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Hong Kong Quad-fecta


I just returned from Hong Kong, where I was honored to serve as consultant and collaborator with hospital therapy clinics throughout the territories as well as the Hong Kong Sport Institute, which is a wonderfully exciting place to be just two weeks before the Olympic Games.

In addition I managed to squeeze in a book talk at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. So that was the 'be all end all' Andy Baxter trifecta - medical exercise application, elite athletics, and a literary engagement related to rowing; just take me out and shoot me now, it can’t get any better, right? “It can! It can!” Ease off the trigger, dear readers.

Across the street from the Kowloon Hotel where I am staying is a YMCA. This is perfect, as I can get a workout in before breakfast and start my day off right. Surely I will run into others of like mind and intent. I cross the street, climb the stairs, sign in, grab my towel and head to the weight room. The place is alive with activity. Men and women are working side by side, slogging diligently through their respective routines. There is much chatting and laughter; a jocular mix of English and Cantonese (mostly Cantonese).

Spectacularly bad Chinese knock-offs of mediocre 90’s era American pop songs play on the sound system and no one else in the room seems to notice what I’m laughing at. But what is even more glaring than the spectacularly bad Chinese knock-offs of mediocre 90’s era American pop songs is that I am the youngest guy in the room! Every single person here is in their 60’s, 70’s and beyond. That is so cool!!! I ask my friend Yoko about this phenomenon. She answers in a matter of fact, casual tone, “Young people just want to work and go clubbing at night. Older people understand the value of exercise.” And that made my trip a Quad-fecta

J


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