At the start of 2022, I decided I was going to throw it back to the 1700's for my New Years Resolution. Back in the day Benjamin Frankin wrote about The Thirteen Necessary Virtues that he deemed important. Each week, you focus solely on one of them. I stole his idea and decided to do it as well. The focus for this week is FRUGALITY. In Franklin's words, "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
This will be a challenge for me. Typically, when I write this newsletter, I am usually sitting in a coffee shop drinking $5 lattes and eating overpriced food. But this week, I am a new man. it is black coffee only! To be honest, when I first read Franklins words I thought, "spending money at a coffee shop does good for others so that counts, right?" It might but it doesn't help me save some cash so I opted out. After all, isn't frugality about spending only on what is necessary?
The other part of this weeks plan is to be mindful of waste. I am making sure the leftovers get eaten and whatever doesn't, gets sent out to the chickens for them to peck at. If you have some space for them, chickens are great garbage disposals. They eat a wide variety of things which limits waste and also saves you money on feed. Who knew?
What I've Been Thinking About...
The health of our children in the United States. When you look at the data, in 1974, 16.4% of kids aged 2-19 were overweight or obese. In 2018, that number rose to 41.5%. Keep in mind, this is pre-pandemic. The trends continued to grow at a much faster rate these past two years and I do not know where it is going to end. I think if there were ever a time to act, it would be right now.
As a parent and coach, I believe that strong kids become strong adults. This strength can be applied to both the physical and the mental side of things. Physical training teaches kids remarkable things. In addition to the outward benefits that exercise provides, there is the often overlooked mental improvements that come with training. Physical activity builds self-esteem, self-perception, and self-efficacy. These are three factors that play a huge role in how a child looks at the world. When challenges arise, those with higher self-efficacy scores will give greater effort to overcome the task at hand. Those with lower scores, will not be as persistent. They will give up much sooner and accept defeat without much of a fight.
For us grownups, the best way to start reversing this trend is to show them the way. Teach them about living a healthy life and then do it yourself. It is more than just talking the talk, you have to walk the walk and be an example for those little eyes that look up to you. Remember, with children, more is caught than taught. They are watching, they always are! More information on this topic, check out episode 85 of The Chris Fluck Podcast (link here).
Fitness Tip of the Week
The human body is designed to be efficient. When you set out to complete a task, it wants to do so while using the least amount of energy possible. This is great when we need to conserve energy but not so great when we want to continually challenge ourselves physically to reach new heights.
Inefficiency results in more demand on the body which leads to a greater challenge. For example, if you jump rope all the time, your heart rate and calorie burn will be significantly less than the individual who doesn't jump rope and then attempts to. Because they are not very good at it, they have to work harder. The demands and stress on the body is greater which means a higher caloric burn. Over time, as this person improves, the results will begin to diminish. It is no longer challenging. The body became more efficient. This is when we need to change the stimulus. Maybe you start practicing different techniques or jump for longer periods of time. It doesn't really matter what it is, but something has to be done if you want to reap the same results. This type of approach goes for all types of training.
The more you complete a lifting routine, run a certain distance or walk the same trail, the less challenge it becomes on the body. If our goal is to improve general fitness, we need to change the stimulus periodically to reap the benefits.
What I've Been Listening To...
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
This book is great for a variety of reasons. The first being the United States handling of American Indians. In this instance, it totally backfired on them when they moved the Osage tribe to a mountainous, almost unlivable area of Oklahoma. What they failed to realize when moving them was that the land sat on top of oil reserves and the Osage territory became the wealthiest county in the country. Then, intrigue and murder are introduced. Osage tribesmen and women start dying at alarming rates. Some mysteriously, some outright murdered. After 20+ deaths, a serious investigation needed to occur. After local authorities make no progress (due to corruption), J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI are introduced!
Quote of the Week
"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" -- James Joyce
I hope you all have an awesome week!