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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 28: Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day, And Neither Was This Body

Week 28: Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day, And Neither Was This Body

Chris at the Start of the GreenwayA common concept these days is that one can acquire huge muscles simply by curling a few dumbbells a couple times a week. That might get you started on the road to buffness, but you won’t have those Arnold Schwarzanegger-like muscles that you’re looking for. The only way to get big (besides steroids) is through lots, and lots, of hard work. How do I know? Because of my day with my Uncle Chris Woconish–a fitness genius and a personal trainer-in-the-making.
Chris on the Tinsley Trail
While the rest of the family visited the Creative Discovery Museum, Chris and I stayed home. He was planning on taking me biking on the Greenway, and since it wasn’t raining, off we went. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the area, the Greenway starts at the local Home Depot and (supposedly) stretches almost all the way to Lee University. I say supposedly because at one point it apparently crosses the road, but Chris and I couldn’t find where it picked back up, so we just biked around Cleveland. We headed over to Tinsley park, which was in the  area, and biked the trail there. It was a nice little wooded trail, but it only took us about ten minutes to complete, so after finishing, we continued our tour of Cleveland.

The Big HillOnce we had biked the streets to our heart’s content, we retraced our route back to Home Depot, loaded up the bikes, and drove home. Chris wanted to bike around my neighborhood, so after I had refilled my water bottle, we hopped back on the bikes and headed out. In case you don’t live in Tennessee, it’s basically one big hill. Up, down, up, down, up, down, etc. Good for scenery, bad for railroads and bikers. I live right next to a ridge, so the up and down factor is even more amplified.We climbed one hill that was incredibly steep, and very tough to climb. But when we made it to the top, the view was absolutely astounding. We were the tallest thing around, and we felt like a king, with everything under us.

When we had soaked in the view, we continued biking on the ridge. One thing that Uncle Chris taught me is after Chris on Top of the Worldascending a steep hill, keep moving and don’t stop. The reason for doing that is simple; after exerting themselves so much, your muscles are very tight and active. If you keep moving, it keeps them working and builds them up faster. Even if it’s just a slow pace, keep going and don’t stop. It hurt, but we kept on going, surrounded by million-dollar houses and beautiful mountains. The only thing I could think of at the time was, “Thank the Lord for gears!” Understanding how to switch properly was another thing I learned how to do that day. Soon, though, the road took a downward plunge, and we were able to coast awhile.

When we had gone the entire way, we turned around and rode back. Believe me; going down that big hill was a whole lot easier than going up it. After we got off the ridge, we rode around the rest of the neighborhood some more, and then circled back home. We were pretty tired and hot, so we drove into town and grabbed a smoothie each from Smoothie King ™. He got a 32 ounce with some kind of protein stuck in it, and I got a 40 ounce pina colada (basically coconut and pineapple). And I finished every last sip of it too. It made us feel a whole lot better, and to top it off, we went swimming. While we were relaxing in the water, I got to ask Uncle Chris a few questions about himself. He grew up in the Catholic church, and I had never met anyone who had done that, so it was a new experience for me.

My first question was what the difference between a Catholic church and a Pentecostal church was. Chris said that the main difference is that Catholics are more ceremonial, and they have a set order of how the service is going to run. Other differences include praying to saints, wearing special robes and scarves, and burning incense in church. Chris said the reason that they do that is because in the early days, the priests and people would go on these really long hikes to do penance for their sins. However, they wouldn’t bathe during the journey. So when they came back to the church, they smelled like the gym socks that you’ve worn for two months straight without a break. So they would burn incense to drown out the smell. Gross history to the max, huh? My next question was how long Chris was in the Catholic church before switching to Pentecostal. He said that actually, he only changed about six years ago, when he was 35. He also said that that was when he gave his heart to the Lord.

Switching subjects, my next question was what a person needed to eat to be able to make muscle. Uncle Chris said that there are three types of foods that you need to eat to successfully build muscle: carbohydrates (a.k.a. carbos), protein, and [good] fat. The carbos give you energy to be able to work out without totally tiring, but you have to be careful about what carbos you eat. Some foods, like a potato, give you lasting energy that keeps you going. Others, though, like a can of Sprite, offer a quick burst, but don’t have the ability to nourish you at the end. The next group, protein, helps to build muscle. Without protein, you wouldn’t be able to have any kind of muscle at all. The last one, fat, is sometimes considered a bad thing, because too much of it and you become, well, fat. However, if you eat the good kind of fat (and not too much of it), it ends up insulating your muscles. Those are the three things that one needs to eat to build healthy muscle.

My last question I asked Uncle Chris was what his favorite sports drink. He surprised me by saying, “None of them!” When I asked him why, he said that if you eat right, you don’t need them. They’re just ploys by the soft drink companies to get you to buy their stuff. However, if you do insist on drinking some sort of sports drink, drink it afterward. Never drink it during the game. Why? Simple; you don’t need it during the event. Plain old water is the best thing to drink while on the field. It was an interesting statement to think about, because I only drink water when I’m playing a game, and my stamina is usually one of the best on the team.
Chris Woconish
And that was the outline of my day with Uncle Chris. blood, sweat and tears, combined with a pool and a smoothie. A strange blend, I know, but a good combination. Chris will leave tomorrow, and I’ll be sorry to see him go, but he can rest assured that while he is gone, his wisdom that he shared with me will not soon be forgotten. And maybe, just maybe, the next time he sees me, I’ll have bigger muscles than he does.

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