Lifestyle & Retirement / Simply Southern Cappy

Work It Out Without Me

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"It’s very important to have the right clothing to exercise in.  If you throw on an old T-shirt or sweats, it’s not inspiring for your workout. ~ Cheryl Tiegs

It’s a known fact that writers never break a sweat if it means they have to exercise. Most of my days, when I am not searching for an excuse not to write, I am sitting at a computer keyboard. That’s enough of a workout for me. I don’t have arthritic finger lumps, I have tiny biceps. Then there is the up and down movement of my mouth while talking or eating. What more of a workout do I need?

I have occasionally made the decision to ˜get with the exercise program,’ but not anymore. I’m tired of donating what’s left of my money for a health club membership card I know will sit in my billfold until one of us expires.

The last time I went to a gym, I looked at the young, cavorting members and became immediately conscious of my state of under-dress. I was wearing a timeworn University of South Carolina T-shirt, circa 1962, the year I would have graduated had I not wasted so much collecting fraternity pins. The gym shorts I wore that day had once belonged to my husband Babe, which is to say that either he used to be much smaller or I am in big trouble and I seriously don’t want to go there.

I stepped inside that oversized den of stinky sweat and throbbing tendons, looked at the throng of well-turned-out women in gymnastically correct leotards and coordinated thongs, and I cringed. At that moment, a craving for chocolate dropped down on me as if it had come straight from God.

So who in their right mind ignores a directive from Himself? Spinning around so fast the revolving door didn’t have time to turn, I headed straight for Sweet Mama’s Bakery where Mama doesn’t give a French fig fritter how I’m dressed. God didn’t intend for me to die all sweated up and dressed like a throwback to the Sixties.

That night, Babe, my good humored, patient husband, lifted the lid on a pan of Southern fried chicken. Hell-ooo, he exclaimed, Something tells me another health club expired today. The

dirty look I gave him replaced a less than ladylike digit gesture.

In the past, Babe has supported my infrequent urges to eat cabbage and kale for seven straight days in hopes of losing a pound. He even claims to like kale although he doesn’t have the slightest idea what it is. On our last anniversary, the last of the big-time spenders gave me a new bicycle in lieu of the ten days at Canyon Ranch for which I had outrageously hinted. What a guy. It is true that I have joined too many health clubs while believing in the fantasy of regaining some resemblance to the size-eight I used to be. Where there’s life there’s hope, they say.

My friend Craig once joined a gym following a New Year’s Resolution, and being a humorist of some note, he asked, Has anybody ever died in this place?                                                         

The trainer assigned to give him the nickel tour didn’t bat an eyelash and smiled with a mouth full of Chicklet teeth. I wouldn’t be caught dead in any other place, she said.

His question and her response gave me pause. What did this silly notion of mine to keep my body fit have to do with anything? Whatever possessed me to heed that nagging inner voice each time it shouted, ˜No pain, no gain.’ Did I pay attention to it in order to stay healthy or because I wanted to reclaim a portion of my youth? At my age, the portions are few.

When I am even older and my brittle bones clack like a set of bad-fitting false teeth, when my hair has turned white and wiry and falls out in clumps, I may experience a little remorse. I might regret having spent too much time at my keyboard instead of sweating while straddling a stationary bike.

But until the dawning of that day, I’ll ride my little old lady’s bike every now and then and I’ll keep working my jaws up and down hoping for a trickle down result.

The bad news is it won’t restore my youth; the good news nobody expects me to wear fashionable workout clothes ~ not in my neighborhood.   


Cappy Hall Rearick was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was an English major at the University of South Carolina and later became a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. Some years later, she moved to Los Angeles and then to Pennsylvania. In 1994, she returned to her beloved South to settle in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia with her husband Bill.

Cappy, an award winning short story writer and syndicated columnist, is the author ofseveral successful columns, including:ALIVE AND WELL IN HOLLYWOOD, TIDINGS, SIMPLY SOUTHERN and PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ monthly in the Lowcountry Sun Newspaper in Charleston, SC. She also writes an e-column called SIMPLY SOMETHING.

Cappy is past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. Her recently published novel, THE ROAD TO HELL IS SELDOM SEEN, a 2012 nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year, is available at print and can be downloaded and enjoyed at Kindle, Nook and all the electronic readers. Get ready to read and do nothing else because it’s a page-turner!

She is writing her next book, BRIDGING THE GAP, a psychological novel of deception and suspense. The SIMPLY books (SIMPLY SOUTHERN; SIMPLY SOUTHERN EASE; SIMPLY CHRISTMAS) are bound to make you laugh and maybe even tear up a little bit, especially if you enjoy remembering the good old days. With every page you turn, however, Cappy Hall Rearick will bring the South alive for you.

Rearick holds membership in the Georgia Writers, South Carolina Writers, Atlanta Writers Club, Florida Writers, North Carolina Writers and she is a sitting Board member of the Southeastern Writers Association.

In addition to writing, Cappy is a popular public speaker and can breathe new life into those good old days for your conference attendees. She is a dynamic creative writing instructor and is available to teach classes in column writing, Southern fiction, humor, memoir and short story writing. She brings forth fresh ideas to match her imaginative ways of turning a phrase. Book her now … and breathe new life into your next writer’s conference. Attendees will learn a lot, laugh a lot and go away itching to write better than ever.

If you would like to receive a monthly column of SIMPLY SOMETHING via email, send your request along with your email address to Cappy at: She will be delighted to add your name to the preferred column list.

Read Cappy’s BLOG at:

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