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Mar 28 2014

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Paradigm Shift

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As I grow older (gasp!), and perhaps a little more mature (double gasp!), I’m experiencing a shift in my thinking.

I was born in 1978, so I was a kid in the 80s. My heroes were Rocky, Rambo (yes, I know it’s the same guy), Conan the Barbarian, and Dutch from Predator (again, yes, I realize it’s the same guy in both movies). The point is, in the 80s, our beefcake heroes were big and muscular.

I always wanted to be big and strong. Isn’t that how we convince our kids to eat their vegetables? “Don’t you want to grow up big and strong?”

What’s the first thing you ask of a little boy? “Show me your muscles!” It’s the ideal. For girls it’s, “Aren’t you pretty?”

This isn’t going to be a discussion on gender bias or gender roles, or anything as heavy as that, but rather how a 35 year old man in 2014 is beginning to realize that becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t just NOT realistic, it’s not even preferable.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but love for the Governator. Born a little Austrian with great genes (and eventually access to great steroids), he is literally a self-made man. Talk about the American dream. Look at this pic, there’s a reason he earned the nickname Austrian Oak.

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How many Austrian boys have grow up to become multi-millionaire, movie star Governors?

Now look at this guy. Do you recognize him right away?

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This is Jack Lalanne. He’s awesome!

I’ve admired this guy my whole life, too, but not in the same way. Their approaches to fitness have always been different. Arnold picks things up and puts them down, and Jack juices and does push ups, and swims a lot. Arnold’s heart exploded at 50 (not really, he had valve replacement surgery), and Jack celebrated his 65th birthday by swimming a mile tethered to 65 boats. He upped the feat five years later when he towed 70 boats on his 70th.



It’s the difference between power lifting and cardio/aerobics. I’ve always been a bigger guy, and I admit I’m drawn to the weights. I can hear them calling my name from way over on the treadmill. Finding the right mix has always been my challenge.

Anyway, the moral of this story is that 2014 is the year of Jack for me. More biking, running, hiking, cardio – with a mix of lighter weight/body weight/higher repetition exercises.

My body fat percentage has already dropped almost 2% in the past two months. Let’s see what happens if I keep this up! I really want to be the one who takes my grandkids to Baxter peak for the first time.

Do you have a fitness role model? If you’re a girl, is there anyone you always wanted to look like, and/or do you feel limited by the Barbie doll expectation?

About the author

BigCalfGuy

BigCalfGuy

I am a 39 year old, married, father of three amazing children; one of whom has autism. I fancy myself as more Atticus Finch than Holden Caulfield. Dynamite with a laser beam.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bigcalfguy.com/paradigm-shift/

2 comments

  1. Christie

    I grew up watching my mother watch Jack, look at her, incredible at 80 plus… You have good genes honey ! Best approach is cardio and light weights. As always, love your Post

    1. BigCalfGuy
      BigCalfGuy

      Nana is in great shape for her age. I can only hope I’m that lucky.

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