Fitness & Health - Overview & History
Balance, Goals, and Options
As my doctor says: 'I have a keen sense of my body and its expected function/performance'. Starting pretty much in grade 8, I made a personal commitment to excel in the area of personal fitness and health, and that has meant training and educating myself continuously about physical fitness and diet since 1974. It is both a hobby for me, as well as a basic requirement to maintain my 'balance' in life. I am quite passionate about fitness, diet and general health issues, as my friends, family and doctor will attest to.
My mom and dad were very health conscious in the 1970s so I grew up eating well and being influenced by a father who rode his bike to work, and had a well-used membership to the YMCA - a place he took us to train as teenagers (he also played tennis 4-5 times as week). He enrolled us in karate, took us for bike rides and runs, and encouraged us to join the elementary and high school track teams, which we most certainly did.
By grade 9 I was a ranked short distance (200m/400m) runner, placing 8th in the province in 1976 in the 400m. My brother and sister were even better runners than I was. While I kept up track through-out high school, I was mostly interested in weight-lifting where I would spend countless hours in the school gym, encouraged by the gym teacher (who loved weight-lifting) as well as working out at home. I kept this up in university, working out and running all the way thru college.
Once out of college I joined various gyms with various training partners continuously until the present day with periods where I sometimes was in better shape than others - for instance, while I peaked in bench-pressing strength in high-school (275lbs when I weighed 145lbs), I was over-all stronger at age 24, and again at age 34 (biggest muscle mass). When I turned 40 I switched to running more seriously so as to burn off some fat that had accumulated around my body - and competed more and more successfully in 10k and 1/2 marathon events, posting my best times in the 47 minute range for 10k distances. I was attempting to break 45 minutes when I tore my (knee) medial meniscus and had to switch to road and mountain biking for my cardio workouts.
Since age 45 I have also focused more on core stability and strength, partly to keep my lower back healthy and pain free, and partly because I generally ignored my core strength in my earlier life and needed to catch up in this important area. I am now training in a fairly balanced mode, featuring biking, strength training and core stability work in equal measure.