Dinner With Clark

I just finished doing my morning burpees and I feel great. I do them every other day. It wasn’t that long ago when I couldn’t do them as often as that but perseverance really does pays off.

I never heard about burpees until my co-worker, Noreen told me about them. “They’re the exercise that many people love to hate but I love them. I burn calories, get a full body workout and I can do them anywhere. I don’t need any equipment. I have an area in the basement where I do them. You should try them.”

“How do you do a burpee?” I asked her and the next time I went over to her house, she took me straight down to the basement and showed me. It looked like a pushup followed by a jump squat. At first, I wasn’t sure that I could do it. She made it look easy.

“You can start with a squat thrust. It starts out just like a burpee, but instead of doing a pushup and then jumping up, you simply begin in squatting position, kick your legs back so you’re in a pushup position, and then return to your starting stance. Here, let me show you.”

That I can do,” I told her. I tried it and it was a cinch.

“Once you’ve gotten into a routine and feel comfortable doing the squat thrust, you can make it more challenging by doing it holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand.”

“Are there any health risks?”

“If you have had or have back issues or keen pain, avoid doing the chest-to-floor burpee and if you have knee pain, don’t do any jumping. Just step back and forth from the push up instead of jumping. It’s always best to consult your doctor or physical therapist if you have one before trying a new exercise. If you like, you can come here or I can come to your apartment and spot you until you’re comfortable doing the exercise on your own.”

“That would be great. Thanks.”

So, in the beginning, she was there when I did my burpees. I started slowly and did a few reps at first until I got used to the move. When I found myself doing it easily with no pain I added more reps. I eventually worked up to doing 8 and then 10 reps in a row before pausing before doing another set. Burpees soon became my favorite bodyweight exercise. I love it! I will forever be indebted to Noreen for introducing me to burpees.

It was Friday evening, I was walking home from the park. The sun hadn’t set as yet. I spotted Basil Box, a Thai restaurant and stopped, debating whether or not to pick up food and enjoy it while watching Netflix when to my surprise Clark, former co-worker walked up to me. “Hello, Gemma,” he said, smiling.

I smiled. “Hello.”

“How are you doing?”

“I’m fine, thanks,” I said.

“Do you live around here?”

“Yes.”

“Me too. I live at Doris Avenue. What about you?”

“I live at Northtownway.”

“That close? I’m surprised we haven’t bumped into each before. So, what are you doing on this fine evening?”

“I was debating if I should get Thai takeout.”

“Funny, I was heading in there when I saw you.”

“Looks like we had the same idea.”

“Are you going to eat alone or with someone?”

“Alone.”

“So am I.”

“Oh.”

“I have a suggestion. Why don’t we have dinner together?”

I liked that suggestion very much. “Sure,” I said.

We went into Basil Box and over mouth-watering Spicy Eggplant & Tofu and Thai Pao Chicken, we had a very animated conversation. After dinner, he walked me home. In the lobby of my building, we faced each other. “Now that I know that you don’t live far from me, I hope that we will see more of each other.”

“I hope so too. Thanks for dinner, Clark.”

“You’re welcome, Gemma. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.” We exchanged smiles and then he turned and walked away. I went to the elevators.

He called me the next day and asked me to go to The Reservoir Lounge with him. We had such a great time and now we’re dating.

Sources: Healthline; MBG Movement;

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