Give One More, To One More

Tonight, Conan O'Brien mentioned that by the year 2013, 75% of Americans are predicted to be overweight. He faced the audience, put his hands together, and in an eerily similar voice to JFK, said,
"My fellow Americans. I believe if that if we work together, we can achieve this goal by 2010!"
I know this is no laughing matter. But I also know laughing actually exercises the body. And exercise seems to be what we're lacking in this country, at least according to one late-night comedian, who helps make us laugh.

The problem with living in an affluent society and having so much struggle taken away, is that so much struggle is taken away.

Most of us sit in our cars and drive to a job where we take an elevator to sit at a desk and sit talking on the phone before we go sit in meetings before sitting back in our cars to sit waiting at a fast window for food that has been sitting in a freezer so we can eat sitting on a couch tired from a day filled with exhaustive sitting. And don't forget the standing in the elevator that had no seats upon which to sit. We are really mentally and emotionally tired, which makes us feel physically tired.

Exercise IS physically important. I found this on Being Overweight

But WHY is it a bad thing to be overweight? Does it really matter if you're carrying too much fat? Unfortunately, it does. You see, the sad fact is that if you're overweight, your life is likely to be shorter than the life of someone who is slim. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. After all, how many overweight 90 year olds do you know? Excess weight makes us more liable to the following things:


So it looks like Santa Claus isn't going to be around much longer if he doesn't trim down a bit. But I've noticed other benefits from exercising, and that is mental and emotional health. This is a big one. I've found that pushing myself in the gym or pool allows me to accomplish much more in my life.

Going past the point of failure is a mind thing. Your muscles have literally failed, and you can only lift another rep or swim another lap by drawing on some inner strength. This can only come from a deeper desire you have within you. And doing this last rep is where real growth and strength comes from, physically, mentally and emotionally.

To borrow from my friend Audrey's page,
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt
(a most truly beautiful woman)
After my muscles have given out I tell myself one more rep means I'll stop one more child from being abused. Later when I'm dropping by a kid's house who is getting abused "just to say hi", I have the strength to stop myself from ripping his dad's head off as I pretend I don't know what he's done, and tell him how great his kid is in school around me and how well he listens; how stern I am with my own but never beat them; that as fathers we're there to build kids up, not break them down.

Believe it or not this works more often than you'd think, almost as if they can feel you believing in them as much as you do in their children. But you have to have the strength to forgive them for their past, it's over and there's nothing you can do about it. And you have to have the strength to believe in their future, that the past is over and won't be continued. And you have to be real. You have to really believe with all your might. As Red and I discussed today, every day is a new life to the wise man. Sometimes people just need to be enlightened to a more artful way to create their lives in a better way.

And if that doesn't work and they don't stop you have to be able to send out very strong and clear signals that you will not stop until they do. And you have to be strong enough to know you can back it up. The impossible is possible, if you're strong enough to believe it.

One more rep and it means I make one more kid in class believe in herself or himself and just how great she or he is capable of becoming. I tell myself and my students I will never let them go, no matter how heavy they get. Unless you're a teacher, you can only imagine how many days it seems getting kids to give their best seems too heavy of a task, heavier than any weight you've ever lifted. Yet in seven years of teaching not one kid has ever been left behind, and each one has "lifted" more academic weight than ever before. The impossible is possible, if you're tough enough to never let go.

One more lap means my children have one more memory of playing and dancing with their father, and of him holding them when they're sad. One more lap means I can listen to them, read to them, learn from them, teach them, and believe in them one more time, before they're gone. The impossible is possible, if you have enough strength to keep on loving.

If you don't have children, you can easily have the time to exercise. If you do have children that aren't with you all the time, you can find the time to exercise. If you do have children all the time, it's not so easy having and finding the time to exercise, so you have to make the time, maybe even exercising WITH them.

One more rep, one more lap, one more minute makes heroes of us all. For me that means giving children the opportunity to become heroes to themselves. What would cause you to give one more, to one more?

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