Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Tokyo Is My Weight Lifting Bench

I remember my older brothers telling me “the best way to get girls is to pump up and have rock hard abs, and huge guns on each arm! No girl can resist a bodacious body!” They`d been weightlifting for years before I even decided to try my hand at the weight lifting bench; me being a scrawny kid and all. They gave me some advice on how to do reps (short for repetitions) to build muscles and strengthen my body. So I worked out every night just like my brothers told me; I`d work out my pecs, then I work on my biceps, and triceps. It was all going good, and I was starting to show some definition (muscle talk for muscles showing). That was till I got home one day from school and got into my workout clothes and walked out to the garage, cassette tape in hand. Can`t work out without any heavy metal tunes. And where the weightlifting bench should have been there was nothing but an empty space. It was gone! I ran back into the house, shouting “Mom! Mom! We`ve been robbed someone took the weightlifting bench!” She looked back from the dishwashing she was doing at the kitchen sink and nonchalantly said, “No. I sold it.” I stood there dumbfounded, “…but, but I was using it.” At that time I was too young to have any money to join a gym or even a drivers license to drive myself; let alone a car to get me there. So my muscle building days were cut short. I never got any bigger or any smaller for that matter. I was just the same. But I always wondered “what if?” Today though, it dawned on me when I was hauling my new Epson printer home not in a car, but by foot. That might be that the reason so many Americans are fat. Because the only exercise they get is walking from their car door to the front door of the shopping mall. Whereas, in Tokyo, you`ve got to walk to the station, or bus stop, then you have to walk from the station to the shopping mall. Once in the shopping mall you`ve got to do some more walking (window shopping that is). Then you leave the mall and walk back to the station, and then walk back home. And heaven forbid you should by any large appliances. Cause guess what? You`re going to have to lug it home yourself. Cursing myself for not getting a smaller printer, I realized that this was a form of exercise. I was actually working out my legs and biceps carrying the oversized box. Then it came to me, Tokyo is sort of a gym, sort of a trainer, with a proper diet, and a lot of reps, it`s my weight lifting bench all over again. And I had to smile.