Category Archives: exercise

If you slow down long enough to consider why you do what you do, you’ll probably be amazed and disturbed at the same time. I’m reading a book that’s jerking me around like that, The Power of Habit. It’s delivering the one-two punch of amazement and disturbance. I was listening to an interview, recently, on one of those network morning talk segments that stirred my curiosity so much, I went straight to Amazon and ordered. I have a love/hate relationship with my new book.

What I’m learning is this; habit is established based on the craving for the end result more than the end result itself. This is fascinating and confusing at the same time. I’m fascinated because studies show the reason people habitually exercise is they crave the endorphins and other neurochemicals they get from the work out and the sense of accomplishment that comes when they’re cooling down. I’m confused because after I exercise, all I want to do is lie down and drink a big glass of sweet tea, which most likely cancels out all the calories I just burned. Forget the endorphin rush.

Exercise for me is driven more out of a burning sense of guilt than desire. I go in seasons of really committed or really full of excuses, one extreme or the other. A friend posted on Facebook the other day she started out her birthday with an eight mile run. My son Travis just shaved 13 minutes off his best half marathon time. Those two things alone raised my guilt level higher than the excuses.

I hadn’t laced up my walking shoes in a few weeks, ok, a few months, so I got them out. No sense of craving hit, but it was a beautiful day and I was looking forward to simply being outside. Where I live there’s barely 25 yards of flat ground which, in my sense of reasoning, is a logical excuse for not walking. However, for every uphill there is a downhill where I can regroup and stop gasping.

I was in a downhill-stop-panting phase when I noticed something unusual. I stopped. Growing out of the crack between the asphalt road and the concrete curb were two wild daisies. The strangest thing was there were no other daisies anywhere around. They were oddly out of place.

I took a picture, smiled and kept walking. I wondered how those flowers ever got there and how they managed to grow. More than likely bird poop deposited the seeds for them to get started and, even though they look delicate, they have enough gumption and grit to keep going.

This is what dawned on me while on my guilt induced walk: it doesn’t matter how you got there, or what you have to work with, do the best you can, with what you have, right where you are.

A habit established by an endorphin rush or not, I should keep on walking. There’s a lot to learn out there.


The other day I was shopping in one of those athletics stores where the employees wear the latest gear and look like they are going straight from work to the gym or out for a run. It’s a bit intimidating. I caught myself standing up a little straighter and holding my stomach in.

Like everything else, the choices are so vast I ended up walking around confused. Maybe I burned up a few calories circling the store. Then I remembered the athletic looking guys were there to answer questions and offer help and suggestions. After the explanation of hot gear and cold gear and what was most popular among the employees, I checked out. It’s expensive to stay fit.

According to statistics, our country has become dangerously sedentary. We need to get up and move more. Jack Lalanne has been telling us that for 70 years. At 96 he might be on to something.

I wish I could say I was dedicated to a work out plan. I’m not. I’ve gone through fits and starts and stalls then restarts depending on what else is going on in my life. I suppose that’s better than never doing anything. There’s not enough glucosamine chondroitin to keep me running and swimming turns my hair green. I tried P90X and my arms started to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s instead of Michelle Obama’s so I dropped that plan.

I read once since 60% of the human body is made up of water it can get stagnant like a pond covered in algae if we don’t keep it stirred up. Just thinking about a green farm pond with a couple of cows standing in it is enough to get me to park at the far end of the Super Center parking lot to get some extra steps in.

The slogan for one athletic company is “We Must Protect This House”. That’s something to think about since we are only assigned one body for this lifetime. Maybe I should consider some remodeling.