07 April 2015

F is for Fitness

Rachel McLish - first Ms. Olympia
Physical fitness is an aspect that crept into my novel without much aforethought. I really didn't consciously plan it, but most of my characters seem to make it part of their daily lifestyles. Their friendships often began in places like yoga studios or weightlifting gyms. Here are the three couples you'll meet in the first Morristown Mystery:

  • J Lindsay Calhoun - lifts weights and jogs to prepare for Highland games where he competes in the Caber Toss 
  • Megan MacGregor - practices yoga daily and loves to dance. She and Lindsay particularly enjoy ballroom dancing
  • Nick Wagner - former Olympic gymnast who also practices yoga
  • Rachel Wagner - black belt in karate and marathon runner
  • Tripper George - bodybuilder
  • LeAnn Baker - bodybuilder and daily walker, and a marathon runner before losing a leg in the military
Based on those descriptions, you might think I'm something of an athlete myself. Not so. It's true I walk 3-5 miles daily, practice yoga intermittently, and try to lift light weights several times a week. But that's mostly to control joint pain, and to buy a few more years of comfortable writing time. My most intense exercise is probably at the kitchen sink, where I try to get in 100 sissy squats after washing dishes. Same goes for the bathroom sink, where 50 modified squats is the norm. I'm guessing there are days I get in at least 500 squats, depending on how much housework gets done. 

That said, a few of my characters might be a little more competitive than me. Since I have a short year of bodybuilding effort in my youth, I decided to go back in time and see how that fitness arena has evolved. My stint happened the year before Rachel McLish won the first Ms. Olympia title, so around 1980? Frankly, I found that entire world to be a bit too self-absorbed for me to maintain long-term interest. It hasn't changed all that much, and neither has Rachel McLish who doesn't look any older after all these years. Except now she has very large breasts. Augmentation surgery seems to be the norm in women's bodybuilding these days. And spray-on tans. And tattoos for many of the competitors. Holy moley. (Click on the links to read more about potential risks.)

So much for health and fitness. I think I'm going to turn one of my characters into a hot mess of contradictions. Look at my list above and tell me who you think it should be.


Sarah Foster said...

I really like your squat routine! If I worked exercises in with other daily stuff, I'd probably do a lot more of it!

Dani said...

Believe it or not, the squats make doing dishes more interesting! LOL.

Liz said...

I have no idea what a sissy squat is... luckily we have a dishwasher so I never have to find out! I do walk the dog for an hour though! ~Liz PS I'm commenting on my Google profile, but don't try the Blogger link, it's a defunct website - this is the one! http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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