Willie Nelson and Fitness


By Moe Johnson

San Marcos — Last Tuesday was the day that most people made their resolutions for the New Year, but it seems that the carry over of the topic goes on all week. Newspapers, televisions talk shows, comics, and late night jokes are still going strong.

Statistics recently mentioned that 46 percent of the people make resolutions and that only 8 percent of them are ever completed. While the resolution to stop smoking is near the top of the list, the effort to become more fit is also up there.

It may seem a little strange, but a book I am reading has some very sound advice — or philosophy — on life that lends a positive outlook that can be applied to gaining a new approach to fitness. I mention the fact that it might seem a little strange in that the book is Willie Nelson’s “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

Willie is very big on fitness and the fact that he is still putting in the miles on the road and working around the clock lends some fact to this.

He used to enter road races and I’m not sure if he invented a golf game for fitness folks, but it is different than the one we watch on television. The winner is the person that can run 18 holes the fastest and by adding the number of strokes and the running time determines the winner. Fastest runner with the fewest strokes is the winner and gets to buy the beer.

This is definitely a game for a fit golfer.

Willie has some interesting points that he makes in the book that fit a person making a resolution for improving fitness needs to think about. The one comment that made sense to me was, “Our body: it is the only one we get this lifetime, and we will be judged by how we treat it.”

He follows that up with, “The better we treat our bodies, the longer, healthier the life we will have and the more we will be able to do for the world and ourselves.”

Willie points out, “You get back what you give.”

Participating in a fitness program for yourself — whether you are already in a good lifestyle of fitness or just starting one — the benefits are very positive in their results. The more consistent and regular you are the better the results, as Willie said, “You get back what you give.”

This seems like good advice from a famous singer and songwriter from Texas.

Another quote that Willie points out, and has been mentioned in various ways on numerous talk shows on resolutions is, “Failure is not fatal. It’s inevitable that you learn from mistakes. If you fail, you start over. If you fail again, you start over again. If you fail seven times, get up eight.”

This is brought out over and over again from many experts that a person needs to think of a fitness program as a lifetime practice. If you quit seven times, the correct response to that problem is that you start over again eight times.

One other statement that Willie makes that will help a person achieve a goal is, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you will start having positive results.”

The key to making a fitness program work is that you need to focus on the positive results and forget the small setbacks that may occur now and then. It may seem that some of the positive results are much less evident than the negative ones, but that is the time to remember to focus on the positive, or good outcomes, even if they are small at the time. Eventually, the positive and good benefits will be more prominent and larger than the negative ones and the healthful and fit lifestyle will be a part of life.

One commentator mentioned that the first week is the most difficult one, the second week is easier and by the third week things are part of a daily routine. Some experts think that it takes the body roughly two weeks to adjust to a program of fitness. After two weeks a new and more difficult effort can be attempted for another two weeks.

It is a good guideline to follow with “the more you give the more you get back.”

Willie Nelson has some sound advice for a lot of people to follow.

Dr. Maurice Johnson is a former professor at Texas State University in the Department of Health and Exercise Science. His column appears every Sunday in the Daily Record.


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