Living by the Book

Casanatense Library, Rome, ItalyWhether you can do all of the pushups, some of the pushups, or none of the pushups, death seems a likely conclusion to most of our stories. We’ve now turned to the last page of the book, read the last line, and have some hazy premonition of how this all ends, but that doesn’t stop us from reading the rest of the book. The plot is sometimes hilarious, and we couldn’t make these characters up if we tried. Some chapters could use some reworking, re-editing, or removal, but for the most part, our story is pretty solid. We like it. It’s not just ours, it’s us.

These characters share a certain peculiarity . . . they just keep doing things. That’s funny because we know something they don’t . . . they all die. Maybe not in this chapter, hopefully not in the next, but we know it’s gonna happen, and somehow they keep moving, oblivious to what we know for certain. Why do they bother when there’s no more than a few hundred pages left in the book?

Think about the author for a minute. No, it’s not a religious book. It’s a fitness book. Why fitness? This one is about us, and we all keep moving, right? Until we don’t, and then, well . . . we knew it was gonna happen. All the pushups, all the running, all the early morning mountain bike rides, all the trees we climbed, all the diving Frisbee catches, all the lake swimming, pool swimming, ocean swimming . . . all that and nothing could save us. Some literate jerk in a library turned to your last page, read your last line. Didn’t care about anything other than the particulars of fact: Birth & Death.

That jerk doesn’t get out much, doesn’t get many dates, and doesn’t have many friends. Life is superficial. Just the facts is a sinister form of vanity. Kind of like magazines . . . a head game with no substance.

Or maybe the “jerk” is looking for something more meaningful than birth & death, something beyond the religious literature, but not as campy as what the magazines are selling. A book about Movement. That’s what we’re doing here, moving. Some of us do it well, some do it not so well, but in one sense or another, we all move.

Movement may not be the meaning of life, but without movement, life is meaningless. Without movement, life mimics death. Death is a cold book. It’s warm outside, come play. You’ll enjoy the weather.

Just in case you skipped all the way down here to the last paragraph, or even if you got here honestly . . . We don’t exercise to look good, we look good because we exercise. We exercise for strength because movement requires strength and life requires movement. Exercise, training, and fitness then, are about movement, not muscle. There is always time, and you do have the energy for strength, movement & life. You are energy, and the clock circles around you.

~Coach Lee Roy

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