The Seventh Day of Inline Christmas

As before, there’s more…

T’was the seventh day before Inline Christmas…I was off to speed practice so lively and quick, the pace line was swift, even the Fast Kid felt sick; it’s silly t’think at my age I’d compete, with kids twenty seven years younger with much faster feet. But try as I may, try as I might, I hold onto that pace line, I put up a fight. Then with ten laps to go after 90 we’ve burned, the Fast Kid and Coach remind me I’ve much to learn. As they pick up the pace and start pulling ahead, I give all I can to not being lapped instead. Alas I pushed it to fast when it was my time to pull, and at seven to go I dropped off like a fool. When they catch me and lap me with four left to skate, I push through the pain and don’t let them escape. As the speed starts to climb, legs and lungs start to fail, barely finish the drill, this stuff never gets stale.

I came upon this group of seven Swan Uppers when I hit a stray swan that meandered across the Thames River Bike Path.

Here’s one of those bizarre things you learn when using Google to come up with fodder for daily blog posts (I’ll never do this s#!t again)…Swan Upper. No, it’s not a new kind of shoe leather for making exotic inline skate boots, or a strange new type of rare male-enhancement suppository, it’s a job title. These guys count swans on the River Thames for Her Majesty once a year. Seriously…the job dates from the twelfth century, when the Crown went and boldly claimed ownership of all mute swans, because, well, they could. Supposedly, the things are regarded as a delicacy. They’re not supposed to be eating them anymore, as there is a serious conservation effort at the heart of the ceremony these days. But I bet you’ll find the blue bloods in a small, dark, back room off the kitchen at the country house, stuffing their faces in quiet desperation. “I say, finger licking good, eh old chap?” It’s not hard to imagine, considering how close they are to the Frenchies, who still engage in the preposterous practice of eating Ortolan.

So, my Santa list for the day…

For the skater who has everything except the horse he rode in.

This is the low-impact mechanical exerciser that methodically tilts across five axes to strengthen your core muscles, helping improve your balance and posture and relieve back pain. The saddle tilts back and forth, left to right, up and down, and twists in preprogrammed sequences, strengthening your thighs, buttocks, back, and deep abdomen–core muscles that are neglected by traditional training regimens. The gentle swaying of the saddle changes your center of balance and, as you attempt to regain your equilibrium, your core muscles expand and contract. Ideal for both physically limited and experienced exercisers, the device allows you to conduct a 15-minute exercise routine while seated without creating excessive pressure and stress on joints. The exercise routines also provide a beneficial aerobic workout ideal for those who need to maintain low target heart rates. The seven programs (easy, light, moderate, advanced, waist, hip, legs) and nine speeds are easily controlled on the pommel’s LCD panel that also shows calories burned and the muscles being worked during each routine. I wonder if it comes with an expansion slot for the Foo Manchoo Mechanical Bull card. I’d beat 2.7 seconds, that’s fer dang sure. With a set of stirrups and handle to provide stability. (Wonder if the wife and I could come up with some other “excercises.” Hmmm…)29″ H x 18″ W x 35″ D. (77 lbs.)

Bet you’d love to know what this Santa list is costing, huh? We’ll add it all up at the end. Cause you know, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it! “All hail, Her Majesty The Queen, Seigneur of the Swans.”

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