Spinning into the new Power House

power house gymHe was about 21 or 22 years old with long blond hair. And this dude was built like a brick house.

His arms were large and muscular and he ripped off his t-shirt to reveal six-pack abs. It was difficult not to notice this young man because he was prancing, flexing and admiring himself in the mirror.

I nicknamed him Thor.

Welcome to the new Power House Gym in West Bloomfield.

One of my final images of Planet Fitness was walking in on a 70 year old guy running a blow dryer between his legs after a shower to dry his duffle bags. It was not a pretty sight, but it was a common sight at my old gym.

I am transitioning from one gym to a new gym — the West Bloomfield Power House. It is a brand new $3 million facility with new equipment, new people and hopefully a new phase of fitness for me.

Planet Fitness was good for me. It helped me lose 46 pounds in less than a year and gain new friends that I nicknamed “The Old People.” I was in a comfort zone and happy there, but I believe now is the time to venture into an uncomfortable situation and push myself further in my quest for good health.

I want to take fitness classes under the eye of trained professionals along with men and women who are in different stages of health. I began the process by taking my first spinning class, which sounds wimpy, but is the toughest thing I’ve gone through in life.

I thought spinning classes were groups of old ladies in granny glasses spinning yarn to make scarves and mittens, not a way to torture human beings on futuristic stationery bikes.

When I told instructor Nicole it was my first time spinning her eyes gleamed as if to say “I got me a newbie.” Then she proceeded to turn me into a pile of sweat. God bless Nicole. She’d come over to my bike every so often to say I was doing a great job. I know she was fibbing a bit, but it made me feel good to hear it.

I knew I was in trouble when a couple of the veteran women had Ezekiel Elliott thighs. We did a lot of speed intervals which lasted from 10-90 seconds. At the end the 10 second bursts seemed like an hour.

Even though I am sort of an ugly guy people say I look good following my weight loss. That’s because most of my gut is gone and my face is no longer puffy. The one complaint I hear is my ass is too small.

No problem. Power House has a class called butz and gutz and I plan on visiting soon for more torture.

I will never become like Thor. But I’d like a better body so I can admire myself in the mirror. The difference is if I ever get to that stage I will prance in the privacy of my own home.

 

 

The seniors take over the gym

Senior-FitnessWe call ourselves the old people.

We are gym members between the ages of 55 and 75 who show up every morning at Planet Fitness to work out and gab. We are all very different people. We are white and black, blue and red, male and female.

The only things we have in common are ailments.

If you put our medical records together we’ve had hip and knee replacements, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and Vertigo. But we keep on ticking and hope the exercise improves our health. We worry about one another so much that if somebody doesn’t show up for three days we fear the worst and give that person a phone call.

“Have you seen Bill,’ someone asked last week.

“Oh he is in Arizona playing golf,” someone else replied.

“Oh thank God. I thought he was dead.”

Sometimes we get together for dinner. A few weeks ago eight of us ate dinner at a place that turns into a dance club at 9 o’clock. We were all out of there by 8:30. No one wanted to be called grand pa or geezer.

The old men crack me up. Sometimes they believe the cute 25 year old in Lulu Lemon tights is looking past all the 25 year old pumped up studs at their wrinkled 60 year old ass.

“I think that cutie is checking me out,” one of the old people said.

I spoiled the day for him.

“Yeah she is looking over here, but you must have missed the “when are these old farts going to get off the weight machine so I can use it” look.”

A woman did ask for my phone number. However, I spent the next two weeks trying to figure out if she wore false teeth. Obviously she was not one of the young cuties I was talking about.

We are the cool old people. There are other groups of old people we don’t associate with. For instance, watch out when you enter the men’s locker room. You might walk in on a 70 year old who is running a hair drying between his legs to dry off his balls after a shower.

How sick. Don’t they have towels for that?

Women complain about other old people that stare at their breasts while working out. I swear I am not one of those people. I am a leg and butt man.

There is an old guy that wears short shorts and when he stretches his private parts burst loose and his duffle bags are squeezed against the floor. I am reporting this guy next time.

A month ago I visited my friend Larry Bird in the hospital after he had knee replacement surgery.

He got misty eyed and said: “Thank you for visiting. I feel kind of special.”

You are special. Besides I knew the surgery would keep you out of the gym for more than three days and I had to tell the other old people that you were not dead.

 

 

 

 

Old people hit the town in different ways now

seniors.jpgWe are nicknamed “The Old People” simply because we are old.

We are a group of men and women aged 55-75 at Planet Fitness who work out every morning between sessions of gabbing and complaining about ailments, surgeries and doctors appointments.

They are my people and we are going out tonight for dinner at Uptown Grill in Commerce Township. We might even stick around for when the young people take over the dance floor. But we will mostly smile and watch, wishing we were in our 20s again.

I like the old people because we can talk and not argue with each other. We have Trumpers in the mix along with people who wished Obama could have had a third term. We have Jews and Gentiles, men and women, blacks and whites, conservatives and liberals and every view in between.

The Old people have had heart surgeries, strokes, knee replacements and hip replacements. I complained about having to take a steroid shot for a sore right shoulder, thinking my pain was something special.

About half of the old people threw their hands up in the air and said: “I’ve had one of those.”

It is tough getting old. If you have not had an ailment, you are about to. But we are trying to delay further attacks on our bodies. That is why we are in the gym and eating healthy meals.

We do more than work out trying to stay healthy. It has become a fellowship. We all look forward to our 60-90 minutes each morning on the tread mill, stair master and by the weight machines.

Back in the day I would guarantee that I would dance with one of the cuties at Uptown. But here is what’s likely to happen tonight. A cutie will approach me and say: “Mr. Foster. My dad loves you.”

And if I’ve had enough beers I might reply: “Do you love me?”

Cutie: “No. The only love you get from my family is from my dad.”

Oh well.

 

 

 

Visit your sick friends, don’t stay away

Hospital-building.jpgI am going to visit Larry Bird in the hospital in the next day or so. He just had knee surgery and he will be sidelined for a while.

This is not the Larry Bird you are thinking about. He is the Larry Bird nobody knows about who works out in my gym at Planet Fitness.

A couple years ago there is no way I would visit him in the hospital because I thought most people wanted to be left alone following surgery or an illness. Then I found myself in the hospital for five days and hoped that every set of foot steps I heard in the hallway were coming to my room.

I talked to other patients, including a man diagnosed with cancer, and they all talked about the importance of visitations.

When we are down and out we need people more than we need peace and quiet. I was happiest when my room was filled and full of banter than when it was desolate and quiet.

Besides, you get enough peace and quiet late at night and early the next morning.

It is great to know that somebody cares. I cried when my neighbors Joe and Nancy poked their heads in when I was a patient at Henry Ford Hospital. I thought I’d never see them again and was overcome with joy when I saw them.

A few of my friends apologized for not visiting. They did not hear from me and thought I needed solitude. Some did come and it brought the biggest smile on my face. Now I am a hospital visitor, not  guy who will stay away.

I know Larry Bird is in pain as he recovers from knee surgery. I simply want to bring a smile to his face.

The day I should have quit radio

The day I should have quit radio came the day after Michigan State played Wisconsin in a televised Big Ten basketball game.

My job as a sports commentator was to watch the game and talk about it the next day. I watched the game but could not remember a thing about it when our show began on 97.1 The Ticket. That’s when I knew this come back to radio was the wrong thing to do, but it took me a few weeks more to actually pull the trigger.

When I had a stroke nearly two years ago, the old Terry Foster died that day. A new guy emerged. Although I am walking and talking and working out at the gym, I am a new person.

I came back too soon although I did not realize it. I was not fully recovered. I still am not although I am doing a lot better.  It was frustrating not to remember what happened in that basketball game. And it is frustrating not to be able to do what I once could.

I get tired easier and my focus is not the same. I am beginning to miss not being in the media scrum only because I wonder how I would handle big stories that break in our city. How would I write about it? How would I talk about it? What would I think about it?

Do not feel sorry for me. I am lucky. I am alive and still kicking a little bit. That daily fear of this being my last day on Earth has left my families’ eyes. I don’t talk as much but they finally believe that I am in it for the long haul again.

I nearly lost my life during this dark journey. But I have discovered the key to improved health. I weigh 185 pounds, my lightest weight since college. My last blood pressure reading was 122/74. And my doctor now encourages me to drink in moderation to lighten up my new life.

But let’s go back to the day I should have quit radio.

MSU-Wisconsin was an important game. I knew we’d talk about it the next day so I watched. I also watched a NASCAR race that day.

I tweeted about the race, but not the game. Our producer Mike Sullivan accused me of not watching the Spartans. So Mike Valenti came up with a series of questions about the game to see if I watched.

I flubbed every one because I felt pressure at the time. I choked and folded up like a cheap post card. I know they were frustrated and accused me of lying about watching the game. I was sick and in denial.

A few weeks later I grew tired of the daily headaches. I also took my blood pressure two hours after the show and it was always 180 over something ridiculous. I was killing myself again.

I had to step out of the box and chill.

That’s what I’m doing now.

My days are pretty simple. I work out at Planet Fitness in the morning with the old people. I grab lunch and relax watching television during the day, which often includes old, bad movies.

I got to teach my son Brandon how to drive and get to listen to the latest news from the University of Stanford from my daughter Celine.

I could have missed all that.

I am lucky.

If you eat right you will look right

girl scout.jpgI was a bad boy during my morning work out Friday morning.

I purchased Girl Scout cookies for the family and then offered some to my friends while they worked out at Planet Fitness.

That’s a no-no, I know. But I was in a silly mood.

I knew my girl Maxine would say no. While I peddled Girl Scout cookies she was in a back work out room showing off new photos of her in a red dress after losing 28 pounds. She did it on Weight Watchers where you monitor your eating based on a points system. She could have enjoyed  a couple cookies but would give up something more filling later in the day.

If you are trying to lose weight you can enjoy Girl Scout cookies too, but you must monitor what you eat and limit treats. Sometimes the cookies are not worth it.

I’ve lost about 45 pounds during my journey for better health and people ask me all the time what I gave up. The answer is nothing. I still enjoy pizza, burgers, fries and steak. But I have limited encounters with my favorite food. Friday or Saturday is my cheat day. Last Saturday I ate at Royale with cheese in Midtown with my son Brandon and it was a sloppy and delicious treat.

Six days a week I am on food lock down. I mostly eat salads, grilled fish and chicken, vegetables and I have fruit with each meal. Let me back track on one thing. I did give up one thing. I no longer drink pop. And that is hard. Things do taste better with a Coke.

The gym is a great place to meet like-minded people who either want to slim down or buff up. As we were watching photos of a slimmer Max one of my work out partners said: “I see people in here for months and nothing changes. They still have the same gut.”

He is right. It is easier to lose weight by eating right and not exercising than it is to exercise and not eat right. It is almost impossible to out work bad eating habits unless you want to enduring daily four hour workouts that drop you to the floor in exhaustion.

Eat right and you will look right.

What you eat is 70-80 percent of weight loss.

People ask if I am hungry all the time. The answer is no. I do crave certain foods but I ask myself “Do I want that piece of cherry pie or do I want to wake up the next day a little lighter?”

I get angry with myself when I miss weight goals. So I skip the pie.

All of my friends said no to the cookies which was a better decision than the one to go to the gym.

 

 

 

Our health club is a no wink zone

Health-ClubThere was turmoil in the health club today.

One of the guys I work out with got called on the carpet for winking at a woman. She didn’t like it and reported him to the staff. There are eight of us guys who work out together and Planet Fitness threatened to kick us all out of the gym.

That’s not right. But I don’t know if winking at a woman is a federal offense either. There is a fine line between being friendly and a creeper. My friend is not a creeper. He is a winker.

He even winks at me while telling a joke.

A woman gave me her phone number and offered drinks at a local watering hole. I was not offended. I was flattered. I would never report her to the staff.

Our gym is a friendly place for the most part. People offer to help you get buffed and lose weight. They don’t hit on you. They are being nice.

But there are creepers in the place. They are men who look at women’s butts and cleavage while practically drooling. Women don’t like those guys and I don’t blame them. They complain privately about those guys but have not issued a complaint.

I admit that I look briefly at someone I like but I do not drool with my mouth open. And I also do not wink.

My trainer Melissa was surprised that someone reported the Winker. I am not because of all the drama surrounding Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore and a number of other Hollywood celebrities concerning sexual harrassment. The days of men doing what they want with women should be over.

I think the woman that reported The Winker got caught up in that and decided to stand her ground. But The Winker would never touch her butt or do anything inappropriate. I think he was just being nice and flashed an innocent wink.

My question for women is what is appropriate behavior in the gym and do you believe the Winker crossed that line?

I don’t believe he did. But I could be wrong on this one.

 

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