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Sedentary Man

November 9, 2009 - Kevin Sweeney
Bob Harper kicked my butt on Saturday.

The team trainer on “The Biggest Loser” was in New Ulm for the “Heart of New Ulm” Heart Summit. Before the summit he was featured at what HONU called a “Community Leaders Program” at the Vogel Fieldhouse.

I got to go because my boss threw his invitation on my desk and said, “Here, I won’t be able to make it.” The program was supposed to feature a talk by Harper on how to lead New Ulm into better health, and a “light workout.” OK, I haven’t really exercised in about 20 years, but I figured I could handle a “light workout.”

Harper, who seems to be a really nice guy when he’s talking, suddenly turned mean and vicious when he got us “Community Leaders” out on the floor. I figured I was in trouble when about 95 percent of the town’s “Community Leaders” appeared to be female, most of them young and wearing fashionable workout togs, the sign that they were veterans of many step classes and aerobics sessions.

It was an eye-opener for me. Harper had us doing some easy stretches, which suddenly became not so easy when he had us holding them for long, painful periods. Then we got down in the pushup position, which we held for about five hours before actually doing a pushup. Then we stuck our butts up in the air, head down and did a pushup like that, again holding the position until I was ready to admit that I had snuck into Iran to spy on their nuclear development program.

About halfway through the “light workout,” I sat down on the floor, my muscles refusing to do anymore. The other community leaders kept going and groaning until Harper decided he was tired of toying with them.

That is why I don’t exercise very much. I don’t like pain, and unless there is some goal to my exertion I don’t see the point. Swimming is OK if I’m trying to cross a river full of piranhas. Running seems like a good idea if there is a bear behind me. Games and sports are fun, but I wasn’t much good at them 30 years ago, and age hasn’t made me any better.

The experience Saturday was something of a motivator for me. I’m going to look for some light exercise program, not a Bob Harper “light”, but a Kevin Sweeney “light” and see if I can’t get moving again after all these years.

If not, it’ll be like a parody of a Neil Diamond song:

“Don't know if I will,

"But until I have found me

"An exercise plan

"That will play games around me

"I’ll be what I am

“A sedentary man

“Sedentary man”


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