Friday, March 27, 2015
     

Fitness Master

Monday, August 29, 2011

Scurvy is a nasty disease. It causes collagen, the protein substance found in the fibers of connective tissue, bone, and cartilage, to form improperly, meaning wounds don't heal, gums bleed, and severe pain occurs.

If untreated, it leads to death.

But in 1747, James Lind, a Scottish naval surgeon, fed lemons and limes to sailors with scurvy, and soon the symptoms stopped. After a few years of stopping scurvy this way, Lind wrote a paper about it. The British Royal Navy was impressed and adopted the practice yet others kept searching for better treatments.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why do we remember what we do?

While I'm not qualified to answer that, I do know the question that I keep remembering from more than three months ago is a big reason why this column was created and the headline is so strongly worded.

The question came on Tuesday, May 10 at approximately 11:40 a.m., about 75 minutes after the Palmerton Area Junior/Senior High School had lost all power. The power outage had caused our school to lock down, and my class was antsy since they had been with me since 9:15 and couldn't use the lavatories or the water fountains.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In October of 2004, I purchased a 2005 Scion xB. It has provided me with what I value most in a vehicle: reliability. Other than yearly inspections and oil changes, it's been in the shop once for a minor matter.

So why am I planning to trade in such trusty transportation this fall? Because I live alone, need my car to be hassle free, and believe the more miles you put on a car, the more likely something significant will go wrong with it.

And as I write this, the car has traveled more than 53,000 miles.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's one of those quotations that's so dead-on no one disputes it, like Ralph Waldo Emerson's observation, "Knowledge is the antidote to fear."

Almost 400 years ago, the English philosopher Francis Bacon wrote, "Knowledge is power." Since then, there's really been little reason to question him.

Until the obesity epidemic.

In the last 20 years, the number of overweight children and adult Americans has nearly tripled, yet during that same span our knowledge about nutrition, diabetes, and other weight-related subjects has probably increased tenfold.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I typed the headline of this column about 20 minutes ago. I've typed other sentences since, all of which have been rather quickly followed by my right middle finger banging down upon the delete button.

Clearly, I'm struggling for a way to introduce the evils of empty calories as I reach for the last bit of the breakfast I typically eat three hours before a 60- to 80-mile training ride. The chewing is quickly accompanied by a You-big-dope moment and followed by one of delicious irony.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"You're not going to be happy with me," a good friend said near the beginning of a recent training ride. "I cracked. Did I ever crack."

Since that's a cycling term used when you can't keep pace, and we were at the front of a relaxed group of 12 riders, I knew there was more to the story.

"You know I've been doing really well on that diet." I nodded. "Well, one of my meetings last week lasted longer than I expected, and I absolutely was starving coming home, so I stopped for coffee at a convenience store to hold me over."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Years ago, a teacher I didn't know very well entered my classroom after school. He told me because he was overweight and out of shape, he had recently purchased a bicycle and wanted to ask me a few questions about riding.

I remember answering questions about proper tire pressure, which roads to use around Palmerton for bicycling, and, most importantly, just how long and how hard he'd have to ride to see results.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do you do what too many people do? Kowtow to partial truth and transform it into an absolute.

It's more common than you might imagine, for treating a partial truth as an absolute is comforting. It provides closure and means that there's no more thinking to do.

Unfortunately, that creates close-mindedness and sometimes something else: compromised health.

I'm pontificating like this because a couple of casual acquaintances have recently explained to me why they're carrying extra weight with the same two words. "It's genetic," they both said.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clever fellows, those Buddhists monks of long ago.

They knew that ordinary, everyday tasks, like washing dishes, contained the spiritual quality that's the basis of Buddha's teachings if done with full awareness. They also knew that to get most ordinary people interested in Buddhism, they couldn't tell them to wash dishes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We live at fast pace and seem to like it that way.

We multitask as much out of want as out of need.

Teens text message, listen to music, and surf the Internet while they do homework. Mothers watch television, wash laundry, and wash dishes while they cook a week's worth of suppers. Fathers answer e-mails, check sports scores, and make business calls while keeping one eye on the little league game.

Suggesting meditation in such a society is a hard sell.