Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Jogging is right-wing

July 5, 2007

I never stopped to think about it, since I have often gone jogging with some quite left-wing individuals. Neither of us felt like we were capitulating to the other’s ideology by running together . . .

But in the wake of Nicolas Sarkozy’s election to the French presidency have come criticisms of his morning jog. In addition to the obvious fact that it is “extremely undignified” and a “cultural humiliation” to have the President’s knees exposed to the world, running is right-wing:

It is all about the management of the body; it is about performance, and individualism, and the triumph of the will.

It is no wonder, they say, that physical jerks have generally been associated with fascist regimes; and above all they believe that by staggering around in his NYPD T-shirt, the French President is making a tragic act of obeisance to America.

But the British author retorts:

Of course it is Right-wing, in the sense that the facts of life are generally Right-wing. The very act of forcing yourself to go for a run, every morning, is a highly conservative business.

There is the mental effort needed to overcome your laziness. There is the pain in the calves and the ache in the lungs, and the keen sense that everyone is looking at you and sniggering.

And then slowly the endorphins start to flood into your brain, and the effort gives way to reward, and the deferred pleasure arrives, and you come back home feeling you could bite a tiger – and, above all, that nothing else you do that day can be quite as painful and exhausting.

And now, I am going out for a run . . . What will you do? Just sit there and keep reading? Or get out and face the facts of life?


New iPod: a blessing and a curse

May 8, 2007

I bought a green iPod Shuffle this afternoon, and used it at the gym tonight.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Not only was I able to block out Cindi Lauper, Gordon Lightfoot, and Molly Hatchet. I was rocking so hard I almost had to be ushered out by security guards. Here’s some of what was in the playlist:

  • Shout at the Devil, Wild Side, Live Wire—Motley Crue
  • Whiskey Dust, Heaven’s Train—Badlands
  • Beer Money, Yucca Man, Rock Queen, The End—Love/Hate
  • Master of Puppets, Trapped Under Ice, Creeping Death—Metallica
  • Piece of Me, Slave to the Grind—Skid Row
  • Invaders—Iron Maiden

And many more. But all this rocking put me in such a heightened state, if you will, that I ended up breaking a glass once I got back home. (See previous post if you have NOTHING else to do.) Reminded me of something Andrea did when we were both in high school, I think. We were getting ready for school one morning, and she was listening to “Steal Away the Night” by Ozzy Osbourne, from the Randy Rhoades Tribute album, while she was brushing her hair. As I passed by her bedroom door she stopped, and, holding the brush in both hands, said, “STEAL AWAY THE NIGHT—LET’S GO CRAZY!!!!” And SNAP went the brush, in two pieces! Nice.

What’s Curly doin’

July 10, 2006

Well, what’s new with Curly?


MOL checking in for the weekend

June 2, 2006

What a day. Went grocery shopping in the morning, and saw Leonardo da Vinci on the cover of the Sun. This was about him, apparently—not something DVC related. The caption on his pic read “Famed prophet Leonardo da Vinci.” This reminded me of students I’ve had who describe the Bible as “the highly recognized book honored by the mainstream religion of the United States.” Lawda mersah.


4 million pounds

May 29, 2006

On August 22nd of last year I started keeping a spreadsheet of my physical activities: weights, running, etc. Today I passed the 4 million pound mark.

Swimming vicissitudes

May 19, 2006

The good news is that I got myself into the pool 5 days this week for between 25-30 minutes. Yesterday I had a small breakthrough: I realized that if I turn my head to breathe as my arm is reaching forward, it’s much easier. I think I was breathing when the arm had already been extended. So I’m going along better than I had been, when the girl I was sharing my lane with told me I looked like I was lifting my head out too high. I tried to adjust, and things fell apart from there. I saw the beatific vision, but only for a moment.

Today was just bad. My goggles started to leak big time—very distracting. Thinking I’d go to plan B, I used a kickboard—but my left leg got a big cramp in it near the hip. But on the positive side, the water was cool on this hot day (96 degrees) and I’m getting a mean tan. Soon I won’t be ashamed to stand (on dry land) next to Mr. Speedo!

I can’t swim well

May 15, 2006

Yep, it’s pretty bad. Last night I managed to go all of 8 laps in 27 minutes—that’s 1200 feet. For those of a calculating bent, that is 44.4 feet per minute, or just under 8 inches per second. To be fair, most of that time is spent spluttering and panting at the pool’s edge—when I’m actually swimming, I’m moving faster than this.