Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Irish Pub Race in Harwich

Today is the day of the great Pub Race on Cape Cod. I have been here painting and enjoying lots of guests for the past 3 weeks. Families that I know, wait and train all year for this event. My friend Paul lives and dies based on his performance. One year he was totally humiliated by his new daughter in law beating him at the finish. They have reconciled only by producing new grandchildren. It is a tough race and today was hot and humid.
There is something new to get in shape for an event like this. I read the other day that a pill was given to ‘couch potato mice’ and when tested they were as fit as the mice that were working out. Wow. I hope that it works in humans because I would love one about 3PM. I remember a similar 'breakthrough' in the ‘70s. It was put out by the Royal Canadian Air Force and said you did not have to go to gyms, jog for miles, buy exercise bikes or rowing machines or weights, you could get fit by answering the telephone or putting your hat on.
The answer; isometrics. Isometrics is a muscle stress technique in which you gave total effort to every action you took. You lift a phone like it weighed a ton, you put your cap on like Arnold Schwartzenegger was trying to hold your hand back. The effect was to drive oxygenated blood to your muscles and transform your body into a rippling powerhouse. I tried it. There were drawbacks. My wife worried about a heart attack everytime I was on the phone; “your knuckles are white, your veins are popping and you’re covered with sweat”. When I served drinks to friends I could hear their concerns: “he closed the door like there were two wrestlers trying to push it open, he’s gripping the glasses like a madman, his face goes purple everytime he lifts himself out of the chair.” You try to ignore such comments when you’re transforming yourself into the Hulk. I’m looking forward to the couch potato mouse pill and next year's pub race.

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