I’d lost my strut. My Foghorn Leghorn Strut. I had it for decades.
The origin of the Foghorn Strut goes all the way back to my supermarket days. A young and confident gym rat with a buzzcut, I was known for my strength and attitude. I could be seen carrying 2 50lb bags of dog food on each shoulder, pushing absurdly long rows of carriages and lifting the heaviest of boxes.
One day a new cashier, who I happened to be digging on, asked me if I knew how I looked when I walked. I told her no. She said that I was like a Rooster. Chest puffed out, shoulders back with a “don’t fuck with me look.” I laughed. After all, Foghorn Leghorn was my favorite cartoon character (alright a close tie with Bugs Bunny). The strut became a thing.
The strut was always part of me. I went through life tall and proud. I might as well have had an actual chip on my shoulder with a sign I dare you to knock this off. It worked for me. More than one person said to me something along the lines of “when I first saw you I thought you were a jerk but you’re a nice guy.”
Thank you. I think.
Exercise was always a part of my life. Even before my transplant, when I was actually pretty sick, I was playing basketball with my teenagers and their friends, running trails and hiking, riding bikes and lifting weights. After my transplant, I jumped right back into all of it and made a recovery that amazed my doctors.
Then I got sick again. This time, exercise was not feasible. Excessive swelling, rampant blood pressure, massive weight gain and fatigue made merely functioning difficult.
Then I started dialysis and I resigned myself to being sick and weak. Goodbye Foghorn, I hope to see you again someday.
This week I reintroduced myself to Foggy. As I sat, post dialysis, tired and fatigued it occurred to me that there is nothing that says I can’t at least try to recover some of my former self. I decided to start working out again.
This week I have been walking on the treadmill, swinging my kettlebells, doing pushups and calisthenics and using my exercise bands for arm and shoulder exercises.
I feel great. My stamina is woeful, my strength is a joke. But each day is better than the last. Sure, my days of doing 50 pushups in one set, benching 405 and squatting 500 are over. I will likely never see those results again. But I can do something.
No one is going to look at me and say “Hey, that guy looks like he is on dialysis.”
Hopefully, someone will once again say “he walks like a Rooster.”
Welcome back, Foggy. I’ve missed you.