Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Half the man I used to be

August 9, 2006

Man, it’s been a long time since I posted anything. I’m still here, I’ve just been really preoccupied, I guess. I split my time this summer between teaching summer school, exercising, and writing a book! I made it about three quarters of the way through the first draft of the book but then the end of the summer smacked me in the face. Now I’m stuck in teachers’ meetings all day and I’m already feeling my fat cells preparing to store up for winter. I’m determined to keep going with the exercise, though, so I can feel a little less like 32 and a little more like, I dunno, 22. Check out the pounds I dropped during the last 6 months…

Some things in my life got a little hard back around Christmas time, and I discovered a great way to relieve stress: Exercise! You can tell from the comparison above just how stressed I must have been. Over the last six months I’ve dropped 40 pounds.

I got sick back in January (pneumonia) and got to the point where I began to fantasize about breathing deeply. Once I got a little strength back I hopped on the bike my lovely wife got me for Christmas and rode around a bit. Then I started running short distances each day until I got up to a mile, then two, then three, and now as far as four miles in a run (I’ve never been able to do that!). I’ve been eating a lot of salads, fruits, and veggies, although I gotta have at least a little chocolate every day, or I get a little moody. Can’t deprive myself of all those health benefits from chocolate, you know. Not to mention the seratonin, or whatever’s in that stuff. Love it!

Meanwhile, I’ve been chewing on something else (pun intended) that I feel it’s time to post. I hope it means something to somebody out there. So for all five of you people that used to actually read my blog (that is, back when I used to POST stuff on it!), it’s my first useful thought suitable for blogging since June. But you’ll have to check back next time to read that life-changing gem 😉

Soggy blog

February 22, 2006

I write today’s entry while still dripping from an unusually enjoyable run around my neighborhood . . . in the pouring rain. I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed each time that I’ve tried to get out and jog the two or so miles around the neighborhood in which I live, but today was different.

Do you remember playing in the rain? You’ve gotta try it sometime. It’s pretty cool.

I imagine when I was a kid I didn’t jump at the opportunity to get all soaked in the rain just for fun. You have to change clothes afterwards and that’s a hassle! Plus there’s all the water in your face and all the mud. But then again I remember football practice in the rain, and I remember that I always loved it. First of all, everyone was slippery enough from the rain that when they hit you it didn’t hurt as much. Then when you hit the ground, it’s soft and mushy. Much more comfortable. Then there’s the excitement of all those fumbles. You never know exactly what’s going to happen next.

But there’s something else about standing (or running, or walking) in the rain… It’s so soothing. There’s something so calming about a steady rain, and it’s no less calming to be standing out in it, listening to the steady chatter of a million raindrops hitting the pavement, the grass, the leaves, and the growing puddles everywhere you look. As I ran today I kept my mind off of the burning in my lungs and legs by watching the bubbly stream of rain water running down the lengths of all the ditches, creeks and low places scattered across the yards around me. The feel of the rain on my clothes reminded me of the relaxing nature of a morning shower. Man, I don’t get out enough.

I don’t think many of us get out enough. We’ve become so indoorish. We feel inconvenienced by heat, cold, rain, and wind. But an amazing thing happens once you decide to step out into it and deliberately enjoy it: You start to really enjoy it! Days like today make me wonder if we weren’t originally supposed to feel more at home in the outdoors.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a far cry from naturalist, and I like my climate control as much as the next guy. I’m nowhere near as into eating organic foods like everyone around me seems to be, and I don’t remember the last time I recycled something. But I’ve had enough outdoor moments to realize that there’s something about being away from sheetrock, carpet, and plastic. When I’m out in the elements, I find it so much easier to think about things that matter. I even find it easier to talk to God. It feels like there’s less between us.

From time to time we should find ways to get away from it all. We should go out somewhere once in a while to remind ourselves that the things we spend the most time fretting over really don’t matter. Life goes on around us, lots of life. It reminds us that we were made by a God who enjoys life. He made a planet teeming with living things. He covered it with water and sunlight and everything else that it needs to support life. Getting outside and considering the lilies really helps sometimes. It reminds you that you, too, have everything you need for life. All you have to do is take it in. No need to worry if the next day will bring what you need. Worrying didn’t make it come today. So just relax a little. And play in the rain sometime.