Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little light housekeeping

Just a few odds and ends today. First, a reminder that there are only three days left to cast your vote in my highly unscientific poll on exercise frequency, which can be found somewhere over on the left-hand side of this page. I'm happy to see that no one has reported that they exercise only rarely, but then I wouldn't expect to see such people at a blog that has the word fitness in its name.

Second, my partner, Marge, and I are planning to take part in a four-mile road race this Sunday, primarily as walkers/joggers, since neither of us runs regularly and we have not been training for it. The race supports a scholarship fund set up in memory of Kerri Bessette, a South Kingstown High School graduate and athlete who died of bacterial meningitis in April 2001 while in her freshman year at LaSalle University.

Although we knew neither Kerri nor her family, her story moved both of us. The course is a paved loop near Matunuck Beach, and the race starts at 9 a.m. Registration and other information can be found at www.run4kerri.com.

And in the putting-us-to-shame department is Diana Lajoie, a colleague of Marge, who finished 17th in her division in Sunday's Ford Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid, N.Y. The 38-year-old resident of Seekonk, Mass., finished the event — which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run — in 12 hours, 1 minute and 21 seconds. It's hard for me to comprehend being able to finish it in any amount of time. Way to go, Diana!

Finally, I promised I'd report back on my progress with the deadlift, which I began doing about a month ago. I started with an easy 65 pounds to get the form right, and am now lifting 125 pounds (three sets of six reps). My short-term goal was to be able to lift my body weight, so I have another 10 pounds to go. I think I should be able to reach that, and then some, in pretty short order.

Aside from feeling like I'm building strength rapidly, I love the fact that the deadlift is a time-saver. Because it is a compound exercise that involves so many different muscles, I've been able to eliminate leg extensions and curls, and back extensions from my exercise routine. And who among us couldn't use a little more free time these days?

And a footnote to the story of my interest in the deadlift, which was sparked by seeing a video of Nia Shanks deadlifting 300 pounds: it seems Nia's mother has caught the bug, too. At 49, Nia's mother is just two years younger than I am, and she deadlifted 235 pounds in her first powerlifting competition.

Who says getting older is tough? Bring it on!

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