Is ‘Better’ Good Enough

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August 11, 2012 by David Gillaspie


You can workout anywhere.

It’s not all about the gym suit.

Ask a farmer where they get their workout on. They call it outside work.

If you can’t leave home, if you’re not a farmer, you can still break a sweat. Look around your place for the right gear.

Most college educated people have the habit of keeping books around in case someone needs to know how smart they are. These reference tomes are useful the way a rifle is also a battle club.

  1. Find a plastic tote and load the books.
  2. Bend from the waist and grab the handles, raising the tote to your chest.
  3. You’re doing bent rowing. Leave a book in the tote open and read for the multi-task effect.

The self-taught, or online e-people can stack plates on a foot stool with their kindle on top for the same effect.

Add to the symmetry of your newly sculpted back with sets of tighteners.

  1. Dig the lower edge of the tote into your lower abs and squeeze your elbows behind your back with a shrug.
  2. Do it enough and flapping wings you call lats turn into the power-V you’ve always wanted.
  3. It’s magic.

The best match for an awesome back are powerful shoulders. Gallon milk jugs get it done.

  1. Add water to the right weight.
  2. Raise your arms from your sides until they are level with your neck.
  3. Lower them.
  4. Raise them in front of you until parallel to the ground.
  5. Lower them and repeat.

Sooner than later you’ll have a pair of Dwight Howard-sized bowling balls on top of your arms.

For some extra work, add a squat on the downward motion.

Weight training, or resistance training, needs one important ingredient. It’s not more weight, it’s the will to lift.

Drive by a gym and see what it feels like. Look in the window. A good gym looks like a madhouse of people jumping and flopping and running. Do you see yourself?

Take a closer look. You’ll find every slice of life in a gym. Every actor and philosopher you’d ever hope to see works out now.

But there is one gym-er you’d never expect.

At first she was just another middle-aged woman doing a hip routine. Front kick. Back kick. Side kick. She’s a kicker. Add the ankle over the opposite knee figure-4 stretch and it’s clear she’s into a good warm up.

Maybe too good.

For her next move she stretched a cord across a walkway to a pull-up machine. She hooked the other end to her ankle, sat down, and did sets of inside pulls.

She would have done one set if her booby trap hadn’t worked so well.

The first person down the aisle tripped on the cord, caught herself, gave a polite scowl, and carried on.

One of the gym rats told her she had great balance.

“I needed it,” she said. “Who blocks a walkway with a tripwire. What is this, an idea of fun on the home front? Besides, in a gym as big as this you’d think there’s enough ways to work any muscle in your body. But she goes for the space shuttle work out? The bands are nice, but look around. We have gravity.

“And it figures I’d be the one getting tripped. I’ve got a reconstructed knee and I’m running Hood to Coast in a week and a half. No one ought to be ambushed in the gym. What is this, the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I’m the last one who needs to get snared with my knee. Call it my lucky day.”

She said it. Her lucky day today.

Here’s a woman who would have been crippled during most of human history. Even a short time ago she would have been severely hobbled.

Today she walks around on a new knee, though not a replacement knee that may or may not be the answer, but once it’s done, it’s done.

Walking around on that new knee isn’t enough for her. She has to take it out for a run. Hood to Coast is a test, not the walk in the park it sounds like, and she’s aiming for it.

That’s the difference between athletes, competitors of all ages, and the rest of us. They push the boundaries. They try to go where no human has been when sports are at their best.

And they take the rest of us along for the ride. The gym lady wasn’t on Olympian, but she shared the same feeling.

Better isn’t good enough for her. Those are the people you hope to find no matter where you are.


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