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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Working Out, A Great Idea.

Mike, my cousin, or as we know him in the family, Beautiful Mike, or as some of his Facebook Friends seem to know him, Stubborn Mike, asked for "gym motivation tips."  He is trying to find a way to talk himself into going back to the gym and working out.  My tip was to tell everybody he knows he is going and he is going to make them all pay dearly when he reaches sufficient macho, masculine beefy, testosterone fueled meanness.  Only part of it was a joke.

Threatening people is a bad idea, just read the "Guns of August."  But, telling everybody you are going to start working out is a great idea.  When I decided to quit smoking I told everybody, then I really had to give it my best effort.  Nobody wants to answer the question, "how are you today?" with;

"Oh, I am a miserable failure, I tried to quit smoking but only lasted for a couple of hours before I rushed out, bought a carton and three disposable lighters, (one glows in the dark, just in case) my nerves were shot, and I was an emotional basket case." 

"Wow, I am very sorry to hear that.  Do you want me to leave room for cream, or sugar in your coffee, sir?"  That is so humiliating, trust me, I know. 

So telling people you are working out is a good way to get yourself to the gym.  After a few visits it is easy.  You want to go, it is like an addiction.  It makes you feel good.  It is hard not to go.  Last night was Monday, and I had not been there since Friday, and I was happy walking in the door.  

Unfortunately, it was packed with people and I had to use a recumbent exercise bike.  It was my first time on that machine, with luck it will be my last.  As soon as an elliptical machine was open I made the move.  Having hit my target heart rate twice on each machine, and maintaining it for quite a while, I felt good.  

I added at least thirty pounds to each of the resistance machines, and tried a new exercise.  Instead of pusing the levers forward on the Pec Fly machine you face the other direction and pull backward, working on something in your upper back, or shoulders, or something else, I am not sure.  It did not go very well.  Either I was doing something drastically wrong, or need a lot of work on the upper back, shoulder, or other portion.  

Working out, if done correctly, is also a great educational tool.  Last night the podcast covered the ancient Assyrian army.  A lethal, efficient, brutal, efficient organization.  Assyria was the first Middle Eastern Empire to maintain a standing army.  Before that it was more like a seasonal gig for farmers in the off season.  Idle hands are the devils plaything, right?  So, put the farmers to work attacking another country.  Plant, grow, harvest, invade (or defend), repeat.

Assyria was also one of the first armies to master siege craft.  Walls were the weapons of choice for most City States of the time, and they were mostly successful.  Not against the Assyrians, though.

Anyway, whatever it takes, get started, that is the hard part.  Continuing is easy, fun, and will help you live a longer, better life.  And, if you do it right, you might even learn something.