Aging really creates a vacuum.

My wife Kathy dislikes the more popular “S” word so son Ryan came up with the phrase “creates a vacuum” when he was in high school.

These days I gain weight just looking at the 600 calorie BBQ sandwich on television. Add a couple slices of bacon and add another 100 calories.

While it wasn’t a New Year’s resolution, I started vigorously walking last month. I would hardly call it a work out, but it’s a start.

Like many of us, I have a seldom used, at least by me, but pretty nice treadmill with what I would call ski poles to exercise arms.

It comes complete with a television and set of headphones as to not have the sound turned so high it shakes the rafters.

Watching those shirtless models run on the Nordic Track commercials makes it look so easy.

It reminds me of the movie Rocky IV when Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren, runs on a treadmill with the track at a 45 degree angle.

Well, let me tell you, it is not that easy.

I wouldn’t say I was a great athlete when I was younger, however, as a freshman at Abilene High School I lettered at both cross country and golf. I also played some basketball.

While never a runner himself, AHS Cross County Coach Robert Chatham produced some solid cross country teams, bringing home many NCKL, regional and state trophies for Abilene High School.

Many of his training techniques are used today, mixing wind sprints with distance training.

I must admit there were times when I and a few other diehard runners hid in the bushes waiting to jump out after the leaders circled No. 3 green at the Abilene County Club and head back to the finish line in front of No. 8 green.

Then there were the Wesley brothers, Chris and Mark, who would run home after practice.

The football players always made fun of us cross country kids. That is until a couple basketball players quit football and joined us runners to prepare for round-ball season. They soon learned running wasn’t so easy.

The first week of basketball practice was always enjoyable for us cross country runners. We ran stairs without breaking a sweat.

Well, age has caught up with me. Certainly there is no running on my treadmill. There are 10 different speeds and I start panting at three. The cool down is level one.

I try to stay on the treadmill at least 30 minutes, usually while watching a football or basketball game.

And the results, you ask?

I gained two pounds.

But all that came to a screeching halt Wednesday when I wrenched my left knee.

I was doing something stupidly strenuous like walking down a step. said a sprain occurs when a ligament stretches or tears. A strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon.

The web page said that most people with mild sprains and strains, apparently there is a difference, can treat these injuries at home by following “RICE” therapy: rest, ice, compression and elevation.

I’m thinking a fentanyl pump might work better.

Contact Tim Horan at

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