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Keep it simple and make it last.
“You can’t quick-fix poor nutrition,” says Coleman. “Eating healthily on a day-to-day basis over the long haul is what you really need to concentrate on.”
The long haul is what you’re aiming for. And if you have to haul yourself out the door for your next workout — well, maybe you should reassess.
Which brings us to the last piece of the not-at-all-puzzling health-and-fitness puzzle.
“People get so serious about fitness,” says Bob Babbitt. “You’ll hear them moaning, ‘I’ve got to go out and train.’ It’s not training. Training is no fun. It’s play. Basically, it’s recess.”
Babbitt is not an exercise physiologist, trainer, or even an athlete you’d look at twice, though by his best guess he’s done over 300 triathlons (including the 140.6-mile Hawaii Ironman Triathlon — six times). More importantly, he’s competed in his own Muddy Buddy series (mountain bike-run-mud crawl events held across the country) in a frog suit, and in a fit of inspiration — and time savings — combined running and golf. (“Speed golf,” chirps Babbitt. “You shoot a lot better when you don’t have time to stand over the ball.”)
Babbitt, you see, is the court jester of fitness, and he understands why his beloved sport of triathlon has boomed by 51 percent since 2007 (according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association), though statistics are as boring as stair climbers.
“Because it’s three sports, you feel like you’re achieving on three fronts,” says Babbitt. “Plus, varying your exercise helps reduce injury. But mostly it’s fun.”
With exactly that in mind, the company Babbitt works for, the Competitor Group, just launched the TriRock Triathlon Series — short, doable races (500-yard swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run) with, yep, rock ’n’ roll bands playing along the course: 2011 will see races in Annapolis, Maryland; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Seattle; and San Diego. The inaugural race in San Diego last September sold out.
When I interviewed Babbitt, he was getting ready to run a race dressed as Elvis.
“Make it fun,” says Babbitt, “and you’ll do it for the rest of your life.”
Though he has to suffer my painful squat and perform substantial reprogramming to address my abhorrent inflexibility, Park sees it simply too.
“The main goal,” says Park, smiling this time, “should just be to make life and play more pleasant.”