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What I've Learned on My Walks

I go for a few walks a week (usually 4). And they take about an hour. When I get to the park, I have about 35-45 minutes to walk around the park and look and observe--and that's a lot of time. During these walks, I've seen and learned a number of things:

I have a problem with pride. I'm not the only one who tries to get my exercise in on the track around the park. And there are many different people who are out there. There are skinny people, fat people, young people, old people, mothers, fathers, children. But I always find myself comparing myself to all of them and becoming prideful when I see people struggle around the track. When I can lap them, it gives me pleasure. That's not cool. What do I have to be proud of? I'm still fat. I'm just less fat than I was (but I still have a LONG way to go). I should be blessing all of us on the track. I should be saying a prayer for everyone I pass or who passes me. It's definitely something I need to work on.

When my wife and I have kids, it's important to not only teach them healthy living, but also to model it. One night last week, I was given an example of what this could look like. Of course, it was an incomplete example. Why? Well, it was a family of three: mom, dad, and son. The mom and dad were both overweight...and sitting on the bench. The son, though, at about 9 years old, was super active. In fact, he would line up by the bench and the dad would time him running around the 1/3 mile track. I can't tell you how many times he lapped me! But while I was happy for the son, I was saddened by the parents. They could have/should have been at least walking around the track. While the son seemed excited about running, what kind of example are they setting for their child? What model for adult living will he have? I can only pray that Anna and I can model healthy, full living for our kids--when we have them.

It's not just about getting healthy; it's about staying healthy. While I was on my walk a few days ago, I saw an example of being healthy and not letting obstacles become roadblocks. I was walking around the track, and walking around the track the other way was a man with a limp. As he got closer, I realized that this 65 year old man had had a stroke recently: he had the limp to the left, his left hand was still stiff and rigid, half of his face drooped a little but. But he was out there. He was walking. And he was going the same pace as me! How cool is that?! I asked him how many laps he did. He responded with, "Until I get tired. About 6 or 7." That's over 2 miles. I was very impressed and left with the realization that becoming healthy is a process that never ends.

Those are just a few things I've learned. There have been more and there will be more. I'll try to post them as I gather them.

On to my totals:

.5 Hours on the Elliptical
1- 3 mile walk (didn't do the run today--since I headed out too late for the sun)
200 calf raises
75 sit ups
Jump Rope for 6 minutes
8- 20 second Planks
Read the Bible (Psalm 1-2)
Pray Daily

1.5 Hours on the Elliptical
500 Calf Raises
225 Sit-Ups
Jump Rope for 9 minutes
7- 20 second planks
Read Bible (Matthew 1-2; 1Corinthians 1-2; Ezra)

1 Hour on the Elliptical
2- 3 mile walk/runs
200 calf raises
125 sit ups
Jump rope for 6 minutes
Build up to 10- 20 second Planks
Read the Bible Daily
Pray Daily



August 27, 2009 at 3:12 AM

I am very happy to see you recognize that children mimic their parents habits. I too get frustrated seeing people basically teaching their kids that it is ok to eat mcdonalds every day and have that super sized drink and extra order of fries. Your future kids are going to be very lucky to have such a caring father. By being physically active with your kids you will spend time with them as they grow up, you will show them how to live a healthy lifestyle and most importantly you will be part of their lives and not just watch them grow up from the couch.

You are doing such a great job, not only with the exercising, but the dedication you are showing to living a healthy lifestyle. You are right "It's not just about getting healthy; it's about staying healthy". Keep it up, you are only getting stronger.

  South Beach Steve

August 27, 2009 at 5:05 AM

Beej, this is a great post. I don't have the liberty where I walk to see others, but I still know exactly what you are talking about on all three points. The one that resonated most though was #2. As someone with kids, 3 of them, I can tell you that they mimic their parents, whether we like it or not. Usually, they pick out our worst habits to mimic.

Great thoughts. Oh, and great job on the planks!