Monday, September 29, 2014

One Day

Getting old is…well, it’s getting old.

Actually, I don’t consider myself old, yet. But I can see that at some point in the future I’m going to have to consider it. No, I’m not old but my body can’t do all that it used to so I’m making adjustments.

For the last month, as I prepare for my weekly long runs to train for the upcoming half-marathon, I’m paying close attention to my diet because without the proper fuel (balance between protein and carbs) I “hit the wall.” That is, my body literally runs out of energy and I can’t keep going. My running partner, who is my son in law …. exactly half my age, isn’t so cautious, but he doesn’t need to be.

Concurrent with this nutrition focus, we at work are preparing for the upcoming pecan harvest. I regularly remind the men that we will be putting in 12 or 13 hour days, six days a week for eight or nine weeks. I remind them because mental preparation, in my opinion, is key to physical stamina.

Then I realized that the similarity between my running and my work is staring me right in the face and the link between the two is that we work six days a week… not seven.

The one day that we cease our work is actually the fuel necessary to keep us going during harvest! Not only does it give us an opportunity to recover physically but mentally as well. Long distance running is as much a mental effort as it is a physical one. Long distance working is exactly the same thing.

So, I love that one day. Not because I don’t work but because it prepares me to do what I love for the next six days.

Monday, September 15, 2014

In Defense of Candy

Candy gets a bad rap. I guess because it’s jammed full of sugar. According to reports, “Sugar is bad for your teeth, it causes heart disease, it causes cancer…” (really?)

Well, you can find redeeming qualities in just about anything (or anyONE, for that matter) if you look hard enough.

We used to reward our kids with an M&M every time they “went” during the potty training epoch. Ok, it’s bribery but I don’t think a floret of broccoli would have produced the same behavior.  

I believe that the encouragement of good behavior is a redeeming quality of candy but some may argue that encouraging words would have been better. Ok, how about this?

Last week I was supposed to continue my training for the upcoming half-marathon with a run through the orchard but after a long day at work in the hot sun I was completely drained of energy. My running partner (the son-in-law) couldn’t go that night so I had a built-in excuse to skip out. My body screamed “rest” and my brain screamed, “run.”

As the two of them argued I considered other options. I could pay bills, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher... Finally, against my better judgment, I put on my running clothes and grabbed a handful of peanut M&M’s.

Fifteen minutes later I was out the door. That’s right. Just like potty training… I “went.”

So, did the M&M’s encourage the “good behavior”? Well, I did run that night and I did have the energy to go the distance. No amount of verbal encouragement, or broccoli florets, could have done that.