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I never lifted weights before last January. One of the nicest things about taking up weight lifting at age 49 is that I keep finding everyday activities that are a whole heck of a lot easier than they used to be. Just when I think I've found all of them, another one surprises me.

The latest one takes a bit of explaining. On a whim and at the urging of a friend, I auditioned for a part in an amateur musical production of Fiddler on the Roof. (See, if anyone is in the Rochester, NY area.) I got cast as an anonymous villager, and tonight was the second rehearsal.

We've been working on the opening number, Tradition. The choreography has long stretches where everyone has arms up, formarms vertical and upper arms parallel to the ground. We need lots of reps to learn the steps and get it all put together. By the end of tonight's rehearsal, a lot of people were taking every opportunity to lower their arms and rest.

I wasn't surprised at being able to carry boxes of costumes two at a time. I wasn't particularly surprised at being able to jump onto the stage, which I couldn't have done a year ago. I was surprised when I saw that veteran theater people couldn't hold their arms up as long as I could comfortably. I guess those shoulder presses that showed slender progress have done me some good, after all.

Oh, yeah. I was a bit concerned that the rehearsals would take a lot of time away from exercising. Not to worry. I can just count those nights as cardio. You do move a lot in those dance numbers.

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