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STORIES FROM THE 44TH PARALLEL

Freelance Writer & Photographer in Michigan

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  • Marianne Kuzimski

Doc Lodge’s Old-Age Cure

I marked the first week of the New Year by logging 45 minutes a day on the exercise bike, all due to the teachings of Doc Lodge in, “Younger Next Year for Women” that he co-wrote with one of his patients.


It was Sunday night, and I had been cleaning house and doing laundry all day. I was tired, and feeling a bit sleepy after dinner, and though Doc Lodge only suggests getting 6 days of exercise per week, his co-writer, Chris, states that 7 days are better.


I liked the sounds of ‘BETTER,’ so I decide that skipping a day would only lead to more days lost, so I plopped my tired ass into the seat, and got down to business selecting my desired exercise program.

After a week of daily exercise, I felt confident selecting the program I’d been using without the help of a light. I clicked through the programs as if reading braille, made my selection, then punched the go button for my Sunday night workout.


At first, I thought the difficulty I felt was due to my tired ass, therefore ignored my whining quads and soldiered on. It wasn’t until I hit the first, massive block of peaks in the program that I wondered what was happening.


As my breath turned from a steady in and out to a hard pant and I felt little drips of sweat popping up along my hairline, I took a gander at the digital readout on the bike to note I was at the beginning of a long segment of hard pedaling. I assume the height of the segments are akin to pedaling up hill, and let me tell you, these suckers were a bit taller than what I’ve been used to!


I had selected the wrong program!

“Cross Train” was nothing like “A Ride In The Park,” and maybe I should’ve quit right then and there. But if there’s one thing that ticks me off, it’s starting something and not finishing it. My determination now set for ‘fight’ mode, I knuckled down convincing myself I wasn’t THAT old yet, and forged on.


Luckily, I hadn’t changed the intensity any higher than level 2, but I was quickly wondering if I should have looked at the screen in the first place. It seemed the more I looked, the more my quads burned, and my confidence wavered just a teeny-tiny bit.


Determined I would be just fine if I didn’t look at the screen, I pumped my legs through that thick blob of pain feeling like I was in the Tour de France marathon. After grabbing the heart-rate grips mounted on the sides of the seat, I panted and pumped, squeezing as if they were motorcycle grips in the full throttle position.


“Come on!” I yelled at the bike, “get to the easy part already!”


I took a peek at the screen as the huge blob of black slowly reduced in size. As it continued to shrink in duration, the numbers on the intensity read-out climbed along with my heart rate like it was getting harder!


Holy crap, I was dying! My heart pounded as if I were riding for my life. Panting and sweating, I gasped, “OMG, I’m not going to make it!”


There were only two blocks of pain left, but I was feeling the burn from my toes all the way to my butt cheeks… Yeow!


I gripped the handles on either side of the digital readout in hopes of taking some of the sting out of my cheeks, which helped for a bit, but I couldn’t maintain the momentum for long at that angle of attack.


Switching back and forth between the seat grips and the grips up front, I pushed and pushed thinking my rubbery legs were going to pop off at the hips. Nearly crying from the exertion, I wasn’t about to give in… not when I was so close to getting through the damn segment… no way!


The intensity of my stride lowered and lowered to the point of barely biking up that damn mountain, but I continued pushing the pedal around and around. I was almost to the point of quitting… my legs were burning so bad and that pedal wasn’t wanting to go around at all when finally, I made it to the easy-peasy segment and it felt like I had just crowned the top of Pike’s Peak to coast down the other side.


I did it! I had made it through the first part and lived to tell about it. I only had another 40 minutes of this shit to go!


I REALLY considered ditching, but according to Doc Lodge, you either get good daily exercise that increases your heart-rate for at least 45 minutes a day, or you can rot and decay for a long-ass time through your old age, wishing you’d just die or be put out of your misery.


I figured a little pain now would pay me back plenty through my golden years, so I’d bust through this teeny-tiny workout and get better at it next week.


By now you’re wondering what the hell I read in that book that was so motivating, and I highly recommend you buy or borrow a copy to see what it’s all about. (The original version was written for Men, so guys, buck up and take a peek!)


Unfortunately, being I’m the “Take the Bull by the Horns” type of gal, I should have continued reading the next chapter before trying to tame a bull named “Cross Train.”


Doc Lodge states,

  • The jump-in-at-the-deep-end strategy happened to work for Chris (co-writer), but the risk of injury is relatively high if you’re out of shape. Start out by pushing yourself hard enough to sweat, but at a level that matches your current fitness. The worse shape you’re in and the older you are, the more important it is to keep each day’s exercise well within your limits This means keeping the intensity low and building up the duration.


For the next few days, I stretched my screaming butt cheeks to the point of tears, wishing I had just STOPPED that program and switched back to “Ride in the Park.”


Live and learn, right?

I don’t think I hurt myself to the point of injury, but I think I will switch back to my regular, EASIER program just the same. Until I’m at the point of attempting “Pike’s Peak,” I guess I will read a little bit more of my hot pink book and see what else Doc Lodge suggests for getting Younger Next Year.


Using Free Weights is next. Wish me luck!








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