Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Health and Strength for Today - By Jim Duggan

     "It's a great life if you don't weaken."  These are the opening words to an article written by Dr. Frederick Tilney in the March 1936 edition of "Strength and Health" magazine.  Since we are currently in the third month of a worldwide pandemic, it's easy to forget that health issues existed over eighty years ago.  But, believe it or not, before Joe Dimaggio played his first game for the Yankees, before World War II even began, people sought to become stronger and healthier.
     Strength and health are priceless possessions.  Unfortunately, like many gifts, we usually don't appreciate what we have until they're gone.  Instead of wishing, dreaming, and hoping to get stronger and healthier, start doing something about it today.  Forget about tomorrow.  Never mind about next week, or the week after.  The best time is now.  The only time is now.  Take action today that will make you stronger, and will improve your health.  Use the beginning of a new month- or the beginning of Summer- to wake up to the possibilities and pleasures of greater strength and abundant good health.
     Even though most commercial gyms are still closed, don't let that stop you from working out.  Adopt an attitude of "My quest for strength will not be denied!"  Besides, all serious Lifters realize that most commercial gyms are a joke when it come to serious training.  And with the warm weather upon us, you  can train outside and reap the benefits of fresh air and sunshine.  Vitamin D is good for the immune system, and who couldn't use a boost to their immune system today?
     Please don't fall into the trap of believing all the "experts" on the internet.  You don't need countless burpees, planks, or pistol squats.  Use common sense and concentrate on the basics.  Hard, heavy work on the basic exercises will negate any need to read the nonsense you'll find from most online trainers.
     Just as important, don't pay any attention to the so-called celebrities who constantly post pictures and videos of their home workouts.  Many of these "action hero" actors are steroid users who owe their physiques to drugs and/or plastic surgery.  And don't fall for the false notion that you need a personal trainer to achieve your goals.  Most trainers are merely "rep counters" and cheerleaders.  You don't need anyone other than yourself.
     During the last few months, while everyone has been in "lockdown mode," there has been plenty of time to reflect on things and take stock of your habits and actions , while at the same time take better care of yourself.  Naturally, when confronted with an abundance of free time, it's only natural to take stock.  But it is also a golden opportunity to learn to respect your body, all aspects of it.
     Needless to say, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the large amount of information available at the click of a mouse, or by pressing a key.  Don't become overly dependent on what you read or hear from others.  Don't rely on someone else to work out or take care of your health.  Ensure it yourself by attending to your health and strength requirements each and every day.  One day at a time.
     It requires no more effort to form a good habit than a bad habit.  Make a conscious decision to cultivate better habits in all aspects of your life.  Instead of lifting weights merely because you ought to it, resolve to work out because you want to do it.  One of the many things for which I am grateful is the opportunity to still enjoy lifting weights after over forty years devoted to our beloved Iron Game.  I love to work out, and I have never looked upon a workout as something that is required ( I hate that word.)  I approach each and everyntraining session as an opportunity:  I get to lift today!  How lucky are we  to be able to lift weights ( and stones, anvils, etc.) and enjoy what we do?
     I would like to offer one more piece of advice.  When it comes to working out, just do it.  Don't talk about it, or go on social media to proclaim it to the world.  The internet is filled with self-proclaimed experts who constantly preach about their training, yet these same people look like they've never touched a barbell.  Don't be a keyboard lifter.
     One of my favorite all-time athletes was Rocky Marciano.  The only heavyweight fighter to retired undefeated.  The "Brockton Blockbuster" was renowned for his unbelievable punching power, stamina, and conditioning.  His 49-0 record ( 43 knockouts) has not been matched.  Yet, unlike most of today's athletes, Rocky never bragged or blew his own horn.  He was a humble, unassuming champion, whose favorite Italian saying was: " Fa i fatte e no parole," which means "Do it. Don't talk about it."
     When it come to lifting weights and working out, don't be a talker.  Set out with unflinching determination to do it.

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