Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Resistance Training

Ahhh! The ignorance of youth! As child, I was not particularly athletic and to compound the problem I was a year younger than most of my classmates. I started kindergarten at 4, was sick most of my 1st grade year with a wonderful illness that kept me away from the other kids, but I felt fine, and was socially promoted to the second grade. Because my father was declared permanently disabled under the Veterans Disability act, our family got some government benefits that were greatly needed and still appreciated to this day. We do have a good government…when it is working correctly. One of the benefits was counseling for the dependents. It may have been a requirement, I do not know. I do remember taking a battery of test that took hours to complete. The result, I was considered to be to young and to small to be in the 7th grade. Would my parents consider holding me back for my own good. If I continued in school as is, I should catch up by the time I was a junior in high school. I never asked why, but my parents elected to let nature run it’s course and I stayed in school. My father, sick as he was, made one consistent sacrifice. He always encouraged and made sure it was possible for me to play any sport I wanted to. I played football, wrestling, basketball and track in junior high, 7-9. Of course, I rarely played in a game. A coach took pity on me in the eight grade and showed me a simple trick in football that carried me to the top of the league and even to the point of a college scholarship in football. I knew I would get killed so I took the tennis scholarship instead. I did struggle until my junior year and them my struggling switched to excelling. My GPA climbed 1.5 points and I went from the bench to all league in two sports. One of the things I learned early on that really paid off in the end was resistance training. That was the days before the gyms and weights that abound today. One coach with huge forearms told me that when he was in school, he would resistance train all day long. He would lock his forearm under his desk/chair and pull up against his own weight. He would arm wrestle himself or squeeze a tennis ball. I began to do that on a regular basis, I still catch myself doing it from time to time even today. Maybe it was just natural growth or maybe the result of the resistance training, but as a senior, my forearms and legs could match just about anyone, even though I was still on the smaller side, especially for football. (Thank God for tricks.) Two things remind me of the great value of resistance training today. One is the pain in my elbow that I have to see a Dr for soon. I am afraid it is the result of the degenerative arthritis the Dr. diagnosed 15 years ago and the excesses of youth. The other reminder is “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man …” (1 Corinthians 10:13). It took a while for the resistance training to have it’s full effect when I was young, but I have enjoyed the results of the effort to this day. My elbow does hurt, but my arm is still strong. In life temptations come of many sorts. It is natural, normal and if viewed as resistance training, desirable. When I first began, I struggled against little things that do not even require noticeable effort today. Gradually, I was able to take on bigger and bigger challenges with more and more success. I still do resistance training every day, wherever I hammpen to be and I am still getting stronger. Am I talking about physical resistance training or spiritual resistance training? Yes, both. I train with others at LA Fitness and at Grace Family Fellowship several days a week. I train solo every day where ever I happen to be, sometimes gripping a steering wheel tight, sometimes holding my tongue tight. Resistance training really works and the best part is no one is deducting anything off my bank card!.


Doni Brinkman said...

Jim used to practice hand grips all the way to Intel every day. Must be a guy thing:). Good analogy though.

heidi jo said...

i just practice holding my tongue!!! :)