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Choice Morsels, Tasty Delights

Gray Cook: What's the Big Deal About the Toe Touch?

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There came a time this weekend when I needed to sit, relax and think of something to write about. I prefer ideas to well up from my inner being or flood my mind from its vast reservoirs or sweep upon my pages like a soaring eagle. But, no, as usual, I had to grab my pick and shovel and dig something up from the pit.

No sooner did I settle in the sun and assume a thoughtful expression, than a nasty throbbing from hell erupted in my knee. Holy Yikes! Where did that come from; what’s that all about? I don’t recall any misstep or collision or overload. Don’t tell me it’s a chronic injury and I’ll require surgery. Everybody I know has knee surgery. Why me? I’m adorable, I don’t beat my wife and dog, I don’t smoke or drink. Poo...

Then, upon removing my shirt to absorb loose rays like a burned-out solar panel, I mistakenly glanced downward and noticed my exposed chest, biceps and forearms that were, and are no more. Crap! A response of malcontent and resignation erupted from a hissing pit within. What the... where did, when...

Coincidentally, as if self-contagious, I commenced a small fit of coughing, tearing up and attending a runny nose. Snuffling and looking through bloodshot eyes, I directed myself to return to the urgent subject matter, this week’s newsletter. Something fresh, enlightening and, yes, inspiring.

Where shall I begin? The brave new world is at my fingertips. I’m overwhelmed with bold and beguiling material. My workouts this week past were pure joy times two [PJx2], I’ll explore them.

Where I once required a five-gallon jug and two fists to supply my training needs, I am today satisfied with a spoon and a pint of my favorite muscle I-scream, aka choice morsels. Knuckleheaded movements, the oversized and heavy ones that lure the young into the lair to eat them, are for knuckleheads. Oomph-Ugh-Groan. I loved being a knucklehead before I could count to, say 64, but the day comes, kids, when you have to put that stuff behind you.

Get what you can and beat it. Don’t let it beat you, got it?

I’m not too old to tug and toss. In fact, I’m the perfect age. But I am too old to fret about it. Sound attention to exercise is a good thing, applying serious effort is smart, but worrying about it is downright ugly when you’re older than, say, me. Maybe you. Probably you.

Not one of us should worry about our workouts. Big Jim, Big Jim Jr., or Tiny Jim. It retards jolly good performance and healthy development. And that’s a biblical truth, sort of.

Sunday’s Choice Morsels:

Rope tucks + seated lat row for torso and back
Superset (4 x 20 reps and 6-8 reps)

Chest press + wide-grip pulldown before neck + pulldown behind neck tri-set
Tri-set (4 x 12,10,8,6 reps; 10-12 reps; 8-10 reps)

One-arm sidearm lateral raise + stiff-arm dumbbell pullover superset
Superset (4 x 6-8 reps and 10-12 reps)

Wrist curls, Olympic bar off knees
(4 x 10 reps)

45 minutes of the metal, me and mindfulness. Everything needed work, so anything would work. Having decided to do what I’m able, want and enjoy doing, according to my mood, inclination and sensation, rather than what a prescribed inflexible routine dictates, I grinned, clicked my teeth and got to work.

Once in motion, mates, I stay in motion, slow and steady as she goes. You know the key words and themes of smart training: focus, form and determination; pump, burn, gleam and grow; max-exertion without acrobatics, convulsions and contortions; mix and match movements and modify grooves to serve muscle and prevent injury.

Wednesday’s Tasty Delights:

Seated alternate dumbbell curl + low-incline dumbbell press + overhead triceps extension
Superset (4 x 6-8 reps; 10-12 reps; 8 reps)

Triceps extension + close-grip, under-grip pulldown
Superset (4 x 10-12 reps and 10-12 reps)

Freehand sissy squats and calf raises
(4 x 10-12 reps)

40 minutes and it was time to go. Not lazy, but wise. Short stories can be more entertaining and fulfilling than thick hardback novels. It depends upon the content, the words and how they’re read. Maybe next time I’ll wear my cool tinted bifocals.

Here’s looking at you, kid... Draper.    

Most importantly, God bless us.

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