As much as there is to write about everything in the news today, since projectile vomiting is not on my “to do” list for the day, I’ll just make one quick observation. Our country was founded by and sustained by men and women of all races and creeds who were willing to give their lives, their LIVES, to protect our country. It has become frighteningly obvious that we now have a party of politicians who don’t have the backbone to even risk their political lives to defend our democracy and adhere to their oaths of office.

So, today, the first article I happened to see upon connecting to the internet was on the proper exercise levels based upon age. For my age group, the recommendation was essentially to maybe walk and don’t fall down. Screw that! I remember when I was in HS reading an article about a man who ran 75 miles on his 75th birthday and telling my Mom that I wanted to do that. Her response was that everyone can’t do that, which is true, but I responded that no one can do that unless they truly WANT to. Want being the operative word.

We all have the capacity to do more than we think we can and I firmly believe that challenging oneself is just as healthy mentally as it is physically. Goals are all relative but they are all healthy. Once, after finishing a 10k race in my hometown, I was standing with my sister when the final finisher came across the line well after the rest of the field had finished. My sister said something like, “I’d be so embarrassed” to which I asked, “why? She set a goal and she achieved it.”

A couple of years ago, I took the train down to Boston to watch a former college track teammate run the marathon. 50 years after he had completed the Boston Marathon for the first time. 50 YEARS! The most astounding sports accomplishment of anyone I have ever known in my life. (Apologies to my old golf buddy Sachi who shot his age many times.) That man, who still coaches in the Rochester, NY area has lived the philosophy of “use it or lose it” and continues to live it and, more importantly, passes it on to countless people, including this Loonatic.

When I first got back on a bike again, anyone watching would have thought I was suicidal as I had not a clue how to ride it. It had probably been at least 40 years since I had been on a bike. In the interim, although I ran into my early 40’s, I had multiple knee arthroscopies and both knees totally replaced with the right knee replaced twice. When I plunked my ass onto the bike seat, I was 40 pounds heavier and never envisioned wearing 34″ waist jeans again. I had no clear goals other than to get my heart to beat fast again. To push myself to do more than I had convinced myself that I could not do.

For me, my motivation comes from not letting down all the guys I competed against and with all those years ago that are gone. Just a suggestion to all my friends. You don’t need to train like an Olympic athlete but setting realistic goals and consistently moving toward them is physically and mentally satisfying. Do what you can without comparing to others. As my old buddy Mike Reif says, “Use it or lose it.” From experience, you CAN do more than you think you can.

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