Good Morning, America!

First, let me present quotes worthy of a moment of contemplation

“It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Patrick Henry)

“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.”  (Abraham Lincoln)

Then, let’s have a bit of lighthearted fun

On this beautiful day, I thought I’d share a few photos that combine a couple of my favorite themes…fitness and that wonderful, all-American spirit.

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Wherever you are on this day, I’m sending you wishes for prosperity, love and a joyous heart!  God bless you AND…

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Resolutions for 2017

I’ve learned over the years not to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to making resolutions for the New Year.  I make a couple small promises to myself but I see to it that they are attainable and that I’m really motivated to follow through. 

The first of my two resolutions for 2017 is simply a continuation of one I started decades ago and that’s to keep myself in shape.  Now, that covers a lot of territory.  It means I commit to doing what it takes to stay strong and physically capable.  I have to combine resistance training, cardio and good nutrition to see that I end each year in acceptable condition. 

This January I’m excited to try adding some time on my Total Gym.  I bought the thing on deep discount after watching the infomercial (for the umpteenth time).  Susceptibility to the lure of infomercials would also explain why there’s a Vitamix in my kitchen (I use it all the time), a body blade in my family room (I’m not even going to try and explain that one) and Wen hair care products in my bathroom  (they work great, by the way).

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This is my new fitness friend. I’m looking forward to using it at home.

My second resolution is to make sure I read more widely.  Despite the fact that I was a Literature major in my undergraduate days, I have many books I should have read, that I somehow missed.  I’m going to add two additional books per month to augment my regular reading material.  A couple of days ago I was looking over the Kindle options for some new titles.  I happened upon a free WhisperSync version of Call of the Wild by Jack London.  WhisperSync books include an audio component so that you can read it yourself in the traditional way or you can listen to someone else, a narrator, read it to you.  Call of the Wild is one of those books, I thought I should know, that I just never got around to reading so I figured I could listen to it while on the rowing machine.  Great idea…awful choice of books….I’m not going to be able to add it to my “books-I-have-read category.” 

The first couple of chapters concentrate on terribly cruel treatment of dogs by miserable, mean people.  The last thing that happened, right before I turned the narration off for good was a Husky pack attack on a single, female dog.   Blood, ripped flesh, entrails and death…needless to say, it was not relaxing and I certainly didn’t find it entertaining. 

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THESE are the type of Huskies I want to think about…sweet and adorable…

Just like I learned over the years not to eat things I don’t like the taste of in the quest for a fit, lean body and I also learned not to waste time reading books or watching movies that don’t fulfill the purpose I assigned them before starting them.  I’ve read plenty of unpleasant things in my lifetime but I don’t do it for entertainment.  Yeah, yeah, I know it probably gets better as you go along and culminates in the triumph of human and/or dog spirit but, no thanks.

Next time, I’ll try To Kiss a Rouge or Secrets of a Scandalous Bride.

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I should read this…it definitely looks entertaining and judging from the cover might even include some workout or fitness tips. This muscled up warrior obviously keeps himself in great shape. Hair looks good too…He just might be a Wen customer.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.  We’ve got a brand new year on tap with wonderful possibilities ahead.  Let us lift a glass to each other and jump into 2017 with anticipation of great things to come!

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Christmas Day 2016

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I wish you great happiness today and every other day of the year.  Merry Christmas!

Santa’s Little Helper

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Santa’s Helper is busy delivering Christmas love.  There’s a little something special in my bag for all our troops, whether deployed or at home, our veterans…and of course our civilian American patriots.  God bless you and yours!

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I see you’ve been good this year!

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Team Sports And Life Lessons

On Tuesday night, my son was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year award at our football league banquet.  Needless to say, he was quite pleased.  It’s always nice to be recognized for your hard work and contribution to the team.

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He started the season with a broken bone in his hand. When he went to the doctor to get it set, he was asked what color cast he wanted. He picked pink. I asked him why and he said “The girls like it.”

I feel very strongly that children benefit from being involved in sports.  They have lots of energy to expend and goodness knows, 13 year old boys have incredible amounts.  Having a physical outlet is important for general fitness reasons but team sports are a positive place to learn and grow in many other ways.   I feel blessed that my boys have had great coaches along the way who have nurtured a sense of fair play, sportsmanship and brotherhood among their players.

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With his Head Coach, receiving the 2016 Defensive MVP.

It’s been an irreplaceable part of their maturation process.  They’ve learned innumerable lessons about working with others, how to handle victory, defeat, frustration and elation.  They learned how to be supportive of teammates when they’re struggling and what it feels like to get sympathetic pats on the helmet when they’ve been the one making the mistakes.

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Sack! 

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Hard day for the Quarterback…

Team sports are a wonderful place for children to learn, play and grow.  Being a member of a team gives them the opportunity to keep themselves physically fit which is vitally important but it also teaches them valuable lessons they can draw from for the rest of their lives.

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with one of the Assistant Coaches after a big win…That’s a happy boy!

New Favorite!

I found a new exercise that I absolutely love to do.  I discovered rear delt cable crossovers when I was doing the Jim Stoppani Shortcut to Mass program.  The first time I did them, I knew it was an exercise that was going to stay on my favorites list.  These crossovers (I’ve also heard them called standing cable reverse flys) are effective and fun!

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This exercise is perfect for helping you develop those lovely muscles in your back!  Give it a try.  I’ll bet you’ll like them as much as I do.

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Thanksgiving

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

(Psalm 118:24)

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Wishing you and yours a warm and wonderful day!

Excuses Are Easy

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Every single day you can come up with excuses not to exercise.  You don’t even  have to work hard at it.  Maybe you stayed up too late the night before or you don’t have enough time (even though you hopped on the couch to watch your favorite TV show) or you have a hitch in your get-along.  Excuses are easy, plentiful and often plausible but you know in your heart that if you take the easy way out, you’re letting yourself down.  Don’t get in the habit of self-sabotaging. The more often you allow yourself to skip a workout, the easier it is to do it the next time.  Instead of throwing in the towel when you’re having an off day, just go a little lighter in the weight room, run a shorter distance at a slower pace or if that still seems like too much…go for a walk.

Remember, doing a little something is far superior to doing nothing.

Cardio? Weight Training? Both!

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I like to remind people, especially the ladies who want to tighten their physiques, that eschewing weights is ignoring a really effective tool in that quest.  Doing lots of cardio without lifting definitely has some health benefits and it’s important for overall fitness but it doesn’t actually sculpt your body.  If you do enough cardio, it makes you look like a smaller version of what you looked like when you started.  Weight training adds the pretty curves and lines that make the critical difference in the overall look of your physique.  Working to be slimmer is a good goal and can be accomplished with a concentration on cardio but lifting to add that beautiful muscle in the right places does wonders for your overall look.

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(photos from Google)

Veterans Day – 2016

To all our Veterans, 

Today is a day of national recognition for your efforts on behalf of the nation, your brothers in arms, families and friends.  I hope you feel the warmth of a grateful America.  I imagine that for many of you, the pre-planned, yearly celebrations don’t really carry the message so many of us hope to convey.  I can understand that. 

Please know that under the pomp and often sappy messages and memes, there exists a shining chord of deep appreciation.  Be easy on us…your fellow citizens.  We can be clumsy, stumbling and inartful but my wish is that you will accept our sometimes out-of-rhythm efforts in the spirit they are intended.  

It’s cliche and you’ve heard it before, but your service is sincerely valued by so many of us out here.  Although we don’t always know how to express it, we certainly feel it. 

You answered when called and we love you for it.  Thank you.

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