Opinion: Getting a jump on fitness


I am obsessed with getting in 15,000 steps a day for my fitness regimen. I am not a health freak by any stretch of the imagination, although that stretch is one of the few I can do without hurting myself.

If I haven’t reached my goal by midnight, I often go down in our basement and trot around the rowing machine (which we never use) or dance around the recumbent bike, which is our most versatile coat rack, or dash around the ping-pong table, which has caused me real hip pain — not playing ping-pong, but crashing into the table when I round the corners at 2 a.m.

To get those final steps in each night, I occasionally even walk up and down the street for 10 minutes. Now, everyone in the neighborhood knows how obsessive I am. They also know the color of all my pajamas.

“You have to find a better way,” I kept telling myself. That’s also what several police officers told me after reports of streaking in the neighborhood. I don’t wear the pink jammies anymore.

What I did do was buy a mini trampoline. I had heard that bringing out your inner kangaroo could have some health benefits. And so, I ordered one.

The instructions said you need two people to complete the job. I enlisted my wife to assist and it’s a good thing I did. Mary Ellen convinced me to call our handyman, Kevin, to put the contraption together.

Kevin didn’t even need the directions. He grabbed his electric drill, popped on a few accessories, and in 20 minutes I was ready to bounce like no one was watching. Well, almost …

My wife was still concerned about my safety. Springing forward is something I’m allowed to do only once a year … that would have been last week during the first Sunday morning of daylight savings time.

There were several safety warnings on the instructions. First, the manual said, “Don’t install the trampoline while out in bad weather. The frame of the trampoline can conduct lightning.” What a bummer! Now, I don’t have anything to do in my backyard during the next thunderstorm.

The directions also made clear that “some parts can loosen when using the trampoline.” I knew that right away when my shoulder and knee slipped out of their sockets after 100 bounces.

One night, I watched Stephen Colbert’s late-night show on CBS while I did some in-place jogging. Trust me, laughing and bouncing at the same is not a good combination.

Finally, the instructions said that if you don’t plan to use the machine for an extended period, store the device by “removing all the parts in reverse order.” My handyman, Kevin, loved that part.

Now, he has steady employment for the rest of my life.