All posts by Papo

I enjoy running, weight training, playing chess and writing poetry. My God, Jehovah, and family is most important to me. Currently I am teacher, but I wish not to define myself by occupation. I'd rather be known as a kind, loving person and that is what I'm always working towards.

Step it up during setbacks.

The end of the school year is a crash point for teachers. Much last minute work needs to be done, the kids are unfocused and naturally very irritating during this time, and the body physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and whatever other …ally is spent. However, despite all this, the teacher must keep on trudging till every last kid is dismissed for summer vacation. After all duties have been completed the teacher’s body crashes.

Oh, some teachers have some reserves, but generally the body is completely exhausted and open for full assault by the usual assailants, viruses and bacterial infections. So I spent my first week fighting or rather relenting to this necessary stage before I began my comeback.

Well, that’s a lie. I’ve been doing Taebo with Billy Blanks in the mornings before school for the past month or two. So the end of year crash didn’t hit me as hard as usual. And taking Tahitian Noni (get it at mistergoodbuy) fought off infection and helped me keep my energy levels up.

Now I’m prepared to make my comeback in my chosen sport, running. Sometimes, we compromise, thinking our body just needs more rest until eventually we no longer have a workout routine left. My advice is to keep exercising, even mildly, but keep exercising. For exercise is a rejuvenator and a relaxer. Exercise is absolutely essential for recovery rather than something to put aside during times of physical depression. My keep up the good work. On that note… I am now going on my 8 mile run this morning before it gets too hot here in Florida.

Are you working against yourself?

Are you working against yourself? If you are not making regular gains in health and fitness and find yourself in a cycle of setbacks, perhaps you are neglecting the basics of getting 7 to 8 hours sleep; eating healthy and staying away from junk foods; and exercising regularly without overdoing it. Maybe there’s a part of ourselves that says I can cheat like I did when I was younger. Whether we’re young or older, we need to have commitment.

There is another phenomenon– one that doesn’t really believe that change can come. A self-fulfilling prophecy of failure that allows us to go to bed late, overeat or eat junk food, and proclaim, “There you see, I told you I couldn’t do it.” We need to be honest with ourselves and confront this little fitness demon. In other words, we need to take a step back and be open to the possibility that we’re sabotaging our own efforts– as illogical as that may sound.

Above all things point your attitude and fortitude in the right direction and you will reach your destination. Attitude is of primary importance, for without it no regimen, diet, device, or contraption can help us reach our goals. But with the proper attitude, we reach our goals despite our circumstances. What are your thoughts on this? Please post your comments.

Lewis Jackson

Hard Day, Easy Days makes progress faster.

It’s tempting when you are getting back in shape or are really in a groove physically to want to up the amperage and do back to back weight training workouts. Recently I came across some advice that stated it was unwise to train with weights two days in a row. (An exception to this might be to work different muscle groups with weights on those consecutive days.) In reflection, I think this is wise advice because your body needs time to repair and replace weak muscle affected from the weight training. Your body also needs proper rest and nutrition.

With these thoughts in mind, I think I’ve improved upon my training schedule. I use that in between “easy” day for jogging or an alternative workout that involves stretching and mild strengthening/ toning without using weights– such as palates. I really enjoyed this morning’s easy workout with my son. We did lunges without weights that emphasized the stretching part of the lunge; we had a lot of fun doing full body motion vertical jumps; and we made up an exercise that involved squating then rising up slowly and reaching our hands towards the ceiling.

So you can have a lot of fun with your alternative easy day workouts. And you can squeeze in a lot of experimental or exercises you normally don’t include in your structured weight training routine.

I hope these tips prove beneficial to your training. ;^)


Need muscle tone? Sleep, sleeep!

I write this at the risk of being called a hypocrite because I often go to bed well past bedtime. These are some do’s for getting a good nights rest and building healthy muscle tone:  mild exercise before bed may help you fall to sleep faster; milk seems to contain an ingredient to help you fall to sleep faster; try to relieve yourself before retiring and drink enough water before sleep to help avoid waking up during crucial REM sleep and using the bathroom;

strive to go to bed early enough to get the recommended average of 8 hours sleep; take brief naps/ siestas during the day, especially when you’re fighting sickness or recovering from a grueling workout; sleeping too much during the day may disrupt your night sleep; follow the simple rule of easy day, hard day i.e, avoid putting weight training or grueling workouts back to back– give your body time to heal; and lastly, eat nutritiously and go easy on the junk food.

I hope these personal tips help. And I’ll strive not to be a hyprocrite and follow my own advice!


Lew Jackson

It’s raining, but YOU keep shining.

No afternoon workout today. It’s raining the proverbial cats and dogs. And it looks like I can use a break due to my wife getting me sick. Keep shining, even though it’s raining– that’s my motto. It is days like this that a person looses momentum and ditches all the progress they have made. Your body is simply taking a break, which is normal. What is not normal or healthy is to succumb to the feeling that you’re going through another slump. It is the mind that must be trained to see through the darkness of a down day and realize that ups and downs are part and parcel of reaching our physical, mental, and spiritual potential. You are the captain of your ship. Never give up on yourself.

Lew Jackson

Coming Back… Again?!

After a bout with a long persistent virus, I’m positioning myself once again for a comeback of sorts. To be honest, I am sort of discouraged about a recent 9 mile road race. I mean I didn’t expect to do that well because I felt sickly, but the reality of actually performing that poorly– a measly 8 minutes per mile was depressing. Once upon a time I ran 6 minutes per mile over 12 mile distances. Those days are gone now, I suppose, but c’mon, 8 minute miles! Well anyway, today I did 200 push-ups. Last week I had did 300 push-ups. I’m trying to get overall conditioning first before I build endurance and speed from running. You’d be amazed how tough those so-called skinny little running wimps are. And now I understand why people who I felt had a grudge against me when I was younger opted out of the fight option. Memo, don’t pick a fight with young or old active runners they’re much more rugged than they look!

Back on the trail again

I just finished a brisk 8 mile run. I’m not sure really how fast I ran because I was running at night and I stopped my watch several times at traffic crossings. Unfortunately, at one of those stops I forgot to restart my watch. It’ felt great getting my legs back under me pressing those 7 to sub 7 minute miles. My son Shane went with me on his bike. The last several miles he struck up this stange very annoying tune, “The old man say, the old man says,’aargh'” He just kept kept singing this amazingly annoying lyric over and over again like he was possessed. Yes, I wanted to strike him just once. I wouldn’t strike him twice, honest, just once. Do you know how inconvenient it is to be running at break neck pace having a moron, (ulp, sorry, I did just call my son a moron didn’t I?) Well, I’ll wrap this up, it’s great to be back and I hope not to let anything ( even the most annoying things) block my road to progress. :^) Keep up the good work,

Your cyber running pal,

Lew Jackson

You can do 100 push-ups per day!

Yep, you can, if not then set a lower more reasonable goal.
I’m a school teacher with a busy schedule, so I do my 100
in the morning’s with my 9 year old son who does his 30

Here’s how I do it:

5 push-ups times 5 sets– that’s 25 push-ups as a warm-up.
I rest  comfortably between sets.

Now my body is ready…

10 push-ups times 4 sets– that’s 65 push-ups. Only 35 left!

20 push-ups straight– my personal challenge.

15 push-ups to finish it up.

But 2 minutes of abdominal crunches
is included for a complete workout.

That’s it… and you can do it too.

Just set your goal and believe in yourself!

PS: If you are in slump, this workout works