At Glen Rock High School in the 1980s, I had a gym/health teacher named H. Rogers Muse, who had also taught my mother when she was at Teaneck High School in the ’60s. The appropriately-named Mr. Muse said something during one of those classes which I’m amazed stuck with me, since it’s not something most people that age would feel the urge to retain.
He said, “You have to be selfish about your health.”
Mr. Muse passed away in the ’90s, and I wonder if that’s carved on his tombstone. It certainly ought to be carved in stone somewhere.
I’m not sure any of us – at any age – are selfish enough about our health. After all, you’re the only one who can have the bad manners and the lousy attitude to actually insist on what’s best for your well-being, even if that isn’t always an easy thing to do. But when it comes to taking care of yourself, in 2017 it is pretty darned easy… even if you live life Rock ‘N Roll.
Up until relatively recently, paying the piper after the party was almost a part-time job. And as for “staying in shape” in general, well… the great boxer Bernard Hopkins – who fought like a beast into his 50s – points out that when he was starting out there was no Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s certainly wasn’t on the East Coast in ’88. And I know I’m not the only one who even these days is too lazyImeanBUSY… too busy to go to those places most of the time. But I can have fresh produce delivered to my house. And it’s actually cheaper to have dietary staples delivered, if you commit to doing that.
In my late 20s and early 30s, when I was unknowingly eating “the wrong things” most of the time, I had to work out like a fiend in order to feel decent. Now, more than a decade later, I feel tremendous – and I’m only in the gym about 5 hours per week. You’ve probably heard that 80% of good health is good nutrition, and only 20% is exercise. I can confirm that. With the good food coming to me, I can quite easily play and work my ass off!
So please, make Mr. Muse proud. Be selfish about your health.