Exhilaration Boulevard: forego the trip and it may cost you

12 May

Functionality Taking a Nosedive

By Phillip Tomlinson

Are you in sync? No, really? If you have to think about it, then you may have more than a chink in your armour. That’s hardly good news, considering that, if you are like most, you were given a body with the mechanics to keep you gliding in perfect sync. But things a have a way of getting out of hand and, before you know it, functionality has taken a nose-dive — right out the window in front of your very eyes. And, well, you are left waddling along and groaning in discomfort when faced with the simplest of tasks — like picking up a pencil off the floor.

As for that pencil, it may be more useful than you think, so hold on to that thought and it’ll be a pleasant surprise to you later, especially if you are interested in reclaiming lost glory. That means really holding on to the mechanics that make your body the anatomical wonder it is. If this blog, in this first installment and beyond, does nothing else it will provide insight as well as some fun and helpful ways to reprise or improve the functionality that adds new meaning to “have a nice day.” That means looking and feeling your best which can go a long, long way — all the way to Exhilaration Boulevard.

Let’s just say it’s a highway worth traveling. No tolls here. But forego the trip and it’s a fair bet it’ll cost you. In fact, you’ll definitely be missing out. Of course, you gotta start somewhere, so you might as well strap yourself in for the ride — at the beginning. Right where you are.

I started right where I was way back when I was a scrawny, skinny 12-year-old. You could say I looked like a puppy with overgrown paws. Now, that definitely didn’t sit well with the shy, sensitive boy I was. So, I discovered an exercise that is a common yardstick for measuring strength which wasn’t something I had much of.  The push-up became an obsession, along with a pair of exercise springs.

That was then. Today, after competing in karate and track and field on the national level, graduating with a Master of Science degree, and working as a television anchor and a medical reporter, I find myself still being a student of body movement — even moreso in my capacity as an athletic trainer. 

Phillip Tomlinson

That has paid big dividends by not only keeping me primed for daily life, but also in enlightening my approach to activities like weight training  and karate. You may say I have been to Exhilaration Boulevard and back.  

Of course, while your story is different, I’m sure you’re not averse to hanging out at Exhilaration Boulevard. You may discover you’re gliding in perfect sync and, at that, you’ll definitely breathe easier. And that pencil? Now, I can just about pick it up any which way. If you are up to the task, pull up a chair — literally — and give this simple routine a try:


The Pencil Snatch


  1. Sit on a chair, its back supported against a wall, with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart firmly on the ground.
  2. Position a pencil on the ground on the inside of your left foot.
  3. Pull forward to the edge of the seat. This is your starting position.
  4. Let your right arm hang on the inside of your right leg, while placing the other arm on your left hip.
  5. With a straight back, ease yourself up a few inches off the chair so you are now being fully supported by your legs.
  6. Holding your leg position and your left hand against your hip, bend over and pick up the pencil with your right hand .
  7. As you stand up, simultaneously pull your left knee up as high as you can while raising the arm with the pencil straight up over your head so that you are now balancing only on your right leg.
  8. Hold your position steadily for a count of two.
  9. Lower your arm as you simultaneously descend to place the pencil back on the ground and sit back on the chair to complete one repetition.
  10. Assume the starting position as in number 3.

Aim for 10 repetitions, take a 30-second break and repeat on the other side.

Note:  This routine can be made more challenging by substituting the pencil with a weight and shortening your rest time. 




2 Responses to “Exhilaration Boulevard: forego the trip and it may cost you”

  1. Ev Koai"Ku June 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Greetings Sensei, Osu! Cruisin by letting you know I am enjoying your blog offering needful/helpful insight presented with zesty flavors and delightful material! Best wishes and I shall visit frequently!

    Keep educating the good people for you are gifted, blessed and talented and what are the worth of this precious gifts if they are not properly shared…Yes, it matters to take care of one another and assist in the health crisis we are having.
    By making healthy living an attainable and fun way of life for all people we are moving mountains by saving lives!

    Great work, great heart, many blessings!
    With much respect and appreciation,

    Ev Koai”Ku aka Momma Jaguar

    • Phillip Tomlinson June 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

      Thanks for giving this a look. I am honored by your generosity.

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