Mixing it up

| October 01, 2010

Walking is simple. It is convenient and easy. When the shipper tells you it is going to take an hour to load you, think of it as an opportunity to take a walk. Unless it is hot outside you probably won’t get all sweaty and need a shower right away. I enjoy a good walk.

I consider myself a runner-first exerciser. It’s my favorite form of exercise. It is uncomplicated. Put your shoes on and go. Running gives me a sense of freedom. Different thoughts pass through as I run. Can I run further than I did last week? Can I run up a hill that I couldn’t before? The one that I always get though is what a privilege it is to run.

Biking is something I always have enjoyed. Think back to when you first mastered two wheels. It expanded your world. I put a bike on my truck for the first time this year. Once again it has expanded my world. Scott Grenerth turned me on to cycle tourism. Scott uses his bike to find places and see things. The world is no longer limited to a 5 mile radius of the truck stop.

A few weeks ago a shipper in Geneva, Ill., told me that it would be at least 4 hours before they even started loading me. I wasn’t happy. Shippers’ indifference for our time is the bane or the drivers’ existence. Well, at least I saw the Illinois Prairie Path just down the road from the shipper. So I got my bike together and went for a ride in search of adventure and lunch.

I rode past downtown West Chicago and eventually found a spot where the trail was impassable due to flooding. So much for adventure; it was time to look for lunch. I bypassed all of the fast food chains and found a wonderful storefront Mexican place.

Each form of exercise has its advantages and disadvantages. Everyone has a favorite exercise. Don’t limit yourself to that. Today’s elite marathoners run fewer miles than the marathoners of the past. They cross train more. They are faster and have longer careers. If we mix up our exercise maybe we will last longer too.

Jeff Clark is a trucker, a grandfather and an eight-time marathon (26.2 miles) finisher. He is dedicated to helping truckers improve their health through better habits. Contact him at marathontrucker@yahoo.com or http://www.twitter.com/marathontrucker.

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