Thursday, May 21, 2015

Alex Rodriguez goes to college -- and to Washington

Mr. Rodriguez goes to Washington.
I was on the phone with Squawker Jon yesterday, and I mentioned that Alex Rodriguez was over at Capitol Hill. Jon's flippant response: "What? Is he having to testify?"

I said that A-Rod was trying to be a better person, expanding his mind and visiting historic places (Alex also went to Georgetown during the Yankees' time in Washington, D.C.) To which Jon said: "If A-Rod is trying to be a better person, watching Congress isn't the way to go." Heh.

Incidentally, Jon is also mocking me for making a reference to "Doctor Who" and talking about the tartlette. But I digress.

Anyhow, one of the more (some would say the only!) endearing things I think Rodriguez has going for him is his obsession with college. Pretty much every city he has ever been in, he goes to visit the local college campus. Rodriguez may have talent, fame, and lots of money, but he really hungers for the university experience. As revealed in "The Education of Alex Rodriguez," that huge ESPN article about him last Februrary, he even took a college marketing course last year at the University of Miami to get the college experience. I wrote this back in February about his interest in higher education:

The article has a bunch of stirring moments, and him visiting 40 (!) college campuses over the years to soak in college life was especially poignant, and made me appreciate my own college degree more than ever. These sentences really struck me: "Readings and lectures and bookstores are his guilty pleasures. Especially bookstores. You can go in, he says, have a cup of coffee, and for an hour or two pretend you're smart." No wonder he has been so easily led by people who don't have his best interests at heart -- because he doesn't trust his own brains.
A-Rod at Georgetown
Good for A-Rod. And I hope he continues to expand his mind and show that intellectual curiosity we have gotten to see as of late. It took guts for him to go take a class with kids half his age, and to keep on doing it after he flunked the first test. (He ended up with a B in the class.)

Who knows? Maybe he will go back to college and get a degree when he retires. It is never too late!

Change is hard. It can be much easier to stay the way we are, even if it means we are stagnating by doing so. But change can also make us better people. Personal growth is a good thing!

I know this from personal experience. It was easier for me to stay fat and eat whatever I wanted and go home at quitting time instead of working out, as opposed to exercising and losing weight. It was only when staying the same started to have real-life repercussions that I got off the couch. And making the changes I have had to do in my fitness journey has been a struggle.

For example, the other night, I did speed work on the track for the first time ever. It was an event my running club does every Tuesday, and it was the first time I had the guts to show up. I was terrified to go. Putting myself out there on display, when I am still as slow as molasses and not fit and trim the way they are, was hard. Plus, I still can't make it around the track without having to walk for part of it.

But I did what we were all supposed to do -- running three laps on the track, doing a recovery lap, and then doing the cycle again two more times. I still had to walk part of it, but I was able to move faster than I ever have in my life, short of sprinting for the Staten Island Ferry when the 1 train was late. I felt like I was going to throw up, but I did it.

When I finished, I felt completely exhausted, but I had a big smile on my face for the rest of the evening. That's what I have to keep on reminding myself whenever I get scared in this fitness journey -- how good I will feel when I do something that I didn't think I could do!

One other personal note: in case you were wondering, my weight loss has accelerated since the Guideposts article. Now that pretty much every single person in my life, including everyone in my workplace, knows about my weight struggles, I really can't afford to slip up!

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