When I was younger, I was addicted to cardio classes. I loved the adrenaline rush and burn. The harder the class, the more fun. As I got older, however, I learned the importance of weight-bearing exercise. Like many women, I was afraid I would bulk out and that wasn’t the look I wanted. As I studied, learned, and educated myself on the importance of resistance training, I incorporated it into my life twice a week. No matter how heavy the weights, I have never looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger because I just don’t have the genes, like most women.
Hitting the weights challenges your body unlike anything else you do. It requires your body to engage core muscles, stability, and handle the work load. Pushing and pulling engages your muscles and forces them to tug at your bones. This is what creates denser bones, and we all need to be concerned about osteoporosis.
As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass. Michele Olson, PhD. at Huntington College in Alabama estimates women lose an average of five pounds of muscle every 10 years. We combat that with weight lifting whether it be machines, exercise bands, or hand-held weights two times a week. Still not convinced? Resistance training boosts your metabolism by releasing human growth hormone and testosterone, and that helps you develop leaner muscle.
I like to say it this way: combing cardio with weight training prepares your body for the “what ifs” of life. When we start off strong and healthy, we are able to fight off colds, flus, and other diseases better than those who just sit on the couch. With lean muscle and strong bones, you are less likely to break a bone when you fall and that allows you to keep living and enjoying your life.
I just watched Denzel Washington’s commencement address to the University of Pennsylvania graduation class where he says, “I’ve found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Nothing. Nelson Mandela said: ‘There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that’s less than the one you’re capable of living.’ If I’m going to fall, I don’t want to fall back on anything, except my faith. I want to fall… forward. At least I figure that way I’ll see what I’m about to hit. Fall forward.”
You can watch the entire speech on You Tube. It isn’t long but full of truths and encouragement. I especially appreciated him sharing some earlier career failures. He kept falling forward until he got where he wanted to go. I think we often start off gung-ho about our aspirations but as soon as we hit the potholes and trip over some obstacles, we get discouraged. We lose momentum because we forget that life is a process and it involves mistakes, mishaps, and failures.
You’ve heard the saying, “If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying” right? I believe this is true of anything worthwhile. In fact, if you find yourself dealing with an issue or failure again, you are at least pulling away the layers. Eventually, you WILL find success. Perhaps we should quit fighting it and embrace the process!
When I was in junior high, my mom would sing the lyrics of a Joe Jones song,
“You talk too much
You worry me to death
You talk too much
You even worry my pet
You just talk
Talk too much…”
She did it in jest, but she also had a point. I spent a lot of time talking on the telephone with my friends and then would be stressed out because my homework wasn’t done. I was creating my own stressful situation, one which I could completely control.
Fast forward to present day, and I pride myself on listening more than I talk. I like asking questions and learning about others rather than machine gunning them with details about myself. When I began attending the National Speaker’s Association monthly meeting several years ago, I was astounded at all the talking going on. The members are speakers, after all. However, I still felt uncomfortable and felt there was a lack of self-awareness going on. No one is immune, and we would all benefit from taking a step back to evaluate how much we spend talking at people. Conversation is required to conduct business, but we must speak with one another with the intent of creating solutions, building bridges, and advancing the company’s initiatives. Are you doing that or just blowing smoke?
Try an experiment this week: Listen more, ask questions and seek to understand someone else’s point of view without the motive of pushing your agenda or opinion upon them. You might need to have a water bottle handle so that when the urge to speak overtakes you, you stuff it your mouth to take a drink. While your mouth is occupied, your ears can focus on hearing what is actually being said. What a concept!
Don’t forget to get dad something special for Father’s Day. How about the high-adventure stories from the Bering Sea of Alaska from a commercial fishing boat captain? Get a copy of my husband’s book, Lessons from the Sea at my website.