Bodybuilding with Brangelina


It’s confusing threading through the checkout these days.

On Tuesday, before the ritual pre-Thanksgiving workout and long before the Black Friday shopping melee, I spun by the Belle View CVS to pick up some heavy reading for the treadmill. Angelina Loses Baby! The National Enquirer screamed from the rack. Angelina and Her Bodyguard: Too Close? The Star informed me. Brad Walks Away! Heartbroken star drops to 94 pounds and still losing weight! It’s Angelina’s worst Nightmare!

Geeez. Those kinds of breathless headlines from the tabloids are enough to disperse some body weight just perusing them. Standing in line, my neighbor Vic Dymowski helpfully suggested some lighter reading. Here, read this, he said, grabbing a different one from the rack. Sex tips from the stars, the headline read.

Perfect. A more pleasant distraction to read while shedding those holiday pounds. To better maximize my workout, I opted to meet at the gym with Dr. Richard Jackson, founder of the Middleburg-based Jackson Clinics, who’s just opened his first location in Old Town, on the ground floor of Sport & Health at 209 Madison Street in Old Town.

This is literally a culmination of 30-plus years of being a clinician, Jackson said while giving me a tour of the gleaming new facility, his ninth in Northern Virginia. His practice is about hands-on physical therapy and outpatient services for sports-related conditions. He treats most of the spinal injuries of the Redskins, and has everyday clients from workout enthusiasts to high school jocks.

In my case, he put me through a two-hour battery of head-to-toe tests. The goal would be to prevent injuries caused by any frequent and strenuous physical activity, whether it be hitting the ellipticals or biking the Mount Vernon Trail. Were not trainers, he explained. We possess a set of skills unique to physical therapy to compare you against the norm. When your body machine is working right, it will compensate, substitute and adapt.

Working out puts undue stress on body tissues, Jackson explained, and that’s where injuries come from. Jackson hooked me up to a succession of expensive machines and watched me flex, contort and swirl while he took 18 pages of notes. Kind of a final exam for fitness. He then prepared a physical showing me exactly how my muscular skeletal system works.

Jackson’s cutting edge approach to sports medicine is based on the approach that tissue will not heal if force is still arriving at the tissue. We take the stress off the tissue so it can heal, he said.

A winning lottery ticket worth $250,000 sold in Alexandria expired Oct. 18 when the winner failed to come forward. Lottery officials said someone bought a ticket for the April 20th Mega Millions drawing at a 7-Eleven store on the 1500 block of South Fern Street in Alexandria.

This is by no means the first time big loot has gone unclaimed. Since 1988, the Lottery has transferred $166.3 million in unclaimed prizes to the fund.

Kevin Hall, the Richmond-based Press Secretary to Virginia governors for the past six years, is leaving Gov. Tim Kaines administration to become Communications Director on the U.S. Senate campaign of Mark Warner in Old Town … Scott Hinkle, assistant tennis pro at Belle Haven Country Club since 1994, is leaving to accept a position in commercial leasing at  McEnearney & Associates in Old Town … Mollie Danforth, formerly head of the school board and chair of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, was in fine spirits for the ASO’s season opener, Exhiliration, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Danforth is recovering from a stroke in June that left her debilitated most of the summer. No doubt maestro Kim Allen Kluge’s heart-stopping performance of Liszt, Debussy, and Rachmaninoff helped with the healing … Sonya Thomas, Alexandria’s own 98-pound “Black Widow,” was at it again last month, participating in the world burrito-eating  championship in South Portland, Maine. A world champion eater (and manager of a local Burger King), Thomas came in second this time, eating 10 burritos weighing 18 ounces each in about 12 minutes … Thomas still holds the world lobster-eating title, which she won in August in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Parts of the Greenbrier resort came to town last month to be auctioned off. Historic furnishings and decorative arts objects acquired from the recent renovation of the world-famous resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. were put to the gavel at the Potomack Company’s gallery in Old Town. The gallery was standing room only as fans of decorator Dorothy Draper bid enthusiastically on furniture and decorative arts objects. More than 640 registered bidders from the United States, Japan, England, the Czech Republic and other countries participated. Other highlights of the sale were a burl oak coffee table by George Nakashima that brought $117,500 and an 1880 drawing by American artist Robert Frederick Blum of the interior foyer of the boyhood home of Robert E. Lee on Oronoco Street. The drawing was purchased by Old Town’s history museum, The Lyceum.