Saturday, November 19, 2022

Longevity Is More Than Years

Post ride with Bradley Rose at
Peloton studio in London
It will soon be two years since I was gifted with a device that I have used at least weekly since it was delivered. Not only did I receive a Peloton bike, but access to a vast array of workout categories and instructors which have become a part of my life. Yes, I prefer to be outdoors. With the Peloton app, I can participate in workouts on demand while outside. While the basement bike does not offer much for scenery, the metrics which the instructors suggest generate more diversity in speed and resistance than I can achieve on the flat, gravel roads of my area. 

One of Peloton's instructors, Adrian Williams (based in New York City) often uses the phrase, "Mobility is key to longevity." He is promoting running, strength training, cardio, and stretching. He does not instruct 

Part of the basement gym
any cycling classes. However, I like his style of motivation for strength training, cardio, and life lessons. I have found great benefit from exploring "functional fitness" instead of one specific dimension of exercise.

Other words come to mind when I think about mobility. Such words as creativity, flexibility, adaptability, and affability expand mobility. If they promote mobility, I believe they also enhance longevity. There is more to our lives than the physical attributes of maintaining a strong cardiovascular system. The realities of relationships, perspectives, exploration, and aptitude provide holistic functioning. Now more than ever, I sense we want to compartmentalize. Common phrases used for this are: echo chamber, silos, tribalism, and thought bubbles.  Multiple streams of media and our ability to not only choose, but isolate our sources of influence fosters this segregation and in my opinion, degeneration of community. 

Recently a member of the Hillsboro United Parish asked me to watch something on YouTube. The link was to, "Angel Band - Director's Cut." It was a representation of Tyler Childers' recent song of the same name. This was the Jubilee Edition. The video, lyrics, and my research of his life broadened my outlook in many

Rows of free books
ways. Another acquaintance suggested I read, "Liberating the Gospels" by John Shelby Spong. The author makes a case for Christians misreading the Gospels for centuries due to willingly ignoring the Jewish content and context. I have ordered the book. I look forward to our discussions about the ideas presented!  A fellow endurance athlete enjoys a much different political view than myself. When we workout together more than my body gets exercised! For me these are examples (some of which totally unexpected) of flexibility, adaptability, and functional fitness to enhance the breadth and depth of my days.

I believe it is time to intentionally work ourselves (mind, body, spirit) into places that are uncomfortable. It is when we push ourselves a little further, when we realize some pain that growth occurs. This is not pain for the sake of pain. It is for the expansion of our mobility on multiple levels which will broaden and enhance each day. However, I want people to make their own choices. Dictating one way, one idea, one perspective as the proper or right one causes contraction not expansion. Calcification is not conducive to pliancy.

Moving forward!

I plan to keep my Peloton streak intact while enjoying more expansion and insight into life!


Sunday, November 6, 2022

Someone, Someplace

(Stock photo)
The marquee names of Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds were pivotal in making the 1982, movie-musical, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" gross close to $70 million. An Academy Award nomination went to Charles Durning for his supporting role as the Governor of Texas. The musical was in part a hard hitting satire of politics. The song which impacted me was, "Sidestep" sung by the Texas Governor. This will take you to the performance of that song from the movie.

The ongoing phrase, "Ohhh I love to dance a little side step" sums up most political speech. Add to this, "Cut a little swath and lead the people on" and the timeless refrain of empty rhetoric is captured. Finally the lyrics,"I've taken certain steps here, Someone Someplace is gonna have to close her down" paints the nonstick coating of responsibility over the political process. Over the past 40 years little has changed in this regard. 

In the weeks leading up to what has been called "one of the most important elections in our lifetime," (I thought all elections are important?) and I anticipate the subsequent analysis which will drone on for weeks, large doses of empty phrases will continue. I have heard too often about a candidate's fight (Why is that word used so often?) to lower fuel prices, ease inflation, stop the radical/extremist of the other party, and limit career politicians. Irony alert: the "limiting" phrase was used by a local candidate who has had over 25 years in public office!

The proliferation of empty phrases and "someone, is not my responsibility" is not limited to the political arena. Humankind is flush with hypocrisy! A person recently elected to another leadership/ 

St Andrew + St George Church
Edinburgh, Scotland
bureaucratic position whose vocational life has been within a major Christian denomination said, "I am committed to developing leaders to grow into the very best versions of themselves so that they can be at their very best for God." What about today? Is our "best version" still to come? At times I think my best (my perspective) may have passed. Does God only accept us at our best? Who measures best? Nice sentences. Appropriate sounding words, especially for a church leader. A bit of everything for everybody. Yet, who is the audience? The lack of specific ideas and actions for the present day presents a vacuum. "So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth." (Revelation 3.16 - New Heart English Bible)

Turtle on the trail
If gas prices are too high, use less. Supply and demand is exulted as American Capitalism. Walk, bike, public transportation, carpool, etc. With less demand prices will drop and maybe new personal habits will be embraced. Climate change may be lessened by less petroleum, less mining, less consumption. All are within  personal, daily choice. Can a cellphone last more than a couple of years? Is the latest technology so  important? Consumerism begins and ends with individuals everyday. Embracing today and each day for what it provides and who we are in that day is enough. The concept of "best" promotes discontentment, striving for more, and seeking things to fill an internal void. Each of us has power. We can use that power each day, not just on election days. Change is a daily choice that does not have rapid results. We are the "someone, somewhere."     

Take a look at this link to what Dolly Parton has accomplished. Or this link. Most of it is simple, direct, quiet, day-to-day action in response to needs. No fanfare. No accolades. Placing books and educational resources into the hands of people does not produce rapid results. Helping a corporation get COVID-19 vaccine developed and distributed did not come with shares of stock. Was it, is it Dolly's best? It does not matter because she is responding to current needs.

Someone, Somewhere? It is each of us, each day. No need for empty phrases nor appeasing the electorate with nonstick promises. No need for bureaucratic church structures to tell us how to be our "best." We are created creatures who can compassionately respond each day. It is each of us, each day, engaged in the diversity of life!

Tribute to "Bobby" at Greyfriars Cemetery
Edinburgh, Scotland