TIME TO BOARD

June 7, 2011 Read: James 4

"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." --James 4:14

Last week, while on my way to do an interview with Guideposts Magazine in New York, I found myself stranded at the airport. No flights coming or going, I settled into my corner of the gate area and watched others do the same. Turns out, airports are to a writer what open car windows are to my chocolate lab Josey; an overload on the senses.

As I sat there, I watched my fellow travelers as they took ownership of their waiting space. One lady turned a few open seats into a makeshift office. Another man used the floor for a picnic. I thought I'd seen it all until a young couple installed a mailbox and rolled-out a welcome home mat. Their address: 2 Behereforever Lane.

Okay, so maybe the young couple didn't exactly make the waiting area their front porch, but you and I sure do. We claim what's ours, deadbolt our belongings, and even though we're not, we make ourselves at home.

Truth is, we're not here to stay and our wait isn't all that long. But instead of seeing the brevity of life as encouragement to stay strong and healthy, we rationalize since it's not gonna last, why bother? But we have to remind ourselves that we don't do good things in order to be loved, we do them because we are. (If only we saw our health that way.)

So, after a five-hour delay, it was finally time to board. I began packing up my things when a little girl holding her father's hand walked by and asked, "Daddy, will there be someone waiting for us?" And while I didn't hear the father's reply, I do know the answer. And because of that, I think the best we can do is wait and live abundantly like God intended...and be ready when it's finally time to board.

--J.P.

TREADMILL: BACKWARDS PROGRESS? How a new study is redefining how to use this staple piece of gym equipment

While most of us would just as soon ignore the treadmill, it is still one of the most basic and essential pieces of gym equipment around. But are we using it optimally?

A new study, released at the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) annual meeting, found that those who pedaled backward on treadmills and elliptical machines gained greater quadriceps and hamstring strength and had greater aerobic capacity than those who went forward.

The study will require larger samples to measure but the results are encouraging for those rehabilitating injuries as well as those returning from a long layoff that need to build strength and endurance quickly. The most obvious caveat is that backwards walking, at least in the beginning, should be done using the provided safety handles until you are more sure-footed with the chosen equipment.

For the full story, click here.

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