As a freshman at the University of Virginia, I had the ill-advised idea of taking up weightlifting. Along with my basketball-obsessed friend, Just Like Staples, we'd walk down the hill from our dorm room four or five times a week to work on our abs, pecs, quads, calves, biceps, triceps and glutes. We were focused body pumping machines, we were men on a mission to get rid of flab and buff up like cupcake batter in a warm oven. Even the cute coeds romping around in UVA tank tops, sports bras and cotton shorts—their waistbands folded once or twice over just to reveal more leg and a shapelier behind—were invisible to us.
Despite my determination to become a modern-day Latin Adonis, I faced a major obstacle. Fifteen years of high-level tennis had rendered my left arm into an inanimate limb whose sole job in life was to toss a fuzzy yellow ball a meter above my head. Bench pressing with free weights was a perilous exercise, both for my spotter's feet and whomever else dared work out to my immediate left. Using a barbell wasn't of much assistance; my left arm, pushing as if its life depended on it, hardly budged the weight while my right arm mocked it from above the thirty-degree angle created by my chest and the bar. Actually, if the plates had not been secured to the bar, they would've slipped off and drawn unwanted attention from the coeds to my frailness. Lucky for me, in both cases, Just Like Staples was forced to step in to provide a handicap for my handicapped appendage and drag me to the basketball courts where my somewhat reliable jump shot became errant mortar shells in search of a backboard. A few months later, my Mr. Olympia dreams ended, thanks to a pseudo-eating disorder that made me resemble a Brazilian runway model and then derailed into a nasty bout with tonsillitis and feverish nightmares of blowing up like Violet in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
So why am I telling you all of this? Well, my left arm is again haunting me. I've recently started rock climbing and my problem has come to the fore, only now it's exacerbated by the fifteen extra kilos I have to lug around as part of that bitch of a process known as aging. Any move that requires me to exert pressure on my left arm ends in calamity—I fall off the rock, I cut up my fingers, I get mocked by my instructor, I grow frustrated and take out my rage on a bottle of white wine. However, I vow to continue and suffer through the pain and embarrassment of not being able to hold my own weight in this world. Even though, the more I think about it, the clearer it seems that rocks (or turning my body into a rock) are my kryptonite.
2009 Ktima Tselepos Marmarias Chardonnay (Greece) - Tight aroma with hints of guava plus peaches and cream. Not quite full and a tad short and flabby for my taste. Pears and baked apples on the palate. 86/100.
2009 Ktima Argyros Assyrtiko (Santorini, Greece) - Green apples, citrus, honey and flowers on the nose. Long, fresh and crisp with great acidity. Green apples up front, some hints of honey and minerals, and a thirst-quenching citrus finish. 90/100.