A patient who knew my grandfather years ago came in for his visit today. When I asked how he was feeling, he said he was doing a lot better. And then he told me I looked sharp today.

After thanking him, I sat down at my desk again, and it hit me. My grandfather used to say that very same thing.

You look sharp.

Ah, nostalgia.


I have rediscovered my love for weight lifting. It is seriously AWESOME. I'm talking hammer-mega-geil here. Once I start working out at the gym, there is no way you will be able to tear me away until I have done my upper body or lower body set to completion - not even a dinner at Outback Steakhouse with my family motivated me to leave the gym early today. An added bonus is listening to music simultaneously... the iPod gets me through the boring Eliptical session, and then Metallica's "Master of Puppets" propels me into my set. Everytime. Und ja, mein Schatz, ich denke immer an dich waehrend des Liedes. Immer. Du und die Band sind zusammen meine Motivation...

But working out at the Valley (our local gym) can be annoying sometimes. Like right after work, when all the office workers hit the gym, and there are no machines to work on. Also, the signs around the place have random, dumb grammatical errors, like "Please limit your workout to 30 minutes when people waiting", or "Bring you're kids swimming". No joke; those are true-life examples.

Another element that can be difficult at times is when my sister comes along. It always seems like a good idea, because we can go play basketball together, or swim, or do other fun things. But my normal 75-minute routine needs to be followed first, which Jamie doesn't like, and thus our time at the Valley looks more like this:

Minute 1: Jamie decides she's tired, and doesn't want to work out anymore. She states that she will sleep in the car while I work out. I leave her the keys.

Minute 2: Jamie is following me into the Valley. Apparently she has changed her mind.

Minute 5: I'm starting my workout on the Elliptical machine. Jamie is behind me, making faces in the mirror because there is an old guy on the machine next to me and she can't work out next to me.

Minute 6: Old guy leaves. Jamie gets on the machine.

Minute 7: Jamie has transferred to another machine, one without arms, which is two machines down from mine. She has taken an interest in the programming on the TV on that side of the room. I believe it's a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Minute 20: Everybody Loves Raymond is over. Jamie walks by me with a questioning glance, as if to say "how much longer?" I point at the timer on my machine. Jamie rolls her eyes and goes to the mat to "stretch".

Minute 21: I glance at Jamie in the mirror. Jamie is on her back on the mat and eating Kashi cereal from a sample-pack she got in the lobby. No stretching is occuring, at least none that I can see.

Minute 35: My Elliptical training session is over. I walk to the mat to stretch. Jamie asks if we can leave.

Minute 36: I say no. I leave to get some water.

Minute 39: I start off my weight lifting routine with bench press. I mouth to Jamie, "Do you want to do this with me?" She wrinkles her nose in disapproval. She won't even spot the lift for me. I think she wants more Kashi.

Minute 50: I'm doing my third set of military press. At this point Jamie has only bugged me once about leaving. She knows not to do it again.

Minute 51: Jamie walks over towards the cardio equipment again. I think to myself, oh good, at least she's making the most of her time. She sits down on a stationary exercise bike. I start and finish my fourth set of military.

Minute 54: I look up between sets of bicep curls. Jamie is on the bike, but the pedals aren't moving. Everybody Loves Raymond is on again.

Minute 58: Tricep time. Raymond is apparently not as interesting this time around, because Jamie comes over during my third set of tricep curls. I assure her that there is only one more set left, and that she should spot me so that I don't bash in my skull if my triceps give out.

Minute 59: Jamie stands behind me and waves her hands up and down under the bar as I do my last 8 reps. I guess no one ever taught her to spot.

Minute 61: Earlier in the workout, say around Minute 20, I had hoped that there would be time for situps. Now I realize there is no chance. Jamie drags me to the locker room. We pass the lobby. Jamie grabs another sample pack of Kashi.

Minute 62: We head to the steam room. Jamie is excited because she's never been in the steam room before, and she's in a 18+ only locker room, which means she could get kicked out. Adreniline rush!

Minute 63: We are in the steam room. Jamie apparently really doesn't like old naked ladies. She tells me so several times until one joins us in the steam room. Jamie is quiet.

Minute 64: Old naked lady leaves. Jamie resumes whining.

Minute 70: Enough of the steam room. Time for more Kashi.

Minute 75: We escape the locker room. As we leave through the lobby, Jamie does a hesitation dance with the Kashi basket.

Minute 77: Jamie finally takes a Kashi sample pack. I tell her she should just take the basket. We leave the Valley.

Now, you can see how such shenanigans might disrupt my workout routine. And the fun doesn't end there. Oh, no. Take, for example, the following gems:

Dinner the next night at the Outback Steakhouse: Jamie states to Dad that there is a reason that people under 18 can't go into that locker room. Evidently it's to "save their vision" (the young people's vision, not the old naked ladies' vision).

After dinner: I come home and look in the pantry. The cereal shelf has a new addition. Kashi.

Well, time to go watch "October Sky". And get ready for tomorrow, which will be a day at work, and then another glorious workout. I probably won't bring Jamie, though. There is too much Kashi to be eaten.