By Jerry Mooney
Do you ever think that maybe you should try a little harder to be more active in your life? Even though we all know that leading an active lifestyle with plenty of exercise is the best way to stay fit and healthy, there are still a few people out there who aren’t putting in as much effort as perhaps they should. Do you think that you are one of them? In that case, you might need to look for some great inspiration to help you get off the couch.
One of the best places to look for inspiration is the world of sport. There are so many inspiring sports men and women out there, all of whom we should look up to when it comes to getting fit and healthy. Ready to be inspired by some truly excellent players and athletes? Read on for more!
If you ask anyone who the most inspiring American sportsman in history is, they might mention Pat Tillman. Unfortunately, his story is a sad one. He started his American football career with the Arizona Cardinals. However, after just his fourth season with the team, he enlisted in the American army. He decided to change his career path after being deeply affected by the events of 9/11. Unfortunately, only two years after joining up, he was killed in action in Afghanistan. Still to this day, though, Tillman’s memory lives on and he is often quoted as being one of the most inspiring and patriotic football players that America has ever seen.
It’s impossible to think about tennis without thinking about the two Williams sisters. These are two of the best-known tennis players that have ever been, and when you look back at their careers there is no wonder why. Just take Venus Williams for example. Thanks to her brilliant strength, determination, and achievement, she has helped to change the face of women’s tennis for the better. Her serve reached the 100 miles per hour mark at the tender age of just ten years old! That’s impressive, even for adults! In 1997, she was the very first unseeded player to make it to the finals of an Open. She finally won Wimbledon in 2000 and has been inspiring young girls to make it in the world of tennis ever since!
When you are buying the best baseball gloves, you might want to look for a pair from a brand that was popular with a favorite player. Well, why not look for the brand of gloves that Josh Hamilton used to wear? He has played for a number of different clubs over the years, including the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and the Angeles Angels of Anaheim. However, his career has had its own ups and downs, including a set back after he suffered from a drug addiction. Those down times haven’t been enough to completely derail Hamilton, though, and he continues to work as a professional baseball player and still inspires many fans to this very day!
You might have heard quite a bit about Caster Semenya as she has been in the news for the past couple of years. This South African runner is one of the world’s best middle-distance runners. She even won the gold medal for the 800 metres at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. However, Semenya has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. It is widely believed that Semenya suffers from hyperandrogenism which means that she has very high levels of testosterone in her body. This makes her much faster than her fellow female competitors. Because of this, there have been many calls for her to take hormone treatments or to stop competing as she has an unfair advantage. But Semenya isn’t going to let any of this negativity from her competitors get her down and she continues to compete to this day. Her attitude in such adverse situations is something that everyone should aspire to!
Muhammad Ali has to be one of the most famous boxers ever. He was also one of the best that ever stepped into a ring as well! He was the heavyweight champion of the world and at the height of his career was a complete legend in the ring. His fights against George Foreman and Joe Frazier were some of the most hotly anticipated that have ever been in the world of boxing. But it’s not just Ali’s fantastic sporting achievements that we should admire and look up to – he was also a very generous philanthropist as well! In fact, he was such a great philanthropist, that he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Sadly, Ali died in 2016 after suffering from Parkinson’s for his last couple of decades.
Of course, there are some sports people out there who have to overcome some very serious health conditions. Sometimes, disabilities or illnesses can completely sidetrack someone’s career, but there are others out there who are so strong that they are able to get their career right back on track. Just take Bethany Hamilton as an example. She grew up in Hawaii and her family were always very keen surfers. Unfortunately, though, Hamilton was viciously attacked by a shark at the age of 13. Thankfully, she managed to escape with her life, but she lost an arm in the attack. That didn’t stop Hamilton wanting to make a career for herself in the world of surfing, though. She managed to keep on surfing, despite her disability. Only two years after her devastating attack, she managed to compete in the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships. She came first in the whole competition and was able to tell her inspiring story to a wider audience as a result.
Hopefully, the athletes mentioned above can really inspire you to get out there and be a bit more active in your life. It’s never too late to start with sport – there’s still time to be a champion!
By Lina Martinez
The thought of spending every Saturday coaching a team of eight-year-olds of varying abilities may fill you with dread. However, helping out with your child’s baseball, soccer or football team might be more worthwhile than you think. You might work hard during the week and value the downtime you have at the weekend, but that is more reason to volunteer. You don’t see your kids much from Monday to Friday, so it might pay to spend a few hours on Saturday morning with your kid’s little league team.
Quality Time Together
There’s nothing better than bonding with your offspring over a common passion. You might love heading down to the dojo and helping out the sensei with the kids. You could be setting up the pads, overseeing light sparring or helping out with drills. If your son or daughter is rapidly progressing through the martial arts belts, it’s heartwarming to be there with them and share in their joy and pride. Being part of their important childhood activities will give you both lifelong memories to keep and share.
It’s The Right Thing To Do
Schools across the nation are poorly funded, and those teachers and professionals that work with your child often give their own time on a weekend to set up extracurricular clubs. While they might need to spend some of the sporting budget on custom baseball uniforms for the little league team, they have no money to hire professional coaches to train the kids. This is where you and tens of other dads come in. By taking charge of pitching or batting, you can have an input into the team, and get invested. You’ll find yourself wanting to attend games, keep up with the league table and have a say in team selection.
Your Child Will Love It
They might not say it, and yes, you will be a tad embarrassing at times, but they will adore having you with them and taking a real interest in what they love to do. If you’re helping out at a soccer session, you might be imparting your offside rule knowledge onto the team while your son or daughter is practicing their dribbling skills. As you catch their eye and give them a thumbs up and a cheeky wink, you can see the pride they feel from the look on their face. Being a supportive parent is more than just saying the right words, it’s about being there and motivating your offspring from the sidelines.
Volunteering is an altruistic notion. By helping out with your child’s sports teams and extracurricular activities, you can take an integral role in helping them succeed in their chosen physical activity. While initially the thought of your treasured Saturday mornings being taken up with a bunch of unruly kids scares the living daylights out of you, take a step back and think about the bonding opportunity you will have with your little one. You may even come to enjoy the volunteering experience.
By Sharon Jones
If you dream of spending your weekends on the clear blue waters, enjoying the sunshine and relaxing on a boat, you may be wondering whether the best approach is to buy or rent. There is no right or wrong solution, as there are pros and cons associated with both options. Let’s take a look at each approach in further detail to help you make up your mind…
PROS OF RENTING A BOAT / CONS OF BUYING A BOAT
Let’s start with the most obvious benefit of renting, and this is the flexibility that comes with it. You can try before you buy, so to speak. This will help you to determine whether a boat is right for your lifestyle and if it is something you will get enough use out of. Another evident benefit is the cost. A lot of people find it more manageable to rent a boat, as they will make manageable payments, as and when they need it. However, when you buy a boat, you obviously need to make a large upfront investment.
There are also additional costs that are associated with owning a boat. This includes maintenance, and you may need to pay for custom boat docks and, of course, storage too. A lot of people prefer the certainty that comes with renting. You know exactly what you are paying because you won’t need to take care of repairs and such like, meaning no nasty surprises along the way.
PROS OF BUYING A BOAT / CONS OF RENTING A BOAT
The main benefit associated with buying a boat is clearly the fact that you will own it. You will have something to show for your money – something that is yours, and something that you can sell when you no longer need it. Plus, while buying may cost more to begin with, you will often spend a lot more in the long run if you rent a boat. Plus, a lot of people will say that you stand a greater chance of breaking down on the water if you rent because the maintenance on a lot of rental fleets is substandard. Of course, this depends on where you hire the boat.
Another con associated with renting that a lot of people overlook is that you are going to have to haul all of your gear to and from the boat with each and every trip you take. This means everything you have aboard needs to go in and out of the car, and be transported to the boat, and then back again every time. If you own the boat, you can load it up with the gear you need and leave it on board for next time.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the pros and cons linked with owning and renting a boat. Of course, it is all about determining what is right for you. Consider the option with the greatest benefits in your eyes, and make sure you can handle the downsides.
By Jerry Mooney
Whatever your age gender or lifestyle, whatever your job career or hobbies each and every one of us should actively seek out opportunities for self-improvement and development. Human life is, after all, a journey filled with peaks and valleys, highs and lows, challenges and rewards. Only in growing in our mindset, our skills and our experience can we meet the challenges that life throws at us in the professional, educational and interpersonal spheres. When we’re kids, the tools for self-development are laid out before us and we have easy access to them and all the time in the world to engage with them. We’re given access to books and learning materials, sports and activities and our minds and bodies are agile and pliant enough to get to grips with them.
Later in life, although most of us have some access to the same materials, we feel less inclined to engage with them as our commitment to our work, our career, our spouse and our children increases. Even those of us who were total sports nuts in our youth can view such leisure activities as a frivolity that they no longer have time for.
We should, however, all make time because besides the obvious benefits such as physical fitness, weight loss and good health, sports have other benefits that are useful to people of all ages. Get yourself down to FCBC Canada soccer academy, your local fitness center or a public pool regularly and you’ll start to reap the following benefits…
Better quality of sleep
8 Hours a day under fluorescent lights chugging coffee is pretty much the norm for most of us, but this lifestyle is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be ruinous for your health, as well as compromising your concentration and diminishing your energy levels throughout the day. Regular exercise and particularly participation in sports raises your core temperature, ensuring that when it cools back down again (i.e. at bedtime), you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Do you get cranky sitting behind a desk all day? Do you feel grumpy and irritable without quite knowing why? Do you find yourself affected by low mood despite being generally happy with your quality of life? A sedentary lifestyle has been strongly linked to depression while regular exercise stimulates the brain’s production of endorphins leading to better moods and increased vitality. Moreover, participating in sports increases your social circle and gives you more opportunities for human contact which is a guaranteed mood booster in today’s insular lifestyle.
Stress can be an extremely damaging but unfortunately inevitable part of modern life. While occasional bouts of stress and anxiety are natural and can even be a powerful motivator, excess stress can be damaging to your mental health. As tempting as it may be to use your busy schedule as an excuse not to engage in exercise, participating in sports can not only relieve stress but improve your body’s ability to cope effectively with stress meaning that you will be calmer and more collected while your colleagues are tearing their hair out!
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter.
By Sharon Jones
Got a road trip coming up soon? Whether this is for leisure or travel to get to your next business, you might already be dreading the long journey. Not many people enjoy sitting in the car for a few hours on end, even if the route does pass some awesome sights.
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All that boredom is really nothing to worry about, though. As long as you know all of the following ideas and tips, you will be able to banish boredom in no time at all!
Research The Route
Don’t just set out on the road trip with just the basics of the route. It’s much better to do your homework and spend your time researching the route. That way, you will know exactly what there is to say along the way, and you can spend some of your time trying to spot the sights. You will find that this makes the road trip a lot more inspiring and entertaining.
Get Your Tablet Ready
It will be necessary to bring some entertainment with you for the long and winding road, and a tablet device is perfect for this as they are so portable. You will be able to play casino online and stream YouTube videos while you have Internet data, but it’s also a good idea to download some apps and install programs so that you have some entertainment options if you don’t always have Internet. For example, you could always download a couple of movies or episodes of your favorite TV show.
Take Some Detours
This might not work if you are traveling for work and are on a tight deadline but, if at all possible, you should try and take as many detours as possible. That way, you can keep your journey interesting by heading to nearby sights and attractions. By taking the scenic route and as many detours as possible, you will see some magnificent sights that aren’t always visible on the highway.
Give The Kids Jobs
Traveling with little ones? Then you are probably worried that they will start to complain and cause trouble as soon as they get bored. There’s one way around this – you just need to give them some simple jobs and responsibilities while they are in the car. For instance, you could hand older kids a map and ask them to help you navigate.
Read About Road Trips
Why not relax with a good book while you’re in the back seat? There are lots of popular novels and books that are all themed on road trips, and these will be the perfect accompaniment to your journey. One of the most famous road trip books has to be Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Don’t worry if you are driving; you can still enjoy a good book on the road – you just need to find it in an audiobook format so that you can listen to it.
Boredom and road trips don’t have to go hand in hand, especially when you use the above ideas!
Image via Pixabay
By Sharon Jones
There are many different hobbies someone could choose to take up, ranging from stamp collecting to drinking as many different varieties of beer as possible, or going the mad scientist route with a kit from HumanParagon.
Some hobbies, it turns out, can be better for your overall self-development than others. Here are a few of the leading contenders.
Take up gardening
Much of what we do during the course of our daily work lives is frantic, rushed, and caffeine-fuelled. We’re running from one task to another, endlessly, while doing a poor job of focusing on any given thing.
Not only that, but there’s also the fact that we’re often quite disconnected from the fruits of our labour. In the complex 21st century business world, how many of us truly get to finish our work for the day and gaze with pride at the completed result?
Gardening is a fantastic antidote to these everyday woes. Not only does it force us to slow down and engage with the present moment in a more deliberate way, but it directly anchors us to the sense of creating, and enjoying the results of our efforts.
There’s little as satisfying as seeing your garden develop over time and knowing that it was directly due to your efforts.
Of course, gardening is also great for our health and fitness, with much-needed vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, and light exercise all working wonders for our physical and mental wellbeing.
Get your walking shoes on
It’s a big world out there, and although many of us are now experiencing more of it than ever before, in the sense of catching flights to exotic locales for our holidays, we’re also engaging with it less on a direct basis.
Walking is a great way of getting reacquainted with the world around you. It’s also great for developing your fitness and appreciation of nature, while giving your mind the space and inspiration it needs to come up with fantastic new ideas.
It’s no wonder why many of the great writers, philosophers, and inventors of history swore by regular walks as a way of coming up with their brilliant visions.
Have a go at mountain climbing
Men climb mountains to overcome themselves, the saying goes, and there’s a world of truth to that.
Mountain climbing is a hobby which will not only expose you to some of the world’s most stunning vistas, but will also give you an incredible workout, while conditioning you to push through initial resistance and stick with your challenges until the end.
Once you’ve crested your first mountain summit, you’ll know what it’s all about.
Get into chess
Chess is, firstly, a fun game to play with other people — or even solo, with the help of a computer opponent. Of course, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Chess is a game of immense strategy — so much so that hundreds of enormous tomes have been written on different methods and protocols which can be used to win a game.
Getting into chess as a hobby is a brilliant way of sharpening up your problem-solving skills and training yourself to view tasks from new and interesting angles.