Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fidelity and Walking for Fitness

Journal Entry May 5, 2010: Weight = 171.2 lbs; Coinage = $5.20 135 pennies, 9 nickels, 14 dimes; 8 quarters; Glass bottles = 14; Ground scores = 2; Best coinage find = a super find, 4 quarters and a nickel; a super find is defined as any one find of 50 cents or more in any place but a car wash canister.

Journal Entry May 3, 2010: Weight = 173.4 lbs; Coinage = $2.23, 78 pennies, 2 nickels, 6 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 2; Ground scores = 5 including a very good area 5x7 rug that will be cleaned and recycled in a forthcoming charity yard sale for the Friendship House, a ministry for battered women and their children. Best coinage find = 3 quarters in a newspaper vender, a super find. Note, finding fifty cents or more in one location is very rare, and this find was the second in one week.

Feature Entry: Fidelity and Walking for Fitness

Fitness blogger Hal Higdon drawing from the work of Mark Fenton, editor-at-large for Walking magazine. Higdon has drawn an interesting continuum to explain the reasons why people walk for exercise. On one end is the person that takes leisure walks to enjoy the outdoors and hope that the exercise will improve his/her health. On the other end is the race walker who is a “hip-swinging, elbow-pumping, glory-seeking individual” who trains to win a medal at a local walking race. In the middle is a class of walkers who seek health benefits that comes from an optimum level of physical fitness and weight control. This individual dresses like an athlete, not someone out for a stroll. It is the latter individual that defines the MoneyWalker’s purpose and motivation for walking. To remain true to this purpose, the concept of fidelity is a necessary component.

Fidelity is one of those rare English words capable of heavy lifting, of expressing clearly the obligation of a noble concept. In a sense, when one accepts the responsibility of being a fitness walker, there is an implied fidelity between the walker and the concept. Put in the time and weight control and a healthy fitness level will be forthcoming; slack off and expect weight gain, hypertension, and a host of other negative consequences. A successful fitness walker is one that retains a commitment to basic principles. A major threat to fitness walking fidelity is boredom. To be effective the pattern of frequency, duration, and intensity must be replicated over and over. There seems to be a limit to how walks can be varied to avoid the long term reality of boredom. Our word “hi-fi” comes from fidelity. When a copy of original music is recorded and the replay is of a high quality, it is hi-fi. Similar with the computer age term “wi-fi,” or wireless fidelity.

To better understand the importance of fidelity and fitness walking we may wish to draw upon the writing of Aristotle and his notion of friendship. Aristotle believed that friendship has three components: “Friends must enjoy each other's company, they must be useful to one another, and they must share a common commitment to the good.” Similarly, Cicero believed that friendship is based upon virtue which both creates and preserves friendship. “It depends upon harmony of interest, permanence, and fidelity.”

The ultimate manifestation of fidelity is the friendship of marriage. The pictured Irish Claddah ring is a traditional symbol of fidelity and love. The hands are for friendship, the heart is for love, and the crown is for loyalty.
The fidelity lesson for fitness walkers is to treat the habit in the same way you treat a friend. Feeling bored, take a walk. Busy, take a walk. Have sore muscles, take a walk. Raining outside, take a walk. Burned out, take a walk. Tempted to take a week off, take a walk. Fitness walkers that achieve life-long benefits from walking, treat walking in the same way they as they treat a lifetime friend or better a lifetime mate—with unending fidelity.


1 comment:

  1. Great to see the MoneyWalker has already shed the pounds picked up on the cruise. Goes to show that you shouldn't give up occasional indulgences if you maintain fidelity with your walking program. Best wishes: Bill