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  • Late Entry

    Had the chance to catch a Riverman Pro Hockey game last night, so here is a combination entry for yesterday and today.

    Yesterday began at 7:30, getting the back gates opened so my contractor could bring the concrete in for the new walk. Came in the house and got the laundry started, then up to the kitchen to fix a light breakfast of bagels and cream cheese. As soon as I was sure all was proceeding to plan, I got to my abdominal work, V-ups and Bicycles and Situps in the usual numbers, then headed to the Gazelle for my 30 minute run. Stayed with Evanescence today, I really enjoy their music and it is great to listen to while you do aerobics. Like my ACDC, the beats vary to give you a couple of quick numbers followed by one to slow down to.

    By the time the run was over, I cooled down in the backyard and hit the first minor glitch of the day. Ms. Olivia, my Shih Tzu, is usually a very prissy gal, but she popped out of the backdoor and immediately ran into the freshly poured concrete. Luckily it hadn't set, so it was easily repaired, but it was just surprising to see her do it. Normally she doesn't even like the feel of wet grass, let alone snow.

    Anyway, got her paws wiped off and let her back in the house, got a few small chores done, and after a nice shower, got dressed and headed out to accomplish a few items. Dropped by the library and selected a few books on religion for comparative study, then off to the mall to look at a pair of new shoes for me and some shoelaces, Subway for lunch and then off to Wally World for cat food, doggie treats, and a few items for the upcoming Halloween night. Homemade popcorn balls make a wonderful treat for friends and family.

    Crystal and her fiance, Torry, were coming to the game with us, so when they arrived I fixed them each a sandwich of sliced chicken breast and cheese on whole wheat, and the four of us sat down to a nice supper of home made soup and sandwiches, then headed out to the Riverman game. We arrived in time to get a convenient parking spot, and were joined by our son, Rick. The game was exciting and well played, and the five of us had a great time.

    This morning, Sandra is in the kitchen making popcorn balls, my contractor has been and gone, collecting the wood he used to frame the sidewalk, and we had a nice breakfast of bacon, scrambled eggs and red potatoes, and toast. I had a chance to complete the fifteenth chapter of Romans, which I will post a little later, and got some advice about sealing the concrete in about a week from Rob, our contractor. Later on today we'll head out with Crystal and Torry and Brittni to Tanner's Orchard for some produce, some apples, and a dozen apple cider donuts to ship overnight to my daughter, Michelle, in Maryland. We'll probably stop on the way back at a local discount store to check on some winter boots for Sandra and possibly look at the electronics while I'm there.

    Now you may be asking yourself, what has all this got to do with exercise? The answer is: Energy.

    You see, several months ago, my wife was always too worn out to do much of anything on the weekends, and when we did, she was so exhausted she couldn't enjoy the free time we did have. Because of arthritis, she had to have a knee replacement (her second) and to recover, she had to complete a certain program of exercises every morning and evening. I was her coach through these sessions, and watching her complete these exercises diligently, fighting through the pain of muscles not used to exercise, inspired me to begin working out again myself.

    She completed her therapy several weeks ago, but still exercises twice a day, six days a week. She's lost several inches and pounds, and is feeling much better. We've substituted the stationary bicycle for her morning exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and she is up to ten minutes of pedaling with a goal of 30 minutes, which I have no doubt she will reach in a couple of months. On the other mornings, she completes 3 sets of 10 reps of 9 different exercises, and she does these every afternoon on her lunch break as well. She is completing them faster now, accomplishing the same work in less time, and is improving daily.

    We are both more energetic and active now, and it shows, both physically and in the things we accomplish.

    So there is the lesson for today. Exercise is not just about your physical fitness, but when you are feeling good, you are also emotionally and mentally fit as well. Call it the discipline of completing the exercises daily, the general release of endorphins, or just a better overall attitude in waking up with a little less pain and stiffness, but exercise works, my friends. It is a key to feeling better and staying more active as you grow older.

    Incidentally, for those who did not notice, I am 61 years old. Sandra is 66. If you are using age as an excuse to not exercise, oops, sorry, not listening. If you are using physical infirmities, again, sorry.

    She has two replacement knees and a list of physical impairments from gnarled toes and bunions to the ravages of thromboses-phlebitis and a repaired rotator cuff injury that limits her lifting ability. I have no cartilage in my left shoulder due to an old football injury and arthritis, almost no cartilage in my big toes from years of wear walking on steel decks and ladders, and a right hip that constantly gives me pain which is the result of excessive weights back in my body building days.

    Age and infirmities are not valid excuses for not exercising. While they may limit the kinds of exercises you can do, they do not prevent you from doing something to improve your fitness.

    Does it hurt to start exercising? Absolutely. For the first week, you will experience sore, aching muscles and probably fall asleep earlier than you usually do. This is your body both objecting to the work and telling you it needs additional rest. The second week will be better, the third, better than that. The endorphins will kick in and give you some relief as well, but something else will happen that will convince you to keep going.

    It may be the day you step on the scale and notice you've dropped five pounds. It may be when you're getting dressed and you notice your clothes feel a little loose. It might be when you run into a friend and they remark how much better you look. Or it may be when you wake up in the morning, stretch, and notice that back pain isn't there anymore.

    No matter what it is, it will convince you that you are on the right track. After that first month, you will discover exercise has become a habit, and you will decide that habit is a good one to maintain.

    I hope you are having a truly blessed day.

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