...And That's My Opinion©

By Sandy Goldman

The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon


The Treadmill Time Traveler


A new fitness center recently opened near my home, and I have become a member. As an adult, I have never been much into fitness or weight training. Oh, I walk a few miles five times a week, but that is all. I thought that some weight work and some treadmill time would be a good thing (no comments please). I was not prepared for the “time journey” that took place as I began my workouts however.


When I was in high school a group of guys would meet after school to lift some weights and things such as that. At our afternoon meetings, we gathered for physical training. We were part of the athletes of Lake View High School. Now, more than 60 years later, we still meet the third Wednesday of each month. We call the group ROMEO—retired old men eating out (but not lifting weights). However, I digress.


“Jewish boys don’t lift weights”, I was told, “They read books.” So, I joined with my non-Jewish friends—Scandinavian, Polish, Assyrian, Greek, Italian, Irish, Filipino, German—you name it. I was also told, “Jewish boys are not athletes”, and so I went out for football and I made the team. Do you see a certain contrarian tendency beginning to develop? Non-athletic Jews mostly went to Senn High School; the athletic types went to Lake View High School. I earned a LV letter to sew on my high school athletic jacket that, in the custom of the time, I promptly gave to my steady girl friend. When we parted, she never returned it. I wonder where it is now?  Coincidently, the same scenario occurred with my first fraternity pin. In fact, the only token of my true love that was never returned to me, is the wedding band on the finger of my wife Carol.


Contrary to popular belief, there have been many outstanding Jewish athletes:

Sid Luckman,  Hank Greenberg, Moe Berg, Sandy Kofaux, Ken Holtzman, Lou Boudreau, Al Rosen, Max Baer, Mark Spitz to name a few.  Again, I digress.


As I was exercising at the new V-Tone fitness center I reminisced about how proud I was to have made the football team and how happy I was be one of the “inner circle” in high school. One of my happiest days was when one of the star players told me how good I was. One of my most dismal times was when I was not allowed to join the Belmont Hi-Y group where all my friends were members. They were so disappointed that they enlisted one of the girls to tell me. She was to our group as Angie Dickinson’s character was to Ocean’s Eleven. However, later I realized I should have expected that result. After all, it was the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and I did not fit the description. Our afternoon sessions continued as did our social lives (those stories are for another essay). We all felt a bond—still in existence today. After high school, there was college —and careers —and jobs —and marriage —kids —and sadly, deaths but through the decades we have held together.


The V-Tone Fitness Center is family owned and operated with the best in fitness equipment and expertise. The address is 1550 Jarvis (at the corner of Ashland Blvd).


If you live nearby try it out.  I cannot promise you a journey down memory lane but I can promise you an opportunity for a good workout.



(312) 929-3125. 

...And that's my opinion.

And I'm Sandy Goldman

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