Dexter Gordon Inspires Revolutionary Exercise

A swirling infusion of emotions and energies I haven't felt since smoking PCP 27 years ago in Watts coursed through my fibers Thursday morning upon hearing my new favorite Christmas song, Dexter Gordon's version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". This 9-minute, 40-second track so struck me that I invented a new exercise that Special Forces around the globe are already incorporating into their training regimens.

First the song.  I was in the garage doing some lackadaisical exercise when the Christmas classic came on 88.1 FM KJAZZ from the retro Crosley radio . It begins with a short piano by Kirk Lightsey, then, 10 seconds in, Dexter's sax starts blowing medium to up-tempo the familiar melody of "Have Yourself..."  It is so uplifting, so lovely, so damn beautiful that, my work out routine shifted gears like a McLaren down the beginning of the Mulsanne straight in Le Mans and I felt like Ali training for Floyd Patterson, shuffle and all. I felt wonder.  I think if Atlas had heard Dexter playing this he would have dropped the earth and started grooving, too.  

Once before I wrote about a song,  Sarah Vaughan's version of "Just a LIttle Lovin' ( Early in the Mornng)  in the New York Times Sunday Magazine's LIve page.  But, Dexter Gordan has compelled me to babble again. You might want to lIsten and play this on Christmas Evening 


Now, the exercise invention.

Like many of the great inventions of all time - the wheel, the pre, semi-sliced English Muffin, the Porsche turbocharger, - the J. Jack 15 is something that brings to mind the oft-heard saying "Why didnt i think of that?"

The J Jack 15 recipe is as follows. Grab on 8-pound dumbbell in your strong hand and a 7-pound dumbbell in the other one.  Start doing jumping jacks. That's it. 

Proceed to do jumping jacks until you start thinking about where is the nearest phone to call 911. As determination shows up and thoughts of an imminent heart attack start to fade, continue on doing the jumping jacks until the bass of David Eubanks takes over.  Stop the J Jack 15 system, but continue moving. maybe punching a heavy bag. or jogging in place. Something. When Dexter starts blowing again. resume with the J Jack 15.

(Four  Notes. 1. At first, one might not be able to do this for 9 minutes and 40 seconds. But, even if you only do the 40 seconds, it's a start.

2. Get the dumbbells that are that urethane coated, rather than grey steel. If you drop a urethane one on your toe, it will still break,  but no one will say "Why were you using steel dumbbells?" Also, the chances of being called a dumbbell increase by over 40%.

3. When doing the jumping jack itself, try jumping a little higher than a normal jumping jack. This will make you think more about that 911 call, then back off the height of the jump.

4. It is vital to have different weights for the dumbbells as it increases cordination and balance. I use a 8,/7 combo, because that's what i saw in the garage when the song came on. But, any combo will work. Up to a point. A guy I know tried a 60/3 combination, but ended up walking for hours afterwards with a slight tilt.  

The J Jack 15 is  already getting the best exercise reviews since RAFAP, (running away from a police dog).

"We've terminated roughly 60% of our physical training exercises because the Jack 15 is nearly all encompassing," said Col. NIgel Melwick of the British Special Air Service (SAS).  "We will still run and do [push, sit and pull} ups, but that's it. The Jack 15 is taking over exercising the way Hannibal took over Lake Trasimeno in Umbria on June 21, 217 BC.  No prisoners. Well, maybe a thousand of so."

The Crosely that came through and the 8/7.

The Crosely that came through and the 8/7.