Yesterday I went to a local park for a walk and a jog. I’ve been walking for a couple of years. It started when I agreed to join my brother’s lifelong dream of hiking major parts of the Appalachian Trail.
I also have been working, less consistently, on strengthening my “core” muscles, and on my cardiovascular fitness. I was very proud of my progress.
When I arrived at the park, my curiosity was aroused by the exercise course. Spaced along a paved jogging path are about a dozen stations, each with a different exercise. A sign gives guidelines for doing the exercise and for monitoring one’s heart rate. (CYA! The lawyers strike again!)
It is all in great condition, with beds of woodchips for padding. As you can see, I live in a relatively wealthy area. In a city or average suburb, all this surely would be vandalized by bored teens, or marked with gang tags. Or maybe today’s teens stay indoors with their screens and do bad things online.
I decided to perform the exercise course, which includes instructions to jog between stations. All was fine until the chin-up station. All the hiking and core work had neglected my arms. I hadn’t attempted a chin-up in over ten years. But I assumed that my frequent yardwork had kept my arms in reasonable shape.
Not only did the attempt aggravate my shoulder and wrist, with their long-forgotten histories of bursitis, strains, and dislocation, but I just didn’t have the muscle power to do a chin-up. That may not surprise you, but it was a revelation to me. It was the first time in my life I was unable to do a chin-up.
Of course, as a contrary old bastard, I will be back, I will work on it, and I will eventually do a chin-up. I plan to win this battle. But eventually I will lose the war.