Whew! I am OK. Thought I strained myself with too much exercise, and especially that ab workout last Wednesday, when I jumped right to some advanced drills on the ball. Could never be satisfied sticking with beginner stuff. Was worried that I might have caused a hernia, so I decided to rest a few days. Felt a little strain.

I did do 46 push ups on Friday morning, rested for 10 breaths, and dropped for another 14 My record in long ago days was 150 push ups total, with those 10 breath intervals. Also did 100 leg scissors to beef up my abs.

Thursday I left to watch my first professional squash match—very exciting and much higher level of play than the college games I have seen. As a friend said, those pros can really “whack” the ball. Reminds me of all the movie hitmen who whack their targets.

Came home Friday for the annual game dinner at a hunting and fishing club I joined a year ago. Love the talk about how many fish were caught, dogs flushing pheasants, deer missed by inches when they ducked the arrow heard whooshing towards them. Another world. Active and sometimes manly men…and a few women. They may have had quadruple bypasses two months ago—like one man in his 70’s or 80’s I met—but they are already walking their dog a mile or two each day to get in shape for walking the river with a fly rod.

Another member is now raising 25 chickens from chicks for the first time and buying organic lamb from a neighbor. All healthy and outdoors. And some of these gents are lawyers and hedge fund guys—along with serious and multi-generational farmers. An interesting mix.

One fit young man there I know is 35, weighs maybe 150, goes to the gym every work day, and has a private trainer work with him two of those days. “How are your abs?” I blurted out nosily. “I have too much skin to have abs,” he confessed. “I weighed 284 pounds in college.” Wow was I shocked. Turned out he didn’t eat properly. I didn’t pursue any deeper questions, like “How the hell did you lose 130 or 140 pounds?”

The night before in a hotel after the squash match, I landed on a TV channel about overweight twins who agreed to a 15 week program that would be filmed and broadcast. All kinds of trainers, coaches, nutritionists, mind managers were brought in to help these ladies lose weight and become more fit. One weighed 234 and the other about 205.

After three weeks, neither had lost a pound, in spite of days in the gym, hiking or feeble jogging on a mile or two of road, and people telling them to stop eating fast food junk and stop literally squirting chocolate syrup from the plastic bottle directly into her mouth! They even took up an Israeli martial art involving self defense and hitting a punching bag. At the end they only lost about 24 pounds each.

That show sure made me realize how very very hard it can be for some people to lose weight. And I know a guy who lost 130+ pounds. What an achievement.

Saturday I drove back to Massachusetts for the semi-finals of the squash tournament, and I watched the players carefully to compare their form with my own.

Then a couple of hours ago, I went to a local high school squash court and practiced what I had seen the pro’s do…or at least my interpretation of the right way to hit. I worked on service returns for most of an hour. I must be able to hit a backhand off the wall.

Tomorrow my friend (who has his own squash court and has been playing for years) and I will drive to Trinity College in Hartford, CT to hit with one of the top college players in the country, who invited me to join him on the court. That is a large reason why I have been practicing so vigorously. Squash requires very strong legs as well as endurance and quick reflexes. It is a fabulous cardio workout. If you are not familiar with the game, check out some videos on YouTube. Can’t wait to report how I did…