Sam Bauman: Thoughts on exercise and a fine sci-fi movie



When the Change Place at the Eagle Medical Center in Carson held its opening celebration, I wanted to be there and was. As readers of this space may recall, I’ve often written about my exercise routine that I have been following for years, ever since I felt weak knees one afternoon while teaching skiing at Heavenly.

The routine was cobbled together from various sources — therapists, ski instructor classes, newspapers and magazines and fellow skiers. It involved weights of 8 and 10 pounds, hanging from a horizontal bar (to ease back ache) running, walking, almost anything to keep me moving.

But recently I came across a ski magazine article that touted the virtues of aerobic exercise. I had never tried it, but since my apartment building has an exercise room with treadmill, stair-stepper and stationary bike I thought I might tack it on my old routine.

So I started aerobic training, spending 20 minutes on the bike, treadmill and stair-stepper.

After a few days, I skipped the stair-stepper to keep in my 20-minute goal. I found I enjoyed working the machines more than my routine, so I cut the combination down to 60 or 75 minutes and it felt good.

But I was curious about how effective the aerobics were, so I thought I would go to the Change Place opening. So after I figured out where the place was, I joined June Joplin of Comma Coffee to look around. Much equipment, much of things to do. June led me to a six-five facility instructor and I poured out my question: Was I doing enough aerobics to be meaningful?

After establishing my age (88 and counting) he said the aerobic was a bit high but if it didn’t hurt it was OK. But then he asked about my routine with weights and all, and he advised me to drop the old routine and get a completely new one because the old one wasn’t doing me much good now. Too much same old reps.

And he had just the routine at Change Place. Sounded good but my apartment building had the equipment, so I passed. But the facility made my exercise room seem shoddy.

Ski season is looming and I hope the aerobics help me on the slopes. I no longer teach skiing nor ski the black diamond slopes, but maybe aerobics will help me get down the slopes in a single functioning piece.

A thinking man’s sci-fi movie: “Arrival”

Seniors and other movie fans who enjoy films with a modicum of computer-generated explosion images and enjoy thinking things through may well enjoy the complexities of director Denis Villeneuve’s fine sci-fi outing, “Arriving.”

Early in the film star Amy Adams (Louise), a noted linguist teacher, suffers the loss of a child to an unspecified illness, but with fighter jets screaming overhead, she is recruited by the U.S. Army to help communicated with the 12 giant tower-shaped space ships parked around Earth. Amy Adams and a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner) must find how to communicate with the mysterious visitors to learn what they want and if they pose a threat to humanity. Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star. Seniors should enjoy Adams deft portrayal of a linguist at work.

The giant spaceships open a door once a day, and Adams enters where there is no gravity and walking upside down is easy.

She and the other officials come to a transparent wall with the aliens on the other side, masked by mists. Adams (Louise) displays a sign with her name on it and points to herself. The aliens respond with oddly edged circular nodules on the rims.

Louise figures that’s their way of communicating and begins a kind of point and tap way of communicating with them.

Meanwhile, nations are getting edgy about the visitors and a Chinese general threatens attack. Louise calms the general down and becomes a friend.

Adams is excellent as she proceeds pretty much alone to the end, where the spaceships promise help with Earth’s problems.

The texture of the film is tough and Adams keeps everything rolling along. In closing scenes where she appears in dress-up clothing rather the bulky protective suit she wears most of the film, she wears normal dress and is quite attractive.

This is the kind of sci-fi film we seldom see. So don’t miss it. It’s at the Galaxy now and probably will move to second-run Stadium cinema on Carson Street in a week or so.

Adams alone makes this a must-see movie.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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