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Locked In Concrete

Turning 50 opens up many new and exciting opportunities, including never-ending invitations to join AARP, receiving “the list” of qualified gastroenterologists for nocturnal colon exploration, and daily pill taking (baby aspirin, niacin, and fish oil in my case) that is sure to grow, not shrink in the years ahead.  Discounts at the movies are not far away.

Lately, my family and friends have advised me that I need to do something about my flexibility, the physical kind, not middle age stubbornness.   They are right and I vow once again to join the fight against a premature “Sanibel Stoop” (that is the slightly hunched over position of older people who spend too much time looking for shells).  So it’s back to Yoga, Hot Yoga, Pilates, stretch balls, and standing in the shower trying to touch or see my toes; all of these things, honestly, I’d rather just avoid, do my daily repetitive work out and “move” on.

So I need to find that red Yoga mat with my name on it.  For a brief shinning moment about five years ago, I stood in the last row at Atlanta Hot Yoga at Peachtree Battle (they could not call it Bikram Yoga as a dispute broke out on who owned the 26 positions) trying to get my breathing right while sweating profusely and trying not to fall over or have the instructor call me out to the whole class on how not to do a certain pose.  I was a good sport mainly because the views in Yoga class can be worth the pain and embarrassment, and I did actually feel better after surviving the 90 minute ordeal. 

But that unfortunately turned into a passing trend and then with my wife’s encouragement (the same wife that got me into Yoga), I tried Pilates.  OK, let’s just call it stretching with a focus on my core as Pilates sounds too petite and my rendition of it is not exactly what Joseph Pilates had in mind when he invented the whole thing.  Funny, I still have a credit for four more lessons that I promise to use as soon as I perfect rounding my spine, shrinking my stomach and generally just amping up my overall flexibility so when I go into this fancy Dunwoody studio with all the sculpted people, I retain some dignity.

Many moons ago we went to a Club Med in Florida where a daily stretch class was offered.  The instructor was a 75-year old man who could turn his body into a pretzel.  His advice for this dough boy was to simply hold the stretch.  “You must wait” he’d say.  I said I was only there for a week.  “You are locked in concrete” he’d say.  I bought his video.  At meals, which were similar to the frenetic pace of a cruise ship but on dry land, he would get on the tables an do some crazy contortion while we were trying to cram down another pancake.  An ice sculpture would have been preferable.

I don’t know what happened to our human centerpiece, but his words, “locked in concrete” have stuck with me.  So it’s back to the drawing board, and my quest for a Houdini-like escape from a stiff back and hardened hamstrings continues.

3 Responses to Locked In Concrete

  1. Walter Roark says:

    Your best post yet. Very light, humorous and entertaining. Keep it up.

  2. […] that happy note, I am off to watch golf, then Yoga  (read “Locked In Concrete“), then a tennis lesson followed by nine holes, a steam, a drink, continuous thinking about […]

  3. […] time (yesterday I ran into ((not literally) my Yoga instructor (see funny, if I can say so myself, Yoga Blog) and I’m sure he was impressed with my pace and overall dedication).  Sometimes I can also be […]

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