Geezer fit?

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Ann Horowitz trains with Mike Quinn. (photo by Brian Hollander)
Ann Horowitz trains with Mike Quinn. (photo by Brian Hollander)

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Ann Horowitz puts down the dumbbells and says she has been working out in a gym for 20 years — slowly. “It’s something to do, everybody’s into it,” she says. “It makes me feel better. This morning I felt like an 84-year-old woman … now I feel like … 82.”

Alongside, her trainer, a buff sort of youngster, Mike Quinn, who just turned 70, gently encourages her.

“There are more referrals for older people in Florida,” says Quinn, who trains young and old clients for half the year there and the other half in Kingston and MAC Fitness in Kingston Plaza. “I spend half my time in Florida at the YMCA as a trainer. Here I have four or five clients who come two or three times per week. With a trainer you get commitment, encouragement and expertise. People want the commitment. A trainer has to keep coming up with new things. You have to throw a few curves at your muscles ….”

Quinn says he had been overweight in high school, but that the Army straightened that out. “I was drafted after college, ended up as a DI (Drill Instructor) in the U.S. Army and had to give a lot of basic training. It got me in the best shape of my life.”

Quinn liked the way he looked and changed the way he ate and stayed like that for 45 years. “After the military, I normally just did aerobics to keep in shape,” he continued. “I play a lot of golf and for many years carried my clubs. Ten years ago I decided to try weight training, particularly for my upper body. I used my legs a lot on the golf course. I went into a gym and watched what other people did. I became a personal trainer in Florida. I asked friends who were trainers about certifications. The best place was the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It was a complete program, including anatomy, kinesiology …. it talked about cardio, fixed form resistance training (machines) and free form resistance (free weights), strength, balance, core work, flexibility. It provided a model so you can take someone at any level of fitness and move forward. I came in here [MAC Fitness] and talked to Kerry [Dotson, the director of the training program] three or four years ago. I had certification. There’s plenty of room here and lots of equipment.”

What is hip?

[wide]hip[/wide]How ironic that the task of being the editor of our special section on Health, Sports and Fitness should arrive as the process of collecting necessary materials hits high gear in my preparation for hip replacement surgery.

So my hip mentor, Charley Rosen (who writes in this issue about his last comeback — part 1 —on the basketball court, with his own new one implanted) has provided me with pertinent hardware, to wit, a walker (I challenged my 92 year old mother in law to a race, even though she’s got wheels on hers), a cane, and a raised toilet seat (you can’t crouch low enough without it after the operation, for a while.) The other stuff? Still need crutches (the Woodstock Rescue Squad Loan Closet will help); a shoehorn with a long handle, because you won’t be able to bend down to tie your shoes for a few weeks; one of those long grabbing tools to reach for things; slip on shoes, etc.

Astonishingly, I’m told that the surgery lasts only an hour, with the good Dr. Lombardo of Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County presiding (the operating room is only booked for an hour and a half); it’s followed by three days in the hospital (surgery on a Tuesday, home by Friday), with a gradual emergence from medicated haze taking place as a slowly evolving rehab schedule gets under way.

I’ll be getting a Zimmer hip, with a ball and a socket, to replace parts long worn out.

Chasing it

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Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

That ought to be the campaign slogan for the current push to legalize casino gambling in New York State. There will be a hard-fought, big-money campaign designed to win your vote if the state legislature can get out of its own way long enough to twice pass the required constitutional amendment for legalization.

There’s no gambling in New York State. So says the state constitution — except for nine full-service Native-American casinos (Aksesasne Mohawk in Franklin; Lakeside in Cayuga; Mohawk Bingo Palace in Franklin; two Seneca Alleganys in Cattaraugus; Seneca Niagara; and the ever-popular Turning Stone, near Syracuse). Oh, there are also nine Racino facilities at race tracks like Monticello and Saratoga (where no one gambles, right?) equipped with video slot machines. Then, of course, there is the state lottery, where it’s only a dollar, so it’s not really gambling, as the state siphons off proceeds from where they’re supposed to go — to schools (ironic, huh?). And church bingo, on-line poker, millions of Super Bowl pools, and on and on.

So, with all that, what’s the prize? Well, supposedly, full casinos will service the New York City market, for which many fancy suitors have lined up waving cash in the faces of the deciders. And with full legalization, the state’s share of the “earnings” goes up exponentially.

The deliciously ironic aspect of the whole farce is that state lawmakers could actually put an end to the hypocrisy of the state constitutionally-mandated ban on gambling in the face of what is already billions of dollars of gambling.

What the good solons of the state, both houses of the legislature, Senate and Assembly, have already done is step one — approving a 17-word addition to the state constitution that would allow “casino gambling at no more than seven facilities.” Those seven sites have yet to be decided upon (and there’s the rub, but back to that in a minute).

What needs to happen next is for a newly elected state legislature — and elections for such are this coming November — to approve it again. That could happen as early as January.

The governor, of course, then has to approve it. And when that happens, the entire thing is subject to a statewide referendum, and that’s where the campaign slogan kicks in.

The difficult part is deciding those seven sites. That will be the largest part of the battle.

 

Too much cash at stake

Once before, in 1996, a state legislature passed the required bill. The second legislature was set to pass it early in 1997, with New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani’s approval, because there were to be no casinos in the city. But as the legislators were getting ready to vote, a guy started running gambling cruises out of New York Harbor: no gambling until the boat got into international waters, twelve miles out. That enraged Guiliani who, with maximal clout, began to reassess his position. And Donald Trump, owner of an Atlantic City casino, began pouring lobbying money into the fight, seeking to defeat the proposition for competition. Scared leaders in the fight began abdicating, creating chaos on the Albany floor, leaving gaping vacuums of power until the measure was ultimately defeated.

Now, in what are hopefully the dying throes of recession, governmental entities are starving for new fresh cash. The casino effort has been revived.