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55-year-old James Horejs, of Mentor, is a contestant in The News-Herald's Lighten Up in 2013.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Too Many Rewards - Not Enough Work

For the second weekend in a row, I skipped doing any meaningful physical exercise.  This included all day Saturday and all day Sunday both weekends.

What is this due to?  I admit it.  I am a "Rewards Freak".  This quirky personality trait is partially (or perhaps mostly) responsible for me being in the shape I was in at the start of the contest.  By the way, mathematicians call that shape "round".

You may wonder: "What is a 'Rewards Freak?'"  Simple.  By my definition, it is a person who does something good and then absolutely must receive a reward for it.

I have exhibited this behavior for as long as I can remember.  In its most simple form, there is nothing wrong with it.  In fact, it can be a great motivator for getting things done.  However, it can also grow into a diabolical monster should the reward system fall into the hands of evil.

For example:  Mow the lawn - relax and have a beer as a reward.  That sounds innocent enough.

Clean out the garage - go out to dinner as a reward.  Sounds innocent on the surface, until the actual dinner plan falls into place.  Shall we go to that restaurant famous for its 32-ounce prime rib?  And sundae bar?  It's "5 Dollar Bucket o' Beer" night, too, isn't it?

Now, it's not so innocent.

The obviously bad part of being a Rewards Freak is when the consequences of the reward outweigh (pun intended) the benefits derived from the good deed as in the prime rib dinner example described above.  Lately, I have started to fall into that trap.  I'm not in the trap just yet, just lurking dangerously close to becoming tangled in it again, so I need to watch myself.

The current version of my reward system is based on my success in this contest.  Naturally, I feel entitled to an occasional reward.  So what are my rewards?  Taking days off of exercise.  More specifically, taking too many days off of exercise and doing pretty much nothing on those days.

What am I going to do about it?  Stick to my routine of hard work and think about the importance of completing my workout routine more often.  Five or six days a week needs to be the norm, not slacking off to only three of four days.  I must never forget, there is still a long way to go until I proudly post the blog about me and my new Speedo.



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