Classmates and Fellow Almost Senior Citizens,
The “1987 OCWS Money Talks Fitness Challenge” came to me in a blinding flash of the obvious.
I’m at the doctor’s the other day, nothing serious, just a physical to start the school year, and after they stick an insta-read thermometer in my ear, they ask me to hop up on the scale. Well, I haven’t done much hopping lately, side-straddle or otherwise, but I comply to the best of my ability, and the way the dial starts spinning, I expect it to come up 7-7-7 and start spitting out tokens. When it finally comes to a rest, the number looks more like something associated with a new BMW coupe than the number of pounds that a human should weigh on Earth.
“I’m sorry,” I say, “it must be set on ‘metric’ or something. Should I try again? Maybe if I take my shoes off we’ll get a better number. Plus, I just ate, right before coming over here… Thanksgiving dinner, that is. With Grandma’s famous lead-based gravy.”
“Let’s talk about lifestyle choices…” the doctor says to me in a concerned voice.
My dad always said, there are only two ways that we learn: pain and money. You touch the hot burner on the stove top, and you quickly learn not to do it again. You buy the latest gadget from Ronco after watching the three-in-the-morning infomercial, and when you see your Visa bill, you wonder why an inside-the-egg-scrambler seemed like such a good idea at the time.
But combining pain and money… now, THAT’s the ticket. Especially if both are going to a good cause: getting back into fighting shape and helping our class gift campaign. And personally, money never fails as a motivator, especially the part about giving it away. Lose a pound or lose a dollar… if you’re like me, you’ll see me at the gym, on the road, on the track, or strapped to some contraption with an oxymoronic name like “Lifecyle” in a heartbeat.
For those of you like me, I am proposing the first (and I’m hoping, the last) 1987 Money Talks Fitness Challenge. (Last, I hope, because we’re all going to make it stick.)
I am proposing that you set your own weekly goals for a 12 week program starting on 11 Aug. Your goal could be pounds, percent body fat, 5K run time, or any measurable goal. Everyone sets their own goals, so do what you want. Then, commit to doing whatever you have been saying for years that you should be doing. Every week that you fail to meet your goal, you pledge to donate $20 or more to the class gift campaign. Set whatever amount will motivate you. My goal is to stop the slot machine wheel by losing a pound per week or it will cost me $20.
As the class fund raiser, I hope to make no money for the class gift. I would prefer to see us all get in better shape, preferably something other than round. If you would like to participate, you are on your honor, but I would like everyone participating to share your stories, so that I can compile a submission for a future Assembly article detailing number of participants, pounds lost, miles ran, or any other quantifiable goal, along with dollars raised.
To avoid any potential lawsuits, I advise anyone who has not exercised for years to consult a physician before you begin your program. And please, no wagering!
So as to not overwhelm the open mailing list, please share your goals on the forum
or on the class webpage. I’m not sure how to use this, but I promise to have my 11 year old daughter explain it to me.
Our Country We Strengthen
USMA ’87 VP