Haven’t been to the gym since July 30th. What the hell happened? Where is all that discipline that others are resenting (see post on August 17)? How could I go at least six times a month for two years—and eight times a month since I started this site—and give it all up so completely?

Here are my excuses. I strained so hard setting new records for chin ups and pull ups, that I hurt my shoulders, forearms and right elbow. The tennis and squash that followed probably didn’t help. But I played through the aching. I needed to stay away from the machines and weights in the gym to recuperate. However I still could have done my crunches. Yet I didn’t. After just three days of them in two weeks, I stopped.

Traveling eight days and having visitors and events at the house another four may have kept me from the gym. But crunches take less than half an hour. So there is no excuse. Just laziness.

Saw the doctor and am now wearing a tennis-elbow, velcro wrap. This has happened before in my life: making progress, feeling good and proud, and then a small injury or lapse sets me way, way back. Now I have to get into the rhythm again.

Having both kids home has been pleasurable and distracting as well. Want to enjoy them before they go back to school. But my dreams of leaving them for hours at the gym proved half-hearted. Especially when they brought their friends, and sometimes there were 10 kids in the house to laugh with.

Even my food discipline went down the sewer. Ate lots of desserts and candy. I mean as long as I broke the diet, what-the-hell, have another chocolate mint, eat those delicious restaurant offerings until I am stuffed and uncomfortable. I did gain almost five pounds…just not of fabulous muscle, which was my goal.

So starting this week, after my daughter goes back to school, I must start working out again…assuming my right arm can handle it. And no excuse for no crunches. Watch and see if Ira can recover…


I did play or practice tennis seven times so far this month. Plus two squash practice sessions. Out of six sets with the old guys (84 and 93), my team won three times. Unfortunately we blew one today in a tiebreaker after leading 5-1. So we have lost 12 out of the last 16 sets with these guys who place the ball so well and lob almost to perfection.

And I was trying so hard to copy the former champions I watched for three days at the International Tennis Hall of Fame grass courts in Newport, RI. Two former world number 1’s (Courier and Wilander) and other famous players who had ranked 4th to 10th in their prime.

I keep on struggling with knowing what to do and not yet being able to execute consistently. Richard Strozzi-Heckler’s article (posted above) about how much practice is needed is a good spur for me. I am definitely determined. Let’s see what happens…