I used to be good at math!

I admit that I love those stupid little “Facebook quizzes” (“who loves you”? “who are your best friends”, etc.) So I did one that said “who are your bodyguards”. The answer returned my wife and Carmen, who has become perhaps my favorite “Facebook friend”. That is fine, except both are physically small, middle aged to elderly ladies.

I joked: “I need to make bigger, stronger friends.”

Then I thought about it: if you look at my *current friends*, I am bigger and stronger than, well, almost all of them (maybe 1-2 exceptions). And as you can see from my workout below, I am not that strong (bench press is 200 pounds; I weigh 190 and am 57 years old).

Then I remembered that I used to have bigger stronger friends…when *I* was bigger and stronger (lifetime PB on the bench press was 310 lbs). So while I am considerably weaker now, I am stronger relative to the “company that I keep”. It is easy to figure out why: most of my current friends are either not athletic or they mostly run and walk long distances. In the old days, I hung around more strong people.

And that principle lead me to think about graduate school. I did reasonably well as an undergraduate mathematics major; I was usually one of the best ones in the upper division math classes. But when I got to my Ph. D. program at the University of Texas, well, I felt like a drooling idiot. I was one of the worst ones in each class I took, and don’t even mention the professors, all who were national class in their respective fields. I remember lamenting “I used to be good at math” and I got knowing nods from the other graduate students.

And so it goes. It is kind of like the last marathon I finished: once again I was almost dead last (not quite) but when I start thinking I am dreadfully slow…I watch people my age trying to navigate the stairs at a football stadium. Then I don’t feel so bad.


Workout notes: weights plus a 5K walk in West Peoria. Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), incline bench presses (10 x 135, 7 x 150, 10 x 135), military presses (dumbbell): 6 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell. Head stand, yoga leg lifts (2 sets of 10), twist crunch (2 sets of 12) and many, many “free squats” attempting to keep good posture. Those ARE getting easier.


October 27, 2016 - Posted by | Friends, social/political, walking, weight training | ,

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