Fit Philosophy

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Location: TUCSON, Arizona, United States

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here's an amusing poem, sort of for the season, don't you think? Whatever. Along with it, I send out my best wishes to all for an active and funny new year. As they say in Italian: Buono auguri!

The Loneliest Job in the World

As soon as you begin to ask the question, Who loves me?,
you are completely screwed, because
the next question is How Much?,

and then it is hundreds of hours later,
and you are still hunched over
your flowcharts and abacus,

trying to decide if you have gotten enough.
This is the loneliest job in the world:
to be an accountant of the heart.

It is late at night. You are by yourself,
and all around you, you can hear
the sounds of people moving

in and out of love,
pushing the turnstiles, putting
their coins in the slots,

paying the price which is asked,
which constantly changes.
No one knows why.

—Tony Hoagland, Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

Friday, December 04, 2009

Aging well

Almost every move is more deliberate now. I have to remind myself not to hold my breath against the effort or strain as I rise, reach, or bend. I regularly wonder what new limitations will appear, if I survive many more years. All this is true though I'm in excellent condition, still work out twice each day for a hour or more, and take no medications, save for the supplements glucosamine, calcium, and vitamin D. I've now been 28 months without an upper respiratory infection like a cold, or any other ailment (unless you count my knee replacement a year ago). My resting heartrate is 39 still, even though my aerobic zone is now only between 100 - 130bpm. So I'm in a tiny percentile of folks aging well, not because I'm not aging--as the above symptoms illustrate--but because I'm well. Which is to say, I stay fit. Of course, mental acuity is an ingredient in fitness, as well. I'll write about that next time. As for physical fitness, I'm aiming for "compressed morbidity", which means achieving the shortest possible period of debility prior to death. Ideally, like a friend of mine a few years ago, I'll fall from my bike on a Sunday morning breakfast ride and be dead when I hit the road. If you want the same for yourself, get out while you can...