Boot Camp, Day 8: Torturing myself in the gym


Tuesday was my gym day.


So I headed to the gym to work out. I like the Wall Ball. It involves tossing a medicine ball up at a target near the ceiling. It’s kinda fun. I’m currently using a 12-pound ball and tossing it up by squatting low and then using my full body weight to power the ball up.

Some people catch the ball and see how many reps they can get in one minute. Not this guy, at least not for another week or two until my body gets used to the abuse. Then maybe I can catch it, or at least go up to a 15- to 20-pound ball.

After I finished three sets, and took a break to recover, I noticed an obnoxious kick-box dummy standing in the corner — sneering at me! Can’t help but want to punch or kick that menacing expression right off of his face.

Seem kinda unfair though. I mean, the guy has no arms and no legs. How’s the poor guy going to defend himself? Cast an even more menacing look in your direction?  Not what I’d call a fair fight.

I made a mental note. If he’s still got the same expression on his face on my next gym visit, might have to give him a few roundhouse kicks to the head or an hard elbow to the throat. Maybe that’ll improve his disposition. I suggest he go outside and practice falling down for a while to prepare.

My wife, Tammy Hansen White, is a bodybuilder and is consulting me and giving me advice on my self-imposed, 77-day (11 weeks) Boot Camp fitness program. She said that, until I build up my core strength, I should skip the free weights in favor of the weight machines.

But, lordy, look at that thing. It looks like some sophisticated torture mechanism used to extract Intel from terrorists (now that waterboarding is no longer allowed). The seat is hard as a rock and the cold steel interlocked parts make it look like a Transformer.


Tammy says these machines can help you keep your proper form so that you won’t hurt yourself. That may well be true, but they went through all the work to design the geometry and physics of the things to maximize your workout, you’d think they could add some voice software that would offer up encouragement and complements as you exercise.

“You’re doing great, Paul. Only 1,582 repetitions to go,” the sultry voice could inject as your muscles quiver and shake in protest. “C’mon, wuss, at this rate, you won’t have a beach body for another 28.6 months.”

Ok, well maybe the voice thingy might be more encouraging and less critical, but you catch my drift.

The machines are great, though. They have a diagram of the specific body part that you’re working on. There’s one for the glutes, one for the biceps, one for the thighs, one for the calves. I counted more than 14 different machines to satisfy whatever self abuse you wish to endure.

And then there’s the treadmills. Um, no thanks. I prefer getting my cardio in by actually going outside and doing something fun.

On Tuesday, I went to downtown Reno to photograph the “Controlled Burn” fire spinning demonstration as one of the Reno Artown activities during the month of July.

My goal is to get 8,000 steps on my Fitbit every day. So I went an hour early and walked around downtown Reno and by the Truckee River for about an hour before going to the Playa Art Park.

Many of the themed vehicles that are Burning Man were at the park to provide music, soap bubbles and even some tap beer and a personal chef offering up yummy food cooked right on the spot.


BubblegasmI managed to get in 8,111 steps and had a really good time taking photos.

It’s not that I’m against treadmills. They are really nice when its 100 degrees outside and they keep the cool air circulating in the gym to disburse the body odor coming off of the sweaty people using them.

Wednesday will be Day 9 of my self-imposed boot camp. Only 66 days to go. This could get interesting. …





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