Posts Tagged humorous stories

Fitness Fads Through The Decades

Here is an amusing article describing the various fads that have engulfed fitness nuts over the years. The video shows them all, and the article delves deeper.

The 10 described are: hoola hoops, vibrating belt, gym culture, jazzercise, aerobics, home equipment, tae bo, spinning, crossfit, wearable activity trackers.

Who’d have guessed these are merely fads that grab the popular mindsets…like invasion of the body snatchers!

HERE IS A COMMENT SOMEONE NAMED GAVIN SENT ME:

Haha, good article/video. Funny to see all of the fads especially the older ones.
I haven’t done any of those (Except Gym culture, I guess?) but Crossfit is very popular these days. Its good that it gets people into full body lifting exercises like deadlift, bench, squats, etc. However often there’s little attention given to having good form and it’s all about slamming in as many reps as fast as you can no matter what, under the pretense of being “intense” and “getting cardio”… when you could do an actual cardio exercise instead (like tennis, or running) and avoid unnecessary injuries. A lot of beginners get hurt badly. And yes the mentality is cult-like for sure.

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Watch Out!

Oh well, kids will be kids, boys will be boys, but adults should not pretend they are kids. I give this guy credit for taking the risk and am sorry he suffered for being a little too big for the slide. Or just not holding on…if that was even possible.

ouch!!!

ouch!!!

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Bongo Lady Workout

MEMPHIS — The fans who pack FedEx Forum for Grizzlies games never know when it will happen. It could be a timeout late in the second quarter, or a break in the action early in the fourth. It does not even occur every game.

But when it does, and the sweet beat of the Miami Sound Machine hit “Conga” fills the arena, everyone knows to look up toward the giant video board that looms over the court. A set of cartoon bongos appears, and as various fans pop up on the screen in their haphazard attempts to play them, Malenda Meacham, a longtime season-ticket holder, knows that they are merely the warm-up act.

The moment is about to belong to her.

“Bongo Lady,” the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen said, “is my home girl.”

Meacham, 45, might just be the world’s pre-eminent air-bongo impresario. She flails her arms and bobs her head as she plays the heck out of those cartoon bongos, her movements defying easy description.

“I like to think that I play enthusiastically,” she said, “and with aplomb.”

Meacham has become a minor celebrity in Memphis — people familiar with her work usually greet her by shouting something along the lines of “Hey, Bongo Lady!”

“It feels like a workout,” Meacham said. “It’s seriously like I’ve just run a marathon.”

People are generally surprised to learn that Meacham practices domestic law and works as a part-time judge. Yes, Bongo Lady is a judge.

It should be noted that Meacham has no formal musical training. Her bongo wizardry is self-taught. The key, she said, is to stay on the bongos. Too many fans let their hands drift away, which makes their playing look inexact. Meacham strives for authenticity.

“And I don’t even know when Bongo Cam is coming on,” she said, “so I can’t warm up for it.”

As is the case in most great showbiz acts, Meacham has a sidekick: her 18-year-old son, Hayden, who often accompanies her to home games. He did not choose the role. He said he was genuinely mortified by his mother’s behavior.

Hayden was with her the first time the Grizzlies broke out Bongo Cam, during the 2012-13 season. Malenda Meacham heard the music and felt the rhythm, and something compelled her to rise from her seat and start thrashing away. It was unscripted theater.

“Hayden starts going, ‘Dear God, please don’t let them see her,’ ” Meacham said. “He’s next to me, shrinking over, and then the camera catches us.”

In that moment, Bongo Lady was born. By his mother’s third appearance on Bongo Cam that season, Hayden had decided to come prepared. As soon as he heard those familiar lyrics pump through the arena’s speaker system — “Come on, shake your body, baby, do the conga / I know you can’t control yourself any longer” — he put a paper bag over his head.

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Too Much Discipline Cracks Up Palace Guard On Sentry Duty



One must admire the discipline required to be a soldier marching or standing at attention in front of places like The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or Buckingham Palace. It’s amazing how a human can be so rigid, not smile as tourists taunt them, ignore the rain and snow and cold and heat, make their body perform repetitively and control their brains to not flip out. I don’t grasp it. Truthfully I would crack up within minutes. But obviously there are proud soldiers who volunteer for these honored posts.

Recently however, it appears that one guard who made the cut did have a modified breakdown on duty in England. Check out his antics worthy of a John Cleese comedy. Here are excerpts from an article that gives more details.

A source said that while the video may be entertaining, the incident is being taken ‘extremely seriously’ by army top brass. “It’s very serious,” the source said. “Those guards are there to guard the palace, not entertain tourists. I don’t want to downplay the gravitas of the situation.”

The three-minute video clip shows the soldier, wearing his his red tunic and bearskin, perform a series of stunts for onlooking tourists

The guard is first seen marching up and down the gravel forecourt, before breaking into pirouettes.

He can then seen picking up something from the floor and putting it in his pocket.

The soldier launches into a comical strut and pretends to polish his guard box with his knuckles.

Tourists can be heard laughing in the background, with one child saying: “Look at him spinning. That’s really silly. Do you think he will get told off for it by the policeman?”

His comical antics come to an end once the guard retreats to his box after giving his fellow guardsman a thumbs-up.

Orders for the duty which are read out before each two-hour shift and state: “You may not eat, sleep, smoke, stand easy, sit or lie down during your tour of duty.”

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Oh No! I Am Going To Die!

Went to the doctor for my annual physical today…he gave me an A+ and said of all his patients in their 70’s, I am in the best shape. Unimpressed, I asked him about his patients in their 60’s, and he said I am near the top of that group too. Everything looked good…as usual. All the exercise and healthy eating is still paying off.

I had just spent a week in Florida visiting my old high school classmates. One was lucky to be alive after serious health issues and weeks in the hospital. I hope I can hug all those guys again next visit in the fall and that none have passed on to loftier pastures. One said he doesn’t recognize his face in the mirror. I told him to start “youthing” the image by coloring his hair, so it isn’t all white. The guy who’d been hospitalized said he didn’t have any hair left to color!

On the way out of the doctor’s office, feeling pretty happy with the doctor’s comments, a staff member suddenly yelled back anxiously that I couldn’t go yet. The doctor needed to talk to me. Uh oh. This has never happened in 20 years.

So back to the examining room to wait impatiently. My blood pressure had tested 20 points higher than the year before: 130/70 up from 110/70. Maybe there was something wrong with my heart. Unlike previous visits, the doctor had been so prompt that the EKG was taken after he examined me, rather than before. So I guessed he had looked at it and seen a problem. Now he was going to give me the bad news. Ten minutes earlier I was talking about living to 90 or 100. Now I feared he was going to tell me to go to a specialist, a heart surgeon, who knows what.

Two weeks ago a friend went for her annual physical feeling fine. She had major surgery a week later. Tomorrow another friend will have surgery. I know of a number of people who feel fine, go to their physical and learn that they have terminal illnesses. WHY DOES MY DOCTOR NEED TO TALK TO ME AGAIN? WHAT THE HELL COULD BE WRONG? I am too agitated to sit, so I pace around heading towards a panic.

The medical assistant comes in and places the paper print out of my EKG on the table. I look at it, trying to decipher the peaks and valleys. Two lines look totally uniform. But two others have spikes in just two places. Another line has descendant drops in just two places. Has my heart failed? Are my tennis days over? Will I need surgery? Take a deep breath or three and calm down. But this has never happened before. Is this a panic attack? Where the hell is the doctor? Rehearsing his speech to tell me that I have a serious problem?

He comes in at last after maybe 10 lifetime minutes. He looks at the EKG. Three seconds later he casually announces that the paper copy confirms his earlier exam. ” You’re fine. See you in a year.” We shake hands, and he heads for the next room. He has no idea what I went through. A woman friend tells me this is what she goes through every time she has a mammogram.

Painful. Horrible. But I am relieved that my conscientiousness about health, diet and exercise—combined with good genes—keeps me going without grief and justified anxiety…

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Problems In Taking Your Own Abs Photos

Too funny. A friend is getting in shape partly by having a personal trainer visit his house twice a week. He has been to this site and complained to me that he has so much white hair on his chest that you can’t see his abs. In desperation he decided to slick down his fur with oil to make any possible cut lines visible. However he couldn’t find any baby oil or other greasy product to do the trick.

So off he went to the kitchen shelf to choose Mazzola cooking oil. Picture him smelling like a corn cob trying to take a photo in the mirror! He said no shots came out to his satisfaction, so we will have to use our imaginations. Aren’t some older folks innovative, creative and downright ridiculous??? Although what is really wrong with corn oil? Maybe it doesn’t go rancid, like olive oil…

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Nancy Upton’s Plus-Sized Photo Protest

Nancy Upton pigs out to protest contest for overweight women

Here’s a cute story. A clothing company called American Apparel starts selling large-sized clothes for plus-sized women. The company invites big women to submit pictures of themselves that will be voted on by the public. Whoever gets the most votes will be given a free trip to Los Angeles and a professional photo shoot. But AA does it in such a demeaning, obnoxious way that one large woman, actress Nancy Upton gets real annoyed. She has pictures of herself taken bathing in salad dressing, overeating sloppily, food all over her face, posing like a stuffed pig with an apple in her mouth, dressed like a gluttonous trollop etc.

She does this as a protest. BUT SHE WINS THE CONTEST. Of course AA rejects the popular vote and chooses another “winner.” Nevertheless, in a culture that worships thinness, these photos are worth showing.

Now here are some excerpts from the Village Voice article and the Daily Beast article by Nancy about this hilarious and unlikely episode.

can you see why she won the popular vote?

Nancy in salad dressing

It was kind of fun but also kind of gross. I totally threw up afterwards. In the process of eating all that different food—a lot of the stuff I really was eating, you know. I had all this ranch dressing in my mouth, Hershey’s syrup all over me. There was definitely artistic intent as well…

But this contest—I read it and two nights later I’m lying in bed, like, “Those assholes.” I finally put my finger on why I couldn’t get this “contest” out of my head: American Apparel was going to try to use one fat girl as a symbol of apology and acceptance to a demographic it had long insisted on ignoring, while simultaneously having that girl (and a thousand other girls) shill their products…

I’m lambasting:

What they probably think of fat women. It comes from American Apparel’s history of treating women like a piece of meat.

The blatant, sloppy attempt to lazily win over the hearts of women who, because of their size, already face daily struggles to defend their looks and physical behavior.

The insinuation that the only way a fat girl could win a “beauty contest” was if a company with American Apparel’s street cred deemed it hip or fashionable.

The idea that someone must be a “fan of full-sized fannies” to even recognize a redeeming quality in women size 12 or above.

The unstated yet apparent belief that fat women can’t be noticed on their own merits.

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Where I Got These Abs

Here is a funny article from the current New Yorker magazine by Bob Odenkirk:

You are probably wondering where I got these amazing abs. They’re so ripply and rock hard, they’re difficult to fathom. If I were a character on a reality show about me and my middle-aged acquaintances, I might be nicknamed the Conundrum, in reference to these abs of mine. See, the abs don’t match the visage. My perturbed, puffy face sets you up for a blubbery gut. But then you see these abs, stacked like bricks, clearly delineated, and you have to ask, “Does he work out for two or three hours a day, or does he just work out all day?” Or perhaps you think I purchased them from a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. My secret is simple—dynamic tension! Constant dynamic tension. Tension that is tense, and dynamic, and never-ending—the best kind of tension there is! I have analyzed each ab and where it draws its tension from so that you, too, can get the abs you’ve always dreamed of!

The ab on the upper right is taut and sinewy thanks to middle school. Specifically, the effort of trying to get my two kids placed in a topnotch middle school. Filling out forms, attending open houses, prepping for interviews, taking the entrance exams—it’s a lot of work, and I am there every step of the way, standing behind them, leaning over their shoulders, looking down (that’s what tightens the ab), swallowing hard (also good for the ab), and clenching and unclenching my fists (good for the fists). Thanks, kids—Dad loves you and Dad loves the ab you’ve given him.

The middle right ab bulges handsomely thanks to talk radio. I simply tune in to conservative talkers when I am driving, and my screaming at the host tightens this ab for an extended, uninterrupted rep. Plus, disagreeing with someone on the radio gives me that powerless, overwhelmed feeling I’ve become addicted to. It’s better than a drug, because you get the abs! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dangers Of Exercise And Bodybuilding—April Fools

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How Risk-Averse Are You In Life And In Sports?

Are you willing to take chances? I think I am. I’ve made investments in start-up companies, begun new books or magazines when I was a publisher, learned to ride a horse English-style at 50 and jump bareback at 52. I began serious tennis lessons at 65, and I’ve taken up squash for the first time when I was 68. But on the tennis court, I often play the safer shot and am gentler with my follow through for fear of hitting the ball too long. Then my opponent often smashes it back for a winner. No good. I must have more courage.

When it comes to food, I know people who order the same meals each time in restaurants. They admit that they are worried about not liking some unknown choice and are then stuck eating something they think tastes horrible. Or not eating it and wasting the money. And not reordering, and then going hungry. Or they don’t want to think about another decision, so they order what is familiar. A seven-day-a-week meat-eating friend told me proudly that he recently ordered trout for the first time and is now eating fish twice a week. He is in his mid-50’s.

These are little steps, but maybe they reveal bigger truths about who we are and how we play at sports and the rest of our lives. Yesterday I gambled and ordered the special appetizer the waitress had described, but not told me the price. As I said to the owner at the end of the meal, all the appetizers on the menu were around $10-13. Imagine my shock when the special one was $19! He said the waitress had made a mistake with the bill and insisted that the price should have been $17. But it certainly makes me leery about taking a chance again and ordering food blindly in his place. That price equaled the cost of some of the entrees. And I was unwilling to ask how much it cost before I ordered it. Too awkward for me.

Yesterday I also had another confront about my appearance. I have been playing many more hours of tennis and squash the past few months since my arm injury kept me from exercises in the gym. My upper-body muscles are gone or soft. I may be as fit as I was in the army at 21, when I ran five miles a day and jumped out of airplanes. But I look older. Of course I am older. So what’s my problem?

Well part of my goal in building muscle—and especially abs is to look “better”—and also younger. As I wrote in a previous post, millions of people reach for those goals by coloring their hair and undertaking plastic surgery. Very common and socially acceptable, although more for women than men.

graybeard Ira—2/1/10

graybeard Ira—2/1/10


But what the hell, you only live once. So tired of how gray my beard and remaining head hair had become, I went back to the hair salon for a cut and color. I was willing to take THAT chance, if not a riskier tennis swing or skiing down a steeper, black diamond trail.

What happened yesterday was a very funny development: the stylist tried a new color on my beard, and I ENDED UP LOOKING TOO YOUNG! This was a minor disaster, and she wasn’t sure how I was taking it and what to do about it. It was hilarious. My beard went from white to almost black. A clearly different color than the hair on my head. I was two-toned, like a tiger…well not that different. But anyone could tell.

the beard that still looks too young—2/12/10

the beard that still looks too young—2/12/10


This was a problem. I considered shaving it off on the spot. A friend at tennis had advised me to do that if I wanted to drop five or more years of appearance. I was almost at that point. I had taken the chance of a newer beard color, because the old one faded back to white weeks before my head hair. Now I was stuck. Of course it is only hair, it will fade in time, grow out, I am not a celebrity or going to job interviews. I am not dying. I will get through this. I will survive.

An hour later, after I learned more of what most women go through, after consultation with the owner of the salon, I had another paint brushing of bleach and coloring agent, and it didn’t look so bad. But I clearly looked more like when I was 20 years younger. And I have a picture to prove it.

my beard in 1980

my beard in 1980

The biggest problem is that I no longer recognize myself in the mirror. And I am sure other people are going to do triple takes when they see me. I will have to insist that, “I am not Chuck Norris.”

Now if I could only apply this gutsiness to my athletic pursuits, I’d be terrific. So many sports are mental games more than physical challenges. I have to take more risk…

…Ha Ha Ha Ha. I told you. Bumped into someone I work with for years—but hadn’t seen in three DAYS— and after her startled look at me, she asked if I was growing a beard! I had to tell her I have had the same beard for over 30 years, but that it was just darker than the last time we met.

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Easy Way To Make A Six-Pack

Here’s a good idea that shortcuts the path to my goal:

How to make a six-pack FAST!

How to make a six-pack FAST!

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