A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. ~Oscar Wilde

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

The Telescopic Vision of Mr Jefferson

Thomas JeffersonLeave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Obviously Mr Jefferson had never read a lot of the popular literature of the twenty first century, some of which read like they were written by an unlearned person, and others read like they were edited by an unlearned person. In order to avoid the risk of offending many of the popular authors fast garnering millions of dollars in royalties, I will not mention any books here. The point remains, though, that reading does not necessarily equate to learning. Reading, however, can equate to recreation, and has the advantage over exercise that it need not be confined to any part of the day.

The next thing that jumps out is that Thomas Jefferson, may the Lord bless his wise soul, does not seem to have heard of mental health. Yes, exercise, does improve mental health, but reading does so as well, and it seems to me, from his sentences, that Mr Jefferson is talking of the kind of robust health that is energetic, kinetic, and bursting with movement. He is not talking of the health that lights up one’s innermost thoughts and adds a spring to one’s smile. He has a point, naturally, but maybe if he had been a twenty first century guru of everything, he would have phrased this same advice much differently.

Maybe he would not have talked of leaving ALL the afternoon for exercise and recreation, for if the ordinary man did so, the ordinary man would have to also go to bed with maybe one meal less in his tummy. Who but the school student, or the sports star has the opportunity to exercise all afternoon? It is also very questionable whether said school student or sports star would actually find this steady, compulsory sport practice recreational, all the time.

Maybe he would have suggested recreational exercise at different times of the day, suited to different walks of life, ages, and cultures. Maybe he would have added reading as recreation. Maybe he would have emphasised reading for health as well.

But, to give him his due, Thomas Jefferson is probably drawing the attention of people to the need for exercise and recreation, and recreation through exercise. Perhaps, in his wisdom, he foresaw, that there would come a time when people would get so cornered into eking out a subsistence during the day, and relaxing on their buttocks during the evening, that he saw the need to remind us to get out there and exercise. The “all” afternoon, is probably rhetoric, and the point about health and learning the same as well.

All Hail Thomas Jefferson. 

Advertisements

Doggy Dos and Don’ts

Yawn! Stretch, y-a-w-n!!!!!!

I padded out of my room to the doorway of the Big Room. I scratched on the glass. I could see the Family moving around. Ma was talking away once in a while screaming out to Dada and Didi who were not visible yet. I could see that my food had been placed in my little bowl in front of the kitchen, but Ma never fed me. Didi or Dada did. Ah well, I was not that hungry anyway.

A  little point just beyond my reach behind my ear, felt itchy. I pondered and decided it was not bad enough to try and get to. I padded over to  the bowl of water in front of my room and drank thirstily. Sleeping can make a dog really thirsty. I turned and looked back at Ma, who was still thumping food on to the table and stomping back and forth from the kitchen. I knew that if I did my doo-doos here she would be unhappy. One does not make Ma unhappy. Regardless of who feeds me, it is she who is the boss of all things. I ran down the steps to the doo-doo corner.

When I came back, Baba was there and Dada and Didi had come down as well. I started jumping up and down and uttering little yelps. Didi always loves to see me excited. Sure enough, she was bringing the food over. She opened the glass door. I ran to sit at My Spot waiting for her to put it down for me. However much excited I get, Ma has ruled that I only get fed if I sit in My Spot.  Didi put the food down, gave me a squish, and went back indoors with a promise that today, after school, we would go biking. I like biking. Didi rides her bike and I run alongside. Much more my style than trying to slow down when she decides to run.

I finished the food, overturned the bowl to see if any morsels were clinging underneath, and padded back to the door. It was open. I was allowed to go in. Keeping a wary eye on Ma, I went and sat a little distance away from the dining table watching the comings and goings with interest. Baba was bringing toast to the table, Didi was finishing her smoothie and Dada tossed me a crumb.  I quickly caught it in my mouth, but Ma had noticed.

“Don’t feed The Dog indoors!” Why does she call me The Dog? I tried to look as sweet and innocent as possible. But she carried on, “If you don’t follow the rules, The Dog stays outside”. Dada winked at me.  I looked back seriously. I didn’t want to Stay Outside. But what can I do if someone tosses me food?

Ma went off upstairs to get changed and ready for work. Downstairs everyone was engaged in clearing up. I walked to the kitchen door.  On his way back out Baba stooped and scratched me behind my ear just where it was itchy. Aaah! He always knows.  Ruffling up my coat he said, “Don’t go in there! Ma will be mad.” I know, oh I know.

“The Dog can go here”.

“The Dog can’t go there”.

“Not there!!!”

“Take The Dog out and brush him down.” Okay, that’s a good one.

“Will someone clean The Dog’s Do-do???!!!!!!” Well, that’s a good one, too…. I don’t like do-dos to pile up.

This is the worst time of the day. They all go away and I am left to myself. I tell you, making sure that the cats next door don’t come into my garden can pall.

Ma came downstairs, “Has someone made sure that The Dog’s water has been filled up?” Baba replied from his study… “ I have”

“Okay. Bye everyone”

She had gone, waving at me as she went out the front door.

Dada and Didi clattered down the stairs, closed the toddler gate on the bottom of the stairs, and as Baba walked out of the front door, they left through the back door, unlocking the flap door that allowed me to go in if it got too hot during the day.

I walked out to the back gate with them, seeing them off as they ran to their bus stop down the little lane.  I sat down in the shade of the hedge, peering underneath  until the bus came, and they got in.

All around it was quietening down. The morning rush was over. A few birds were chirping from the top branches of the tree. Further away a couple of  toddlers were playing in their backyard, but for the most part the neighbourhood had departed for the day. An unaccustomed creak startled me. I turned to the gate, it was swinging slightly on its hinges.

Gingerly, I stepped out to the gate and pushed against the bottom rung with one paw. It swung outwards. It. Was. Not. Locked.

I  stood, trembling a little, just outside my yard. The path to the bus stop was on one side. On the other side I could see the blue of the ocean. That was where Didi would take me for my run later, along the cliffs next to the big blue, right up to the top, where I would see the sky meet the water and feel the balmy wind.  I stepped out a little bit more. No one yelled. I took a deep breath and had just decided to go for it, when suddenly I heard a distant deep bark.

I dived back in and made straight for the porch. The big ugly dog was out with his deaf owner. Not that I am scared of big ugly dogs. I just don’t like being mauled. I am fastidious like that. After a while I realised that the B.U.D. was going another way today. I quietly made my way across the garden to the gate again.

Step by tentative step, I started towards the ocean.  Soon I felt stronger,  and I was gambolling along the path, my ears flat against my shoulders and the wind streaming through my fur.

It was magnificent! The skies were blue, the birds were flying high, the path leading up from the beach had very few people on it. I met no one who knew me. I heard someone laughing as I streaked past, “Whoa! Boy!” But most of them ignored me, as I did them.

I wandered all day. It was warm, with the breeze just the right amount of cool. I went up and down the pathway on the cliffs till I tired of it, and went back down to the street and houses. This was surely the life! No silly cats peering at me over the fence. No fences holding me in. I slunk under the fence of one house and lapped up some water out of their swimming pool. I scared a tiny dog with a pink bow. I charmed a mother and toddler in the park. I ran around and around in circles with a couple of other wandering dogs.

As it started to get dark, I realised how hungry I was.  I suddenly remembered Didi. She must have come home long ago… It was late now, she would be doing her homework, and I would not get to go biking with her and listen to her sing at the top of her voice at the top of the cliff. I had missed “trick time” with Dada. All the silly little tricks I performed for him, and the treats he gave me. Ma would be getting dinner on the table. My dinner would be in my bowl…

The other dogs I had been playing with had long gone, and the cars were shining their lights as they whooshed past, blinding me.  It was really not that nice being out here all alone.

I turned and came back home.

Ma was the first one to come out. “There he is!” Didi came rushing out and hugged me tight. Dada danced around and Baba smiled at me and said “welcome back”.

Once I had been hugged and petted I walked over to My Spot. Ma was putting down my bowl of food herself. “Tell The Dog to eat properly. Make sure you lock the gate, children.” 

The Locked Trolley

A regular day of shopping. Or so I thought it would be. Get some regular day to day clothes that always seem to reach end of life, get some food and ingredients that always seem to get eaten and head off back home. As I parked the car I realised that I was in the wrong spot for the supermarket, it would be a long trek back pushing a trolley. Shrugging off the thought with another, “It will do me good to push the trolley further” I went off to do my shopping.

140 minutes or so later, there I was pushing the trolley back, laden with groceries and figuring out how best to get to the car. Of course, it involved getting out on to the street and pushing it along the footpath, across a pedestrian
crossing and then across a set of lights further along. All the while within the bounds of the mall, I was just in between two buildings of Westfield, not away, just to a car park within the shopping bounds for this Westfield. Somewhere I have parked often before.

What happened? You guessed it, my trolley decided I was a Bad Woman, trying to run away with it. Down descended the yellow lock and my trolley would not budge. Right as I was going across a driveway from a car park where other, more clever parkers of cars had parked close to Coles.

So here I was, dragging my trolley back to safety and poking underneath it to see why it had locked itself.

A pretty girl asked “Whoa! What happened?”

Giving the trolley a scientific jerk, I said, “the trolley won’t move!”

Her male companion said ”You have to push it.”

!*@!*%! Really?

I decided against answering, and the girl helped me by lifting the trolley and the guy offered helpful hints “it’s locked” “I don’t know” “it’s locked”…

They strolled off after a while.

As I dragged the trolley along to the short distance to the car park, I assumed that something had gone wrong, and that I was unable to unlock it because I am not clever enough. Until another helpful person walked by. “That is locked,” he said. “They do it on purpose. You cannot unlock it, I got caught just like this the other day on the other side.”

“I am just trying to get to the car park!” I wailed. He shrugged and turned away.

Thoroughly disgruntled, I jerked, pushed and pulled the three wheeled and one locked trolley back to close to my car, and then took my things and went home.

Mr Coles, and Mrs. Woolworths, and all the other giant markets who feel the need to protect your trolleys from the big bad gang of trolley thieves please be assured that we are not ALL out to get your trolleys. And we might need to park a little distance away, probably because the car park near the supermarket is full. Probably because we have to go to other shops as well which are a fair distance away from your end of the supermarket. So while you invent ingenuous new ways to stop trolley theft, spare a thought for the vast majority of us who are innocent and honest and desperately want to do some legitimate shopping.

HO! HO! HO!

In the meantime please enjoy the Christmas tree from Darwin.

~~Love

Sonelina

Consider a Different Choice

There is a plethora of information available to the seeker. What to eat, what not to. How to exercise, how not to. What is good for us, what is not. Most of us know most of it. But knowing is a very different thing to doing.

We know that skim milk in our coffee is better than full cream milk. We know that walking for 30 minutes to an hour everyday would improve our health by leaps and bounds. We know that turning off the TV and playing a board game with our children would make us happier.

But all  of this does not always fit in to our lives. Skim milk does not taste as good as full cream milk, it is so difficult to find 30 minutes to walk every week, let alone every day, the news on TV is so riveting and the little one should really be in bed, anyway!

So we put it all into the too hard basket and lope off to the Doctor get our medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, back ache, diabetes, and a host of other chronic and preventable diseases. Many of these medications are expensive, have too many side effects and do not do much more than temporarily relieve the symptoms. But we get dependent on them. We would rather pop a few pharmaceutical drugs than a few supplements, and just blame our whole life’s problems on living in the 21st century.

How about we take a step back? How about we take responsibility for strengthening our bones, and improving our cholesterol level? How about we consider that we are not living in the 21st century, the 21st century exists because of us, and we are really just living?

How about we just recognize when we can make it a shorter work day, and leave work earlier? How about we turn off the late night news, most of which we have watched during the evening anyway, and go to bed earlier? How about we get up half an hour earlier and get on that treadmill we bought last year for Christmas? How about we walk to the train station instead of taking our car? How about we just pack our lunch to take to work?

See  – we all know it. We know that each change that will improve our lives by a large multiplicand is actually just a tiny shift in our perception of who we are. A really tiny shift in perception. Instead of viewing ourselves as a generation of overworked, underpaid, stressed out, stretched for time, overburdened by war and mayhem, unloved and unappreciated billion lives, we can see ourselves as loving, loved individuals, who make the happiest choices for themselves.  It is just a slight shift, does not take much at all.

There are millions of people who already live this life. They exercise, and eat well, they make responsible choices for themselves and for their families and that extends out to the whole world. All we need to do is believe that we are not really that different from them.

So the next time our colleague / friend/ chance met in the coffee queue says “I love waking up at the crack of dawn, and going for a swim”, let us consider not turning up your eyeballs and saying “Oh you are so lucky, I simply could NEVER do that”. Consider instead “Oh, how lovely! Maybe  tomorrow I can come with you!”

And maybe the next day, we will!

One step at a time!

Love

%d bloggers like this: