Come On Reggie!

Man a live, the humble blog goes way back. I searched the archives for “Reggie Miller” to see if I ever shared my Reggie Miller story, and sure enough I did in a 2009 “Friday Fitness Update”. Here it is again.

In my fifth year at UCLA, while working on my MA, I got a job tutoring athletes. After my first session, bossman asked if Reggie Miller showed. I said no so he told me to call him up in the dorms and ask him where he was. “Reggie, this is Ron. . .” “Oh man,” he interrupted, “I thought you were a woman!” I told him there wasn’t much I could do about that and he never showed. Not sure if he passed Western Civ, but he’s done okay for himself.

Fast forward to Reggie’s post NBA life. Miller works as an NBA commentator for TNT and college basketball analyst for CBS Sports. More interestingly, he’s become a serious cyclist, he has an affinity for mountain bikes in particular. Recently, he competed in a 100 mile gravel race in Colorado.

I read a Wall Street Journal article about his turn to cycling and it referenced his Strava account, a personal fitness app that my friends and I use to keep tabs on one another’s athletic doings (and Dan, Dan, The Transpo Man’s lawn mowings). After reading the WSJ article, I put in a “follow” request on Reg’s Strava page and as you can see below, he has yet to accept.

Come on Reg, accept the request! Class of 84′ and 85′ and your former assigned tutor. You ghosted me then, don’t ghost me now.

Once this post goes viral, he’ll have no option but to accept. I will be sure to let you know as soon as Reg and I are Strava friends.

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Thursday Required Reading

  1. Strava’s 2021 ‘Year in Sport’ annual stats extravaganza.
  2. Finland’s Prime Minister sorry for clubbing after ‘rona contact. 36 years young?!
  3. How to create an environmentally sensitive home within a fragile ecosystem.
  4. Italian man tries to avoid getting COVID jab with fake silicone arm. Not The Onion. No word on whether he’s a Republican.
  5. School shootings are at a record high this year, but they can be prevented.

The Deleterious Health Effects of Sedentary Work Cultures

One aspect of my privilege is my education which has enabled me to make a living without sacrificing my body. Roofers, welders, plumbers, farmers, house painters, construction workers, tree cutters, often aren’t as fortunate.

But I’ve noticed a pattern even among my fellow white collar egghead professors. A majority routinely sacrifice their health for the sake of their work because of a deep-seated intellectual bias that prioritizes the mind at the expense of the body. 

Simply put, most of my colleagues have been sedentary for decades. On top of that, generous people take turns providing unhealthy office snacks*. Most professors don’t make time to walk, hike, run, play tennis, swim, cycle, or lift weights because there’s always another lecture to plan, or syllabus or grant to write, or set of papers to mark, or conference presentation to prepare, or faculty workshop to attend.

I like my work and my university, but not nearly enough to sacrifice my health for it. One colleague of mine retired in May and died in July. I didn’t know him so I don’t even want to pretend his lifestyle played any part, but I fear too many of my colleagues will not get to enjoy as many post work years if they do not prioritize their health more than is the norm.

Today marks the end of the world’s longest academic sabbatical, mine. I normally work summers, but I took the summers of 18 and 19 off, the book-ends to my 2018-2019 academic year sabbatical. 15 months, huzzah! Someone call the Guinness Book of World Records**. I won’t be telling any of my colleagues what I’m going to tell you in the next paragraph because the sedentary nature of faculty life is so pervasive my athletic self lives deep in the closet***.

Besides the traditional, publishing a couple of articles, reading a bunch, and updating my syllabi, I also turned the knob up a bit on my regular swimming, cycling, and running volume. Por exemplar, I joined a Masters swim team and so far this year have already swam about the same distance as last calendar year. And SO WHAT if I did stretch and chill in the jacuzzi after some practices! Also, I’m on pace to cycle 5,000 miles this year and maintain my 1,000 mile a year running streak. I was fit when I began my record breaking sabbatical, today I’m a little more fit****.

Am I overcompensating? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I’m under no illusions that my active lifestyle will guarantee any kind of post-work longevity because life is fragile. That driver on their cell phone could wipe me out on tomorrow’s ride.

But as long as I work as an egghead professor, I will dare to be different by making time to swim, cycle, and run. In particular, I will not sacrifice the quality of my life to the pervasive work culture of which I’m apart. Please, just don’t out me to any of my colleagues.

*Decent chance I have my first donut in a long time today. #glazed

**Could an educator-reader please tell me if teaching is like riding a bike, I’m afraid I may have forgotten how. Any tips?

***Except for one colleague-friend who follows my workouts on Strava. I should probably get him to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

****No, I haven’t just opted to not write about racing triathlons, I have in fact sold my time trial bike and stopped competing for reasons I’m not entirely sure. As I age, given the attrition of my peers, and my consistent training, I would do quite well. But when I envision best case scenarios, like winning races, I’m still not sufficiently motivated to toe the line. Is there a sports psychologist in the house?

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