It all happened so innocently. After purchasing powdered iced-tea mix and Drain-o at a Rite Aid drug store—and receiving a three-foot cashier's receipt along the way—I stepped out into the mean streets and immediately spotted a man working on his car. Something was clearly amiss, so he decided to have a look-see underneath the vehicle. It was what he did next, in bringing his entire body down to the asphalt grounds, that greased the skids of that very powerful tool of a mine. Somehow his movements resurrected the squat thrust in my brain—a high school gym exercise I performed faithfully from 1976 through 1980. One, by the way, I have never executed since. In fact, I have never even heard the phrase "squat thrust" mentioned. Funny, but in the high school years, I always thought the exercise’s moniker a bit odd, and maybe even slightly suggestive of things beyond physical fitness, but then that was then and this is now.
Anyway, as I continued on my journey away from Rite Aid and their mostly high prices and uber-long receipts, the squat-thrust exercise, courtesy of that very powerful tool, was indelibly stamped on my brain. I heard now a certain gym teacher’s voice in my head counting out that infernal exercise: one, two, three, four...one, two, three, four...one, two, three, four. Everything it seemed in high school physical education was four-count. But it was that final four-count of what were usually ten repetitions of an exercise, including the squat thrust, which was particularly special and memorable to me. It went something like this: one, two, three, four...one, two, three, four...one, two, three, four...until the culmination—that number ten—one, two, three, FOOUUURRR! Galootish and ear piercing, the mettle of a gym teacher. That mind…that very powerful tool…can it ever take us places.