Up at 3:45 am to be settled in the woods before first light, which is now around 4:40. I am determined to harvest—don’t you love that politically correct word—a tom turkey eventually. One position, no movement for an hour, waiting for the birds to come out of the trees. I was about to give up…then my patience was rewarded: one lone hen flew down too far away. Still glad I out-waited her. Still glad I woke up so early.

In a nearby hayfield I called in three toms to my woods. (You make the sounds of a hen to appeal to the tom’s mating urge.) One approached my clucks curiously. He was only 25 yards away, but between two trees just two feet apart. There were lots of small branches to dodge between him and me. The opening might only have been a few inches. It would have to be a Robin Hood shot that only Kevin Costner can do in his movie. Licking the arrow feathers (the fletching) like Kevin did in the film might have helped. I decided to wait for a better shot. The bird turned away, and I never saw him again.

I should have taken what I had. I gambled and lost. How often do we do this in our lives? Wait for something that might be better? Girlfriends. Wives. Jobs. Business opportunities. So many times we pass up our chance for now and curse ourselves later when we realize what we missed

My first tennis coach said that you have to first hit the ball over the net. That is 50% of how you win the point. Even if it is a poor shot that your opponent smashes right past you for his winner. Hitting into the net is a sure loser.

Now no one hits into the net intentionally. But many times we go for the big power stroke that misfires instead of a gentle and perfectly placed dink that wins the point. Last week I watched a high school kid practically hit the ceiling of the indoor tennis court after his net volley hit the floor. He could’ve just nudged it—the other guy was way in the back court—but he was angry. And he lost the match after too many killer shots that were out or hit the net. Get it over first.

I know, I know. It’s easy with hindsight to figure out which way you should have gone. Maybe the top athletes can decide faster than the rest of us in addition to having the physical talent. Ditto for stock traders. But next time I will force myself to take the shot.

I did choose last night to go to the gym after the work was done. Late afternoon. Started the work out close to 7. I had already spent 20 minutes in the morning doing crunches, but I did more ab stuff in the gym. Set a new record for leg scissors—125. Also made slower moves on the machines and struggled painfully on the chin up bar. Ten seems a long long way in the future. The best thing about the gym is the other people with the great bodies—a real inspiration for me to keep at it. I have to catch up on my goal of eight visits. I am far behind, and need three this week and three next week to reach the target. I have never gone three times in a week. Can I live with an hour work out at home? Will it “count?” I am ready to order an exercise ball and more weights.

With my son’s help, we started posting yesterday on this web site and added a photo gallery. A lot of the set up work seems behind me now. With 112 million blogs, it can’t be that hard. But I took a more advanced design route that requires understanding some code, adding “plug ins,” and revising style sheets.

At my age there is great emphasis on shaking up your brain cells, learning a language, developing new neurons and motor skills. It’s supposed to keep you more cognizant and healthier. Definitely more difficult and at times overwhelming. However I learned about staying with tasks and having lots of patience from my readings and trips to Japan. Maybe I was a Zen student in a previous incarnation?

When I heard years earlier to “Use It or Lose It,” I knew people were talking about body parts closer to the ground. At my age there are many seniors who find new learning too uncomfortable. They are stuck in the familiar and miss out on much excitement. But maybe they can’t handle that kind of anxiety.

I have certainly had doubts about this effort. As one friend in his early 50’s confronted me: “Why are you doing this blog? Who is going to be interested in reading about your abs?” We’ll see. It certainly gives me the chance to bare my chest in the most literal way. And it is definitely making me do the exercise that I have always avoided. Nothing wrong with that.

By the way, my foot is still sore, and I felt smarter bowing out of my weekly tennis game again. I really miss it though. And hitting the squash ball as well.