Raspberry beret ...
The kind you find in a thrift store
Raspberry beret ...
And when it was hot she wouldn't wear much more
Twenty-five minutes. Almost non-stop. The success of Raspberry Beret - Prince in 1985. Not the whole song, just the chorus. My mind is supposed to be clear, empty. Meditate. I don't match my approach with a pop song. I'm out for my fitness walk, the weather sucks, I'm the only person I see.
"Whoa" you say. “Walk? I thought you were meant to be a great runner.
I was, fourteen months ago. Overuse injury, I took a long break. And when I did it again, I had problems with right calf cramps. Running is prohibited. I ride a spin bike ... and I walk.
Today is snowy, but just a little dust. A few hours to the east, they caught the cyclone bomb. I am not making this up. Not only are they now giving a person's name to every storm with over a quarter of an inch of attendance, but they're also inventing new types of storms. Today's storm was a cyclone bomb.
It was cold yesterday. Five degrees. It was better for meditation. Step, ouch my toes are aching. Step, ouch my toes are aching. It was my mantra. I was too concerned with numbness to sing songs. I was the only person to walk yesterday too.
As a family, we treated ourselves to a spin bike for Christmas. I installed it in a corner away from our house in front of a small smart television. Here's my plan: While I'm exercising, I'm going to watch all the shows everyone's talking about but I've never seen - The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones. I started with Stranger Things, but the sound was completely messed up and I was able to follow the plot. So I instead watched a documentary on the CrossFit Games 2015. CrossFit is a chain of gyms. Every year, they hold a competition to see which CrossFitter is the fittest in the world.
It took me four sessions on the bike to watch it all. I'm sure it sounds weird watching a documentary about people who exercise while I exercise. Maybe, but it was really motivating. Every day when I got off the bike, I wanted to do push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. I'm a little disappointed to have finished.
This morning when I wasn't singing Raspberry Beret, I was thinking of CrossFit Games. The guy who came in second, Mat Fraser, was a miserable soul. I'm not sure I've ever seen such a clear display of bad sportsmanship in my life. He denounced his poor performance in every scene. The winner of the losers. That's what he called second place, although he threw six or eight F-bombs as he put it.
Mat showed no gratitude for his physical form, for his near victory. He is the second fittest person in the world, but all he could muster was disdain and disappointment itself. I was jealous of his accomplishments. My longest run in the last fourteen months has been four miles, and even that distance is hindering me.
It occurs to me that, like Mat, I have probably cried a bit myself when I talk about my fitness, my exercise - even though I do it without the F-bombs. I suddenly see it differently. . I feel a certain gratitude. I am exceptionally fit for a guy in his 50s. I never get sick. I have the motivation to go out and exercise even when the weather keeps all the sane people inside. I have a spin bike and a smart TV and a family that gives me the time I need to get my blood flowing.
I thought I was going to write about Prince today, but I'm really writing a thank you note to Mat Fraser. In my senior level business management course in college, the instructor told us that everyone has redeeming qualities - at the very least, they can set a bad example. Obviously, I needed this example. Today, I feel better about myself than in months.
I read on the internet that Mat won the CrossFit Games 2016. I hope he's able to give himself some peace now.
Previously published on Jefftcann.com.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for the Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: True Stories from the Frontlines of Modern Manhood
◊ ♦ ◊
If you believe in the work we do here at The Good Men Project and would like to participate in our calls, please join us as a Premium member, today.
All Premium members have the option to view The Good Men Project without ads.
Need more information? A full list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
click here to discover more
About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no volonté to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.
There are variantes of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH sport director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no assistance from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff zones musculaires, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.
to set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral place at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck position. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.
From this starting place, use your back to pull the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position. to control my pace, I usually sweat up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting place in 2 seconds.
By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.
We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.
But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big impact on their current and future health.
Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than sept percent of kcal should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole grains and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally réactive and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even short bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of soutenu activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider substance nicotinique replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.
Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. tera protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.