Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
April 16, 2017
I know there is a lot of people in this great country off ours that hate Tax Season. For me, it was quite a shock to see how little I got for my tax return, which prompted me to say “to hell with this nonsense!” and spend it all on my babies…errr, puppies….ummm, dogs. Okay, why lie, they are any babies! It is strange how angry some people get when they deal with this time of year, waiting until too late to get all of their stuff together and race to the post office to beat the tax traffic. No matter how easy it has gotten over the years, not matter what the IRS does to give you the option to do the filing in an easier and more streamlined way…people are still in droves at the post office. Every year, I am sure the news stations sends the lowest of the low on the totem pole to go stand outside the main post office branch here in Tucson to point out that you probably had a good three months to do this before you had to spend your pre-Easter evening waiting in line, delaying your nice evening of potential fun and dancing or whatever the heck it is people do on Saturday nights. Either way, I learned a long time ago to not it that way anymore, almost to the point where I kinda grew up and started doing my own taxes, saving myself some money in the process and shocking myself without any witnesses to how poor my tax return would be. Now of course, the cynic in just moves on and does what he can with his life, but dammit, I was hoping for more! Anyway, now that the disappointment has passed much like learning of more Fast and Furious movies being green lit and how pretentious The Last Jedi looks, I can get back to aging gracefully doing my own thing with my life.
I’ve talked so much over the last few years about people getting old and what it means for your health. As we age, our bodies become rundown for a variety of reasons. The main reason is this…we stop working out and taking care of ourselves. In so many ways, the conundrum of old age is not a losing battle. How can it be labeled this when we give up sometime in the middle? I mean, once you start taking pills and start having problems with your health, why should one accept that problem than try everything they can beyond science to try and fix it. Let’s face it, one of the easiest things for doctors to say is “You need to lose some and cut____ and _____ out of your life.” Granted, with the facts about doctors and nutrition becoming more and more known in our country, many people are probably not taking the advice much anymore. Think of it this way…doctors get so little actual food and health training that many really don’t know about the effects of nutrition and exercise on the body. It’s not a cost effective measure to do this. Unless someone has a legitimate reason to do it (like something that happened in their life) or it is a personal pursuit of theirs, the primary answer will always be a trip to the pharmacy. And you know how I feel about that, where I have talked extensively about the racket that is the American Health Care system and big pharmaceutical companies. Don’t get me wrong—there are instances where we need to get some of these life saving drugs—but so many of them can hurt us due to the fact that many doctors gain major income incentives to overprescribe pills. Pharmaceutical representatives make a lot of money for a reason, and the very fact they succeed is not because of good sales tactics, but because of a populace that believes in the white coat. Stanley Milgram pretty much proved that people will believe any authority figure in white coat that seems to have doctorly credentials. This was in the 1960s when he indicated this…it’s even worse now when you don’t even need facts to back up ridiculous claims you make…for there is some third-tier website that will back you up (I’m talking-to you Flat Earthers and Neo Nazis).
Needless to say, I am on of the rare people that has gotten into better shape as I have gotten older. While I am struggling with body image and my weight, I am on my way to establishing a much better way of life for myself down the line. Now this whole pontificating about aging got me thinking when I stumbled upon a rather strange article from the New York Post about men and how they are aging differently than women. http://nypost.com/2017/03/20/why-your-schlubby-hubbys-aging-worse-than-you/ Now please, I will never use the New York Post as a source for anything, for it is the fanciest tabloid newspaper in the United States. But it got me wondering when I saw this article….which is rare considering much of the nonsense from that paper is pretty much straight out of the misogynist/sexist handbook (seriously, they had a story about some rich guy that complained about dating models and such, so he started dating “less attractive women.” Never mind the fact the woman he was with was gorgeous. Yup, the shittiest “newspaper” in the country…and that is saying something when you think about journalism in our country). Anyway, when you disregard the sexism in the article, there is a point of truth to the central theme…men are just not taking care of themselves. They start getting old and start slowing down, and they of course blame old age and work for their problems (women age more gracefully because they don’t all work and have time to see dermatologists and such…according to the nonsense of this article). Now here is the truth bomb I derived from this smattering of nonsense…most men are just not educated about good health. Too many seem to fall for the nutty diets, the testosterone treatments and the supposed miracle pills to save them rather than developing a plan to get themselves into better shape. As I have gotten older, my drinking has gone way down, as well as my desire to drink. Throw in the fact I did a 360 on my diet and you can see why I have tried to battle the curve of old age. Everyone says that the instant you hit 50, it is pretty much over for you and your health. I want to buck that silly trend.
I have slowly but surely been doing more and more to get myself back to a level of fitness that makes me proud of myself and makes other people proud to know me. Sure, my running has been pretty bad the last few months, but I will once again run three times in a a week like I used to do. While I have been embarrassed as of late in regards my time and my distance, I finally reached a slight turning point when I finally turned in a three miles run. While running a 5K is nothing to really get crazy about, I felt good about the fact that my body wasn’t dying for once after a slight run. Like I aid, all of the sitting has been causing some issues with my back, legs and other assortment. But I finally got it, and I was pretty happy with the result. Now I just need to slowly build up the distance and get my speed to a more respectable level. Of course, this problem will be tough since I keep running the home course, which is oddly hilly and challenging on the legs. Who would have though such a benign looking course would cause such distress? Then there was the other issue that I nearly wrecked my ankle on a rock. Just goes to show it might be better to actually run on the path as opposed to the trail sections. Yeah, my running is not necessarily the stuff of legends right now, but I will be working on it and hopefully get healthy enough to do my usual run at the Tucson Heart Walk later this month.
I kicked off my week in style this week, taking it pretty hard and fast at Parsons Training when I showed up on Monday. With no organized training this week from Jenny (I ran out of session), I had to do something that was challenging to me and make me wish for death (which is always a good goal). Now on most days, when you start off with 50 dead lifts and 50 bench presses, that could be a good workout for most. However, I also had 25 step-ups on the tall Rogue box as well as 50 overhead presses. So yes, I had to get a lot done in a short period of time, mainly because I felt it would be necessary to do so. I got through the hardest part barely, which of course is the bench pressing. Due to the tendinitis and possible injury in my arm (I don’t know what it is for I still haven’t gotten it checked out) I had to take the bench press slow. But hey, does it really matter how long it takes when you get through the darn exercise in pain? The next day proved to be just as challenging for me, mainly because I did a pyramid workout that was loosely inspired by Jenny from the previous week. Considering I had not down much pyramid work before hand, I thought a second round might have been in the works. I started with the usual snatch progression and then did 100 jumping jacks, 90 lawnmowers with the green kettle, 80 goblet squats, 70 push-ups, 60 chest presses, 50 oh presses with the dumbbell, 40 lunges, 30 sidesteps on each leg, 20 jump pull-ups and 10(0) crunches. Needless to say, it was one of the more challenging workouts I had put together, mainly because I had good combo of cardio and weight.
I took it a little easier during the Thursday session, primarily because I was still sore from the nearly full week of working out. You see, I was a little tired from working out three straight days, which if you can believe it, is something I have not done very often. After some work with my back squats and a lot of work with the kettle bells, I once again took advantage of yoga provided by my yogi in training Rhue. The great thing about that particular session was the fact I did a heck of a lot of twisting, giving me some relief in regards to the fatigue I had acquired fro the week thus far. I needed the stretching, for it served me well when I finally put in a three mile run for the first time in a long time. So for the week of work that I put in, I managed to really get some good stuff going.
All of this work I have put in is indicative of a rather sad and interesting article I saw in the local newspaper The Arizona Daily Star. http://tucson.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/the-grayer-his-hair-the-higher-his-heart-risk/article_3d7a73eb-ba75-5cb7-b888-528271d7096c.html Turns out there is a correlation between heart risk and the amount of white hair you have!! Now this comes as weird news to me considering I have had white hairs since I was teenager. Now through the science-speak that is littered through out the article, the main thing the researchers were looking for was the build-up of plaque in the arteries of the participating men. Turns out the greater the whiteness of hair, the higher probably of heart plaque (or atherosclerotic coronary artery disease). Now the researchers gather that the whitening of hair might be a something that goes hand in hand with the disease, the good news may be the fact few if any other studies also came to this conclusion. Needless to say, I refuse to let myself be eaten up by malaise. This is the one reason why I will continue to be health and try to put more time in my working out. While my grays could be just premature or some sign of actual deteriorating health, I refuse to let the fear get to me. Plus I refuse to let my body get the better of me.
As we all celebrate Easter today, let the idea of aging come to this. Aging happens the very way we want it to. If you don’t take care of yourself and do what is necessary to stay healthy, you will naturally deteriorate faster. That is why I will continue to keep doing this, even if it takes up much of my time! So don’t be like the people that wait to the last moment to file your taxes. Start now with the transformation!
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.