Finding time to exercise, August 11, 2005

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

At the insistence of my children,

I rejoined the YMCA about a couple weeks ago. I had a membership in 02-03 for a year and used it regularly.

Nobody else in my family would utilize the facility,

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All I would do there would run on the treadmill.

So when my membership came due again, I decided to not reup. "I'm the only one who uses it and I all I do is run," I thought. "Heck, I can do that without paying someone."

I was amazed at the transformation of the facility since my last visit. While it was certainly adequate before, its first class now.

Wanting to add some strength training to my regimen, ("Why do you just run?" My wife always asked. "You could use some muscles.") I was looking forward to breaking up my day by going to the Y for a quick work out. However, there's no such thing.

By the time I drive there from the office, change clothes in the locker room, stretch for a minute, do a minimum 20 minutes of cardio, a short circuit on the machines, shower dress and drive back to work, you've easily consumed a minimum hour and a half, closer to two hours. I just don't have that much time to spare in the middle of my day.

Which makes me wonder: How could President Bush possibly do that?

I run a little newspaper with 14 full-time employees and in the grand scheme of things, what I do is insignificant.

Nonetheless, it takes every bit of time I have. I typicall y get to the office around 8:30 a.m. and it's usually 6:30ish when I'm leaving. That's if I don't waste too much time during the day, or have something unusual to do like attend a meeting. Then I'm here longer. I'm badly in need of a restful week off, but being without a managing editor at the moment and with many important special projects on our horizon like the Peanut Fest, our annual Franklin/Southampton

County newcomer's guide (Guidebook) and our football preview,

I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

My point is that I cannot take 2 hours of my day to hit the Y in the afternoon. For one, I feel guilty about being away that long and if I do, it just keeps me here that much longer in the evenings, away from my family, who seem to enjoy seeing me once in a while. So I don't go until after work and then only if my family comes with me.

The president is the leader of nearly 300 million people,

not to mention the free world. As the chief executive/commander nin-chief,


has hundreds of thousands of employees to oversee. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the country is at war, a war in which American soldiers are dying at rapid rate, the number recently soaring past 1,800 since the war began, more than 10,000 severely wounded and maimed and perhaps 100,000 Iraqis killed.

Not only can he take two hours out of his day to bike or jog and finish up his day before 7 p.m.,

but he can take a five-week vacation while this is going on?

I don't buy it. Either our president is the most organized genius humankind has ever produced, or he doesn't have a clue what a going is on and more ominously, simply does not care.

I tend to think it's the latter.

I thought it was funny that last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart showed a photo of the president in 2000 along side one of him yesterday. He actually looks better nearly five years into being president of the United States. Sept. 11 and the war on terror have not aged him a bit. Regardless of how "hard" he says it is, I have to believe this is someone with little weighing on his mind.

Obvioulsy, other people are really in charge of this thing. I imagine Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and their gang of neocon ninkimpoops. I don't recall their names being on the ballot.

But that's neither here nor there. We elected him. There's nothing we can do about it.

Back to Suffolk, the Y is having a grand re-opening later this month to unveil its remodeled facility.

Be watching for information about it in the News-Herald. You should take the opportunity to check the Y out if you haven't. It's a great asset to our community. I wish I could use it more often, but I have to work.