Health and Fitness Self-Reflection

Moob Over Dad Bod

Men, ever been bean dipped?  There is nothing on Earth that will motivate you more to work out than a good old fashioned bean dipping.  Let me explain.

I’ve got a nephew who can’t weigh 150 pounds soaking wet.  He’s a sample sized lacrosse player with a single digit body fat percentage, well defined abs, and attitude to match.  You know the type.  Every once in a while, usually when I’m feeling particularly good about myself, he “helps” me see that there is still work to be done.  How, you ask?  Well, imagine, if you will, a hand with an invisible tortilla chip in it (his).  Now imagine that “chip”, being placed strategically under the pectoral muscle of an unsuspecting victim (me), and then imagine that hand “scooping” (flicking) said pec (bean dip) so that it wobbles like a king-sized jello salad.  A good bean dipping is done publicly so that others can enjoy the experience.  Bonus points are rewarded if completed after swimming when the victim is shirtless.

I’ve had day dreams where he sprains his wrist, hyper-extends fingers, and even cries a little.  

So, using bean dip for fuel, I find myself once again making a run at it.  The past two weeks have been extremely rewarding. Take a look:

In addition to starting the second four week interval of P90X and spinning to my heart’s delight, spring has sprung and I was able to get out for my inaugural ride before I had to build an ark.  The weather has not cooperated since, water wise, but on the bright side, I have been able to de-winterize the “gym”.  No more heater, no more moving blankets, and no more layers, gloves, or hat.  It’s so refreshing to just go workout!

In a moment of clarity, I have also come to realize that I am skipping what is perhaps the most important aspect of P90X for an old guy like me.  In order to get the cardio I want (I am planning an extended bike trip later this spring), I only use the P90X program for strength training.  On the other days, my spin/bike days, I do the ab routines and a super modified version of the stretching.  So, it’s not that I’m not getting any flexibility work, it’s just that I know I could benefit from more.

Case in point.  Earlier this year some friends of mine, (very young friends of mine!) brought up the sit to stand challenge as a way to test longevity.  If you are not familiar with it take a peek at the video below.  

So, on top of being almost 6’7”, a recovered knee surgery patient, and as flexible as sheet-rock, I decided to give it a try.  It wasn’t even the fact that I hat to cheat to do it that bothered me, it was the simple fact that sitting cross legged with no shoes on forced the outsides of my feet into the floor with such force I was convinced they would leave impressions.  

New Goal: Flexibility training must be added to the routine.  

With the new goal comes the new dilemma.  How do I NOT make being in the garage the center of my universe and still cover all my bases?  Maybe I can figure out a way to get paid to workout.  This stuff is important to me, but it’s not everything to me.  


The Art of Art

I saw in a post yesterday Art that you died eight years ago.  How is that even possible? It reminds me of something I heard once, that just like a needle on a record player takes less time to complete a lap with each successive spin, so too does the amount of time a year seems to take as we age.  I would further argue that not all events in our lives are even on the same record- I mean c’mon, when has a week of work taken the same amount of time as a week of vacation?  On top of that, something strange happens when someone we are close to is suddenly gone.  It’s like that particular record has no speed control at all. When I think of you Art I can’t help but feel like you were just here, and at the exact same time eight years doesn’t seem to cover how long you’ve been gone, and all the while my own record keeps spinning.  I think the point is, I miss you.

The truth is, I’ve been sitting on this.  I’ve wanted to write to you(about you) for a long time, weeks even.  It just never felt like I’d be able to capture the essence of Art.  Then, a couple of days ago, I was sitting at a red light when I looked to my left and saw an image of the baseball logo you designed. It was like a slug to the gut. The last time I saw that logo was the last time I saw you, only a few weeks before your death.  You couldn’t even speak at that time-the brain cancer had taken that from you.  You gave me a patch with that same Minneapolis Millers logo. The one you reclaimed, redesigned, and proudly had placed on your boy’s team uniforms.  As I pulled through the intersection, a powerful wave of loss swept over me.  I knew at that moment, warts and all, this one had to be written.  

Our friendship started innocently enough.  Two dads with two pairs of kids the same age and gender, attending the same school, and involved in all the same activities.  At first, you were just a face growing in familiarity at the occasional conference or open house night. Later you evolved into “that one dad” that always sat near us during band concerts and plays. Eventually, you grew to become an actual friend. 

If somebody asked me what made you so unique in my eyes I would say that you were one of those rare individuals who was independent of the good opinion of others- a concept that couldn’t be more foreign to me.  Sure, you were kind, and loyal, and funny, and a million other things, I had other friends like that, but you had a clarity about you.  You knew what you liked and simply did that.  For a guy like myself, still trying to figure it out, there couldn’t be anything more alluring. 

Look, this was never meant to be a eulogy, just an acknowledgement that your life mattered to me a great deal and that even now I’m affected by you. I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast today, but I’ll never forget the look on your face when you dunked the ping pong ball on your first and last ever beer pong shot.(The look on everybody else’s faces were pretty priceless too when you gently laid your paddle down, said the word “fun”as if you’d rather be knitting, and left the room to go down in history as the only player ever to have never missed a shot!) 

I raise my glass to you today on the anniversary of your death and repeat, in your own immortal words, “Every Beer’s a Sandwich!”

Thanks Art.