March 10, 2016


Today for the first time in over 20 years I went to a gym and worked out. I spent an hour on the treadmill and thirty minutes lifting and felt great. I'll probably be sore tomorrow.

This was my first time in the exercise section. As I was walking around checking out the facility (it's huge) I stopped at the treadmills and found myself looking at a retired cop I haven't seen for quite some time. Tommy and I worked midnights for years back in the 80's; he had to retire on disability after he blew his back out on a routine traffic call.

We talked for about an hour as we worked the treadmills (he is diabetic and has had several heart by passes - he has to keep his weight down) and caught up on a bunch of stuff; a lot of it heartbreaking. Tommy has had some hard times in the past ten years, real hard times. I left to go work out on the weight training machines and Tommy left ... to visit his wife's grave. He does that almost every day. She's been gone for over six years. Cancer. He talks about her like she's still alive. He still wears his wedding ring. Dang...

I intend on going to go to the gym - awwrite it's a health club - on a regular basis. I need to take better care of myself and I want  to reestablish some old relationships. There's a bunch of retired cops that use the gym (Tommy gave me the skinny on about a dozen retirees - you know, the low down, he's like a broad that way) and a few of them I'd really like to see again. Others - ahhhh - not so much.

Working almost full time at my age and not going to the retirement meetings has isolated me somewhat from my old companions. The retirees association and the FOP for some reason always meet on Wednesdays and we have Wednesday services at our church. That and it's the same buncha guys talking about the same issues every time, every meeting. Drink the beers, eat the pizza, play cards.

Anyway, Tommy went on and on while we walked, he needed that - I realize it. But I do too,  so do we all. It was good to see Tommy. Real good. I hope he felt the same.

And then this afternoon I stumbled across this.
Studies show that deep male friendships may be good for our biological hearts too. Friendships can reduce stress, make us more resilient to future stresses, decrease our chances of getting depressed or anxious, and help keep us healthy. One study found that having a friend is as important to a person's health as quitting smoking.
It's an interesting article, particularly the part about how our bodies react to a friend.


Gorges Smythe said...

Old friends and dogs - two of life's greatest treasures!

Doom said...

I'll put in a prayer for him. Though I have to tell you, a love like that is worth it. He is, very much, still wed. On the other side, my heart is so bad I can't do enough to keep the weight off. Not as well. I've dropped 70 pounds, water pills helped, actually medicine for it when they finally figured it out helped. And I've been losing size. Anyway, don't feel too bad for him, in one sense. He has a better marriage, with his wife in the grave, than many will ever know with both living it seems.

Kid said...

We do need friends. I've often thought about being the last swingin .... on the planet and how that might be nice, but we do need other people that we get along with. And it's not a bad thing if we have some history with that person.

On the other hand, given enough domesticated cats, dogs, and others, I might be Ok without the people.

sig94 said...

True friends are the ones that you lost contact with over the years, and when you do reconnect, it's like no time at all has passed.