My “Sixteen Years of Bowflex Workouts” Post from 2010 Updated to 25 Years in 2019

I originally wrote and posted “Sixteen Years of Bowflex Workouts  in 2010.

In that post I wrote

In June of 1982, after five years of physical inactivity, I decided that it was time to get back in shape. When I retired from the Navy in 1977, I went right to work as an accountant for a small retail/construction/service company. I also was enrolled in the accounting program at the junior college. In January, 1978, I transferred to the University of North Florida. I spent the next four years working full-time during the day, and attending college at night. When I finished my master’s program in December, 1981, I immediately started a CPA review course that used nearly every waking moment that I wasn’t at work. Between working, attending classes, and studying, my brain got a real workout. However, I was overweight and really out of shape. So, after I finished my CPA examinations in May, 1981, I resolved to get back in shape.

First, I joined a local gym. I am a “morning person,” so I found a fitness center that opened at 6 A.M. I faithfully reported to the gym three mornings a week, and worked out three days per week for about thirteen years. On non-workout days, I jogged from my home to Jacksonville Beach where I ran along the beach. A problem that kept recurring was that the fitness centers would fail to open on time. Also, over the years four or five of those centers would close down leaving me looking for a new place to work out.

In March of 1994, after suffering the frustrations of local fitness facilities that kept changing their hours, failing to open on time, or closing down due to mis-management, I decided to obtain my own fitness equipment. Our kids had all moved out, leaving extra space in our home to set up a “workout room.” After considerable research, I decided upon a Bowflex for simulated weight-lifting activity. I also purchased a dip/chinup station, and a situp board. For cardiovascular activity, I would continue to jog, but get a stationary recumbent bike for inclement weather. Later, I replaced the joint-jolting running on the streets with an elliptical machine in my home gym. 

Now, more than ten years later, I feel its time for an update.

Since then, I have continued to work out in my home “gym” every morning that I wasn’t traveling. If I’m away at a tax conference or one of my many photo shoots, my workouts are limited to stretching and walking. Some of those photoshoots entail some hiking and climbing, but those occur less frequently these days. However, my home workouts have continued all these years.

I’m still using the same Bowflex machine for simulated weight lifting. It has worn well over the years. I still use the same Pull-up/Dip station and recumbent bike. I have had to replace the elliptical machine. In fact, I’m on my third elliptical. You may have noticed my Red Sox World Series Champion pennant in that 2010 photo. My workout room has added pennants celebrating the Red Sox World Series victories for the years 2013 and 2018 to the ones for 2004 and 2007.

My Bowflex machine log shows that since March 16, 1994, I have completed 3009 workouts with it. Other than the Bowflex machine’s rods showing more signs of wear than the 2010 photos, it has lasted well. I am now convinced that the Bowflex will outlive me!

Sole Elliptical

I have had to replace the pedals on the Schwinn recumbent bike several times, but otherwise it is going strong. The Schwinn elliptical didn’t last as well. It wore out after several years, and its replacement didn’t last either. So, in 2016 I replaced it with a Sole “professional” machine that should outlast me.

If you haven’t looked yet, that original post is HERE.

Thanks for taking a look!

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Driving a Milk Truck !

I shot this photo at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer, North Carolina. It really brought back memories!

I shot this photo at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer, North Carolina. It really brought back memories!

Driving a milk truck !

At the end of my first enlistment, in 1962, I was discharged from the Navy. I tried several jobs during the time I was a civilian. My most memorable employment was driving a milk truck. A small local dairy in Milton, Massachusetts, named Thatcher Farm hired me to deliver milk to their customers. Thatcher Farm has been owned and operated by the Manning family since 1891. The company delivers milk door-to-door to the local community in and around Boston. In 1962, they operated a small fleet of Divco “Step ‘n Drive” milk trucks similar to the one in the photo. I drove a 1939 Divco while delivering milk for Thatcher.

Divco called their trucks, “Step ‘n Drive” for a good reason. In order to enable the driver to make quick entry to and exit from the truck, each Divco had sliding doors on each side of the truck. To drive, a person would remain standing at the steering wheel, while operating three pedals with his two feet. The accelerator pedal was not a pedal at all. It was a small button on the floor where the driver’s right foot was positioned. To apply pressure to this button, the driver would use the toes of his right foot while he kept most of his weight on the heel of his right foot.

The driver was essentially, standing on his right foot and holding the steering wheel with his left hand while his left foot (and leg) were busy operating the clutch and foot brake pedal. His right hand was used to shift gears with the large floor-mounted gear shift lever.

The clutch and foot brake were in a single pedal that the driver operated with his left foot. In order to completely release the clutch, the driver’s left leg would be raised into a position where his upper leg was parallel to the floor. As that pedal was pushed toward the floor, it would disengage the gears for about half its vertical path. At the half way point, the brakes would start to be applied. If this pedal was pushed quickly all the way to the floor, the pedal would stick, and the parking brakes would be applied. Thus, the driver could pull up to a customer’s house, quickly engage the parking brakes, and jump out of the truck with a wire milk-basket carrying several bottles of milk in his hands.

Needless to say, it took some practice to get accustomed to driving while standing on one foot. Of course, one had to have pretty good balance to operate the manual shift, steering wheel, etc., while driving up and down the hills and rounding the curves around Boston.

As a new driver, I was told many stories of the times that drivers had fallen out of their trucks while attempting to make turns, climb hills, and shift gears with their doors open. I guess some of those stories were true. Luckily, I managed to avoid that problem.

(The trucks also contained a large tiller that the driver could use with his right hand, to gradually apply the breaks without applying the clutch which was useful while descending hills.)

I drove the Thatcher Farms milk truck during the months of November and December of 1962. Because Massachusetts is pretty cold during those months, we had to be careful that our cargo didn’t freeze. (If I remember correctly, milk starts freezing at about 31 degrees F.) Of course, the back of the trucks weren’t heated, so we placed blankets over the milk bottles to keep them warmer. Another factor that helped prevent the milk from freezing was the vibration of the truck. Divcos had four-cylinder engines that shook the whole truck. It takes a lower temperature to freeze a liquid that is being shaken. However, I can remember at least a couple of occasions, when, while driving that truck, I would hear loud bangs, as frozen milk bottles exploded in the back of my truck. Boston gets pretty cold in December!

After a couple of months of this, the Navy started looking much better. So, In January, 1963, I re-enlisted in the Navy, and headed to Brooklyn Navy Yard to report to the destroyer, USS Putnam (DD-757.) I guess I preferred a cold signal bridge to a cold milk truck.