Instant Gratification

I was just watching a video of the Piano Guys – one of their typical, which is to say, absolutely phenomenal performances. And fantasizing about achieving that level of talent.

Today many people crave the instant success offered by a successful YouTube video – world renown, recognition – all it takes is that one video. Talking to one young man, he had taken up the violin and was pretty sure that in a couple of years he would be ready to play with the best symphonic maestros. But life got in the way and he didn’t practice.

My mind wanders in a dozen directions on this subject – my clock-making skills. How many hours have I put into this effort? Let’s approximate. Say 20 years, perhaps 300 days per year, and OK, 2 hours per day. So, perhaps 10,000 hours. It blows me away how I can sit down today and do something, first try, that would have taken me a dozen hours 15 years ago. Thing just work now, first try. But, flip side, I also know there are no short cuts – you start out and plan to take every step, in the appropriate order, and the rest just works. Or, my clock-case restoration work. When matching the color, texture, patina, you just can’t skip steps. While it may seem, when looking at a project, that there are an unbelievable number of steps to take, at the end, it is all worth it.

In the clock world I have perhaps made it to a masters level. In one genre of clocks. Or maybe two.

Music? Let’s try the math again. I have been playing the hammered dulcimer since May of 2007. Being fair, lets go for 45 minutes per day, and say again 300 days per year. So, perhaps 1,500 hours. Get that? 1,500 hours. My music gives me a massive sense of satisfaction, of being able to create something special, and being able to totally focus, letting the current worries drift off while I practice. But, a master? Nope.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book “Outliers”, posits that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in a field. In my mind, it may well. But I have to point out that 10,000 hours of practicing the same, simple things, will result in the mastery of simple things. 10,000 hours of constantly challenging oneself, of taking on tasks that are progressively harder, will give one a chance at true mastery. I see this in the hammered dulcimer world. There are folks who have been playing 20 years, but who have never progressed past simple tunes. And there are players who have focused on making stunning music. And they have succeeded.

So, where is this going? Part of me wants to share the satisfaction that comes from learning to do something truly well. And, more importantly, that such satisfaction doesn’t come from just sitting down and doing something a few times. It comes from truly learning, in all its varied aspect. Finding what is most challenging and going for it. Not being satisfied with where one is, but striving to learn what perfection is, and then spending the time to achieve it. I’m talking life-long fascinations.

What keeps one going? Again, to my mind, it has to be satisfaction. Each step of the way, each skill attained, and then improved, each challenge overcome. I suppose baby steps is not a bad analogy. But equally important – vision of where you want to be – what you want to achieve. Critically, I believe you have to find your fascination years before you retire. You have to have this well begun so you can step into retirement and not suddenly find yourself set adrift with nothing to give purpose to your life.

There is another aspect to gratification. That is the concept of self actualization. Are you trying to achieve something to impress others, or are you doing it for yourself? Hey, the world is a fickle place. It might not notice that you can now play that difficult passage. But, if your focus is on being satisfied, well, there are few things quite so wonderful as success in something you have been working on.

Flip side, if your focus is impressing others there are wonderful outlets – Facebook comes to mind. But, well, you really need to have something to share tomorrow, and the next day to keep your friends aware of how great you are. Keep those positive vibes flowing – keep up with your friends and their postings.

I don’t believe that Facebook can give life-long satisfaction. I suppose a parallel, for me, would be working out. I get a massive dose of positive feedback when I am at the gym. But what about those days that I don’t have 6 people following me around (one of my gym buds has given me the nick-name “Pied Piper”). Working out by oneself is a completely different reality. One where we have to self-actualize, where we need something more than others accolades to keep going.

What keeps me going back is what I see in the morning when I am getting ready for the day. A fit body, one that doesn’t look anywhere near 60 (which is where I will be in 3 months). It’s the way I can do things and not feel worn out. The way I can do things no sane 60 year old would even think about attempting.

Take-home message from all of this. Every one of us needs the satisfaction of doing something exceptionally well. Such an accomplishment takes time, and devotion. I believe this satisfaction is the key to long-term happiness.

Why god made hammered dulcimer covers

Cancer Therapy

A couple of days ago I was talking to Mark (long term work-out bud) and Mike (father of a young guy who worked out with me a lot in the past) when LH walked up. After chatting for a bit Mike asked LH how old she was. Understand, LH had recently lost some weight and her abs are truly legendary. Not overly lean, just well defined and obviously the result of some serious exercise.

LH is 44. Mike was a bit taken aback, just one more reminder that he needs to get serious about working out. In his defense, he is showing up more often in the last month or so. Hopefully LH’s example will help him.

See, 7 months ago LH took Mark and I aside and told us she had a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. I remember all too well her saying “I don’t have time for this s___. And this is a lady who just doesn’t come across as ever swearing. She had just bought her dream home for her and her two girls, working full time, trying to fit in workouts… She just didn’t have time.

LH has never had the time to work out with us a lot – between her girls and job. But when she could she was all about getting in a good workout.

I believe it was two weeks later she went in for a double mastectomy. When recovered enough she then went through 6 rounds of chemo.

Through the entire time she worked out whenever she could. She put together a small area in her new house for working out. Mark and I went over once in a while to work out with her – to try to help her feel she was still part of the group. While each bout of chemo set her back, each time she fought for what strength she could get back. Her benchmarks were numbers of pushups. I recall when she was able to do 3, then 4 before the next bout of chemo. Personal triumphs that have to mean so much when there is really not much else.

After her last chemo she got up to 10 pushups before going in for reconstructive surgery. That was two weeks ago. And, as soon as allowed (granted with severe restrictions placed by her doctor) she was back at it. It was her first day back that Mark and I were talking to her.

I’ve seen the impact of chemo in others, it is debilitating. It is demoralizing. It is painful. For LH, it was challenging. Her doctor guided her on diet, and getting in all the exercise she possibly could. She took this guidance seriously.

Am I proud of this lady I barely know? Hell yes! I think she should be on the cover of oncology magazines. Whilst she deprecates what she done I think it is nothing short of amazing. A friend of hers shot a picture of her while she was doing a 10 pound lat pull down. I suspect this picture really does say it all, for a lady who has just finished 7 months of hell.

Lainye 02 2014

Tires

I am in the midst of fixing little challenges on a car I bought this summer. One of the changes involves going back to the original size tires and rims that came with the car. See, the car came with “boy racer” tires – very tall rims, very short, but very very wide tires. Perfect for those who want to look like they can go very very fast.

I suppose my prejudice against boy racer tires shows. None the less, I don’t dislike them enough to sell them – they will look great when and if I ever enter the car in a car show – all the boy racers will then go oohhhh and ahhhhh. That is why one enters cars in car shows.

So, what to do with 4 rather large tires/rims? My goal is to keep the floor of the garage as clean as possible – which means I don’t really want a pile of tires in a corner. So, how about on top of a set of shelves? Given the 10 foot ceilings there is room up there! In fact, I had already stacked the summer tires from our Smart car on the adjacent shelves. Being a Smart car, these tires were fairly small and fairly light.

Two of the boy racer tires were neither small, or light, weighing in at 56 pounds each.

Why am I writing about this? Because I was able to pick up a 56 pound tire, go up a step ladder and place said tire on a shelf that was 8 feet off the ground. I was then able to do it again, and follow up with the front tires, but they only weighed 46 pounds each.

Today at the gym my usual workout bud was tied up in a meeting so it looked like I might be working out by myself. When I came out of the room where my stretch group meets a young guy asked if he and his friend could work out with me. A high-school guy. Asking a 59 year old if they could work out with him.

Today was abs day, so lots of fairly extreme abdominal exercises. About an hour in said young man asked, very respectfully, if I would tell him how old I was – he admitted to being amazed at how strong I am. He was gobsmacked to find I was 59.

I love the term “gobsmacked”. The Irish and Brits use it, a simple translation: “To be completely dumbfounded or shocked.”

Whilst I enjoy nearly every day, there is something about being able to put heavy tires on a top shelf, and then having high-school kids want to work out with you. Something very good, very fulfilling, and very satisfying. It makes all the efforts to keep oneself fit so very much worth it.

The book “Younger Next Year” includes this quote: “People assume they will get old and die – in fact, people today tend to get old and live – decrepit perhaps, but they live. They can get decrepit, it they like, but it is their choice.”

I think this only states part of the reality – people can choose to not just avoid being decrepit – they can choose to be more fit and in better shape then they were the year before. They can choose to become truly younger next year.

Can you do it – I know you can. Get rid of your TV and hit the gym!

Sleep

Kelly and I often read in the evening. Ah the benefits of not having a TV! But I probably should be more accurate – weekdays (when I get to work out in the afternoon) Kelly reads and I typically fall asleep. Then, some time later when Kelly is ready, we curl in and the next thing I know it is morning.

One of the benefits I feel pretty profoundly from working out is that I sleep very well. In fact, come Sunday night I can tell that I am not getting to sleep as easily as I do week-nights – my body is telling me I am ready to hit the gym again!

I know I need my 8 hours sleep. Going 4 or 5 days without 8 hours and I just don’t feel as perky in the morning. And I know that I don’t function as well. One would think there has to be a pretty significant need for any activity that we spend about a third of our lives doing.

I have read about sleep in the past – the many theories about how it works to keep us healthy: It seems to be pretty critical for health and well-being. Whilst I am sure there are many aspects of our need for sleep I think recent research on how the brain purges waste products perhaps offers the most salient reason we need sleep.

Research on mice has shown that there is a system in the brain that is similar in function to the lymphatic system in the rest of our body. The lymphatic system removes wastes from the body so that they can be destroyed in the liver. Most of us have had a doctor feel our lymph nodes to see if they are full. Typically full lymph nodes mean our lymphatic system is being called on to purge something from our body – like the byproducts of an infection.

The system in the brain, dubbed the glymphatic system, acts as a trash removal system for the fluids that circulate in the brain. This trash transport occurs in the spaces between the brains cells – these non-neuronal cells are called glia. Hence calling the system they make up the glymphatic system.

This glia system is responsible for removing waste products generated by the neuronal cells in our brain. The team that did this research had a hunch that the brain could not both process sensory information and clean itself at the same time. So they decided to test how the activity of the glymphatic system changed during sleep.

They tested mice and found that the channels that make up the glymphatic system – the pipe-work if you will – expanded significantly when the mice were asleep. This change is important: The flow of cerebral fluid when awake was found to be only 5% of the flow when the mice were sleeping. This translates to a 20 times greater flow when asleep. As in wow.

OK – great bit of information – we all need more sleep. We all pretty much know that. But, other than feeling “out of it”, like our brain is just not operating the way it ought to when we don’t get enough sleep – are there any other issues here?

Interestingly, chronic and complete insomnia ultimately lead to death in mice and humans. Lack of sleep results in poor decision making, impaired learning, increased risk of migraines and epileptic attacks.

What I found pretty darned compelling was that one of the specific metabolites in the brain – β-amyloid – is cleared twice as fast from the brains of the mice when sleeping as when awake. Why is this important to me? Because β-amyloid has been implicated in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Or, as one of the articles I read pointed out: “Many neurological diseases – from Alzheimer’s disease to stroke and dementia – are associated with sleep disturbances. The study suggests that lack of sleep could have a causal role, by allowing the byproducts to build up and cause brain damage.”

The articles also discuss the possibility that the buildup of metabolic byproducts could be what makes us sleepy – that our brain is telling us we need to sleep so it can do its housekeeping.

As people age many find they don’t need as much sleep. I’m not sure this is a good thing, given the potential link between lack of sleep and some very serious health hazards. Unfortunately, if one does not do much during the day it is a lot harder to get a good nights sleep. I fear that the sedentary lifestyle that is all too prevalent in America causes more than just obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

My bottom line – exercise assures me a good nights sleep. If this helps to keep my brain functioning as I get older – helps me to avoid Alzheimer’s, dementia and stokes – this is a huge benefit to exercise!

The information for this posting came from three articles in the 18 October edition of Science. I strongly recommend this magazine if you want to keep up with developments in the scientific community.

Passions

I was getting ready to work out the other day, getting my gym clothes on and chatting with the guy next to me in the locker room. He was clearly not in the mood to be there – not looking forward to working out. He said working out was like taking a pill that tasted really bad. But he knew he had to do it.

In my mind I contrasted this with a comment Mark (my work-out bud for the last year or so) made a couple of weeks ago. He was a bit stressed when he got to the gym – worried about the young adults in his math classes.

About half way through our work out, after doing 3 sets each of chin-ups and pull-ups with a 60 pound dumb-bell between our feet, and after 6 or 8 sets of our abs routines, out of the blue as we were going to get a drink of water, he tells me how good he feels!

One example of what we both comment on periodically. It just plain feels good to work out hard, to know we are doing the best thing we can possibly do to keep ourselves fit, to ward off heart disease and diabetes, to keep our bodies doing what we want to do.

So, let’s compare this with a nasty-tasting pill.

Can I say I am passionate about my workouts? Yup, can and do. In an earlier post I talked about entitlements. About my being entitled to work out – it is something I gave myself when I retired. The right to workout as long as I wanted. I do my best to translate this into the thought that my workouts can not be taken away from me. This means I usually make it to the gym 5 times a week. Because I am entitled to be there – not because I have to be there. Can you say “mind set”. That is what this is all about – coming to believe in your workouts, and refusing to let others take them away.

I sometimes try to understand and try to figure out how to share the kind of commitment I have for my passions. Working out, playing the hammered dulcimer, finding special times with my lady, restoring clocks… These things are all rewards that I cherish. But, as I also wrote in an earlier posting, sometimes the difference between a nasty-tasting pill and a passion is all in our heads. Like the example I used in a previous post: When in college I had a rule that I could visit my girl friend after I took a test. Made me come to look forward to taking tests. In a similar manner – what is working out for me? It is a chance to positively impact a number of peoples lives, it is a chance to see people who are glad to see me, it is a chance to make a little progress on so many different exercises that we are working on, and it is the way I keep my body in a shape that makes me glad to look in a mirror.

Do I picture the strain of doing 60 pushups? No, I picture the satisfaction of being able to do 60 pushups.

How else to put this.

When we finish a workout it is not uncommon for Mark to thank me for a great workout, or, vice-versa. We push each other – we are each others crutch. But, at the end of the workout it is hard to get across the feeling of accomplishment – the feeling that, even if everything else today went down the tubes, at least we got in our workout.

Passionate about working out versus dreading the experience. One sustainable, one not so much.

Brings to mind a favorite quote from the book “Younger Next Year”: “We are stuck with aging – it is inevitable. But, decay is optional.”

It’s up to each of us to find a way to make working out a part of our lives. Way too much research has documented the multiple ways that workouts make us healthier, both mentally and physically. Brings to mind a conversation I had with a friend a bit ago. He had started working out but, as he put it, he wasn’t ready to commit to the whole thing.

He’s my age (since when is 59 old???). He has kids, and grand kids.

I was so very tempted to slap him silly. OK, a childishly emotional response to someone saying something I find unbelievable stupid. Or perhaps a mature response to someone saying they aren’t willing to do what it takes to continue to live a healthy life.

I really wanted to ask him if he was committed to seeing his grand kids grow up. Sitting on ones backside will not improve his chances of being fit enough to enjoy their growing up. Heck, sitting on ones backside is an invitation to a host of diseases that plague America and result in shortened lives.

Isn’t ready to commit? What part of “betting your life” is he missing???

I can only hope you can begin to understand the passion I have for working out. And for how good I feel every time I finish a session.

BBQ – My Weakness

Recently I have had a couple of situations where it would have been easy to have some barbecued ribs. Let’s be honest here – BBQ ribs are my biggest weakness. And one I have not indulged in over 3 years. I have, in odd moments, thought about the pleasure I get from eating ribs. It lasts roughly as long as it takes to finish licking my fingers. That’s it. When I compare that momentary nirvana with the knowledge that my cholesterol levels are excellent because I don’t eat ribs – well, the momentary nirvana begins to look pretty paltry. But, hey, if eating three meals was the high-point of each day – well, I suspect it would be a lot harder to resist eating the things I love most.

I suppose this post is really all about my coming to understand what it is that has kept me eating a healthy diet, even when the easiest option would be to eat something that would not be all that healthy. This weekend, when I did not have the luxury of going to the fridge and pulling out a healthy leftover, or making a veggie burger on a really nice whole-grain bread with hummus for added flavor… This weekend when I did not have the luxury of having things to do that I really looked forward to doing – this weekend my mind focused more on food than it has in a long, long time. And I perhaps began to understand in a very minor way how folks can get fixated on food.

Gads am I glad I have such a full life, and so many wonderful hobbies and fascinations! Not to mention workouts that last 3 or more hours each day. There really is little time to dream about the next meal, instead it is a question of how I can fit in a quick bite and maintain my energy to finish what I am working on.

I can only hope that you, gentle reader, can understand how much I love my life, and can begin to think of ways to make your life more fulfilling – by doing things that are difficult and challenging, and that give you satisfaction and happiness! And perhaps your fuller life will help to relegate meals to what they should be – times to refuel our body so we can get back to doing things!

Misty helping Kelly with her studies.

Meals

I wrote this post while Kelly and I were visiting relatives in Reno.

This trip has given me a bit of a perspective on meals – on how meals can become the center of a person’s universe.

In as much as our visit is focused on interacting with family we looked for things to do that would satisfy mutual interests – shopping, museums, swimming, and, well, meals.

A bit of background. I am hypoglycemic – which means my body is not really good at regulating my use of sugar in my blood. If I eat something sweet my body goes on a binge and consumes the sugar – quickly. Which can leave me pretty run down. So, unlike with Diabetes where the body can not process sugar, my bod is too good at using it. Best thing for me to do is to avoid candy (unless I am physically working hard) and to focus on eating regularly. At home this translates to 4 or 5 meals a day. Believe me, after a while having to eat becomes a chore. It gets in the way of the things I want to do.

But, on this trip, meals are a time to focus on being with others, and eating. And I find that my mind begins to get really into looking forward to eating. Especially since we are finding great restaurants and enjoying our meals.

It is amazing to me how my mind can become so focused on food. At home I am thinking about what I get to do next – at this point I am figuring out how to best tie down the air-conditioning lines on my new car (a 1973 Pantera) so the trunk will fit properly. Then I get to finish up a mechanism, clean another mechanism, and refinish the library card index cabinets I found a year ago.

By then the new lift will be here for the garage.

Projects, and working out, and playing the dulcimer. And all those other little niggling things that make up one’s life. Food – it drops to a role of being a necessity, one that takes time, and one that is mostly in the way.

But, what if I didn’t have all these things that I want to do. What if my life revolved around the next meal – as it has this weekend? Easy answer – I would weigh a lot more. And I would not have the satisfaction and happiness that I get every time I finish up a project, every time I find a novel way to solve a problem, every time I work out with my friends at the gym, and every time I see my 59 year old body in a mirror and realize that I am getting more muscular each year.

More tomorrow.

Rewards

Tuesdays are the day at the gym when we work out on gymnast rings. These are rings, suspended on straps, that gymnasts use to do rather amazing things. OK – the things we do aren’t nearly as amazing as what gymnasts do, but we get in a wonderful workout, full of stability challenges and core work.

This last Tuesday I had a bit of an epiphany. I was working out with several of the young guys in the group – Matt, Mark (the young one who wants to go to medical school), Colin, and a new guy whose name I have managed to forget. None the less, these 4 young men, not one of which is even half my age, these guys wanted to work out with me.

They wanted to do the exercises I focus on, they wanted to work on techniques I am learning, and, in the case of “muscle-ups”, they were working with me to help me do what two of the guys can already do.

Where is the reward in all of this? These 4 young guys, each of whom are pretty danged fit – they wanted to work out with me. I don’t think about this very often, but somehow it just hit me last Tuesday.

I felt pretty darned blessed.

Then there are the times someone will approach me in the locker room and ask me if I am a gymnast and where did I learn to do all the amazing exercises? Or someone will see me in Walmart or Lowes or elsewhere and say they recognize me from the gym – the guy who is always doing the impossible exercises.

These are just some of the rewards I get for the time I spend at the gym. Then there are the people who just want to say hi when they see me at the gym, or in stores or about town. My social circle. It is an amazing reward to be recognized in a good way.

Rewards. Reminders of why I put in the time at the gym, and why I enjoy it so very much.

And why I look forward to tomorrow – I get to work out!

Muffin on a pile of music books

Standing Out in the Gym

My last post discussed a number of things I do at the gym to stand out in a positive way. Here are a few more thoughts:

8. Develop a stretch routine that will help protect your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Funny thing is, if you are good at it others will ask about it. And, in no time you will have others who want to stretch with you. This is a particularly fulfilling opportunity, in that you can work with older folk to help them improve their joint mobility and reduce their chances of straining muscles. Oh, and in the process, reduce your own risk of straining muscles and joints. And, if there are any younger folks who are smart enough to realize they need to stretch to protect their muscles and joints – hey, they might even join in.

9. SMILE. I don’t really care how hard the work out is – if you smile the world will smile back. DO IT!

10. End every contact with others with “See you tomorrow”. It makes a difference.

11. Remember, when someone new starts working out with you, to focus them on the basics that you had to go through to develop your skills. And let them know the goal is to perfect the form for each of the exercises. Reps, more challenging positions, and heavier weights will follow in time – provide they don’t hurt themselves by rushing too fast.

12. Take pride in the routine you develop – pride based on the fact that you are working on strengths and exercises that you know will help you age gracefully.

13. BE POSITIVE! There is one older gentleman at my gym who always wants to talk about something that has happened to him – getting cut off in traffic (and almost getting into a fight when he chased down the person), getting annoyed when someone wants to use the equipment he is sitting on… He has an unbelievable number of stories about how he has been aggravated. He is a poster child for failing this rule.

This guy is one of my pet peeves. I avoid him. Not just because I can’t get him to quit talking, but because what he says is not uplifting. There are so many good things in life – celebrate them – share your happiness, not your aggravation.

I am going to add a few other pet peeves below – things that make me avoid folk:

14. No discussion of bodily fluids.

15. No discussion of medical conditions. That’s for old folk – and you ain’t old (unless of course you spend all your time talking about your medical conditions).

16. I would think some things wouldn’t need to be mentioned, but unfortunately things like body odor and bad breath are issues. Seriously. Clothes need to be washed regularly. If you like the new wonder sweat-wicking synthetics they may need washed after every workout.

I wish I could say that folks will let you know if you stink. They won’t – they will just avoid you.

17. If you are not using a machine – get off of it. They are not provided as a convenient place to spend 15 minutes texting while others wait to use it. Flip side, if you are doing a long set, let others jump in while you are recovering between sets.

Kelly (my wife) was concerned about my retirement. She did not know how I would handle the loss of social interaction that came with not going to the office everyday. The gym has filled this loss very effectively, and allowed me to build friendships and make peoples lives better even as I satisfy my need for social involvement. Believe me, it is more satisfying than texting people incessantly or telling everyone about what you are doing on Facebook. Really.

Muffin and Muggles

Becoming “Interesting”

I talked in the last post about becoming a more complete person – becoming someone others will want to get to know at the gym. My recommendations were focused on learning more about specific aspects of working out. This information can then form the basis of your developing friendships at the gym. Otherwise a gym can be a pretty lonely place.

In addition to developing know how in specific areas so the gym is less intimidating there are a number of things you can do to make the gym more pleasant for those around you – and, by doing so, nicer for yourself. I have put together a series of “Rules” – things I think are important to become someone who stands out in a very positive way.

Rule 1 – Make it a goal, each day, to give one stranger a compliment. Today, an older gent was struggling with chin-ups, but he was getting them. I called out to him at one point that he was doing great with the chin-ups. Initially he clearly didn’t dream I was talking to him. Then he turned, I nodded, gave him a thumbs up, and he realized someone noticed.

Next time he sees me we will nod to each other, and he will know that someone noticed he was there. Which will make it a little nicer for him, and for me, every succeeding day.

2. Apply rule 1 to the folk who are clearly not all that excited about being there – the old guys and gals who are doing their best, but perhaps a little lost in the black-spandex world populated with fit young folk. Make sure they know someone notices their effort and achievements.

3. Make note of people’s progress – and let them know you noticed.

4. Make very sure you do not ever try to get someone to do something just because you can do it. Never taunt someone – “If I can do it – surely you can”. Fastest way I know to get someone to hurt themselves. In fact, I find anymore that the most important thing is to help people understand the risks of new exercises – to keep them from hurting themselves.

5. Don’t let anyone else in your group taunt others. Safety – often protecting others from themselves – is really the most important aspect to working out with others.

6. Don’t brag on your own accomplishments – if you are doing well, folk will notice, and comment.

7. Focus your routine on balance and core, body-weight exercises, and functional strength. It is soooo important as we age that we maintain our ability to live our lives. Bench pressing 325 pounds has nothing to do with functional strength – it has instead something to do with torn rotator cuffs.

A word on functional strength. This is a term that is used to describe the strength to do things we do every day. Walking up stairs, lifting groceries, bending over. As I think about it I realize there are a couple of other functionals – functional joints – being able to walk up stairs without knee and hip pain, and functional balance – being able to recover from a trip rather than going down. Hmmm, will have to develop these ideas in future posts.

More ways to enjoy the gym tomorrow!