06E080

Jogging for Health

 

 

My doctor told me to take up jogging

 

My cholesterol level approximated the Dow‑Jones average. My electrocardiogram resembled the seismograph of a major earthquake. The doctor instructed me to jog around the block, gradually working up to 3 or 4 miles, in the early morning.

The first step (no pun intended) was to get a jogging outfit.. Macy's and Brooks Brothers did not have the desired color (puce), so I went to my tailor. After clearing up a small balance for a tuxedo I'd bespoke for Roosevelt's second inauguration, he produced the needed garment

 

I found a backlogged cobbler on 52nd Street who was about to leave for a family reunion in Sicily.. By New Years, however, I had assembled my attire, and was rarin' to go.

 

The first morning I overslept. I had gone out with some good friends to celebrate my new healthy life, and, what with one thing and another, awakened at 3 P.M. with a bad headache.

 

The next morning, it looked like rain. There were several clouds. 'Come, come, my lad', I admonished myself, 'Your goal is to tone up your cardiovascular system, not get pneumonia.'

Sorrowfully, I returned to slumber land. To compensate, I had a healthy breakfast, limiting my bacon to three strips instead of the usual five. Stoic self discipline catches the worm.

 

The third morning, I donned my costume and made it to the front porch. The morning paper caught my eye. There was a scare headline about our trade deficit with China. What was more important, my lipid level or the welfare of our country? An informed citizenry is the backbone of democracy. The time I might have spent frivolously jogging was devoted to a careful study of the trade deficit with China. On page 34, an item informed me that a daily glass of red wine was good for the heart. I was thunderstruck. I don't drink much wine. ("The wise man does not mix grain and grape.") I had unknowingly neglected an important therapeutic tool. And I was so many days behind!

 

Catching up on my red wine drinking took several weeks of determined effort, followed by a few days in a rest home, but at last I was ready to resume jogging.

 

But the frustrating delays continued. I made a madcap trip to Burma at the beginning of the monsoon season. Not the strictest cardiologist could expect me to jog a sea of mud in a downpour. On returning, I found I had left my jogging ensemble in the hut.. To my dismay, there are no Burmese interpreters listed in the Manhattan phone book. Until I find one to write to the village chief, Im stuck. I cant go back to the tailor and cobbler. Theyd be cross.

 

It almost seems that some higher power is determined to thwart me.

 

Oddly, at my next examination, my cholesterol had fallen.

 

So had the Dow-Jones average.