Tag Archives: exercise

Just do it

In a couple of weeks I will be doing my first triathlon of the season, this will be number 52. I’ve been doing triathlons since 1985, try to do two a year. I tell you this not to impress you, but to encourage you. Look I don’t have to make a lot of space on my mantle for all my awards, frankly very little space. I have a nice collection of finisher medals and some other miscellaneous stuff. I did a 5K this past Saturday and I had my first experience of someone telling me I had to stay for the awards ceremony, which was cool. Upon further investigation, though, it was determined that I didn’t win anything, it was cool, but in 30 years I never even got that far, so I’ve got that going for me (to quote Bill Murray in “Caddy Shack”.) I have a big collection of t-shirts, but no “podium” awards.
I don’t say this to evoke some sort of sympathy or worse, “why the heck are you a loser and why do you keep doing this”? No, I do these because it’s a personal accomplishment, it’s a way to force myself to stay involved, to do something that’s good for me and also to see how much I can accomplish or at least maintain. Right now I’ve done races in 17 different states, this one coming up will be 18. In a way a personal accomplishment, but not something that’s going to show up on my “trophy” mantle.
It seems to me that too many people won’t attempt something because they don’t think they will do well, or even “horrors” embarrass themselves. It’s been my experience that if anything people really appreciate seeing people who are really trying are out there and I can’t remember there being anything but praise and encouragement. Having said that, I was on the seminary cross country team, mostly because they needed a fifth guy and someone to give us a “team”. I only ended up doing four races and for three of them it was a fun experience and I didn’t get any really feedback. Frankly that’s best for me, I’m here I’m supporting my team, that’s all that matters and that’s the way it went. We did compete in a city (St Louis) meet and it was the one time where I got kind of a hard time. I do not have a “cross-country runner’s physique”, which is what triathletes usually, derisively refer to as “running rib cage” physique. Triathletes, swim, bike and run, they have to have an over all developed physique and not just legs. Having said that an undergraduate team decided that I just didn’t belong there (my kids were older than they were) and who was I etc, etc. Now this is an obviously immature, narrow minded reaction from a bunch of little boys whose opinion didn’t really matter and I let them know as such (reminding them, they may be able to run faster than me, but that’s about it).
I say this not to discourage, but in thirty years of a variety of competitions in 99% of them I’ve been treated with respect, to the effect that “it’s great to see you out here, working at this, trying and good luck, have fun!” I have seen this at many places I’ve worked out; swimming pools, racquetball courts, weight rooms, aerobic centers, martial arts etc. People really do appreciate seeing others getting out, trying, putting in the effort. I’ve seen people genuinely want to help and offer pointers and happy to offer any help or advice.
In a couple of weeks I’m going to be standing on the edge of a beach wondering “what the heck am I doing here”. But shortly thereafter, I’m going to push the stop button on my watch and I’m going to have that feeling of accomplishment, that I’ve finished another one, in another state, maybe hit some personal goals and will be welcomed by the other finishers.
I understand, maybe you are not ready for something aggressive, but don’t let that stop you, set some aggressive goals and then figure out how to accomplish them. Many athletic clubs, YM/YWCAs offer personal trainers at pretty reasonable rates and if you show up and just ask the attendant, they are more than happy to get you started (most actually insist upon it). Think about what you’d like to do, get in a good routine, buy a good book, subscribe to a good magazine, set up a good plan, get a good diet down, start slow, and just keep working on it. It will be great, you will be great, you will feel better and you will enjoy the achievement. God bless and believe me, if I can help in any way shoot me a message, on WordPress or my e-mail is bm2driskell@aol.com

Be the well-rounded person God gave you the opportunity to be

Just finished my Saturday workout, usually consists of about an hour of weights or an hour plus of bike riding. Usually when it comes up in discussion, the other person will say something like, I wouldn’t do that, sounds like too much work, or I couldn’t bike 3 miles, and it’s not with an attitude of, “Gee maybe I should be in better shape and try to do something”. It’s more of an attitude on their part that they’re proud they don’t “waste” their time, what’s the point. As if they’re somehow smarter by not getting some genuine exercise.
A lot of people will also give me an attitude that if they can’t be a great athlete well what’s the point. I am by no means a “great”, good, even mediocre athlete. Any competitions I enter, I’m usually a “back of the packer”, but by the same token, I am keeping in shape, I am doing things that keep me in better physical condition. The big topics today are obesity, diabetes is an epidemic, stress, lethargy, depression, all things that a decent amount of exercise would greatly help. It’s getting to the point where I can’t go a day without meeting someone who is obviously over weight and tells me they have diabetes. They talk as if they have been somehow victimized and they should be able to do whatever they want with whatever they want. Furthermore, the things that people put in their bodies that are illegal and what do we as a society do? We continue to legalize marijuana. Seriously is there a doubt in anyone’s mind that the widespread use of illegal substances, not to mention a lot of the junk we consume isn’t resulting in damage to ourselves that we are passing on to our children? ADD the all encompassing answer to everyone’s inability to do anything (although just watch how rapt their attention is when they’re playing computer games or watching a movie they like). I’m sure that in a lot of circumstances autism that has also become widespread is a result of a lot of illicit drug use. I’m not trying to be cruel, but those same people who are always so concerned with their secular “truth”, sure find ways to distort the truth of the things they do that are just not responsible ways to act.
Cut to the chase, as we progress there will be more and more demand for medical attention for conditions that we could have controlled by taking just a little responsibility in our lives. Some reasonable exercise would do everyone a great deal of good.
And parents let’s cut the baloney, making sure your kid goes to baseball, soccer, games sorry, those are just not conditioning programs. Those programs are just not designed for children’s physical fitness. There is just way too much adult ego, vicarious living and need to maintain control. There’s just not enough ‘let’s get out there as kids, run until we drop, help each other, learn, on our own, to be part of a team and enjoy what should be the beginning of life long good habits.
Let’s help our kids develop good habits by being good examples and being out there with them doing real exercise. Sorry but a kid playing right field is never going to get their heart rate up to any level for any time that’s going to do him or her the least amount of good.
Don’t count on government or the medical institution to save you, and I think that realization is slowly beginning to dawn on people. But realizing it isn’t going to do you any good when you’re 55 years old, obese, diabetic and have messed up your joints by carrying around far too many pounds for your joints to support. I can certainly see a time coming that because the medical establishment is becoming so ill-equipped to deal with all of this, that they will stop even trying to treat those who have spent their lives chain-swilling twinkies. Or they will turn you away because you abused your body with drugs and now your children have serious problems because of it.
I know, I can hear it “I have the right! It’s my body, to…” yada, yada. Ya, not really. You certainly didn’t “make” your body, and for those who would use this line of discussion they haven’t done anything to make their body better, they’ve just abused it, poor diet, booze, drugs, irresponsible sex, lack of exercise. So you can’t say you’re responsible for caring and nurturing your body. you expect to abuse it and have someone else take care of you. That’s just not realistic. God gave you the capacity to have a remarkable body and life with it, if you abuse what God’s done for you. If you don’t work to make your body stronger and more able, you have abused the gift you’ve been given.
So take some responsibility now, come on down to First St Johns and learn good aerobic and strength building exercises. And while your there you might also avail yourself of the opportunity to strengthen your spiritual life. To become that well-rounded person that God gave you the capacity to be.