Jim Siergey: Exorcise!

October 12th, 2019

I’m getting to that age where I have to exercise just to stay in shape.

Not the kind of exercise in which to pump up or train for a marathon or even to play a game of pick up basketball, although the game de rigeur for seniors now is something called Pickleball which appears to be a form of table tennis where the floor is the table and the ball is wiffle.

Nope, it’s exercise for the sake of staying limber and supple so one can move about without groaning and get up from a chair without grunting. Yep, I have reached that point in life.

Accepting my fate, I removed myself to the basement where I removed the clothes, unopened mail and a couple of boxes of doo-dads and whatsits from the treadmill, plugged it in and climbed aboard.

burtreynoldsanddogGetting in shape like Burt & friend…


I set my pace and began treading. Not treading water, mind you, but walking at a somewhat brisk pace akin to a hamster in a plastic ball. No running. I save that for when I need to catch a bus or to grab a fire extinguisher when one of my stir fry forays gets out of hand.

On I treaded. Five minutes. Fifteen minutes. Around the twenty five minute mark I began to feel a strange sensation.

My body began to feel prickly and little beads of water appeared on my forehead. My back felt damp too. OMG—it was sweat!  I was sweating!

I quickly turned off the machine and hopped off. There was sweat on my body, actual sweat. Seizing a New Yorker magazine that was lying nearby I tore out a page and mopped my brow.  I had to actually mop my brow! Oh, sweet Jesus, take me now!!

I have spent my entire life avoiding anything that might make me sweat and there I was, intentionally doing something that produced icky sweat to appear on my pristine body. Oh, the humiliation. Could I possibly sink any lower?

Now, I must admit that despite my best attempts at avoidance, I have sweated at times during my lifetime.  On some hot summer days I have ventured out of the shade and in my frivolous youth, I actually helped people move. Carrying boxes and furniture up and down stairs and in and out of trucks can bring about those horrid little beads of perspiration.

But, mostly, I have avoided physical labor.

As a youth, the sport I chose to play was baseball. You stood around in the field and only had to move if the ball was hit toward you and after three outs were recorded you got to come in and sit around until it was your turn to get up to bat. What a great sport.

But that was then, this is now. Here I am, knowing that I need to incorporate some exercise into my life while at the same time also needing to live up to my lifetime goal of avoiding sweat. What’s a body to do? Especially a body that desires mostly to be at rest.

Maybe isometric exercise is the way for me to go. Or isotonic exercise. I think that’s a thing. Many years ago I drank some isotonic vodka.

Mmmm, vodka…


Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Slice Of Life

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