Why Fitness?

To tidy up this ‘fitness’ thing, which is not a New Year’s Resolution at all, I’m currently working through, here are a few more thoughts to ponder.

  • Most of my life has included rigorous excercise.
  • Priesthood can be one of the most sedentary professions on earth, for many reasons: schedules get busy, emergency calls come in all the time, people need appointments for various things, reading is a constant.
  • At various assignments it’s been difficult to truly maintain a program, for various reasons.

So, while walking and cycling have been able to remain more or less constants, what’s gone out the window is strength training. I was doing a lot of swimming, and just getting to the point of building a garage gym of sorts when I was transferred yet again, though this time as Pastor, which provides more stability of life.

One of the most successful “programs” I’ve ever worked out and followed is a Targeted Ketogenic Diet, from the Book by Lyle McDonald, which I made time for my first year in seminary, after years of being in the memorable Low Carb and Exercise List back in the day of UseNet. It’s nothing I can keep up with on a long term basis (obviously, or I would not be typing up this post.)

starting strength

But as the old saying goes, to lose weight you need to

  • eat less
  • move more
  • and lift heavy things
  • It doesn’t get more simple than that. I’ve been doing pretty good with the first two, it’s the third one, the “lifting heavy things part,” where I’ve been truly a slacker. And to go beyond that, if it’s possible to avoid loss of strength through some simple habit changes, it’s well worth the time and effort.

    Which leads to this book I’ve been reading again: Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe; which is great to simply focus on form.

    The picture of Mr. Rippetoe pretty much sums up the point of strength training: relaxing on the veranda with a whiskey. Strength helps you to enjoy life. I hope to be hiking and biking well into my later years, God willing.

    A few years ago I joined the Adventure Cycling Association, when I realized that I needed to re-prioritize for a more active lifestyle, and bought a touring bike. I’ve been doing a lot of cycling… but there’s something missing.

    But to that point, after several years of being away from free weights, I’m back in the weight room like a toddler, making sure my form is correct and my programs are lined up so that I don’t end up with any easily avoided injuries. And as ever, I go to the gym when I figure no one will be there. There were times I’ve felt like I was king of the hill, and walked around the gym doing whatever I wanted (well, that’s another story and not necessarily for this blog.) But a simple, sober routine for building strength is great for having a solid basis to work with.

    I’m not out to impress anyone, or to relive any past “glories” (mostly since I’m a late bloomer and the glories are all about us throughout life.) I’m just out to grow in strength, to better plan for future health so I that can fulfill my Priestly duties better, and to age with enjoyable habits.

    Other things in the mix…. hopefully we’ll get around to that in the not too distant future.