The only remarkable events the past couple days have been my first two trips to the Health Club. I arrived Monday morning, did 30 minutes on treadmill, then spent the next 30 minutes learning squashie. My instructor TS is a 25 year old atheletic man, who claims to be expert in Taekwondo, show skiing, football (soccer), and of course squashie. We practiced some, and played a couple of games. In 30 mintues, TS didn't break a sweat, but old man Stumbler was worn out! I don't think rules of squashie will be difficult to master, but that lump of clay squashie ball is going to kill me. My mind is just conditioned to expect the ball to bounce a certain way, give my long (though spotted) history of playing racquetball. I was always overestimating where the ball would be for my swing. Assuming that my brain can adopt to the squashie game and ball, Mrs. Stumbler will now have a decisive advantage back home on the YMCA racquetball court when we next play.
Early this evening I forced my tired and weary bones to go back to the Club (I'm sorry, Sporens) for just treadmill. Today was supposed to be a bit warm for this time of year, 14C (that's 57F for us Americans). I decided to skip fooling with sweatpants and changing clothes, and just walked the two blocks in my shorts and T-shirt. I can safely report that I was probably the only fool in Seoul today walking around the streets in summer clothes. Man it was cold, and walking home was worse because I was wet with sweat.
I received my permanent membership card today, registered under my Korean name, I noticed. My Korean friends and I made up a name for me last year, after I kept coming up with suggestions that were reportedly "bad". My favorite of these rejected names was one that was symmetric in such a way that you could turn it upside down, and it was the same name! Anyway, romanized, the Korean name my friends "approved" is "Han Keel Soo" (or maybe you can say "Geel Soo"). We chose the "Keel Soo" part because it sounds like "Chris", or rather, it sounds like the Korean pronounciation of "Chris". I chose "Han" because I just like the way it sounds. But last year I found out there is some problem with this choice. I had dinner with a real Mr. Han, who was about 10 years older than me. He said in the Han family, there is an alphabetical naming system, based on your generation. He said with the name "Keel Soo" I should be his Great Uncle! Despite this small error, I have chosen to keep my Korean name as-is, hoping that the Han Family Name Police doesn't catch me. But with my new and healthy regimen, I could probably outrun them, anyway.
In the meantime, I hear that one side effect of exercise, besides the obvious health benefits, is more energy. In Korea, The Stumbler patiently waits...