Recently Delts and I began doing a new exercise. You take a fairly heavy medicine ball and play catch with your partner, moving quickly. It’s great for reflexes and gets your heart rate up rapidly. If that sounds like too much, you can just start with a lighter ball, and go at a more comfortable pace. For variation, you get more people into a square or circle and rapidly pass the ball along. Doesn’t that sound more fun than doing a half-hour session on a treadmill for the zillionth time? And you never know when an exercise will come in handy in your everyday life.
Exercise in the Gym vs. the Real World
At times I think that Delts and I spend too much time in the gym. That week we managed to get out to a baseball game. That’s not Delts’ favorite sport. He’s a big bruiser, and tends to enjoy sports that have more physical pounding, like football, hockey, or badminton. But it’s not too hard to talk him into going to other sports – he’s up for just about anything. What I like about baseball is that it’s very relaxing and allows conversation. I work as a web developer, a fairly solitary activity, so at times I am craving social contact. And what’s more fun than hanging out with ten thousand of your closest very boisterous friends?
So we got to the game on a flawless summer night – a beautiful sunset, temperature just right, and a responsive crowd. The initial innings were quiet, a pitchers’ duel with few hits. Our attention wandered from the game, which I actually enjoy. He told me about the new exercise DVD he’d bought, and we chatted with people sitting nearby. We were fairly close to the field, right at the back of our section, with another higher section right behind us.
Lift the Drinking Up, Put the Inhibitions Down, Less Joy in Mudville
As the innings rolled on, some runs scored, and the crowd began to get involved. Of course, in later innings of a game the liquid refreshments begin to take more effect, adding to the conversation volume and bringing out the referee-haters. A guy above us was particularly vocal with his criticism. His speech skill gradually deteriorated as his volume went up. A very young girl next to him, presumably his daughter, wore a baseball cap and appeared to be enjoying the game, but was struggling to get Dad’s attention as he talked with his friends and yelled at the officials.
With the score tied in the eighth inning, the crowd was riveted on the action, and as this was an important game. The girl above us would stand up and jump up and down with any hit, leaning forward way too close to the rail in my opinion, but her father was oblivious. I frowned, wondering if I should try to intervene and experience the drunken wrath of Mr. All-Knowing.
The clean-up hitter cracked a long shot to left field, and the crowd erupted. I turned to say something to Delts, and suddenly I saw the girl fighting for her balance above us.
I yelled, “no!”, and everything went into slow motion. Delts spun around to see what I was looking at. At that moment the girl’s cap flew off and she began to fall forward, an expression of horror on her face. She screamed as she tumbled forward in the air, her legs now over her head.
In a flash, Delts stood up and reached out. The girl flew into his arms, landing on her back. Delts’ strength simultaneously prevented her from hitting the seats and stopped her from landing on other people nearby. She was wide-eyed and stunned into breathlessness by the impact, but was otherwise unharmed. She regained her breath and composure, and gave Delts a huge hug. Fans seeing the incident cheered and gave Delts a standing ovation.
Delts, a One-Man Delta Force: Our Hero
As it happens, the local TV station had a camera trained on the audience, so the whole incident was recorded. Delts became a local hero, and got lots of fans on Youtube. From that day on, he was known as “Uncle Delts” to Jessica, one very grateful young lady.
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