Body By Ilya

A few months back, I decided the time had finally come to do something about taking care of my body.  Apart from playing a lot of tennis and doing a fair amount of biking, I had let things slide to a point where I was feeling (and more importantly, looking) less robust than I’d like.  So I decided to turn myself over to a personal trainer, Ilya, who had run some fitness sessions at my tennis club.

Body By....Anabolic Steroids

Body By….Anabolic Steroids

Now, this was not something I did easily or lightly.  I am a remarkably undisciplined person; the only thing I do with regularity is have coffee in the morning and breathe in and out.  That’s not exactly true.  I also force myself to write a blog every week or two.  (This, despite a dearth of encouragement, thank you.)  So, starting a regimen of any kind, particularly one that had the makings of being really onerous and/or tedious, was a very big step for me. Very big.

I knew that, given who I was dealing with, I needed to come up with some kind of strategy that would ensure that I would actually keep the appointments that I made with Ilya.  What I decided to do, was to pay in advance for a series of sessions.  I knew that the Inner Jew in me would be hard pressed to forfeit that kind of money and I hoped that ploy could be just the needed incentive to get me to actually show up to my sessions.  And, in fact, it was. In what has turned out to be an epic battle between my Inner Malingerer and my Inner Jew, it is the Semite who has won out.  So there I am, twice a week toiling away at Ilya’s private gym.

Ilya’s gym is not typical.  There’s none of the usual free weights or machines. Instead, there are ropes with rings hanging from a loft area, kettle bell weights, a rowing machine and some other plain Jane paraphernalia. During my hour of torture, we (actually, it’s just me) engage in a lot of different disciplines. At the heart of many of them is, what I believe,  Ilya’s goal to make me feel like an incredible klutz.  To that end he has me doing lots of things while trying to maintain my balance on one leg or stationing myself on a hemisphere while juggling.  My least favorite is where he has me walking on a two by four laid on the ground.  And with no safety net whatsoever! Don’t ask! I think his strategy of undermining my sense of equilibrium is working beyond even his wildest dreams.  I’m now amazed that I can even make it down the street without falling over.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to maintain this new-found discipline.  It’s already gone on longer than I ever thought it would.  I think calling on this Inner Jew gambit has turned out to be much more powerful than I could have predicted. I bet I could probably use it for all sorts of different things.  Actually, as I think about it, I noticed that the Brooklyn Conservatory is offering a series of harp lessons.  Huge discount if you pay up front.  I wonder if I could play a harp standing on one foot?

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