Is This New Era the End of Exercise Gyms?

Will the re-opening of gyms ever get under reasonable control? Which of us humans are more narcissistic than the bulky, weight lifters we find in gyms? Aren’t the narcissistic rather uncaring towards others, generally.

How filled with sweat and contamination are the weight machines and weights? How can they be properly sanitized after each go-round? How careful will the narcissistic be about “the rules?” If we limit numbers in the gyms how can the gyms make money without creating exorbitant charges.

Maybe, just maybe, we are all better off with resistance bands, mats, treadmills, stationary bikes, etc. at home, even cost-wise. I guess the fundamental question is once we have first rate therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19, how far will be we be from the next pandemic? Hopefully, at least 100 years.

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This? available on Amazon

Independence and COVID-19

Americans are within shouting distance of 250 years since the Declaration of Independence. There have been some “cabin-fevered” Americans objecting to our isolation. There are excellent scientists with diametrically opposed views on how we should handle portions of our daily lives.

Personally I am prone to follow the governmental guidelines. Millions of us are following them. Our leaders are doing the best they can just as I am in this life threatening pandemic.

I understand there are people who race cars and want to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen available at the higher altitudes. Some people just love being fighter pilots. We are all different.

After all this is a novel virus. It is brand new. There are and will be different opinions. Somehow this nation has survived differences for nearly a quarter of a millennium. May both our country and our personal relationships be blessed with successfully handling this risk to life and limb, despite, our differences, by the grace of God.

Overcoming Male Tennis’ Big 3 at a Major Final

Overcoming two of male tennis’ Big Three at a major final? Only one man can make that claim, Stan Wawrinka.

Against Novak Djokovic today’s #1, Stan is six and nineteen, overall. However they are four and four in their last eight matches. Two of Stan’s victories were in major finals. Two were in masters short of the final. He only required four sets at the French Open and US Open finals against Novak in 2015 and 2016, respectively. In addition he beat Rafa Nadal in a major final in the 2014 Aussie Open.

Stan in mid-career, under the tutelage of, now, his long time coach, Magnus Norman, achieved a top four level which seems to have ended four years ago with a string of knee injuries and surgeries. On the other hand who knows? He was a finalist in the 2019 US Open, which he lost to Novak.

One other man, the oft injured, Juan del Potro beat Rafa in the semi and Roger Federer in the final of 2009’s US Open. A string of wrist injuries slowed his career with a comeback that fell short of a major final victory noted.

There seems to be a price for the vigor, strong shots and stamina required to achieve what’s noted here. Kudos to Juan and Stan for their talent and grit. May they both come back to the very top of the mountain.

Getting Through It

The pandemic is a deeply sad time in which to be alive whatever one’s age. This is particularly true for the older, poor folks in NYC and New Orleans.

I am 74 and surviving with some periods of joy because I generally see the glass as half full, but this isolation is difficult for even strong relationships in the home. Nonetheless the suffering in this crisis can make us all a little more compassionate and a lot more human. Ultimately it may help to enhance the souls of those who get through it.


To those couples who are able, but, have decided to forego parenthood, a few thoughts. First it’s your life. This is not meant to persuade. It is simply my take.

The only difficulty with my, now, adult son and daughter came when they were 13 and 14, the hormonal peak. My son would shriek if I ate chips with any degree of noise and my daughter just was not herself. What of the joys?

As infants they were adorable, soft and so alive. They were the cutest humans (obviously my own bias) I had ever encountered. As they grew to toddlerhood there were all these new adventures, walking, syllabic sounds, their version of dancing and their unmitigated joy in our storytelling/reading.

Then came the sports phase, soccer, softball, hardball, field hockey, and tennis. My spouse’s family were actually athletic as were the kids, one of our bigger DNA breaks. They were both very graceful and fun to watch. I remember vividly Courtney’s beautiful hitting stroke in softball and Chad’s wonderful service motion in tennis. It is indescribable how much fun I had watching both of them compete.

Adolescence once past 14 was a wonderful progression from childhood to adulthood that I watched in awe. By the grace of God particularly my spouse’s efforts were gathering steam and promise.

Today both of them are dear, dear adult friends who have helped to keep me at 75, young. Thank God for their sense of humor, health, sensitivity and kindness. Those are qualities I have savored. How could you have a closer friend than someone with half of your DNA? They are an unmitigated blessing from God.

H. Robert Rubin, a best-selling, Amazon writer and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? Please Save the Third Dance for Me (memoirs) and The Bloom is on the Rose (novelette), all available on Amazon.

Human Life in the Pandemic

The value of a human life is being addressed in the anti-COVID-19 efforts. Per the FDA, “The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles.” ( That appears to be the reason for “95” in it’s name. It does show there are limits of efficacy in even medical grade masks to save lives.

Today the value of a human life is being assessed by governors as they decide how and when to phase in a full economy. The last phase of the President’s brings the lives most at risk out of isolation. It’s all a balance of actions.

Even the sophisticated modelers had to make difficult assumptions for a novel or unique virus. It certainly was a problem. Remember the virus was just discovered in 2019. Therefore the name COVID-19 is appropriate.

These are vexing, difficult problems. God willing an effective drug is in the offing to nip this trying crisis from our daily lives. Sure hope so.

Intensity and Relationship

I think in living through the lock down we need to enhance not damage our closest relationships. It could all go either way.

Intensity can be effective in completing a project, in doing it right. The same characteristic can be damaging to close relationships.

It can cause a propensity to interrupt, a failure to adequately listen, and/or a breakdown in picking up the ball in conversations cleanly. In essence, intensity in a close relationship engenders dysfunctionality.

I should know. I have been too intense for about sixty years.

Now retired, I try to live by focusing on the source of love, God almighty, and paying close attention to my spouse’s feelings, voice quality and perspective. I try to slow down.

At my worst I am impossible.  At my best I get by by the grace of God. May God bless our most precious relationships in these trying times.  

Getting Through This

I haven’t needed to practice sterile technique in about a half a century. On the other hand I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) such that I can still tie a surgical knot as well as following some sterile procedures. There is something about repetitive procedures that soothes the soul of folks like me with this disorder.

I am trying however to head in a direction that the good Lord soothes my soul. It is a long journey for me. I am Thick with a capital T.

Prayer grounds me in situations like this viral crisis. It definitely increases my grasp of the Lord’s presence.

Each day for an old guy in this crisis is gravy. The odds are in my favor for surviving this one, but, still, each day feels more precious than before the lock down.

We are struggling for the right answers. May the Creator guide our leaders through this thick forest of uncertainty.

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This? available on Amazon

Some thoughts on Peace and Easter

In this quiet, in this lock down can we find peace instead of entertainment? Can we have a period of imagination rather than someone’s unimaginative script in living color? Don’t we all seek that peace, that shalom.

Jerusalem, the most meaningful city I have ever visited, has a name that translates to city of peace. How tragic that there must be armed Israeli men and women throughout the city. How wonderful that Jerusalem is filled with beauty, a rich past and many who seek shalom.

May Resurrection Sunday remind the believer and the non-believer seeking peace, that Christ, the only one ever resurrected, is our peace, our Sabbath rest.

Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, a Review

The film was recently made available to rent on Amazon. What a wonderful option in the lockdown.

The book in it’s day was a huge international success. It is obvious why in the movie. There are universal themes addressed that touch and grip the heart throughout the work.

The wonderful script is enhanced by the highest level of directing, acting and cinematography.

I have nothing but praise for this remarkable movie. Don’t miss it.