Wednesday, August 8, 2012


 Just getting ready to go ride the recumbent bike and see what I can do. 

The sun rose slowly and warmly across the backyard Sunday morning. The multi shade of green garden of pumpkins, tomatoes, and corn was buzzing with bees pollinating all the plants. Bill walked out of his back door at 6:30, stopped momentarily, basking in the morning sun reflecting off the dew, as if he were some colossus standing guard over the land.

Ah … Yertle the Turtle.

He passed the garden opening the side door to the white garage. There they were – his weights; his constant friends for more than four decades. They would never let him down. It was a mismatched collection of Weider, York, Billard and, a bunch of weights without names; some made in china, others the U.S.

From one of the rafters hung a giant hook which held four exercise bands of surgical tubing Bill used for tricep extensions. He’d switch from two to four bands depending on his mood, strength, and caffeine level. The old weightlifting bench was in near the back of the garage and on it was two bars; one an e-z curl bar resting in the padding loaded with about 60 pounds and a strait bar resting on the steel bar supports for bench pressing it was loaded with 85 lbs. There two 45 lb. dumbbells and another straight bar on the floor with 60 lbs.

Bill figured he’d get an early morning arm blast before he and his wife went to the realtor at 11 to finalize the listing for their home.

He picked up the straight bar and began slow curl repetitions, fully extending his army and then bring the bar back to shoulder level. With each movement his body began to glisten as the early humidity collected on his skin.

He moved to the e-z curl bar and did the same thing. More sweat. There is a certain visceral enjoyment in lifting weights, he thought as he moved to the other straight bar.

He reached down, drops of sweat falling off his nose. Instead of doing curls with the lighter straight bar, he decided to do some military presses and then put the bar down to do another set of curls. He knocked out the presses, put the bar on the ground, changed his grip, and felt a ripping, binding, searing pain tear through the small of his back.

He couldn’t breathe – only grown. He was having muscle spasms.

He dropped his weightlifting belt and struggled to make it back inside the house with his weightlifting gloves still on. He waddled like a fat man to a birthday as he made it to his recliner in the family room. As he sat, a woeful groan escaped his lips.

“Billy, are you okay,” his wife called.

“No, I threw my back out,” he said. “HELP ME!”

His wife ran from the room pulling her night gown on as she went. “What can I do,” she souted on the run.

“Get me some Naproxen and come over here please.”

Kate fished through the cabinets, tied her house dress around her, found the medicine, and ran to the living room.

“Take my gloves off my hands,” Bill said.

“Are you okay?” she asked as she peeled the Velcro from his wrists and pulled the gloves off.

“I can’t believe it,” he said. “I can’t move anything. I’m in terrible pain.”

“We have to get some ice on that.”

“I know,” he said. “But don’t move me. Let’s just wait a minute.”

This exchange, or some like it, lasted for about a half an hour until the two eventually were able to get ice on the area and the pain subsided enough to get Bill in the car for the realtor appointment.

When they entered the office, the realtor, Jessica, greeted them, “How are you?”

“Oh I’m fine,” Kate said. “But Bill is a bit stoved up.”

“Really,” Jessica said. “What’s wrong?”

“I hurt my back working out this morning.”

“Really,” She said in disbelief. “You workout?”

Bill Potter

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