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You are Slack!

December 23, 2014

“Runners are lazy.[1] – Matt Frazier the No Meat Athlete

Torah Parshah Vayigash in a Nutshell from

Judah approaches Joseph to plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin’s stead. Upon witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another, Joseph reveals his identity to them. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still alive?”

The brothers are overcome by shame and remorse, but Joseph comforts them. “It was not you who sent me here,” he says to them, “but G‑d. It has all been ordained from Above to save us, and the entire region, from famine.”

The brothers rush back to Canaan with the news. Jacob comes to Egypt with his sons and their families—seventy souls in all—and is reunited with his beloved son after 22 years. On his way to Egypt he receives the divine promise: “Fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again.”

Joseph gathers the wealth of Egypt by selling food and seed during the famine. Pharaoh gives Jacob’s family the fertile county of Goshen to settle, and the children of Israel prosper in their Egyptian exile.

2014-12-16 14.12.34Last week we planned a family cycle ride on #MelbourneBikePaths to the City. I had already ridden with my Cycle Group in the morning. Loren then asked why I was not running to the city as I normally do, she said that I was slack and a “wus”. To tell the truth I would have liked to get in an extra run for the week, but thought it was nice to go for a slow ride with the Loren and the kids. After I heard those two words “Slack” and “wus”, I did nearly go change for a run. To cut a long story short, lucky I did cycle as Loren had a puncture and I had a pump (and Loren can’t change a puncture). So we all had a great family ride.

For a while a friend Les Silverstone has said he want to make me “cry” with a tough ride or run (or both!!). In the meantime Les has stopped cycling and taken up Cross Fit. Both Les’s wife and Loren do a “Strong Bones” exercise class with an instructor Lisa Carr. Lisa has been trying to get Les and me to do the class as I think she loves to make grown men “cry”. Today I joined Loren and Michaela doing this unbelievably tough class (with ~10 other females). Besides not having much co-ord, I did manage to battle through the class drowned in sweat. I admit I felt great after the class, there were no tears.  Not sure how I will feel tomorrow? (I am sure I will be very stiff or sore or both). It was awesome to try something different.

There are a few reasons I have told both these stories that I think are useful.

The first is that during the holiday period we allowed to be a bit “slack” with our diet and training, after a long year everyone needs a break;

“When you travel, remember to simply do the best you can and accept that there are limitations when you are away from home. The way to navigate is to make small, healthful decisions with the knowledge that the trip is only temporary” – Cleveland Clinic[2]

The second is that during this time it is a good opportunity to do some fun “stuff” with your family and friends and not worry about being called a “wus” or making every workout so tough that you want to “cry”;

In this week’s Torah Portion we witness the joy when Jacob is re-united with his son Joseph and the family can be together.

2014-12-22 16.10.03Thirdly it is a good time to explore creative ways to move or alternative exercises or training to keep you motivated. Like doing a gym class or taking the family for a hike (yesterday I took the family to do the 1000 Steps in the Dandenong’s) or just a lazy walk to get a coffee;

Fourthly, Michelle Bridges in an article in The Age, says that it’s fine to “let yourself go” during the holiday period, but you must “lose the GUILT”; and

“The odd straying off the path is normal – beating yourself up about it shouldn’t be” – Michelle Bridges

Lastly just try to enjoy the holiday period, be happy and avoid stress.

“Cheer and enjoyment during the holiday season don’t need to be lost because of stress. Try these five strategies when you’re feeling overwhelmed or emotionally drained (Move, Breathe, Be Positive, Laugh, Express Gratitude). You’ll quickly realize that peace and serenity are much more fulfilling that stress.” – Mayo Clinic[3]

Hope you have all enjoyed my Blog over the last year. All the very best for the New Year. As I said in the last blog, make next year #20FITEEN.  And hopefully, if you’ve never had an exercise habit, and decide that  2015 is the year to get moving, then give yourself a pat on the back – even if you are still sitting on the couch.

Please feel free to comment and give me some ideas.

To end a quote from an article – “Do holidays make your fitness level dive?” –  “Still, the human body is quite plastic and while it’s not hard to lose the gains you make with regular exercise, it doesn’t take long to regain them either” – Herb Groeller from the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Human and Applied Physiology.

PS:  After the class with Lisa Carr, she said I have the cardiovascular fitness (I think she said I was a Cardiovascular Powerhouse – That is not what I felt like after my Fartlek run this morning), but should be spending more time doing core and strength training. Now let Matt the No Meat Athlete explain why he says “runners are lazy” – “That might seem like an odd thing to say about a group of people who run for pleasure (and not just because they’re being chased), but for the most part, it’s true. We’re lazy. Runners are notorious for avoiding training routines, like foam rolling or core work, even though we know it will help prevent injuries and make us faster. But I get it. Foam rolling, strength routines, speed work, and other similar training techniques are painful and typically known to be the opposite of fun. Besides, after kicking ass for a 5-mile run, who wants to do more?”

“You know it’s Christmas in Australia when you’re eating mangos for breakfast, lunch & dinner.” – Triathlete Pete Jacobs





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