We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lots of Americans try to stay fit to extend the energetic, functional, productive and profitable part of their life span for as long as they can. It takes work but, as I say, only 5 1/2-6 hours of unpleasant work/week before or after work, and rational nutritional habits so you aren't over- or under- weight.
Mrs. BD and I tried a new fitness class early Sat. morning. We might be naturally lazy, but will not put up with that deplorable character flaw. Like my sister preaches about life, "Ignore how you feel. Always Go Do It."
More below the fold, with two calisthenics I can barely do -
This is not the Rippetoe approach. This was a "Conditioning" class for people who want to get into decent condition - a combination of HIIT cardio, calisthenics, and a little strength. Not one of their most challenging Conditioning classes. It was outdoors, about 35 people, half men. I'd say ages 40 to 70. A handful were noticeably heavy, but maybe only a third could complete everything the entertaining trainer, a cool dude, asked for. Gotta be humble to take on these things because if you compare yourself with others you feel like a loser and use discouragement as an excuse. A cheerful but determined group, and a jolly friend of ours happened to show up to try it too. She did great, as best I could tell. Rubber mats in the parking lot, and vipers, ropes, and light kettlebells for all.
Here are some of the things we did in that parking lot: Wind sprints with jogging intervals, Turkish Get-ups with kettlebells, Kettlebell swings, a total of 200 push ups in 4 sets, high-knee jogs, running jump rope, jog while lifting the viper, lunge across the lot and press the kettlebell. Stuff like that. Athletic-related functional efforts. As the minutes tick by, everything gets harder as your energy drains and your muscles rebel. You slow down, or at least I do. Mrs. BD surely had the Devil in her heart when at one point she shouted back to me "C'mon, Keep up." Sheesh. Made me consider divorce or murder, either one.
Everybody seemed to put their heart in it. No rest breaks at all to catch your breath, so this class set a new high bar for my cardio and muscular stamina. I lift weights and all that, do normal cardio exercise and calisthenics, and can hike over hill and dale for 10 miles, but I could not complete many of these things. I was not alone in that, for sure. Ten kettlebell Turkish Get-Ups on each side? No way. I can only do three but did more without the damn kettlebell. My mat was next to a strong, trim-looking younger guy, a newbie, who kept saying Holy Shit and flopping on the mat. I know he'll be back because I sensed a fighting spirit.
Well, after over 2 years now of working out 5+ days/week, I struggled. There were many things I could not do at all. For example, I can not roll up from flat on my back into a squat and jump up. Not even once, without bracing with my hands to get into a squat. Two years ago, I probably would not have survived the hour at all.
I'll do better each time, but I will likely never be able to do it all. Life demands that; we push to our limits, then fail, then maybe get better and get back up, and push again to failure. So anyway, the day after, on Sunday, we did some cardio before church to loosen up, and kayaked for a couple of hours after church. That's termed "recreation" - or "active recovery." Then I cleaned the garden shed, fall-fertilized the lawns, and thought about how effortless and pleasantly-mindless it is to do real, ordinary life chores. Then a birthday party and a couple of beers, and book-time at night.
That's a slice of life in America for our foreign readers (of whom we have many, but want more). A couple of the exercises I found difficult or impossible to do: