Nothing? or Something

Most of the people I talk to day to day cite “not having enough time” as the biggest problem with getting into the gym.  If you’re short on time, please tell me you’re not a member of that group who throw’s up their hands and gives up. I can accept that time is an issue, but I don’t believe it’s insurmountable. Here are a couple of strategies that can be used to fight time-loss.

When you think of a workout, what comes to mind? Ninety minutes in the gym, forty-five minutes of weights followed by an hour of cardio? Perhaps you need to redefine your idea of a “workout.” What if you took the time element, the one that’s in shortage, and made it less imposing? Say, 5-10 minutes. What if, instead of one 30 minute session, you did three ten-minute sessions? Could you make that work? Give it a little thought, and come up with a ten minute workout you could do anywhere. Then–go for it. There is no rule that a workout “has” to be a certain length. There is an optimum length that fits your goals, but if you can’t do the time–change the workout. Ten minutes busting butt beats an hour of nothing.

A quick side note about time. If you are one of those who regularly finds himself without enough time, you really need to ask, “Why?” When you find yourself getting less sleep, not eating healthy foods, and failing to exercise, there’s a problem. All of those things are high on the hierarchy of needs and are necessary to good health.  Recently, I read a book about Minimalism and here’s a passage I want to share. It goes out to anyone who says they don’t have enough time:

“Between work and attending my children’s sporting events, I no longer had time for an outside life: no time to read, no time to relax, no time for closer relationships. I didn’t even have time for a cup of coffee with a friend, to listen to his stories. I realized that if I didn’t control my time, I relinquished control of my life. It was a shocking realization.”

I recommend that you restore your control over life–before lesser concerns totally or partially steal that life from you. Give it some serious thought, and remember, preserving the quality of your life is not selfish–especially if others rely on your being at your healthiest.

Another big flaw in many people’s workout habits is the “all or nothing” syndrome. If they can’t get a full workout in they don’t workout at all, and therefore, due to this perfectionism, no exercise gets done. Why does anyone have to do the perfect workout every time? The short answer is–they don’t. Just last week, I was running behind and didn’t have a long enough block of time to complete an entire workout. So, I split it into two parts. I did 30 minutes immediately and another 30 minutes later in the day. I don’t want to do that all the time, but it worked out fine. Sometimes I skip my stretching regimen. Does it slow my recovery process? Yes, a little, but at least I get the workout in.

There is a saying in the fitness world that goes along with this line of thinking. The saying is, “If time is a problem, then intensity is the solution.” You see, there’s something called the laws of physics. If you work out with low intensity for an hour and burn 500 calories, you can work out with higher intensity for thirty minutes and expend an equal number of calories. Neat, huh? So, if time’s a problem…Intensity is your solution.

Both of these strategies have to do with redefining what has been normally been thought of as a workout. A definition isn’t what keeps you in shape–working out does. So, rather than stick to old ideas, switch it up. Put aside the “all or nothing attitude” of perfectionism and get done what you can–no matter what–something– beats nothing at all. Remember, the desire for change is knocking on your door and that all-or-nothing thinking — rarely gets us “all.” It usually gets us “nothing.”

 

Really? Career Advice?

“I’ve learned that making a living is not the same as making a life. ”

Maya Angelou

On the Huffington Post, five successful and prominent women were asked to give advice to their 22 year-old-selves. Most all of them gave career and money advice.  Admittedly, it was a career that made these women who they are today. Plus, a career takes up a large part of every working person’s life, and in many ways a career is how working people define who they are.   It lets people know where they fit, how they are contributing to society. Nevertheless, to my mind, there is so much more than career advice for an older self to impart to her younger self.

There are qualities of being that are more general and broadly applicable that would prove useful.  One such quality might be “diligence.” Diligence applies to the working world, but it also umbrella’s social interaction. We have duties outside of what we get paid for: being kind, being helpful, and loving others. Everyone could improve on being more diligent about these essential ways of being. These are more than good behavior; they are the underpinnings, the foundations of every social construct worldwide. Without them, society collapses into self-centered anarchy.

Speaking of important social constructs, I remember when I was in college, studying to be a teacher; the question arose about what made a good marriage partner. Most everyone in the room’s number one answer was, “My partner can’t be cheap.” My number one answer was, “My partner should be kind.” I have never forgotten that moment when a sad part of the culture was revealed to me in a poignant way. It seems, judging by those women in the Huffington Post, that money and position in the working world, are more important than other things. And it’s not just that publication; I read, see and hear the same thing in all the media outlets; it’s all about the economy and rarely about the environment, caring for one’s fellow human beings, sustainability, or striving harder for peace.

So, what might each of us, not just those who have the endorsement of money on our resume, impart to our younger selves, who exist in the new crowds of young people thronging forward like salmon to sea? Besides planning and goal setting, what will bring the greatest success? Perhaps we should fall back on the old guard: Be honest in everything, work hard no matter what you are doing, love one another based on nothing other than you are fellow humans, be diligent, persevere. Those qualities will ensure success, no matter what the context or field.

The First Link

This is my initial post and I think the first thing I need to do is explain who I am, what I hope to achieve, and why the title, “Prometheus Unchained.”

Well, My name is Roy Reichle, and I live in the Northern Hinterlands of Nebraska on a five and a half acre plot of Eden. I’m not going to bore you with my bio except to say that I grew up in Southern Texas, Spent 20 years in the USAF, spent over half that in Europe, met my wife at my final assignment, obtained a Secondary English Teaching Degree at the University of Nebraska in Omaha,  and then moved here. I am not a teacher now, but rather own and operate a Personal Training business called Vertical Fitness.

This blog is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time, as I love to write (An English Teacher who loves to write?) and I feel that I have something to contribute to the world conversation. As a trainer, I work with people who are trying to better their lives through healthy living and the knowledge I pass on to them can possibly find a larger audience here. I also am an avid reader who constantly ingests thought provoking passages  and those thoughts need somewhere to go. My life is also full of adventures in the outdoors, as I am a rock climber, backpacker, and cave explorer, so I am sure to post some trip reports and insights.

Now, why title this site and blog “Prometheus-Unchained?” Well, ever since I was a boy the tale of Prometheus has intrigued me. He is my favorite Titan, mostly because he stuck his neck out to help the little guys–us. He brought the world fire, which made human life easier. Forever after, we could warm our caves, sear our meat, and light the way. I hope this blog can do something like that, make life a little easier, more palatable, and perhaps be lit more brightly.

Until next time–keep each other safe and remember that grace is the way to peace.