Had I lived back then, I would have…..

This tweet churned up some thoughts:

Of course, slavery was once the norm (in terms of people keeping other groups slaves) and yes, in the US, we often soft peddle just how cruel and brutal it was.

But, were I born to a wealthy white southern slave holding family, would I have become an abolitionist? I am sure that I would have…IN MY FANTASIES. But the reality opposing such measures, in that time and immersed in that culture, would have required not only an unusual amount of moral insight but also an unusual amount of moral courage, none of which I seem to display in my current life.

That is why I just roll my eyes when I see rather average people talking about what they “would have” done back then. If they have that much character (an outlier level), why is that not showing up now, IN THIS LIFE?

If I am more moral in some ways than my ancestors, it is because I’ve been taught better and because I live in a society that allows for it.

And from this, I’ll pivot to this article, which I got via Steven Pinker’s Twitter account.

This is the same principle. And yes, yesterday’s heroes (or heroines) were flawed people. Clarence Darrow was right about race relations and science but totally wrong about women’s rights (he opposed women’s suffrage). William Jennings Bryan was wrong about science but right about women’s suffrage. Both of these men did good for a lot of people, but were critically wrong about a key issue.

Aging and lifting part 101

Yes, I talk about aging and attempting to do sports quite a bit. Reason: as I age, the formula changes.

Weight lifting: though I am NOT as strong as I once was (not that I ever was strong; best dead lift was 425 and best bench was 310) my strength seems to have taken less of a hit than my running ability.

Part of the reason, I think, is that lifting involves fewer systems. The other reason: I am not a natural runner. I’ve noticed that, among the men who were a bit faster than I several years ago: some are much faster than I am not. These tend to be the small boned, “runner body” men. My guess: their efficient running stride and lighter weight means that they didn’t have to decrease their training to the degree that I’ve had to. Much of my slow down comes from the fact that I can’t train as much as I once did. Ok, part of that is my knees: I’ve had 5 operations total.

But I can lift 3 times a week and while I don’t do as much as I once did, I can still do a respectable amount.

Some key differences:
1. I need more rest between sets if I want to handle the same amount of weight. This is why I do better in the summer when I don’t have to rush through.
2. I sometimes get out of breath; this happens when I challenge myself to do a set of 15 pull ups (instead of just 10); I am breathless when I finish.

Today’s workout: (more detail than normal)

rotator cuff (usual)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10, one of 5 (varied the grip; notice: I now keep my eyes open and make sure that I can see over the top of the rack…this changes has lead to a bit of “core soreness” at first but has done me good.

bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (solid)

dumbbell military press: 10 x 50 (standing, full reps..best in a while)

bench press: 7 x 160 (kind of gave up; left shoulder sometimes acts up)

dumbbell military press: 10 x 45

rows: machine 3 sets of 10 x 110 with sets of other things in between

machine military: 10 x 180 (90 each arm)

goblet squats: 6 x 30, then 6 x 40..felt some soreness

planks: 2:30 bent arm, side plank

head stand

Crow pose (yoga)

knee stretches: kneeling then sitting on a ball. This is what I cannot do:

I have to put a medicine ball or an “on edge” yoga block under me.