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An elite mountain climber is said to have been asked what he saw at the top of the mountain. And he said: more mountains. So with that inind . . .

After losing a bunch of weight and improving my fitness, it’s easy to fall into a trap and think the beast has been slayed, I’m a fit guy and Men’s Fitness is holding on line 2 to arrange a photo shoot.

I don’t often have such moments – almost every day I work out, there is an actual National Lacrosse League all-star training with us, as well as three or four other youngsters who actually are very fit. I mean, machine-like athletes with highly tuned bodies.

Not a middle-aged guy in danger of pulling a hammy unloading empties at the Beer Store.

So, we older folk don’t need to look far to see what work remains. And for me, it’s all work.

But there are days when you are rockin’ some new clothes and the sales women were a little more flirty than you’re accustomed to and you lose all perspective for 10 minutes. And then you show up at the gym on Saturday and Richard throws in an exercise you’ve never done before and later you feel like you should spend the rest of the weekend in a Jolly Jumper.

And that’s what happened to me. When I started at ATC, I was weak everywhere. Since then, one area I’ve worked on and seen great results is my core. Beer belly is gone, visceral (internal) fat way down, my back feels great, I can do sprinter situps fine, and I can even do multiple sets of situps holding a 25-pound plate over my head.

Then I did the barbell rollout. If you’ve ever seen the ads on TV for the Ab Roller, well, this exercise is basically that. You take a barbell. You get on your knees and hold it. Then you roll it away from your body, lowering your hips, flatterning your back and pushing it out as far as you can until it feels like your spine is going to snap. Then, you pull it back.

Mother of god. Trust me, this is way harder than it sounds.

I got through the exercise fine and I made sure to do it right. I lowered my hips. I rolled the barbell out to arm’s length. And on Sunday did I feel it. And I’m still feeling it. And this morning, we did a version of the same drill using a large exercise ball, so, abs alert for Tuesday.

I love the feeling when a set of muscles feel like they have been kicked in the jewels and awakened rudely. Every time I move, I’m reminded there’s no final destination, just more weigh stations on the journey.

And tomorrow we’ll climb another mountain.

The smarter, better looking member of the house kicked into Christmas mode on the weekend and did some serious shopping both days and then started rolling out the decorations late in the afternoon. I was there strictly to provide muscle, positive feedback and wine.

While she was out shopping I dealt with the plus-sized haberdashery which is my closet. Some cherished sport coats, blazers, and suits were bagged and removed. Canali. Harris Tweed. Harry Rosen. Lauren. Boss. Things that were bought in some cases long ago, and in all cases before we simultaneously had two kids in university to pay for.

I also unloaded some cozy old hoodies and fleece zip tops that would comfortably fit the Michelin Man. And some dress shirts. And more. There’s not much left to go now, but I still have a significant clothing deficit. Suits need to be tailored to make them even remotely wearable. A couple more sport coats/blazers are needed. Dress shirts that don’t fill with an autumn breeze like the sails of Bluenose II are coming.

It’s a First World Problem and if you like to shop, it could be fun. Since I don’t like to shop it’s not fun. And I’d rather not spend the money on me but I have to look semi-professional at least, for five days a week.

And assuming I stay on this track I’m going to have to do it again in the spring.

Both our guys – and every other university student in Canada – are diving into exams this week. And unless they are pulling the wool over our eyes, Pad and Chris have been doing a lot of prep.

Pad took time out Saturday night for the Dal Tigers men’s hockey team’s annual Christmas festive social. These guys really know how to unwind.

He was posting periodic updates on Snapchat and the Ugly Sweater contest was a show stopper. I have no idea where the guys found some of these sweaters but in Pad’s words, “the boys put some effort in.”

The top update of the night was when the party moved into the street (Pad and his house mates hosted; they live about three blocks from the heart of the Dal campus) and a game of “egg toss” ensued. I have no idea what egg toss is. I bet it involves tossing an egg.

I’m told the local constabulary also made a brief appearance, but only to encourage the team to perhaps keep it down a little.

The peewee Packers scored with about two minutes left and an extra attacker on the ice Saturday to earn a 3-3 tie.

Never mind that we had a goal questionably called back earlier …

The boys will enter a tournament in Kingston next weekend on a three-game unbeaten streak.

 

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