Muscle Tone

“You should try some isometrics.” said my doctor. I was sitting on an examination table with my legs dangling over the edge where he’d had me sit so he could test my reflexes. “You know, Chuck Norris does isometrics and look at him.”

“Chuck is 72 and doesn’t look intimidating at all.” I said. “You might as well have suggested Ed McMahon.”

“Hrmf. Okay, maybe I should have said Jackie Chan.”

I looked at him sideways. “How come your examples are really old people?”

“I was trying to pick someone you could relate to. Someone of your, uh, stature.” said the doc.

“You’re saying I’m old. That’s it, isn’t it? You’re saying that I’m old and need exercise and should imitate foot in the grave celebrities. Jeez, I’m not that old.”

“You’re sixty four, Bob. And you have a cancer that has taken a tremendous toll on you besides.”

“Yeah, well sixty is the new 30. I mean, Chuck Norris is doing Blizzard Games commercials that make him out to be a badass, which is really kind of sad, actually. But still, what was old is now young.” I harrumphed.

“I don’t think Chuck Norris is as physically hampered as you are.”

“Then why use him as an example?”

“I think we’re straying afield of the point here.” said my doctor. “I’d like you to try to get more exercise, but I also don’t want to encourage you to do anything that will further jeopardize your position. Are you still swimming?”

“Yeah. Well, no. I don’t like the way that some of the guys in the dressing room and showers look at me like I’m lunch or something.” I said. My doctor rolled his eyes.

“I tried that electro-stimulation stuff. It’s not like I’m not trying.” I was a bit petulant.

“Yes, and you ended up in ER with burns on your thighs. If you recall, I didn’t suggest that and told you I don’t really support the method except in extreme cases.”

“I didn’t realize it was dialed all the way up when I turned it on.” I shrugged.

“Uh huh, I think we’ve covered this well enough and I should get on to other patients. Do you have any questions before I go?”

I thought about it for a minute. “No, I guess not. ”

“Okay then. Well, happy holidays.” he said.

“Merry Christmas, doctor.”

“Merry Christmas. Check with the nurse on your way out and she’ll arrange your next appointment. I’m thinking what, about six months?”

“That’s reassuring.” I smiled.


“Yeah, it tells me you figure I’ll still be here in six months. That’s reassuring.”

“Oh. Well, don’t prove me wrong. Get some more exercise.”

I rolled my way out of the medical center and found my wife waiting in the car. She was reading a book and listening to a song by Boston on the radio when I tapped the window. She got out and I maneuvered myself into the passenger seat while she folded up my wheelchair and stuffed it in the trunk. She got back in.

“So, how did it go?” she asked.

“My doctor thinks I’m old.”

She looked at me with her eyes hooded. “You are.”

“I’m not as old as Chuck Norris.” I said.

“I thought he died.” she replied.

“I love you.” I said.