Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fitness shelf life had not expired

Shelf life refers to the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use, consumption or sale.  With foods we eat and vitamins we take, label expiration dates tell us if they’re still good.  We don’t have to do any thinking because someone else has done it for us.

With good storage practices, we can beat the expiration date and get continuing value from a product with a label expiration date that has passed.  I’ve been known to defy such odds and eat something the label tells me is only best if used by [insert your date].

What about our middle-aged man fitness?  What is its shelf life particularly if we’ve fallen off the fitness training wagon for whatever reason?  I’ve uttered more than once one of my many legendary utterances how I’m only as good as my last workout.  In other words, my middle-aged man fitness has a very short shelf life.  It spoils easily from lack of regular training.  Is this true?

It depends on how you measure fitness.  If, for example, I’ve trained hard to run a race and complete the distance in a certain time, performance erosion would take place quickly once I stop training.  In a month or less, I’d have a hard time matching my running performance one month earlier.  My race time may be within striking distance of my earlier peak best but, more likely than not, it would be noticeably slower.  Yet I may still be able to be within striking distance of a fitness level that’s good enough.

Recently, due to a seasonal workload, I once again fell off my fitness training saddle and realized my middle-aged man fitness shelf life was, perhaps, coming to an end.  If it continued, my middle-aged man fitness would soon become “unfit for use, consumption or sale”, meaning that I could no longer go around prancing that I was fit.

This past weekend, however, I was asked to participate in a procession where for a two-hour period, I carried something heavy on my back.  I was a volunteer mule of sorts carrying a large amplifier for use by a speaker.  It was a laborious task requiring endurance, some strength but also balance, patience, coordination and perseverance.  How would I do I pondered after accepting the assignment knowing that I had become idle the past couple months and not fit as I had previously been.

Well, I did fine and never blinked an eye with fatigue.  The assignment didn’t even come close to being a challenge like some of my workouts were prior to my extended, once again, fitness training time-out.  I didn’t buckle or cry for help or relief.

Thus, I learned from this assignment, while pondering how it was time for me to once again, get back to work with my middle-aged man fitness training, that despite an extended training time-out, I was still good-enough in shape and that my middle-aged man fitness shelf life had not expired.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

No comments: