Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

By Daniel Rubio, RMU Student. 

This morning, as I was waking up to go to my personal training session, I realized how important it is to work out, especially for me. A few years ago, I got to my heaviest at 340 pounds and couldn’t believe it. I was never self-conscious about my weight, but after two knee surgeries I decided I needed to make a conscious effort to lose weight; not for physical appearance, but for health unnamedreasons. One thing I have to say is I could not have made a better choice. Not only do I workout because it makes my happy, but I workout because I can. Initially, it’s easy to view exercise as a chore. Consider this instead: Exercise is a blessing. Not only do you have the knowledge and the means to exercise, but you’ve been given a body that is strong.

Eventually, I will most likely need a knee replacement, but I have found that strengthening my leg muscles makes my knee feel 100 times better. For me, it’s critical to get outside the house and engage in low impact activities such as walking, swimming, golfing, and kayaking. You might also bicycle on flat terrain, or use a stationary bike. Aside from the calorie-burning benefits of exercise, being outside and active helps elevate your mood.

Exercise is only part of an overall strategy to maintain a healthy weight. I consider it more of a part of a lifestyle change. For example, some people find posterdramatic results by skipping late night meals or eliminating refined sugars. Analyzing one’s eating habits can help understand how they contribute or undermine weight management goals. But, diets often fail. They do nothing to change long-term eating habits and they frequently contribute to a feeling of failure. Do not fall victim to this. Diets do not work, life changes do.

Weight loss can take some time, but with the right mindset of dedication, you can reach your goals. I have lost 100 lbs. I will continue to work, and by doing this, I will take pressure off my knee. I have found that setting small, realistic goals has proven to be a great success. Each week’s goals should lead into next week’s. One positive change leads to another.


iPhone 5-8-13 001

By Paul Gaszak, English Faculty

On Tuesday, I took advantage of the beautiful weather by going for a run to my local park. When I arrived, I took a break on the basketball court and took a picture of the hoop with the pond in the background.

And at this moment, I made a decision.

When I was 21, my dad and I would walk in the evening to the park where I spent countless days and nights playing basketball. We would shoot around and then I would spend the remaining daylight pursuing my goal:


I’m not exactly built to dunk. I’m 5’10”, over 200lbs, and I have the wingspan of a T-Rex. However, I was (and I suppose I still am) a deceptively good athlete, meaning people are surprised I have any athletic ability at all.

Explosive jumping ability was not born into me, but I was still very close to my goal. I could grab the rim, and I could get high enough to jam the ball into the rim, but not through it. I was mere inches away, but by my mid-20s, I declared myself “too old” to accomplish this feat and accepted that I would simply never dunk.

On Tuesday, I changed my mind:

I am going to dunk.

Of course, I recognize how counterintuitive (ie: ridiculous) this sounds. If I couldn’t dunk during my “athletic prime” when  I played basketball constantly, then what chance do I have now, particularly since I was only able to hit the backboard on Tuesday?

I have a good chance, but I base my odds more on my mind than my body.

One of the charming aspects of teaching college is being around bright, enthusiastic young people who are pursuing their dreams. It is refreshing when students declare what they want and believe with every ounce of their being that things will turn out that way. I was one of those students at 21. I used to say I would be a rich and famous writer by the age of 25. Nothing made me believe otherwise, except for turning 26. (I’m kind of a famous writer now, though. How many ‘LIKES’ does the Flaneur’s Turtle have on Facebook?)

I was a fairly typical 21-year-old. I worked hard – I was going to school full-time during the day and working full-time during the night – but still, my concept of “hard work” was lackluster, and my concept of how to make dreams happen was clearly and lazily off the mark.

And my quest to dunk proves that.

Ten years later, I realize that some training (particularly plyometrics) would have gotten younger me over the rim to my goal in a few months, or even sooner. That’s how close I was. But I didn’t identify my goal, figure out the solution, and then dedicate myself to carrying out the plan.

At 21, a few inches seemed insurmountable. I had myself convinced that I was working hard at my goals and dreams, but if I couldn’t do something with relative ease, I either didn’t try or gave up.

At 31, an entire foot seems inevitable. If I’m far away from my goal, I’ll figure out how to achieve it, and the hard work will just make the payoff sweeter.

To achieve goals, to make dreams come true, to have something special in your life – it takes hard work, dedication, commitment, and sacrifice. It takes figuring out how to make things work and then ACTUALLY trying to make them work.

If 21-year-old Paul had honestly bought into that philosophy, I would have dunked a decade ago. But now I have bought in, and that’s what gives me a shot to throw it down.