Thursday, February 13, 2014


I've been struck by the big, sunny smiles on the faces of the athletes I've been watching on the broadcast of the Winter Olympics.  Even when they lose--let's not call them "losers"!--they seem to be overwhelmed with enthusiasm for the sheer fun of their sport.  I watched the hugely touted Shaun White, for example, as he lost the opportunity for even the modest bronze medal; his face reflected but a moment of irritation, a moment of dejection, and then returned to its familiar broad grin.  Do the winter athletes, I wonder, have more fun than the competitors at the summer games?  Or have I forgotten the latters' comparable smiles?  It seems so much more serious in the summer.  Perhaps it's the nature of the sports involved, the snow and ice...

I've been struck, too, by the infinite resource of energy that radiates in those smiles.  In part it's the energy of youth, in part the energy of the human body at its highest peak of health and strength.  I watch that, I confess, with a certain envy, and with an acute consciousness of the aging of this vehicle that has been carrying me around these several decades.

Did I mention in an earlier entry that I have joined a new gym?  Not only that, I have invested in the guidance of one of the gym's trainers to get me back on track.  Having been a member of our little local gym down in Laguna Beach for a good number of years now, I realized that I had allowed myself to become lazy--not only in attendance, but also in the way I followed my routine.  Now Sonny--yes, that's his name! He's an aspiring actor, newly arrived in Hollywood from New York--sees to it that I work hard for the whole hour I spend with him, and the results show in the aching muscles and joints that persist for a night and a day, and another night following each workout.

It's all good.  I can actually feel the beginnings of resurgent strength and a greater energy.  The body thrums.  I look forward to my sessions, no matter how hard the work.  But I realize that it's time now to address the problem of intake, if I'm to rid myself of some of the excess weight I have been gathering slowly around the midriff.  And that inevitably means cutting back on some of my favorites: bread, cheese, wine, and the after-dinner gelato to which I am addicted...

Ah, well.  I find myself now a long way from the Olympians and their smiles.  I've been looking, thus far without success I fear, for a plump one.

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