Around town unconventionally

Published 12:06 am Saturday, February 22, 2003

By By Paul Keane
My staff has definitely noticed it, and some people around town are beginning to take note. Since the new year arrived, I've been on a "quasi" fitness kick.
No, I've not started to "pump iron" and the like, but I'm trying to do some things that will get me out of the sedentary lifestyle I've grown accustomed to as I rapidly approach middle age.
One of those things is to walk various places instead of just hopping into a car and getting to wherever I'm heading. Of course, part of this is out of necessity, as my family and I are down to one car and my wife has to drive the kids from stem to stern on a daily basis.
I know a lot of wives right about now are thinking "how noble that he would give up the car." I hope I've not got any of my male brethren into too much trouble here, because I've really not thought of it as a noble cause.
Instead, I've rather enjoyed it, even when the weather was a little wet and damp over the past few days.
For years, my doctors and family members have been pushing me to get into shape and lose a little weight. Taking three pills a day for high blood pressure will cause loved ones to begin to nit-pick your every whim.
Part of that nit-picking stems from an old habit I had during my days as a sports writer. For more than 20 years, I ate the majority of my meals out of concession stands because I was constantly covering events.
No offense to those many fine concession stand workers – because your choices are extremely delicious and well worth any price named – but ballgame food isn't all the nutrition. Early in my career, I would literally gain 20-25 pounds during the school year, then lose it all during the summer before packing it back on once football season cranked up.
I also found that convenience stores make some pretty good hot dogs if you have plenty to drink, and it still amazes my wife that I have nearly every fast-food restaurant's menu committed to memory. Makes things go quicker in the drive-thru.
But as middle age has descended upon me, I've found it impossible to shed the pounds. I jokingly tell people that I'm watching my weight and that it gets easier to watch because it just keeps getting farther and farther out in front of me.
When it rains, I tell people that I won't melt, but it sure is obvious that I've "lumped up."
Now, though, I've decided to take advantage of a one-car situation by doing some walking. That means walking over to City Hall, walking to places downtown and walking home from time to time. It's really been quite relaxing.
Yes, I would like to drop about 40 pounds and get somewhere near my weight when I got married. Anyone with any suggestions on how to drop the pounds, please let me know. I'm open to all healthy and safe suggestions, but I admit to not having a lot of will power.
Maybe we can discuss it while taking a walk.
Paul Keane is Publisher of The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at

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