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Weighty decision

My wife casually mentioned to me the other night that my chest needed a little development. (While I suppose your better half is permitted to assess your upper half, I’d suggest not responding in kind.) She thinks my body lacks definition, but I disagree. It’s in the dictionary under scrawny. Women are definitely more interested in men having muscles than a sense of humor. No female has never said: “I wish Matthew McConaughey would put his shirt back on and tell more jokes.”

I used to go to a gym to play racquetball, and I’d see men and women fine-tuning their physiques, yet I wasn’t inspired to fiddle with my own. Never really interested in the pure pursuit of brute strength, I would watch weightlifters during their routine. They’d pick up a heavy thing, then they’d put it down again. Such indecision.

After this stinging critique of my body, I read in Prevention magazine that when you reach 45 years of age, you begin losing one percent of your bone density and muscle mass every year. Old photos of me from high school show there was very little mass to start with, although some did roll in across my midsection in the early ‘80s. Density? I asked Mary Ellen about that, but she said not to worry, that I’m as dense as I’ve ever been – and she’s not one to just toss out compliments.

I was embarrassed into starting a moderate body-building regimen. I don’t go to the gym to work out, however. I do everything at home, in the reclining position, while watching cable news in the evening. Why didn’t I think of this 15 years ago? I still wouldn’t like Sean Hannity, but at least I’d be buff enough to throw king-size pillows at the TV from a prone position. Some of my other favorite moves are curls, extensions and squats. There are two techniques I don’t perform: abductions and snatches. I don’t need any more legal trouble after getting caught walking out of Dick’s Sporting Goods with a set of free weights. Hey, that’s what the sign said.

I’m making progress. Thursday I ‘‘bed-pressed’’ a hefty amount: 18,000 grams. It sounds impressive when counted the way the British do. I took one really heavy dumbbell and managed to hoist it over my head. When I put it down, the cat scooped it up in her mouth and dropped it at Mary Ellen’s feet.

Mary Ellen, who regularly works out with a trainer, says my new resolution to lift things is a good sign. She’s hoping it will carry over to lifting a finger around the house. Or picking up the check when her brother and sister-in-law come to visit. As for me, this has all helped lift my spirits. I can now hold a six-pack out in front of me, arms parallel to the ground, for an entire TV commercial. A few days ago, one of my macho neighbors helped me lug a huge barbell set into our house. My hope was that after a few months working out with some of the lighter weights, I would one day be able to lift the behemoth weights all by myself.

Mary Ellen thought the equipment looked ugly in our bedroom. So she took it down to the basement.

Dick Wolfsie is an Indianapolis TV personality.