Monday, March 19, 2012

Things are always happening...

     It would be so nice to just forget the problems of the world, to be happy, keep one’s head down, do your own thing, not worry about anything.  Sometimes I actually succeed in this.   A weekend arrives, and I go get my groceries, household tasks done.  I go out to eat, or to the nightclub, and try to have a good time.  But the media is ever present these days - like an omniscient conscience that keeps reaching out of my TV or computer screen, grabs me by the shirt and says,  “Hey, you uncaring boob.  This woman’s son just got gunned down for no reason.  Or that middle school teacher just got charged with 50 counts of sexual abuse.  Or the Russians are offloading troops in Syria.”

     Then I get wound up and angry.  The clincher is when I log onto Facebook, and there are the posts of conscience and injustice, assaulting my eyeballs.  What right do I have to breathe the air in my own free space when such horrifics are going on everywhere.  So I unleash my temper through typing fingers, posting venom and ichor of my own.  And on it goes, nearly every day. 

     Whereas before the barrage of 24-hour nonstop media, one could comfortably ignore the numerous injustices going on around us at one time, and blithely, cheerfully lead a reasonably happy life.  Not any more!   Now you will care whether you want to or not - cannot escape the images, the statements.    Maybe this is to the good.  Perpetrators can be brought to justice, victims can be helped,  injustices redressed.   But I can’t help but wonder, the rest of us are left in a state of constant, low-level tension, never quite feeling like we have done what we should. 

     Because somewhere, in Uganda or Syria or the Congo, someone is being hacked up, raped, murdered, or bullied.   They always have been, and they always will be.  While it is good to care, most of the time there is little or nothing we can do.  And that is not our fault.  We are still okay, and we can still strive to have a good day.  No matter what happens - anywhere.  This has probably been said elsewhere, but I was feeling tense and anxious tonight, so just had to say it again.  Thanks for reading. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

Exercise Restoration - Finally!

It had been years since I did any kind of working out.  Heck, in my 20's I used to jog several miles a day, and was even in a couple of races back in 1981.  Over the years, I would fall out of shape, and then get back into it, by jogging, walking, or biking.  One year it was via Tae Kwon Do, but that was relatively short-lived.  Finally, as my 40's arrived, the jogging stretches became further and further apart.  Beer and snacks in the winter was a big source of weight gain and general sloth.

    But if I stayed reasonably active, especially in the summer, with bike rides and some intense gardening, I could at least get the blood pumping some.  It helps that I have a physical 'labor' type job - if I had to sit at a desk, I would surely be 30 pounds heavier.   During my 50-52nd year I exercised indoors via step aerobics and calisthentics.   But then I fell out of this that summer, and the last two years have been a non-starter  (except for the occasional bike ride.)   My body slowed, the weight went way past 190, headed for 200.  Things really seemed hopeless.

     And then a guy at work happened to mention  (again) that he did stair-climbing.  That day my brain must have been fertile, because a light bulb finally went on.  Of course!  I saw people walking the hallways on a certain floor, during work hours, for fitness.  Why couldn't I walk up and down the stairs?  Hell yes.  So I started by going from the ground floor to the eighth.  I saw spots, was gasping for breath, and was dizzy.  But I made it, thankfully.  That was over amonth ago.  Today I did 21 flights of stairs, or almost three times the amount I started at.  I feel lighter, more spry, and my reflexes are quicker.  It is a gift, almost a miracle.  My body is rewarding me with a taste of youthful quickness I thought was Gone, gone, gone.  

     Stair-climbing.   A miracle in my life - as long as I keep a sweating and climbing.  Once again, I find exercise pays off - a lesson first learned at age 23, my first year jogging, and repeated on this, my 54th year of life.   The lessons go on.