Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for May, 2012


woman balancing on a beamSo I was going to make this post about why you still could use the gym, even though it is nice weather and many of you are getting the exercise you didn’t over the winter. After reading another person’s rant about GMO’s, “Big Pharm”, and other modern day boogey men, I was going to write a separate post about that. As I was thinking more about it, I realized they were both part of a bigger picture, hence the title of this blog, balance.
First, the gym. I spent the weekend running the dogs, doing yardwork and gardening. In other words, getting far more exercise than I would at the gym. Yet Monday I was back at it. Why? Because at the gym, you are following a plan, a plan that targets all your muscle groups and that works them in opposition. You are working on strength, flexibility and balance. You are (hopefully) getting instruction on the proper way to lift and getting feedback on your form. This was driven home to me at Lowe’s as I watched a contractor loading his truck with bags of mulch, using extremely poor lifting technique. My back hurt just watching. If you are using poor form, or just performing the same chores over and over, chances are you may be developing unevenly or even setting yourself up for injury. If you have tight hip flexors and weak glutes from sitting all winter, you may take the easiest route and use the wrong technique and muscles, rather than challenging those weaknesses.
So what does this have to do with a rant about the ills about modern society? As I was reading the persons rant, I thought, “I rather like “big pharm”, dieing from gastroenteritis wouldn’t have ideal.” While GMO isn’t a good thing, “big ag” is keeping 10+ billion people alive and fed, almost too well. While pollution is a problem, and is bad, when was the last time you had cholera or dysentery? Before you go gnashing your teeth at the ills of modern society, go to Haiti or any poor country and become grateful for what we have. Before you talk about the chemicals destroying the environment, ask any African native how they feel about DDT, as their child suffers with malaria. While we do need to watch companies like a hawk, and do our best to keep them honest and accountable, I refuse to succumb to the idea that they are evil and that our world is worse than ever. For all those darwinists out there, the point is to reproduce and increase population, right? Well, by that score, we won. Big time.
Still, what do these things have to do with each other? Yup, balance. Don’t go off the deep end on anything. Even my beloved exercise can get carried too far. It’s just that most people don’t ever try to go to far on that one. Finding that balance isn’t always easy. My life isn’t one of walking straight down the middle, it’s more like a drunken sway, just trying to stay between the lines. I get caught up in frenzies and fads, and often have to step back and reevaluate.
So where is your balance? Or are there areas you know are out of whack? Maybe you like the feeling of being on the edge, being extreme and don’t feel like centering. Maybe it is a cause you are so passionate about that you can’t look around the edges of it. Some people would say Christians are like that, but I don’t bring God up in every post, or make every topic about Him, even though spiritually it’s the truth. Some people would say I’m unbalance about fitness, which I might accept, except that when I look at the proportion of time people spend sitting vs moving, I think I’m the one more in the right. Do others tell you that you are unbalanced? Mentally or otherwise ;-)?

I Was Surprised by This.

Here is an ABC news article on the continued rise of obesity. I found this surprising, as I have seen so much positive impact in my life.When I go places and talk to people, it seems so many are joining gyms and getting fit. I have met so many people who have lost weight, and the general knowledge about weight loss and fitness seems so much improved that I thought maybe we had turned the tide.

What do you think? What is your experience? Do you see reason to hope, or do you see this rising tide?

Can a Color Make You Happy?

Well, duh.  Of course it can. I’ve always thought that how attractive your surroundings are makes a difference in how you feel. I’ve painted every room in the house in color. I just finished repainting my bedroom. I did it not that long ago, but ended up very unhappy with it. Since I had picked the previous color, I find it odd how much I ended up hating it, and how different I felt towards the new. I picked the previous colors based on a picture:Cross stitch image of the three bearsthe previous room colorsWhat I got might technically match the picture, but missed the whole point. Just looking at it on the screen I hate it.  I was trying to capture the woodsy, outdoorsy feeling. The trouble with color is it is reflected wave lengths of light, so it is very hard to reproduce exactly when you switch mediums. The tan background of the picture has almost a pink hue on the wall, and the neutral gray green picks up a blue look. This time, I took swatches of colors I liked, and walked around with them for days. I looked at them in various lights, I held them up to each other over and over. In the end, this is what I picked:

an image of the paint colors, olive and off white.The new colors on the wall Looking at it on the screen is not the same as seeing on the wall, the color and amount of light change the look of it constantly. In any case, The green makes every other color in the room look better and I do the happy dance every time I look at it. As you can see, you have the limitations of the camera and lighting, but at least you can get the idea.

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