Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week One - Setember 28, 2010

Up at 2 AM to catch a flight out of Oakland International Airport heading for Detroit, MI. We arrived in Detroit 12:10. (our time) Cousin Doug was waiting faithfully at the terminal to whisk us away from all the airport madness. I hate to fly anymore. Back in 1964 Alice and I flew one of the first Pan Am jet liners to Hawaii. We dressed up - me in a suit, Alice in a dress with heels and nylons. We were fed a full course meal on the plane and there were comfortable seats, wide isles, and friendly stewardesses who brought you drinks of your choice...all at no extra cost.....but these are different times so lets not linger in the past.

As we hadn’t eaten since around two that morning we thought we should get something to eat before we got to Cousin Doug’s condo in Rochester Hills. We will be staying there until we leave for Toronto, Canada on Monday, Oct. 3. Cousin Doug knew this great little Italian restaurant on the way so we dropped in for something to eat.  Now I had told Cousin Doug and Alice that I would leave my Muscle Marathon back at the Bunkhouse Gym.  I told them I wasn’t going to preach about physical training or health to anyone on this trip. …that is, unless someone broached the subject, then I was going to go all out like Jack Lalanne and put on my Maestro Muscle Marathon Traveling Road Show, complete with cards that I had made with links to my web site and blogs, - I was ready.

It just so happened as we were leaving, after a great Italian dinner, this young woman hostess asked why I had taken photos of my food. “I have been taking photos of all the food I eat for over a year now.“ I said, “its part of my Muscle Marathon training.“ “Really ,“she replied inquisitively, “what’s a muscle marathon? Bingo! Out came the web site cards, the blog link cards, and off I went on my Maestro Muscle Marathon weight training monologue.

The one thing I stressed was that I was a bodybuilder back in the 60’s but I gave it all up to be an artist. I said for the next forty years I smoked, drank, and let myself go to pot, I gained weight lost my hair, and found myself at 72 getting fat, sick and depressed because I thought my life was over. Then I started my muscle marathon and I now I’m on my way to getting my life back. She couldn’t believe I was 73 years old! She said she and her husband had been working out but gave it up, now she said she was inspired to get back to it again. I told her I was living proof that it is never too late to start again.

The only photo I had to show her was a photo of me at age 33 taken in1968, so when we got home Cousin Doug printed out the latest photo of me that I took in the Bunkhouse Gym before we left.
I put these two photos in my wallet and now I am ready to, “Take it to the East!“

About My Marathon:

Friday, October 1, 2010 - Fat Cells
Cousin Doug is in the process of remodeling his bathroom so we have spent the last few days going to granite places, tile stores, and cabinet shops. Since I have already remodeled my bathroom I more or less stayed in the background while Alice and Cousin Doug discussed the various options, colors and styles of everything he will need to complete the job.

As I am want to do I spent my time observing and pondering the human condition at the various places we stopped. For example, at Home Depot I had to move out of the way for this man coming down the isle driving one of those drivable shopping carts, he must have weighed 500 pounds.  He had on a white tee shirt and his fat body hung out over the seat and down the sides. He looked like a large water balloon with eyes.

It made me think about our country and what kind of shape its in. Everyone is frightened of terrorists attacking us again, That was the reason for the four hour delay at the airport between me getting up at 2 AM and not taking off until 6 AM. We as a country are aware of the terrorist threat and have taken steps as a nation to prevent another attack. We are all concerned to the point where we will put up with many inconveniences in order to keep ourselves safe and alive.

But while people worry about our country being attacked by terrorists they never give a thought about the fact that excessive fat cells are terrorists in the body. The fat cell terrorists attack your body 24/7 and if not rooted out they will eventually fly a plane into your heart.

Fat cells are not evil terrorists by design. You’re body uses fat cells for energy, to keep your body moving, like your car uses gas for energy to keep it moving. If you keep filling your car up with gas and you don’t go anywhere all that excess gas will spill out of the tank onto the ground. A car’s gas tank can only hold so much gas. Your body however doesn’t have a fixed size tank. If you eat a lot of starchy foods, chips, sugary snacks and things like that they don’t overflow out onto ground, they just expand your fat cells…expand - that means makes them bigger.

However, its not the end of the world. Fat cells don’t grow as in permanent, like adding a room to your house…they just expand. The more you eat and the less energy you use the more they expand and the bigger you get. The less you eat and the more energy you use the less they expand and the smaller you get. Its not rocket science. It is the way your body was designed to work. But trust me on this, you keep on eating junk food and spend your days moving only your fingers at the computer keyboard your fat cells will keep expanding under your skin until you look like a big oversize water bag who needs a motorized shopping cart to get around.

That doesn’t mean you have to hate yourself or that you are a bad person or that you don’t deserve to live. There is no need for all that negativity. It just means you are not paying attention. You have let the terrorists take over your body…. and they are out to kill you if you don’t stop them. You won’t let the terrorists take over your country so why let them take over your body?

You have to form a Body Security Police to monitor everything that goes into your mouth…just like the Homeland Security Police at the airport who monitor everyone who gets aboard an airplane. It’s a damn inconvenience but it will preserve our health and keep you alive.

The Body Police should monitor what you eat to make sure you stop overfilling your fat cell tank. What you need to do is to get to the point where you put in only as much gas as you need for the energy you expend. Its not hard when you think of the alternative ..driving a motorized shopping cart to your grave.

Sat. Oct 2, 2010 - Muscle Cells

While I was waiting for Cousin Doug and Alice to go through the stacks of granite looking for the right piece for his bathroom countertops I happened to notice this old piece of equipment that was once used to lift those heavy pieces of granite just sitting there in the weeds. It was no longer being used. The seat was broken and worn, the tires were flat, it was rusty with parts missing, it was just sitting there wasting away. (see photo below) It made me think of how muscle cells too, when not used, will also sit there and waste away.

Muscle cells are designed to be used, if they are not used they will suffer from what is called muscle atrophy. It is a decrease in the mass of the muscle; it can be a partial or a complete wasting away of muscle. The older you get the worse it gets. That’s why you see men, some even in their sixties, having a hard time walking. Most of their muscles have wasted away. You don’t notice it so much physically because most of them have increased their fat cell size to the point where they look big but it is all fat with no muscle left to speak of. They may have been strong when they were young but because of age and neglect their muscles wasted away under all those fat cells. If they had taken care of their muscle cells over the years they would still be able to function properly

Our muscles cells are designed to work. They are designed to continue working well into old age if they are properly cared for. That means they need to be properly nourished and continually used. They were not designed to sit and do nothing. If your muscles have no work to do they will just sit there and waste away like that old granite lifting machine.

Unfortunately, at home and when I travel, I see too many people who have left their fat cells expand and their muscle cells waste away. For better of for worse, Americans are no longer the Americans of the past, the Americans who built this nation with the sweat of their brow and the muscles in their arms. Today’s Americans are building a new America by sitting in a chair in front of a computer expanding their fat cells and letting their muscle cells waste away. I wonder if America will end up like that old granite lifting machine setting in the weeds of the world all rusty and useless, just wasting away.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Ger. You can open anyones heart and mind. All it takes is your smile and a bit personal action. I find the world is open to all of us. I'm not yet into the workout thing but admire you journey.
    Enjoy the trip. (including life)
    G man