get to Tim's place he tells me that his two dogs want to go for a walk.  Would I be ok with that?

OK?  Absolutely I'm ok with that!!!!  Go pooches.

So we went on a two mile walk with the dogs, who kept a nice pace.  I was very happy to walk; my only complaint being that the dogs were horribly gassy.

"Man," I said as I choked back tears, "You didn't tell me that their back blast area wasn't secure."

"Oh, yeah," said Tim, "That's why I walk beside them"

Ah......Thanks for the heads up.

We get back to the house, and I am happy.  Hell, I think Tim is starting to mellow.

"Ok, ready to run?"

Um, what?

It turns out that the dog walking was just a warm up.  I pulled the inhaler out of my sweatshirt and took a few puffs.  I just knew that this was going to suck.

And Tim did not disappoint.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"Yeah, (no, not really) let's go."

Somewhere during Mom's gestation period, God has forgotten to put in a neutral, first, and second gear in Tim.  And the rest of us have been paying for it ever since.

The pace Tim had us start off at immediately had me thinking of race horses shooting out of the gates.


A half a block later I was certain that I was going to die.

Meanwhile Tim is talking throughout the entire run as if we're just sitting on the beach and drinking Mai-Tai's.

Tim: Yeah, I haven't been running as much as I would like.

Me: (huff, huff) yeah....

Tim: Yeah, these hills kind of suck, don't they?

Me: (wheeze)  yup......

Tim:  I'd like to get my mile back down to six minutes and thirty seconds.  I used to run it at that.

Me: (cough, gasp)  Dude, (huff, huff,) If I keep (wheez) a nine minute pace (wheez, cough) I'm happy.

Tim:  Well that's what we'll shoot for then.

Me --- thinking:  Shit, I didn't mean TODAY.....

Me:  Let me know when we get to a mile....I'm gonna throw up.

We got to a mile and I'm proud to say that I didn't throw up.  But I didn't get to stop either.

Tim: Ok, keep walking...

No problem, I thought, that will be that much less that I have to run ---- or so I thought.

Tim:  Let's backtrack to the sidewalk over there.  Once we get there we can turn around and resume our run.


I used up everything I had in the first mile, making the second mile an absolute Hell.  The pace had slowed way down and Tim kept talking to me, kept me moving.

Toward the last half mile a man on a bicycle rode up beside us and yelled good morning.

I didn't have the energy to say anything.  I just, grunted, nodded and concentrated on picking up and putting down my feet.

Tim, on the other hand, started up a conversation with the man; completely unaware that he had picked up his pace to match that of the man on the bicycle.  The gap between Tim and I grew larger as he chatted away with the man on the bicycle.

"Beautiful day, isn't it?"

"Ah, yeah, great day to be out."

(huff, puff, wheeze)

"What's the road construction over there for?"

"Their putting in a new intersection."

(hack, spit, wheeze)

"They sure are taking a long time."

"Oh, yeah....Just annoying the hell out of everyone."



"Well, hey, this is my turn.  Been nice talking to you."

"You take care."

Tim then turns around and sees ----- nobody.

Yeah, (wheeze)  I'm back here.

Tim slows down and waits for me.  And when I get there?

"You gotta sprint left in you?"

Holy shit --- did you really just ask me that?

"I don't know."

"Last half block.  You can do it." Tim encouraged, "Gotta get this sprint in to make your nine minute mile."

I looked at the oncoming traffic.......I could get a lot of rest in a hospital bed.

"GO!!!" Tim yelled

Ah, God......I ran as fast as my dead legs would take me.  Tim finished way ahead of me and I could see him watching the clock.  I tried like hell to summon my inner Forrest Gump.

"I'm just runningguh......"

The very second I reached Tim's driveway I stopped and place my hands on my knees......That sucked.

Then Tim can over with the watch....Nine minute mile.

Well, maybe it didn't suck that bad after all.

I stood up, feeling victorious.  All I have to do now is lift weights.  I can handle that.

"Are you ready for Bring Sally Up, Bring Sally Down?" Tim asked

Um, what?

Bring Sally Up is a song by Moby that is also used in a pushup challenge.  The concept is simple; you start in a down push up position and go up when you here the lyrics, "Bring Sally Up".  You then go back down when you hear "Bring Sally Down."

Yes, simple concept......The execution however......

Tim:  "Remember, you can't let your chest touch the ground."

That lasted about forty five seconds before my arms gave out. My chest and face hit the ground, and not delicately.

"Sally can go to Hell," I said, "You're not looping this song are you?"

From forty five seconds to the one minute fifty second mark where Tim finally gave out I floundered.  I think I may have did one push up for every three of Tim's.  Thank God we only did one set.

"Okay," said Tim as he shut off the music, "Ready for the ab workout?"


Hold legs six inches off the ground, followed by flutter kicks, followed by leg raises, followed by bicycles, followed by a plank ---- thirty seconds each, no break in between.

I did okay until I hit the bicycle.  When I first started I couldn't feel my thighs; I had to looked down just to confirm that my legs were, in fact, still moving.

Man, I thought, I wish I could feel my thighs.

Wish granted.......Poof!!!

Both my thighs seized up at the same time.  I let out a tiny shriek as my thighs cramped and curled up my legs.......I wish I couldn't feel my thighs.....I wish I couldn't feel my thighs.

I looked like a dead bug, laying on it's back with all it's limbs curled up and dangling in the air.  I struggle to straighten my legs out and had just got them straightened when Tim said PLANK.....

I rolled over into a plank.

"This plank feels pretty good." Tim said.

"In a comparative sense I suppose so." I said.

"Are you ready to do two more."

I didn't even hesitate.  "NO....."

"Okay, let's go lift"

After all this you would think that the weight room would have been a disaster when, in reality, it was the best part of the day.

I'm very stubborn about my weight room routine.  I have always been a low weights, high reps kind of guy.  I have never had any real interest in bulking up.  Plus, at my age, I firmly believe that low weights and high reps is the way to go.

So whatever it is that Tim and I did, Tim went to the point of near failure while I did my low weights, high reps.

There were a few times he would tell me as I got ready to quit, "You got one more in you."

And he was right, I did.....But that would have meant that I would have stopped on an odd number.....And I can't do that.

I don't know where I picked up this superstition, but when I work out -- unless it's divisible by five, I cannot end on an odd number.  When Tim was telling me I had enough for one more rep he was right ---- but that would have put me at an odd number indivisible by five.  Nope, I can't do that.

Yeah....I don't know.

Anyway, I'm glad we finished the day with weight lifting because it ensured that the days workout would end on a high note.

Now that it's over.....would I do the same routine all over again?  By myself?  Honestly, probably not.

But if Tim were there to push me.....Yeah, I would.

When he dropped me off at the house he told me that he had one more run to go.......I thought he was nuts.

That was two days ago......and I'm still sore.  But, oddly, it feels good.  I think Tim may have sparked some long dormant workout embers residing deep within my soul.  This weekend I will plan out a whole new routine.  It won't be as crazy as Tim's, but I will say this.  The next time he calls I plan on doing much better.  Well, unless he calls next week......Cough, gasp, wheeze.