Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/22/19: I Bought a Bicycle, Burt Update, Pro Wrestling Documentary

1. I slipped on my back pack and walked over to Kellogg's Excelsior Cycle & Sport Shop and within minutes I was test riding a used comfort hybrid, a former rental bike.  I enjoyed my ride. Mike Doma assured me that it was suitable for paved trails, like the Trail of the CdAs, as well as the Hiawatha Trail. I bought the bicycle, a lock, light, pants straps, and a helmet.

I am in lousy riding shape, as expected. I'm also not very limber. Before long, I hope I'll build up the strength I'll need to ride up moderate inclines. I know right where I'll go where I can ride up a couple of inclines in relative obscurity to help get myself conditioned. Luckily, much of the riding I want to do day to day is on fairly level terrain and I'll work on building some stamina.

2. Carol updated Christy and me about Burt Roberts. Today, the hospital had Burt transported home.  Burt will be in his most familiar environment for the final stage of his life, a development we might all wish for for our loved ones and ourselves.

3. Cas sent me a text today, telling me he was confident that I was one of 3000 people who owned a copy of former professional wrestler and movie star (Escape from New York) Ox Baker's cookbook. He recommended that I watch the documentary film, 350 Days, a look at professional wrestling in (mostly) the 1970s and 1980s and encouraged me not to be discouraged in my modest culinary pursuits by Ox Baker's performance in the kitchen during the movie.

I watched this movie this evening. It was fascinating. I enjoyed the stories the wrestlers told, but, even more, I enjoyed learning more about these wrestlers' athletic prowess and their acting/theatrical abilities, their skill at executing the choreography of the matches. 

Learning more about the physical toll that performing 350 shows a year took on these wrestlers' shoulders, knees, muscles, hips, noses, and the rest of their bodies was sobering. So was hearing about the loneliness of their day to day existence on the road and how these men and one woman (Wendi Richter) dealt with long separations from family and with the constant availability of alcohol, drugs, and sex.

Remove the mask of each of these wrestlers' ring persona, and what this movie shows us is that these performers were, for the most part, intelligent, self-aware, self-examining, articulate, and knowledgeable, not only about their profession, but about life outside the ring and the arena.

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