Exercise and Aging: Winter is Cardio Season!

There are days I wake up and wonder “Now where did this pain come from?”  Has that ever happen to you?   For 45 years I believed that “activity leads to injury, injury results in pain.”  Eleven years of American Football was my classroom for pain management.  So after a day of pruning trees on the property it’s only natural I’d question pain, because I don’t equate pruning trees to tackling halfbacks and quarterbacks!

Only these past few years I have come to realize that time is starting to catch up with me, and with it the latent effects – pain, stiffness, popping joints…you know the routine!  Like most of you, I’m still 30 years old (in my mind) and coming to grips with “the fifties” (physically, not emotionally) is harder than I thought it would be.

It’s time to do something about my limbs before it’s too late.  And since I have NO desire in getting around on one of those battery-operated personal transports – unless it FLIES – I’d best get serious now!  

I figure that winter is a good time to get back on the horse, so to speak.  I’ve got a treadmill, stationary bike and a home gym in the extra bedroom on the lower floor of our home.   Perfect place to work up a sweat and work off some pounds!

To help get myself back into a routine, I’ve thought it out and put together this list so I won’t overdo it or lose interest:

  • See my doctor.  Every return to physical exertion that constitutes a drastic change in lifestyle at this age should start with a quick visit to the doctor.  Getting that checked off…let’s see, he can see me in two weeks.  Okay…short delay, but not insurmountable.
  • Remove all the clothes draped over the treadmill and stationary bike, hang those for future wearing.
  • While I’m on a clothes kick, clean out my drawers and closets of all the clothes I won’t wear ever again…not the big ones, or the small ones, but the ones from 1970!
  • You know, there’s some stuff in the garage that needs to go the Goodwill too.  Let’s take a few days to get that sorted and hauled off.
  • Check off that doctor visit!  “Good to go” he said, but “easy” to start.
  • Hey!  Now there’s room in the garage for the car!  But first, let’s clean the cement and lay down that vinyl floor we’ve been wanting.   If I don’t do it now some clutter will naturally return and I’ll never get to it.
  • Now that the garage floor is done, the walls could use some paint too.  That should be easy enough…maybe two days effort.
  • Wow…the garage suddenly looks nice.  There’s even space to set up my miter saw to finish off the crown molding project.  I could knock that out in a week, two tops since I won’t have much help.  Let’s get that off our list!
  • Okay…back to the exercise room.  It would be nice if we had some music in here.  Wait, I could run some speaker wire from the stereo in the family room, outside along the house, then back in through the wall here.  Speakers in here in no time!  I’ll just need a couple of things from the hardware store…
  • Speakers done.  Wow…it really feels nice outside.  Spring came much faster than I thought it would.  The exercise room is almost ready, but I think maybe I should make an appointment with my doctor.  Something tells me I need my A-ADD medication adjusted.

Until next time…keep it relevant!

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The Thrill of Victory; and the Agony of Defeat.

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”   Mary Pickford (1893 – 1979)

On March, 21, 1970, Yugoslavian ski-jumper Victor Blogataj was an entrant in the Ski-flying World Championships in Oberstdorf, West Germany (now Germany).  We’ve all seen his infamous jump attempt where, upon final approach to the lip of the jump ramp, he tried to abort his jump because he felt he was going too fast.  For decades Victor was known as “…the agony of defeat,” and we saw his ill-fated jump attempt in the opening sequence of ABC’s Wide World of Sports every week for a decade or more.

What we never did see was Victor getting up after that fall, having suffered only a minor concussion.  Nor did we see his return to competitive ski jumping the following season.  And while Victor never did regain his former standing in the world of ski jumping, he went on and became a successful coach in the event – eventually coaching the 1991 World Champion Slovenian ski jumper, Franci Petek.

For many of us, our only impression of Victor is that of a failure.  We laughed at the slap-stick nature of his fall, and never considered him relevant in the world of ski jumping.  This label was unfairly pinned to Victor, so it seems, because we never had the opportunity to witness his refusal to stay down.  Victor made a serious mistake, but he got back up, used his minor celebrity to get in the game, and continue his pursuit of his passion — and quite successfully I might add.

Don’t stay down.  Until next time…