06 November 2008

Exercise - Starting Over

I stopped 'bout 15 or 16 months ago. I was tired. I needed a rest after more than three years of regular 2 to 4 time a week exercise activity. My left hip ball & socket felt pained, like I had a little arthritis. I'd been overwhelmed with family deaths, drained. I was empty.

I went to the Central High track; nice surface, empty but for one other. Beautiful sunny afternoon day, not too warm, not hardly cool, just right. I started up with a little running, really a mixed motion combo of progressive intervals of walking, running, short distance karaoke and a backwards trot up to a peak of a full 400 meter circuit then backing down to a final cool-down lap. On that full lap my heart rate peaked out at about 172. That's 'bout tops for me. I did three miles. Not bad after the layoff. It was terrific. I felt great. Listening to i-pod music was the new twist. Nice. I could keep pace time with some of the music. Nicer.

Then I did some girlie-man push-ups and pull-ups using lay around football practice equipment. Doing the pull-ups I flipped it over onto me as I fell backwards on my ass and back. It was red painted aluminum tubing in a 3-D rectangular trapezoid, with one long side lower than it's opposite long side. I figured the lightweight contraption is used to teach lineman to stay down, way down low, when they come out of their set position and as they move forward. The paint on the underneath of the upper aluminum tubes was worn completely off. This must be where football helmets crash into it. I got a chuckle out of that. Taught me a lesson too, it didn't look lightweight, and I got bonked as the whole contraption fell on me.

Running is my all time favorite exercise edging out spinning and cycling; swimming comes in a distant third. Run, bike, swim, run, bike, swim, mow the lawn or do yard work.

Years ago in college, while I was in NYC, I read a book called something like "Sports for Life." The idea was to do varied activities one could sustain for a lifetime. It seemed so natural and intuitive. I picked up running and cycling. Swimming would not come until I could afford a gym. Of course those weren't the only activities just the ones I gravitated to. I think the book is long gone now. The key was doing activity for enjoyment and variety over a life time.

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