One morning as I powered through a typical, generous breakfast (two whole plantains, three fist-size helpings of yucca, a half-dozen silver dollars of fried salami, and a couple of ten-ounce slabs of fried cheese), I reflected that if I was to continue my present level of calorie consumption without any kind of regular exercise regimen, I would soon be bursting the seems of my business casual slacks. The next morning, clad in basketball shorts and running shoes, I proceeded to run the mile that separates the Henriquez home from Plaza Megatone, a shopping center near the edge of town that boasts a grocery store, electronics outlet, and Gold's Gym. Before long, I had recruited my 20-year-old host cousin, Angel as my running companion who was quick to introduce me to his Uncle Roberto.
Roberto, a retired baseball player, owns and operates R & C Gym where, for the last couple of weeks, Angel and I have worked out every day following our morning run. One morning as we were leaving the gym, I noticed an aerobics class had just begun. Curious, I pointed it out to Angel who told me they have it every morning. So now my morning routine consists of a mile run, fifteen minutes of weights, and half an hour of aerobics, followed by a short floor routine concentrating on toning my abs. While the aerobics class is quite popular, there is only one other guy who comes regularly. He lived in the United States for 31 years and speaks decent English, and I think he's pretty stoked not to be the only guy any more, because each day he greets me with an enthusiastic fist bump followed by, "How you feel today?"