Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolve to get active (Dec. 06 News Advocate)

Associate Editor

It’s that time of year again.
Time to make all of those sports New Year’s resolutions.
I have ‘em every year. This year, I have quite a few. Break 25 minutes in my 5K time, run at least 3 triathlons, go to another hockey camp, run a snowshoe race, work out more, get leaner.
In short: get more motivated!
I also have goals as a fan. Every year it seems like I promise myself I’ll go and see the Tigers and Red Wings at least once. Maybe shoot down to East Lansing and catch a Spartan hockey game. I also try to pledge to be a better fan -- following the teams more, watch more games on the tube or on listen on the radio.
Those who know me will tell you that I’m not a rabid sports fan. I have my favorites: baseball and hockey. Football and basketball hold no special interest to me. I enjoy seeing a game from time to time -- but I find trouble keeping interest. I have to specialize because, like most people, time is so sparce.
Life gets in the way. There’s work, spending time with family, chores to be done around the house. It becomes hard to be the kind of dedicated fan and athlete I want to be.
But this year, I hope, will be different. 2007 is the year, baby.
The lawn may get a little longer than usual this August. It might take all summer to get the shed painted. Perhaps the laundry will get to the point where it’s easier to just buy more underwear than to carry the entire load to the machine in the basement.
For sports, we must remember, are a diversion -- an escape from everyday life. On the fields, courts, and ice rinks of America, we go to be entertained. It doesn’t matter if you watch or play, folks, I urge you to make more time in the coming year to be a part of sports.
I do hope you will participate rather than just watch, though.
Besides the physical benefits of athletics, the teamwork it fosters, the stress it relieves, and the pure enjoyment it provides, there is also the escape from the grind of everyday life sports allows. To coin an overused phrase, the benefits are seemingly endless.
Everyone makes the same New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and exercise more. For 99 percent of us, it lasts about a week into January.
Then its back to eating Doritos on the couch.
The reason it fails, is because we forget that exercise should be fun.
For most people, going to the gym is not fun. Running is not fun. Lifting weights is not fun.
That’s why we fall out of our exercise routines. We forgot the fun.
My son has zero body fat. He runs around from day break to sunset. He plays baseball, soccer, football, hockey, and every other sport he can. My seven year-old son has never once asked if he could lift weights or go to the gym.
He goes with what’s fun.
So, why do we forget this when we get older?
For some reason, we feel that exercising has to be work. I’m not sure where this idea came from. Probably the people who built the Bo-Flex. Two things.
One: there’s no way 20 minutes per day three times per week gives anyone that body we see on the commercials. Two: There’s no way that goofy looking contraption is fun.
So, when making those same old New Year’s resolutions, resolve to set aside some more time for sports -- not just to watch on TV or buy tickets to a pro game -- make a resolution to actually play sports. I don’t care if its softball, hockey, swimming, basketball, frisbee golf, or lawn darts. Just get out there.
Why should kids or the professionals get to have all the fun?
Cean Burgeson can be reached at:

No comments: