A Story I try to Keep in Mind...
Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn't have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.
One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen." The farmer said simply, "We'll see." He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.
Everyone's reaction now was, "What a lucky man." And the farmer said, "We'll see."
A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, "What a poor fellow!"
The farmer smiled and said, "We'll see."
Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, "What a fortunate man."
The Farmer said, "We'll see"
Later in the year, the farmer's young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, "What a shame for the poor boy."
The farmer said, "We'll see."
Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer's son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.
Everyone said, "What a fortunate young man"
The farmer smiled again and said, We'll see"
Moral of the story: There's no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from.
Fitness Tip of the Week
Each summer, as the work schedule gets busier, I typically press pause on long workout sessions and try to sneak in a bunch of 20-40 minute kettlebell sessions. I grab a weight from the gym, park it on the porch, and whenever an opportunity presents itself, practice a few kettlebell movements. These sessions typically include exercises like swings, snatches, goblet squats, turkish getups, suitcase carries, and single arm clean & presses. I try to keep the heart rate in the 120 bpm and above for the entirety of the session.
Like discussed previously, there is a season for everything. In my life, the summers mean kettlebell training and short, quick cardiovascular training in my backyard or on our road. Doing this allows me to prevent any barriers (driving somewhere to swim or run, removing myself from the house and going to the gym, etc.) from me training. Keep the workout short, sweet, and to the point. What you decide to do is not the important part. Find things that you can add to your day to day life without adding too much of a hassle. Then, follow through on what you set out to do and move your body in one way or another each and every day.
What I've Been Watching...
The Darkest Hour
I like watching movies that may have some dark, heavy content. Marisa does not typically enjoy those and Emilia is definitely not ready for anything like that so when the girls travel, I watch those movies. The Darkest Hour is about a pivotal moment in history as the Nazi invasion of Great Britain appears imminent. The decision must be made: Do we negotiate a peace deal with a madman (Adolf Hitler) or do we stand our ground and fight?
The final decision on this issue had to be made by one man, and one man only, Winston Churchill. After a long, controversial career, Churchill rose to prominence and found his time to shine. His country was reeling and they needed a strong figure that was for the people and for the country. He was the perfect man for the job as he rallied a nation and eventually, was able to keep the Nazi's from occupying their land.
What I've Been Reading...
Aspen Institutes State of Play 2021
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy study organization that covers a variety of topics. Their mission is to foster leadership for dealing with critical issues in a nonpartisan way. They look at topics like business, education, environment, justice, and luckily for me, health & sport as they provide tons of resources on the topic. As I read their State of Play from 2021, a few things jumped out to my worried little mind.
Twenty-two percent of children and teens have been classified as obese during the pandemic (an additional roughly 20% are overweight), a three percent increase from prior to the lockdowns. For severely obese kids, their expected annual weight gain increased from 8.8 pounds before the pandemic to 14.6 pounds. Moderately obese kids went from 6.5 pounds to 12 pounds. Even children who had a healthy weight prior to the pandemic saw their annual weight gain increase from 3.4 pounds to 5.4 pounds. In addition to the weight gain, doctors warn that some children may have increased long term adverse consequences on their mental health due to the pandemic lockdowns.This last statement was confirmed when I spoke with an emergency room doctor. He predicted that the issues associated with obesity are still down the road but his biggest concern at the moment was the mental health of young kids. He told us, "our emergency room is filled with suicidal teens". It was sad hearing that. Something is missing in society with our kids and the trends aren't going in the right direction.
Quote of the Week
"Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security" -- John F. Kennedy
I hope you all have an awesome week!