Hiatus . . .

Two things prompted me to write this article. The first was my older daughter asking what she should tell a person missing the gym, and the second was my younger daughter bemoaning the fact that she had regained fifteen pounds.

I had transitioned to riding my wife’s Peloton bike, followed by an abdominal workout. I wanted both to become a habit, so I decided to do them over a 23 day period. Schools were shut down due to the pandemic, and at the outset I asked my younger daughter if she wanted to join me.

Of course, she quickly pointed out that I had told her earlier, three to four times a week would be sufficient, and she did not see the need to wake up early every morning to do abs. Although I explained that those directions were given when we were able to do strength training, and because of the pandemic, we needed to do a paradigm shift.  Everything changed a week into my routine, when her weight ballooned.

The coronavirus that engulfed the world, required a different thought process, and since going to the gym was no longer a viable option, I needed to come up with a way to workout, so all my muscle gains would not be loss. 

I found my Perfect Pushup, the Perfect Ab Carver Pro, a pair of  old dumbbells and an exercise mat. The routine I designed, while appearing easy, would be challenging since the exercise selection would change every two weeks to guard against plateauing, and the bike ride varied from HIIT, Tabatha, and Steady State cardio. 

The Perfect Pushup allowed me to work on my chest and arms, and included an eight count body workout as well. My routine consisted of riding the Peloton from twenty to forty-five minutes depending on which program I was doing, followed by abdominals and every other day perfect pushup workouts.

Nearly a week elapsed before my daughter wailed about her weight gain. Later that evening I asked her to watch a clip on YouTube depicting a scene from the 36 Chambers of Shaolin. At the conclusion of the clip, which showed a young novice unable to enter the dining hall because he could not cross pieces of wood tied together in the water, I queried what she had learned.

She indicated that the novice had to practice, but I pointed out an important detail she missed. The teacher  explained and demonstrated why the students were failing when the wooden pieces were separated and strewn in the water. She had been doing abs on her own, and of course could not see the small adjustments she needed to make so that each exercise would be more effective.

I found her outstretched on the floor lamenting that all her previous efforts had been in vain, since I was not there to watch her. I reminded the fledgeling that I had asked her to join me at the outset, and would not take the blame for any perceived wasted effort.

She has now become a willing participant joining me each morning. I even made a game out of it by instituting that the first to rise gets access to the bike. Although we are limited in what we can do due to the pandemic, our creativity should be tasked to come with new ways to keep ourselves and our children active in mind and body so that neither will atrophy.

Bradley Booth