Re: The Surge

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Also, note that I usually go to the gym between the hours of 8 PM - 10 PM. Hardly your usual peak hours. You can imagine what it's like right after work.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 10:42 PM
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Ouch, that's really all I can say. Thankfully, my apartment building has its own gym which is fairly well appointed (with the exception of missing barbell free weights), so I've never felt the need to join anywhere else. This has saved me from the resolution bolus, though it seems to be afflicting the gyms of my few friends who use them to the point where it's been mentioned.

Weird, people should smooth consumption a bit more. We need shifts of resolution holidays.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 10:47 PM
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Is it selfish or self-indulgent to increase your gym usage right after New Year's? I'm thinking it is neutral at best, particularly if you think about it globally. Discuss at length.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 10:50 PM
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As long as I'm not producing any kids who will stand between future Beckses and their future treadmills, I feel I'm fully entitled to that extra set of shoulder presses. It's still a net positive for my total gymonmental impact.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 10:59 PM
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So wait, you're pissed about the gym being crowded, because you like this gym, because you signed up for this gym when it just opened, when this gym was cheaper than any other gym in the area because they had to attract customers lest they go out of business, right?

I think you should burn fat tilting furiously at windmills.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 10:59 PM
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Of course, 5 was posted from the POV of somebody with a cushy college gym at their disposal, by somebody who anyhow lives in a part of the world where you can comfortably run outdoors every single day of the year. Sorry?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:02 PM
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5 - Dude. This gym is so far from going out of business. At the very-crowded-but-still-usable pre-New Year's level, they had to be printing money hand over fist. This is just greed. I mean, even before the new year, you often had to wait to get on a machine, sign up for a treadmill slot, and couldn't get into an aerobics or yoga class unless you called the day before and reserved a slot. That's a gym at capacity. Now they're signing up dozens and dozens more people on top of that.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:08 PM
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Consider it a business opportunity, Becks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:13 PM
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That would piss me off. As is, it's totally annoying when all the treadmills are in use during January at our dinky activity center, but I know by February the treadmills will be all mine again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:13 PM
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On the plus side, a year's membership is $80, and there's a pool and racket ball courts, and all the standard gym amenities. Or $2/visit if you don't want a membership.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:15 PM
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6: My first reaction was also "But outdoor exercise is so much more fun!" and then I said "Oh."


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:18 PM
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racket ball courts

Racquetball, mon ami.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:33 PM
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Or $2/visit if you don't want a membership.

Okay, most of the time I go around being pretty okay with the cost of living where I am. But jesus, I'd have to go to the gym every day - at the visitor rates! - to make it equivalent to what I pay. And I am paying rock bottom for my area.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:42 PM
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Seconding Blume. I'm paying a rock-bottom promotional rate of $55/month. Most are $80-100, and I'm pretty sure this place is charging new members $70+. To not be able to use the equipment.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 5-09 11:52 PM
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I'm pretty sure this place is charging new members $70+. To not be able to use the equipment.

... which the vast majority of them won't be doing in three weeks anyway. (Not to defend your gym, just commenting on the economics of health clubs in general.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:00 AM
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Here's a dumb idea: what if part of the the WPA-ish stuff Obama proposes includes affordable fitness centers?

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago with a huge pool, a walkable park, a playground for the kiddies, rent-able space for parties, and a space which had all sorts of fitness amenities (ca. 1940).

Certainly, such a model is adaptable to more-recent fitness trends (running on treadmills vs. street running, a ready set of weights or weight machines, a staff of knowledgeable employees, programs from ninja-shit karate classes to ballroom dancing to bikram yoga.)

It's not inexpensive, but it's a sounder investment than some of the mortgage tranches floating around.

Basically: parks, 2.0.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:04 AM
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That's an awfully neat idea, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:06 AM
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programs from ninja-shit karate classes

Ninjas aren't getting a dime of my tax money. Goddamn sneaky little bastards, I've had enough of them.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:24 AM
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18: needless to say, my minions will be visiting you in your bed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:27 AM
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Just remember: there are no ninjas. It's like Santa Claus ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:40 AM
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Is there a taking-back-golf-courses movement? This conversation has me focusing on one local joint in particular, a publicly held park with a nine-hole course.

I'm not a golfer, nor is the potential clientèle*. But it's plainly underserving people that might benefit from such a low-cost fitness center/nature area.

*That's going to come off as racist to some. An argument to which I respond with: golf is a game requiring exorbitant amounts of land, compared with volleyball, football, soccer, softball/baseball, tennis, swimming, track & field, rugby, and shit, freeze tag.

And that's off the top of my head. Does anyone even care about golfers if we off them from the public lands a bit, in the service of good policy? We could have a shorter course or driving range, I suppose.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:41 AM
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First, kill all the golf pros.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:49 AM
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That said, a ninja versus golf pro conflict is one I'd like to see ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:01 AM
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I'm off to bed at any rate. Good night all.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:03 AM
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The golf thing is exactly the proper outcome of a sweeping Democratic victory. We shall dispossess the Republican class of their lands!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:03 AM
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In a couple of week they'll have all gone. And then you can bask in the warmth of your exertions AND the knowledge you're not a quitter.

The other thing is to use the equipment no-one else uses. Typically this is the free weights. Grab a pair of dumbells, crank out some kinda Crossfit-esque/dumbell complex circuit. You need only 3sq. ft of space and some resistance to kick your own butt.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:22 AM
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Golf courses are a menace. I enjoy the occasional round of golf, but I'd be more than happy to let the vast majority of courses revert to a wild state or be converted into gardens.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:26 AM
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See, this is why I save making New Year Resolutions till February.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:17 AM
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Just wait a few weeks and it will be back to pre-New Years levels.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:53 AM
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There are a couple of NYC golf courses (I think the one nearest me is closed for a couple of years, or maybe forever), and you see scruffy guys with golf bags, or a couple of clubs, on the subway heading for them sometimes. I kind of like the idea of democratising access to golf, and open space in built up areas isn't a bad thing, but I suppose if there are better competing uses, it's not so bad.

I was expecting my gym to have a New Years surge, but I haven't seen it. I'm in the Financial District, so I think that means 'thanks, recession!'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:05 AM
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I can't get on a fucking machine

They have those at your gym? No wonder it's crowded!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:14 AM
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You just have to think up some other ways to get some exercise.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:50 AM
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32. I think the polite usage is "NSFW", GB.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:58 AM
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In a week 1/4 of these people will be gone. In a month, half. In 3 months everything will be back to normal. Deep breaths.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 6:09 AM
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I had to wait in line for hours to use the Don't-worry-they'll-be-gone-soon machine, that's how popular it is.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 6:15 AM
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re: 34

Having a gym that's shittily unusable 25% of the year is a bit crap.

My own gym is fine if I use it during the least convenient possible hours, but crap during the convenient ones [so I really should cancel].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 6:39 AM
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Just remember: there are no ninjas

In the rich and variegated world of martial arts jackassery, it is difficult to overstate this point. Although, if people took it to heart I'd be deprived of the regular sight out my office window of three or four tubby, black-robed Dungeon Master types bitch-slapping each other and waving wooden swords around out on the main campus lawn because naturally that's the best place to impress girls refine one's deadly expertise in the stealthy arts.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 7:23 AM
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I'm amazed at $2/visit. All the gyms near me require multi-month contracts that work out to substantially more than that at any reasonable rate of usage. I think the game is to sign people up for a 3 month contract knowing full well that a substantial fraction will bail within a couple of weeks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 7:45 AM
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The real way to attack golf courses is to stop subsidizing their water use. That would kill them all off, public and private. Megan presumably knows more about this.

(Actually, there have been a couple times recently where I thought Megan would be helpful--I figured she'd be good on the sports bra thread too.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:10 AM
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Just go outside!!!!!!!!!! It is free. And more fun. And less crowded.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:12 AM
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That's one big difference I've found between NYC and DC. In DC, there are no places I'd feel comfortable exercising alone after dark. I'd frequently go jogging in the park near my apartment by myself after dark in NYC (wearing headphones, even). Although I realize this is likely due to living in the Disneyland of New York.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:23 AM
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And cold, and there are more cars in your way.

I do feel pathetic running on a treadmill, but running on NYC streets is such a hassle, and getting myself to a park where I could run takes just enough longer that I wouldn't be able to work out at lunch. And I'd still need to pay the gym so I'd have a place to shower. If I had a shower at work and could walk out the door into a park, I'd run outside.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:24 AM
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41: Mmm. My neighborhood isn't terribly dangerous, but it's rough enough that running after dark in the park feels unwise. (Part of the idea, a decade ago, of getting a dog is that she could run with me, making the whole proposition safer. Getting a sheepdog was a mistake -- she interprets running as unruly sheep behavior, and bites me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:26 AM
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I think the game is to sign people up for a 3 month contract knowing full well that a substantial fraction will bail within a couple of weeks.

This is exactly true. Annoyingly, while my company offers a discount with a pretty good gym chain, it only offers it on the "Platinum" membership, which buys you the privilege of exercising in practically any city in America at practically any time of day. Even discounted it costs more than the membership I bought Sunday, which allows me to use one gym. Why even bother, my company? The people who do that kind of traveling don't need a discount like I do.

My gym is still only at half capacity, so probably no one will even notice when I quietly slink away in February.



Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:35 AM
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At 6:30 Monday morning, the fitness center in my apartment building was as lightly-occupied as usual. Maybe NYRs gravitate to the consumerist, locking-in action of "joining a gym" as opposed to availing oneself of free facilities.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 8:50 AM
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I'm amazed at $2/visit.

It's a city facility, so it's subsidized and intended to be used by the whole community. But it's pretty nice and big and new. They hold classes there and sports for the kiddos and the whole shebang.

FURTHERMORE! Just to brag about my little town! It shares a lot with the public library, and both of these are at the end of my street, adjacent to the park with the playground, which is also where you get in the river when you're going tubing in the summer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 9:20 AM
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no one will even notice when I quietly slink away in February.

Oh, we will notice, mcmc, as ragebunny rages more and more!

I just signed up for a 10k race to force myself to get into shape. I'm thinking about signing up now for a two mile swim in the summer for the same reason.

Nothing motivates me like shame.

A female lawyer in my office has requested that we mock her and call her a fattie if she tries to snack.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 9:33 AM
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About four months ago, I stopped taking the subway for local transportation and committed to walking to the studio. 5.2 miles, conservatively estimated, round-trip. I need to combine that with some whole-body work-outs---I've been checking out "power yoga" DVDs from the library but haven't really found the right fit yet. Still, just the walking has made a big difference in my physical fitness. My two-pack abs are back, baby!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 9:41 AM
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Wow, that's a real time commitment. Are you carrying stuff also?

For me, carrying more than a purse while I walk makes it so much less pleasant. (I know, I know, except a baby and six diaper bags.) I just mean, when I walked ~1 mile to and from school, I hated carrying books, or even worse, my laptop. Even with a good backpack, your back still gets all sweaty underneath.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 9:51 AM
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Getting a sheepdog was a mistake

I imagine that she can herd the kids into a tight little group, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 9:52 AM
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I hate to admit to feelings of Schadenfreude over Becks's misfortune but my office-free employment allows me to enjoy the very same gym at 5 p.m. without a huge rush. The increased business has actually meant for more n00bs on the basketball court. I am already a better baller in 2009!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:06 AM
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The time commitment is the only real downside. It eats about an hour and a half out of my day, more if I count in the grocery shopping on the way home or the coffee stop on the way there. I'm usually carrying stuff at least one way, be it groceries or library books or paintings. Yesterday it was all three. When I first started doing this walk regularly, my back went all wonky for a couple weeks: better now.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:07 AM
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I tend to get public transport about half way to work and walk the rest [there are logistical reasons why this is the easiest way to do it]. On nice days, or even on freezing cold but sunny days like today, it's a pretty good way to get a little fresh air but I don't think it really adds up to much as exercise [it's probably a mile or so, each way]. Keeps the joints moving, I suppose.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:12 AM
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53: Just walking a bit is a big benefit from not doing anything at all, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:14 AM
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Becks: The only gym you might visit that won't exhibit the New Year Bump is over by Saiselgy's, but that's kind of far. Although it is located in the same lot as a grocery store. Still, your current gym is next door to a grocery store and a Target, and I know you make use of the sweet proximity. Switching now is going to cost you oodles.

I don't think it's worth it to walk away quite yet. Every day that you go to the gym this month it is going to get easier and easier. Maybe wait until February before you try to leave? Have you considered going in the morning?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:15 AM
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If you're really cold, you move faster! I do think that you have to pass the three mile marker to get to "exercise." One or two miles is still jolly fresh air meandering, which you could do by accident and without really noticing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:16 AM
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When I leave my front porch in the morning I'm faced with two paths: one which leads to a very pleasant mile-long walk to the train (with a nice, steep hill along the way), and one which leads to the double danger of a bakery and a bus stop. Sadly, the second path wins much more often than not.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:17 AM
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re: 53

re: walking in general

I went through a phase [before I had to stop due to surgery*] of doing a proper 'power walk' a couple of times a week [30 - 40 minutes at a fast pace]. Walking on rough tracks through the forest next to our house while wearing a heart monitor.

That really did make a difference. My resting heart beat dropped shit loads [down into the mid/high 50s] just within a few weeks.

But I couldn't walk to work at that kind of pace without knowing I had access to a shower and clean clothes when I got here, so it's more of a brisk stroll. Better than nothing, though, I suppose.

* I'm fine to start it again, it's just easier being lazy


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:19 AM
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that Yes man movie was funny


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:19 AM
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59 to 57


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:20 AM
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You should be grateful to the new year's resolution crowd for effectively subsidizing your membership. The people who sign up and then don't use the service ("breakage" is the term of art) keep the place in business profitable at artificially low prices for regular users. Think of them as the illegal immigrants who pay FICA taxes but never collect Social Security benefits so that the native born can enjoy lower taxes.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:21 AM
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59 to 57? Really? Then I'm confused.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:21 AM
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today, being the first workday after New Year's

Oh, you people. Yesterday was my fourth workday since New Year's. Today is my first day off.

This gym stuff is so alien to my experience that I have nothing at all to say about it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:23 AM
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56: I reject the notion that there is some threshold for "exercise" - calories burned is calories burned. A half mile walk is better then none, a mile better still. The self improvement gurus constantly bombard us with notions that below some level it just doesn't count, but that's bullshit, and it discourages simple and healthy small steps that add up to major improvements in health. Simply parking in the space furthest from the door is a net improvement over parking as close as possible. Ditto taking the stairs over the escalator or any of a thousand little things that involve only minor effort.

One of the reasons the US is so unhealthy as a nation is that we break everything into little compartments so that one part of our life is dedicated to being as lazy as possible, complete with a whole set of industries devoted to making simple tasks trivial, while another segment of our lives is devoted to self-punishment in pursuit of health - no pain, no gain. If good health is suffering, no wonder so many people choose not to pursue it.

There is a much longer rant locked and loaded, but in the interests of not wasting too much more time I'm going to discharge it safely into the clearing barrel.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:28 AM
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I started at my gym *last* january - not because of a new year's resolution, but because I signed up in October and it took them until January to open. But I hurt my back in August and haven't been back yet - this reminds me that I should get some PT for my back and arrange to resume the gym habit in, say, March.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:28 AM
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64: while I generally agree with your broader point, there really are significant benefits to regularly getting your heart rate up to an elevated level and keeping it there for at least 20 minutes or so. Which you aren't going to do with a mile stroll.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:32 AM
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62, nothing confusing, just the movie was funny
except Jim Carrey looked a little old for the role, i'd give the role to the that's 70ies guy in the movie, and i hated his new gf in the movie, so very very absolutely flawless


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:35 AM
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66 seconded. You essentially can't improve cardio without 20-40 ish minutes of significantly elevated cardio rate, and cardio is really important. The upside to this is that the worse shape your cardio is in, the easier the preceding is to do. So sure, for some people it actually only takes a mile or two stroll (but this will not last if they keep at it).

However, toglosh is right in the broader sense about how weird a place exercise is taking in US culture.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:36 AM
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re: 64

That might be the case for people starting from a fairly low baseline. For a moderately fit person, a 1km walk at moderate walking pace isn't doing much. The amount of calories burned is negligible and the contribution to cardio fitness ditto.

Wearing a heart monitor, I was surprised just how fast I had to walk [and over really quite rough terrain] in order to get my heart beat up to a reasonable % of my max.

For me, the walking has some benefits -- I have a couple of minor injuries where those 30 minutes a day of brisk walking definitely seem to help with joint pain, etc -- but those benefits aren't really cardiovascular or fat-burning.

For someone elderly, or severely obese, or whatever, then of course, anything is going to make a solid difference.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:37 AM
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Biking to school this morning was tough. To the cushy college gym with me!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:38 AM
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64.---I totally agree, in principle. I think the reason I'm being all definitionally prissy in my earlier comment is that I feel a little like I'm cheating by getting my exercise in some non-gym-approved activity. (Also, I'm someone who used to be ridiculously fit and am constantly looking for some exercise that will make me feel good without boring the crap out of me, which has historically been difficult.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:38 AM
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Sure, but if you're strolling a mile or so a day, you're much closer to being able to do more intense exercise than someone who isn't. If you're not doing anything physical outside the context of formal exercise, and you're not formally exercising, you're a long way from even beginning to start exercising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:39 AM
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That might be the case for people starting from a fairly low baseline.

It's astonishing how low some people's baseline is.

For cardio, you want to hit roughly 80% of your max heart rate (assuming you don't have a heart condition) and hold it continuously for a minimum of 15 min (max of about 45). A monitor is interesting to see this, but if you're out of shape enough that walking will work for this, you're basically looking at as fast a pace as you can manage without breaking at all for 20 min (excluding warm up cool down).

Walking just isn't going to do it for most people, but at least it uses your legs (you essentially can't do cardio exercise that doesn't), so you can get started there if your are really out of shape, and move on to something more vigorous when you need to.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:44 AM
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71 - boredom is a critical issue for me. I simply lose interest if there isn't something to suck up some of the spare mental bandwidth when I'm exercising. For a while I did Aikido, which is awesome, but a serious back injury (requiring surgery) put paid to that. Now it's the just goddamn elliptical dealy thing, which combines the thrill of going nowhere with the excitement of staring at the wall.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:46 AM
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42: excuses, excuses. My office out in Docklands is almost exactly 11km from my house and I'm just off to start the jog home.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:47 AM
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re: 73

80% is higher than some people recommend for general cardio training. 70%+ seems to more like the standard recommendation. Over 80 and you are getting into anaerobic training.

I basically couldn't hit 80% walking [excerpt in short bursts ascending steep hills walking flat out]. Walking flat out cross country I could keep it over 60 pretty much all the time but it was pretty hard to even keep it over 70 for long.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:49 AM
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73: I'm buying a rowboat just to prove you wrong.

74: do ellipticals at least let you do little racing against a clock game things?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:50 AM
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Gym exercise has just never been interesting enough for me. The only time I ever got close to having a regular gym routine was during this intensive dance summer, when I would literally use my lunch break between the six-to-eight hours of dance classes to use the stationary bike and stairmaster. I don't know what that was about, probably some form of eating disorder. It's not like I had any friends to eat lunch with.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:51 AM
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76: good catch, i should have (and meant to) write high as you can *up to* 80%. Things are a bit different when you're in strong cardio, but that's the threshold. BTW, if you're moderately out of shape, you probably can't maintain 80% for half an hour anyway.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:52 AM
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Zoning out listening to podcasts doesn't work for other people? I run on a treadmill listening to NPR talk radio shows, and that's about all the entertainment I need for a half hour.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:53 AM
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I met with a personal trainer for the first time ever yesterday. (Not a New Year's resolution but rather a newly part-timer resolution... ) Anecdatally, the 20-minute walk to and from the train twice a day, turns out, really has made a difference in the muscle tone/strength of my legs, regardless of what it has or hasn't done for my cardiovascular health. The rest of my body, however, remains complete mush.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:53 AM
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77.last - not mine. There's an underexploited niche out there for exercise equipment incorporating some sort of game.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:54 AM
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I'm buying a rowboat just to prove you wrong.

If you're sculling using your legs and back, fine. If you're sitting using your arms and shoulders only --- forget it, it'll never work.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:54 AM
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toglosh is off to buy a wii with wii fit, I see...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:55 AM
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VR glasses! Back on the veldt, people exercised when they were being chased by lions. Now you can too!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:55 AM
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I've discovered a pleasing synergy with running and music, uh, acquiring: I have enormous amounts of music I've never listened to, and now I have built in time to really pay attention to it. Napster for health!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:55 AM
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I'm with 80. TAL, Radio Lab, CBC's "Writers and Company" with Eleanor Wachtel.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:57 AM
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For cardio, you want to hit roughly 80% of your max heart rate

How do you figure out max heart rate? I am so sure that those calculators on the cardio machines are wrong, wrong, wrong, because working at what those set for my 80%, I could go for days without breaking a sweat or getting short of breath -- this was true when I smoked, too. I know I'm not in great shape, so clearly those are not to be trusted?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 10:58 AM
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88: really (and note above addition *max* of 80%) the only way to do it is to measure. You need a doctors visit, a monitor, or learn how to measure your rate with a watch. If you dip below 70% or so (iirc) in your "continuous" period of exercise, you start to sharply lose the (cardio) benefit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:01 AM
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IOW, the calculators are next to useless.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:02 AM
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I should note, though, I'm just basing that on personal experience, not any research. Maybe for lots of people they are pretty accurate. Sounds like not for you, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:03 AM
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I thought the rule of thumb was 'you can talk, but you can't sing.' If you were out of breath enough to be unable to talk, you were working too hard, and if you could sing, not hard enough.

But I never know what my heartrate is. The little grippy sensors on cardio machines don't work for me (that it, I get random looking numbers that jump around more than is possible) and actually taking my pulse seems over the top.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:04 AM
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I think it's very funny that these days, I'm fine at the gym but sitting on the couch watching TV gets me out of breath. (Because of the slumping over and tendency to roll into a ball.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:06 AM
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'you can talk, but you can't sing.'

Heh. Whenever I jog, I can't help but sing cadences to myself. It helps me keep pace, build up lung capacity and relive my youth all at once.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:07 AM
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92: If you seriously want to target cardio, it might be worth considering buying a (cheap, these days) simple monitor. Or borrowing one if you can, a little time with it will give you much more accurate intuition about what is going on.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:07 AM
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Also I'm so with 87 and 80. My shows are TAL, On The Media, and The Stranger. But I keep meaning to sign up for Radio Lab.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:07 AM
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Eh. Worrying too much about my cardiovascular health feels narcissistic. I like setting speed/distance goals, rather than thinking about what the exercise is doing to me.

This is my own weirdness, not intended to apply to anyone else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:09 AM
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RadioLab is totally good stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:09 AM
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i'm with 96/87/80, podcasts are great.


I'll also add the note that if you are in bad cardio shape, actually hitting your max bpm is no fun and even dangerous (if it's bad enough) if you can do it at all. I believe there are tricks to estimate it though. Also, once you've found it once, that's basically it for life in practice. I doesn't really change much.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:10 AM
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This is my own weirdness, not intended to apply to anyone else.

This should be my signature line for all comments.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:11 AM
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If I could afford an iPod, I could afford a monthly subway card, and THEN what would happen to my exercise regime?!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:13 AM
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Worrying too much about my cardiovascular health feels narcissistic.

I can see this, particularly if you talk about acquiring special gear (which as noted is certainly not needed). The thing that is worrying though is that it's entirely possible to have a regular exercise schedule and lousy cardio vascular health, if you do it wrong. Which may leave you with surprising risk for CVD, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:13 AM
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Worrying too much about my cardiovascular health feels narcissistic. I like setting speed/distance goals, rather than thinking about what the exercise is doing to me.

This is kind of odd to me -- I would tend to look at it the other way, where focusing on what feats of speed/distance I can accomplish feels more narcissistic than focusing on general health criteria. (Which isn't to say I don't enjoy the narcissistic reward of accomplishing feats of speed/distance, etc.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:17 AM
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Is there any way of knowing anythjng about one's cardiovascular health, or whether one's exercise schedule is having any effect on it?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:17 AM
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This is kind of odd to me -- I would tend to look at it the other way, where focusing on what feats of speed/distance I can accomplish feels more narcissistic than focusing on general health criteria.

Neither of those is narcissistic, compared to being interested in one's appearance.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:18 AM
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Neither of those is narcissistic, compared to being interested in one's appearance.

Indeed, that's why I had to give up swimming. I'd get to the pool, but then just get so caught up staring at my reflection in the water that I never really got to the workout.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:21 AM
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Indeed, that's why I had to give up swimming. I'd get to the pool, but then just get so caught up staring at my reflection in the water that I never really got to the workout.

"Damn, I look so good that I don't need to workout! Better just hit the steam room."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:23 AM
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"Damn, I look so good that I don't need to workout! Better just hit the steam room."

Also known as oggedercising.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:34 AM
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where focusing on what feats of speed/distance I can accomplish feels more narcissistic than focusing on general health criteria.

Again, my own internal weirdness here, but I'd distinguish between vanity and narcissism. I don't particularly mind feeling vain (I recognize that I'm absurd, given the pathetic little physical feats I do get vain about, but I don't mind being absurd). Getting all detailed about the health stuff feels like navel gazing, though, and that I don't like.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 11:46 AM
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Neither of those is narcissistic, compared to being interested in one's appearance.

I think we need a standard narcissism scale. I propose that wanting/not wanting to have children (choice of polarity left to the reader) be given a Narcissim Coefficient (NC) of 1.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:00 PM
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The real way to attack golf courses is to stop subsidizing their water use. That would kill them all off, public and private. Megan presumably knows more about this.

Golf Week just did a long series on golf courses and water, which I haven't read yet. I do know that they pay for a lot of crucial turf research and snap up a lot of the graduates of my irrigation degree.

what if part of the the WPA-ish stuff Obama proposes includes affordable fitness centers?

Heh. I'll leave work in forty minutes to go run at a park with a WPA -era locker room. It is dingy, but does combine the park and shower and make my life convenient.

And sparked by the thread about democratizing golf, there was an interesting debate at the Parks Commission meeting about who uses fields. Apparently if you put in baseball fields (damn near useless! Infield ruins the whole acre and participation in youth baseball has been in a steady plummet since the fifties), you are de facto turning those resources over to little boys. Soccer fields are the only park field facility that are used equally by boys and girls.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:15 PM
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And soccer fields can be used for Ultimate!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:18 PM
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Baseball fields can be used for softball. I very much doubt that there are as many girls playing soccer as boys, at least from what I observe locally, and this is the women's soccer capital of the world.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:19 PM
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Is there any way of knowing anythjng about one's cardiovascular health, or whether one's exercise schedule is having any effect on it?

It's easier to tell how it's changing. Resting heart rate tells you something. A VO2 max test (if you're in shape for it) would tell you more than you need to know.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:23 PM
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112- I admit that I thought of that.

Our asked the local soccer league (which is a RACKET, let me tell you) for a survey, and the numbers presented at that meeting said that the split is fifty-fifty. They may have lied, but I remember that presentation and I'm sure they told the Parks Commission that their boy and girl leagues are the same size.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:23 PM
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the split is fifty-fifty

Huh. Well, good on California, then.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:29 PM
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The baseball stuff was wierd. I didn't track all of it down, but apparently there's a lingering belief in thecity parks department that baseball is the way to serve urban youths. I guess there was a strong black baseball community here in the fifties and sixties and there are still some adored elder baseball statesmen around. So when the city parks department wants to do something with an urban park, they put in a baseball field for the black kids.

This is a huge waste of resources. Playing fields would be much better. With the new mix, we've got a lot of hispanic soccer types, the Islander rugby folks (two traveling teams from Sac!) and all the southeast Asians playing volleyball. I used to chat with the rugby players some, and threaten to kick all their asses and chase them off our fields. They pretended to be scared of that. (We had paid for the lights, but there was room enough for two if they squished.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:30 PM
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116 - If I remember right, the numbers are even up until age 15. I don't remember what happens at age 15, if the girls drop out or the boys drop out (of the paid local league).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:33 PM
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It's funny how youth sports change. My father talks about growing up in Queens, and there were almost literally no sports other than baseball -- if you had a couple of boys, they were playing some form of baseball or variant. Other sports were for school teams, but not spontaneous.

And now you hardly see anyone playing unorganized baseball, and I live in a Dominican neighborhood, where Little League is still a huge focus. But kids don't do it on their own -- it's LL, or kids being drilled on skills by their parents.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:34 PM
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Megan, It's hard for anyone to publicly be responsible for acknowledging that baseball sucks.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:34 PM
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baseball is the way to serve urban youths

So weird. I thought basketball courts were the stereotypical choice there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:35 PM
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121" Especially with the new mayor of Sacromento.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:37 PM
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I'm mostly surprised that they think of baseball as a way to serve Urban Youth. It requires way more gear than soccer or basketball. If you want to be formal, the kids need cleats and a glove and a bat or two. The league has to own gear too. I mean, they were talking about having a shed onsite for that draggy-thing that skins the infield and bases and stuff. Other sports look way easier to do on the fly.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:38 PM
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I know! Obviously Midnight Basketball is the solution to urban poverty, not baseball. The black-baseball idealism seems to be an odd local legacy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:40 PM
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Recent major league players born in Sacramento:
Larry Bowa 1970-1985
John Bowker 2008-
Rich Chiles 1971-1978
Bobby Clark 1979-1985
Doug Davis 1999-
Mike Fischlin 1977-1987
Bob Forsch 1974-1989
Ken Forsch 1970-1986
Andy Fox 1996-2004
Doug Henry 1991-2001
Joe Inglett 2006-
Nick Johnson 2001-
Brandon League 2004-

and so on, and so on...and a lot of older players and guys who only played a couple seasons...

I don't think any of those above are black, actually.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:40 PM
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Other sports look way easier to do on the fly.

Just look at what sports are actually played world-wide in places where equipment isn't going to happen, and start there.

Something like a basketball court is nearly a one time cost, and certainly has a size advantage over soccer.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:41 PM
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The net gets pulled off the basketball hoops awfully quick, and that is annoying. And the court has to be re-asphalted, which takes more infrastructure than maintaining grass, I think. But this is just devil's advocacy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:43 PM
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what sports are actually played world-wide in places where equipment isn't going to happen

There's a lot of volleyball around too, especially in the asian-am neighborhoods. I keep hoping for sepak takraw, but I haven't seen it yet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:45 PM
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127: You can play without it though, and a lot of urban ones have chain nets.

I'm pretty sure the maintenance costs are a tiny fraction of a soccer pitch. Otoh, you can play pick up soccer on any reasonably flat ground, without nets even, pretty effectively.

More US kids should play shinny.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:46 PM
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Is there any function to the net? It looks better, but I can't see that it adds much to game-play.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:47 PM
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I'm pretty sure the maintenance costs are a tiny fraction of a soccer pitch.

The real efficiency gains happen when you encourage urban youths to take up bare-knuckle boxing. No equipment necessary!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:49 PM
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It makes a very satisfying swishing sound.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:49 PM
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You can play soccer outside in bad weather though. Basketball gets quite changed by dribbling in the rain, let alone snow and ice. Baseball is even more finicky of course.

(not that my youth soccer teams every played in snow and ice...)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:50 PM
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130: It helps the shooter gauge the distance and angle to the rim, and it helps to ascertain whether a shot actually went through the hoop.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:50 PM
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132 to 131.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:50 PM
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They should really attach little tinkle bells around the bottom of the nets, IMO.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:50 PM
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not that my youth soccer teams every played in snow and ice...

We did. It's a bit challenging in the snow if you don't have a colorful ball. Fun though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:51 PM
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The real problem is the fetishization of the dirt diamond on low-level baseball fields, making them unusable for other purposes. They could really just be marked out on spaces that are also used for soccer, and people can risk the occasional slippage on the grass just like they do in other sports.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:51 PM
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134 is true, but it isn't strictly necessary. It also controls the ball a bit, which in a open court in a park, say, can keep you out of the grass a lot.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:52 PM
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138: Having a mount pretty much screws it for multipurpose, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:52 PM
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I'm mostly surprised that they think of baseball as a way to serve Urban Youth. It requires way more gear than soccer or basketball.

Somewhere, Willie Mays is crying.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:53 PM
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erm, mound, i meant.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:53 PM
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141: Stickball seems to have mostly died out. I'm a little surprised, actually. Blame it on MLB sucking?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:54 PM
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143:More, faster, traffic. It was a street game, that worked if you had to scatter to the sidewalks not more than every couple of minutes when a car went by. There's not a lot of urban neighborhoods where that works anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:58 PM
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(That's speculation, but it makes sense to me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 12:59 PM
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Anybody else picture Wayne yelling "CAA-AAR" and Garth answering "CAA-AAR" and picking up the hockey net and walking out of the street, when they read 144?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:00 PM
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144: yeah, but so is shinny (or road, not ice) and that survived the move to the suburbs just fine.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:01 PM
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129.last -> 146


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:01 PM
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GAME ON!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:02 PM
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Yay!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:04 PM
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but so is shinny (or road, not ice) and that survived the move to the suburbs just fine.

You mean no one knew what shinny was in the inner city or outer city?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:06 PM
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151: No, plenty did/do . I mean that it wasn't killed off by new traffic patterns the way LB is suggesting stick ball was. You need a slow traffic street, sure, but even more so than stickball. And these days, that might be easier to find in the burbs than in the cities....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:11 PM
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I think I had whooping cough the day everyone learned to play shinny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:14 PM
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whooping cough and too southerly a latitude, perhaps.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:15 PM
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Just look at what sports are actually played world-wide in places where equipment isn't going to happen, and start there.

Numerically, cricket, lovely cricket.

By the way, I'm back to 9 minute miles apparently, bastards.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:17 PM
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Numerically, cricket, lovely cricket.

cricket and football (soccer) I'd expect.

I wonder if US style stickball kept cricket from ever really taking off here (or, cynically, was it avoidance of a meaningful world series that would probably be lost?).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:19 PM
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I can't believe you're all waiting for Obama to build health clubs when you could just get exercise by building health clubs in the third world for Oxfam.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:19 PM
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157 - Obama belonged to my gym before he was elected president. Therefore, I'm hoping that eliminating overcrowding at the Columbia Heights Washington Sports Club is his #2 priority for after he takes office, right behind reforming the college football playoff system.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:31 PM
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155: I, personally, am perfectly happy to run my sad little ten minute miles, and regard anyone who runs faster as narcissistic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:33 PM
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I can't believe you're all waiting for Obama to build health clubs when you could just get exercise by building health clubs in the third world for Oxfam.

You know who has done more for physical fitness in the developing world than all the Democrats and charities combined? Private Enterprise, that's who! And you know who else? The U.S. Army!


Posted by: Generic Red Blogger | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:33 PM
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And you know who else? The U.S. Army!

It appears the Army has learned from its mistakes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 1:36 PM
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My son seems to manage to get into a game of football (soccer - whatever) whenever he's at the park. All you need's a ball - can't get any easier than that.

One of our local parks has added what seems to be a tennis court next to the basketball court - tarmac, with a metal fence for a net. Not seen that before.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 2:44 PM
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159: That's setting the tread mill at 6! That is speedy for short little me! I consider myself in top form when I set the treadmill at 6 and run for an hour. Now I am sad . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 2:49 PM
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tarmac, with a metal fence for a net.

I've seen a bunch of these. They work ok, for a while. The problem is, far more so than basketball, tennis needs a decent surface to play. That, and it's not so great for generall access as you need gear which wears out relatively quickly (and very quickly if you aren't careful with it).

football/soccer is great from that point of view.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 2:50 PM
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You know who has done more for physical fitness in the developing world than all the Democrats and charities combined? : China!

Wait, that wasn't what he meant, I suspect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 2:51 PM
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I can't even run a mile any more, and I'm really sad but I used to love it. I was working on a 5 minute mile when I hurt my ankle jumping down stairs when running drunk. Let that be a lesson to all you youngsters about jumping down stairs when running drunk.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:01 PM
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When running drunk, seek level surfaces. Check!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:13 PM
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level, soft surface if possible.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:23 PM
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Perhaps lying down, and sort of kicking one's feet vaguely as if running, like dogs do when they're dreaming, would be safest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:24 PM
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169 sounds like something that would make me puke.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:25 PM
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170: we'll call it "the surge"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:27 PM
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It's really fulfilling to have this kind of effect on the youth of America


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:29 PM
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not self-regarding at all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 3:31 PM
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what sports are actually played world-wide in places where equipment isn't going to happen

Football, then cricket. (Cricket mainly in India/Pakistan.)

Note that rugby fucks pitches up no end, and that getting decent cricket wickets going is a mission.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 4:08 PM
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Re max heart rates: I looked into this at one point, and what I remember is that those machines commonly use one of several formulae that predict MHR as a function of age (presumably you were asked to input your age when you started your workout). And while these formulae all do a decent job of predicting the mean MHR at a given age, there is a pretty big variability around that mean. So it's acknowledged that there's a reasonable likelihood of a formula-based estimate being way off.

There are several ways to get better estimates. A stress test is apparently best, but requires a trip to the doctor. There are also some "maximal exertion" tests where you wear an HR monitor while running as hard as you can up a hill or something, and then take the max heart rate you reached as your MHR, but a book I have warns of these tests: "these exhausting methods are not recommended for unfit runners."

I believe I've also seen somewhere that an accurate way to get a good MHR estimate is to measure your resting heart rate, which is best determined immediately after you wake up (without an alarm, so you're not startled), and then use a formula to determine MHR as a function of that and some other stuff. But I can't remember where I saw that.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:13 PM
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re: 175

I did one of those maximal exertion tests. I also tried a couple of sub-maximal ones: where you exercise at a fixed intensity for a given time and then measure your heart rate at the end.

Basically each time I went to the gym for a week or two I slotted in one of the tests [I found a website and just printed out the instructions]. *

I compared them with the various formulas that calculate MHR from a function of age and resting heart rate.

TBH, they all came out with broadly similar numbers. With the 220- age formula being the least 'accurate'.

* I'm not normally that anal. It was just a way of making cardio interesting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:18 PM
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I believe I've also seen somewhere that an accurate way to get a good MHR estimate is to measure your resting heart rate

This one doens't make a lot of sense to me, unless you've got a good feel for your baseline cardio fitness already. Resting rate changes a lot with increased cardio strength. MHR doesn't change much at all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:24 PM
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On the "measuring fitness" front, I've read that measuring your recovery heart rate (the rate of decrease of your heart rate following cessation of exercise) is a more reliable measure of your cardiac fitness than your resting HR. But I'm not an expert in this stuff, so grain of salt and all that.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:30 PM
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177: Yeah, I can't remember where that method was slotted into the hierarchy of reliability, but I think I remember reading somewhere that it was thought to be better than 220-age.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:32 PM
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max rate isn't hard to find, if you've got a reliable method of measuring. But that means a monitor or learn how to do it with a watch, and actually do it. If you're out of shape, you don't want to push that hard, so there are tricks for estimating from sub-max rates, but I forget the details.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:34 PM
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I like how we're filling this thread with vague recollections of sports and exercise science factoids. I'll try another: I think I read somewhere that measuring your VO_2max is one of the most reliable ways to determine all your training paces, but I'm unsure if that applies to lactate threshold training as well and how VO_2max training relates the HR training.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 5:50 PM
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Omnibus reply in the style of Larry King:

Target heat rate is a function of resting heart rate, age, and how hard you want to push yourself. 165 is a comfortable target. Chest strap heart sensors (eg Polar) are great.

One popular variation on cardio is high intensity intervals (hiit) where you aim to get into the anaerobic zone for two minutes, back off, repeats.

A cardio stress test will count and inspect the quality of your heartbeat. A (cardio-)pulmonary stress test measuring vo2max is more informative.

If you are lacking motivation, join a cult like CrossFit. And post your WOD scores.

I don't use headphones for exercise because I tend to turn them up (if I am moving at all I need a louder volume than if I'm sitting still). They will make me deaf and old, and my technique will suffer. A good loud CD on the apartment gym stereo was fine. Anything less than _Better Living Through Chemistry_ (Fatboy Slim) would put me to sleep.

If you run faster than LizardB, you're in OK shape.

With moderate freeweights and good technique, you can give yourself a great 10 to 20 minute aerobic workout. Swing kettlebells !

I used to read study sheets on the stairmaster; then I read the captions on the TVs. Conan was much better than Craig Kilborn. Now it's the 8 talking heads of (C,MS)NBC.

If you can find a consumer rights barrister to grandfather you into at the head of the queue, vote them into congress, assuming he is fit.

Ray Suarez (The Old Neighborhood) says landscaped parks with contours and shubs to obstruct non-league ball games are SWPL.


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Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 01- 6-09 9:51 PM
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