From Fitness to Fatness –

Newspaper of the Sandhills
I’m a disgrace.
As far as staying athletic, that is.
Or even simple daily exercises.
Yep, I’m a disgrace.
My self-confirmation – or affirmation – well, wait for a second: a quick look at the dictionary reveals confirmation is the appropriate word – occurred on Saturday, July 16, when I was helping my youngest daughter move from a third-story apartment to a house.
Heritage Days Parade attendees remember that it was a hot day.
I was hugging and puffing as I walk DOWN the stairs carrying boxes and furniture. Then sweating profusely in the bright sunshine.
One of those free parade bottles of cold water would have been nice after the third trip across town.
I did survive.
However, I was ashamed of myself.
As a boy growing up on a research farm in eastern Nebraska, my summer days were filled with working in sun-drenched, humid hayfields, hot haylofts, and herding cattle while on foot.
No big deal.
I slept in a second floor-bedroom with no air conditioning.
Again, no big deal.
I was an avid bicycle rider. It was not unusual for my brothers and me to pedal from our house to Branched Oak Lake, around the lake, and back home. A 20-mile round trip on a standard bicycle that offered no gears.
While in high school, I played as much basketball as I could. I believe the description is a gym rat.
I was an avid jogger and bicycle rider in my twenties and thirties.
Trips from Cozad to Gothenburg and back to Cozad were common during warm weather. Three to five-mile jogs were the order of the day during cooler or wet weather.
On July 4, 1992, I rode my bicycle from Alliance to the 16-mile corner north of town (then Highway 385), then west to Hemingford, and back to Alliance on Highway 2.
A 44-mile round trip.
I also participated in the Heritage Days 5K Road Run that year.
My 34-inch waistline never felt, or looked, better!
And then, I fell in love.
Not with swimming, tennis, or wrestling.
It was with a young lady.
And, wow, could Miss Cynthia Jensen cook.
The heart is not so smart when one gives up exercise for love. But it sure is more fun.
Bicycle rides along Highway 2 were exchanged with car rides from Alliance to Hemingford and home-cooked meals, watching TV and, there may have been some smooching parties, too.
The waistline inched forward by 12 (you do the math).
Over the past few years, walks to work and strolls with the dog happen now and again. And I did test my heart earlier this month when I walked from a business near West Third Street and Ramblin Road to the Courthouse.
I know it’s not too late to resume an exercise routine.
I don’t expect to accomplish another 44-mile bicycle ride during my remaining years, but this aging Baby Boomer can still hoof it around town with a good pair of walking shoes while listening to a Husker game or great music from the 1970s.
My favorite walking song is “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You,” by Barry Manilow.
That’s an inspiration to take the dog along and leave Cynthia at home.
As I said, my life partner is a great cook who loves to feed me.
You know, it’s been a while since I’ve been in the doghouse.
I hope my waist is small enough to fit through the canine’s door.
Alliance Times-Herald


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