Mark Found Inspiration Close to Home

This article is part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three members of the WebMD team as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their travels here.

By Mark Spoor

During 3 weeks of my healthier 2021 (which actually started at the end of 2020) things were going well. I had taken 21 Peloton cycling classes, learned a lot about stretching and flexibility, cleaned up my diet a bit and started to see measurable results.

Then I went to my 14 year old daughter’s team training.

My daughter is on a very competitive travel softball team. How competitive? They have team training in mid-January when it’s … what’s the word I’m looking for … oh yeah –frozen.

Anyway, one of the other dads on the team is the head football coach of a local high school, so the girls can work out in the school’s weight room. The place is great and has all the amenities you might expect from a major university.

As I sat in a comfortable chair with the other parents to watch these kids prove themselves, I watched my daughter and her wonderful teammates go from gossip-hungry and social media-hungry teenagers to focused aspiring athletes. , fearless.

I sat in amazement as my daughter worked thick and heavy ropes with all the confidence and swagger of someone with an endorsement contract. She ran through fairly high jumps like she was playing hopscotch, then jumped rope like in an 80s movie montage.

That’s when I said to myself: “You can do more, old man.”

And then I did.

It started with the socially distant meal that the team and parents enjoyed after training. (If there’s one thing softball parents love to do, it’s eat out.) While everyone munched on fries and salsa, I waited for my meal, sipping a glass of tea. unsweetened (or, as my friends and family in the North call it, “iced tea”). The meal itself? Grilled shrimp, onions, peppers, cilantro, lime rice and yes, a little spicy queso.

Dessert? No thanks, I’m fine.

The next morning as I got on the bike, I decided to forgo the normal beginner ride and try the longer, harder, more advanced beginner hike. The biggest differences? During this sweatfest, you get in and out of the seat during the ride, which you don’t do in beginner classes.

It takes coordination, my friends – something that I’m not fortunate enough to be in abundance.

The intensity also increases. After all, you need to increase the resistance to keep the bike stable when you get up from the seat. Then when you sit down, to my surprise, the resistance stays in place. At the end of the 30 minutes, I was sweating.

But you know what? I did it. The next day I did it again, with a 10 minute core workout. The battle for flexibility continues, but I’m making progress there too.

Laura Downey, a colleague of mine who is on her own 2021 Better Health Journey, recently asked me to do a live Peloton lesson with her soon. Hey, Laura. I am almost ready to try it. Maybe we can integrate Cheer-Dad Bill too!

After completing that first 30 minute ride, I was so proud of myself that I reached out to the instructor on Twitter and thanked him for the lessons.

Yeah, I really thanked him for the torture.

After doing that, I tried to think of a way to thank my daughter for her inspiration that wouldn’t result in an eye roll or a growl (a tough question when you have a teenager). Hope it worked.

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