By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
St. Ambrose University History Professor Larry Skillin is a deep thinker. And sometimes when his alarm goes off in the morning, he thinks, “Do I really want to get up?”
Next thing you know, it’s 6:30 and time to get ready for school, not the gym.
He’s not happy when he misses out.
“If I don’t get to it in the morning, it’s not going to happen,” he says. “It sets the tone for the day and boosts my discipline.”
Larry played football through middle school, and baseball through high school.
He says he didn’t get serious about physical fitness until college, though, when he was challenged during a gym class to lower his body fat index.
“I didn’t succeed,” Larry laughs. “But the seed got planted and it got me going to the gym.”
Even though Larry is far from retirement, he says he and his wife like to stay active. One motivation is that they want to avoid mobility issues later. Another is a bi-annual vacation to the shore with his wife’s parents.
I get it. Swimsuit season anxiety is not just for women!
So when Larry doesn’t over sleep, he’s at the YMCA next to me at 5 a.m. First, the hits a cardio machine for 30 minutes. Next, he lifts weights, which is where I leave him when I head to the shower. As I walk out, I see him back on the elliptical, where he tells me he puts in another 30 minutes.
While Larry spends more time on cardio work, he says that lifting has become almost more important. He rotates his lifting, doing upper body, arms, abs and legs on different days.
“I am perfectly willing to start at laughably low weights,” says Larry. “I’ve got a tortoise mentality.”
He carries a clipboard with him so he can remember his routines.
Larry admits to having one more key motivation. He quotes an old high school coach when he says, “I work out so I can eat.”
Ah, the words of a youngster. I practiced that approach till it was clear – or at least finally clear to me – that the scale was winning. I’ve got a few years on Larry, though. He’s got time to change.
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|