Wednesday, October 16, 2008
Last month, I completed the "Rock Hard Challenge" issued by Muscle and Fitness Magazine. When I had completed their 90-day program, I felt a little lost, like a rudderless ship. I had no regimen to follow anymore, and I knew my motivation level had dropped. I took a break from lifting that lasted about one week. Nothing wrong with that. But I knew I had to develop my own combination of exercises in order to capitalize on the gains I had made through the structured program offered by the magazine.
One thing I learned from the challenge is how to offset muscle groups
and to increase the number of reps through the overall workout as
opposed to worrying about reps per set. If I had to wait a few seconds
before completing the set, that was acceptable as long as I worked hard
to achieve the final goal. I resumed lifting four times per week with
complimentary muscle groups being worked rather than giving all the
muscle groups too little attention as part of a full-body workout.
Even if you are not the "religious" type of person, you may believe in the human spirit. You may be talking about the human soul or you may be talking about the drive that a person has to get through the challenges that life poses, or you may be talking about both of those qualities. Either way, getting though those challenges is what makes us deal with adversity in a more positive way. Like the old adage says, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
My own train of thought in the gym led me to do something I do every day many times per day: count my blessings. The Universe/God/The Big Cheese/The Great-Father-Spirit seems to be sending me positive messages that help me arrive at that activity. Someone has entered my life who actually says she loves me. That's a huge piece of encouragement especially after so many years of going through life alone after divorce. I am striving to contribute love to that relationship too, and to erase the negatives in which I engaged in previous relationships. God also seems to send me a paycheck just when I seem to run out of money before I run out of month. I wake up every day and share my love of politics and history with 120 young people who seem genuinely interested in coming to my class. I have supportive family members among my siblings, and I have my own three children who I think and hope respect me, even though they may not admit it and who don't always act as though they do. I even have earned the respect of my ex-wife because she has complimented me on the way I have kept our co-parenting relationship positive, even through her getting married again. I have a large cadre of friends and acquaintances who appreciate my sometimes off-color sense of humor. Moreover, in spite of the crumbling economy and infrastructure that surrounds us, I am still paying the bills and making the mortgage on a house that gives me shelter. I am doing the math of blessing-counting while I count out the repetitions in the gym, which I also count as one of the positive influences in my life.
A Trinity of Fitness
There is a line in an Indigo Girls song that goes:
oh how I wish I were a trinity
We really are trinities: three persons that make up one: a physical self, a mental self, and a spiritual self. When one is fit, the other two benefit from that fitness. My challenge to you: find exercises that make all three stronger. You'll notice a difference in your life, the life that everyone around you sees.
Until next time,