The Black Knight

After a circuit class at our gym, this TOJ was talking with Dennis Jennings, a fellow TOJ, about how hard it is to find a suitable workout regimen if you're a male and older. Most of the group classes at the gym have dance elements and just don't incorporate stuff that's very athletic. Although the classes can plenty challenging (in circuits you get out what you put in), something's missing in the other ones.Gyms are careful not to over-tax the old people to prevent injuries and heart attacks. 

As I described what I thought it is and what exercises needed to be added, he got a smile on his face, knowing just what I meant. He thought old guys would like a workout like that. He suggested, tongue in cheek, that we should form a group called the Black Knights, named after the hilarious scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail. I went home and watched it again (101st time) and agreed.

TOJs are just like the Black Knight when he says his classic line, "It's just a flesh wound." We probably don't have a much better handle on our actual physical capabilities than the Black Knight, but, like him, we keep at it against all odds. He doesn't quit, whine, or hesitate. He fights on, despite his steadily vanishing capacities and mortal condition.

Don't forget that the only reason the Black Knight didn't skewer King Arthur was that he was exhausted from his previous fight.  Swinging broadswords really takes it out of you. He needed a few minutes to restore the ATP in his muscles.

The Black Knight has inspired me to design a workout routine in his honor. It will be hard, a full body workout with agility drills, plyometrics, strength, power, and cardio. It'll start with a dynamic warm-up, and go immediately into high intensity sequences to enlist every muscle in the body, deep down into the core.

Designing a program like this will be a challenge because TOJs were always physically active, so they have muscle or joint vulnerabilities and limitations from old injuries or over-use. You have to find ways to work around these.

But the Black Knight shows the way. If worse comes to worse, you hop around on one leg. It's better than nothing, and you're still in the battle. Aging is just a flesh wound.

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