Rage participation is better than none at all

Let’s face it. Donald John Trump is turning out to be everything anyone who actually paid attention during the 2016 presidential election cycle thought he would be. He is now doing things people detest for reasons they detest and, in doing so, is upsetting the apple cart of the status quo in the federal government in ways people are infuriated by.

Yet, for all Trump’s flaws, this is exactly what our nation needs. We need to be uncomfortable. We need to have things to oppose. We need to be enraged. Because, in the end, that’s the only way to get anyone to participate anymore.

You see, American politics is and always has been a full contact sport, but during my lifetime, millions of Americans have either stopped participating altogether or have convinced themselves that participation involves nothing more than voting every couple of years.

With the election of Trump and all that entails, things have already changed. Suddenly, millions of people care. Their care spilled into the streets with protests. People are following news in ways they haven’t for decades. Opposition groups are forming outside the control of traditional political organizations. People are seeking out ways to actively participate in the 2018 midterms and beyond.

It’s sad that it took the election of someone like Trump to ignite that kind of desire to participate, but if that’s what it takes, then so be it. Rage participation is better than no participation, so long as We the People do what we should have been doing all along.

So, yes, it’s going to be a long four years. Trump is going to enrage millions with his ridiculousness, but if all people do is complain, so what? Do something about it, and that will make all the difference in the world.


Seven Stone

While it’s uncomfortable to put such an admission out into the public space, the fact is that over the past decade and a half, I’ve gained a lot of weight. Frankly, I’m downright fat. There have been a lot of causes for this fact, some of which are my own fault and some of which are not, but the fact remains that I am overweight and, as a result, in declining health.

This year, I’ve decided to do something about it, and I’ve decided to share that experience with anyone interested in reading about it. Along the way, I hope that maybe my experience will inspire others to do the same.

I’m calling my effort “Seven Stone”, which is a reference to an old weight standard and the amount of weight I intend to lose. A stone is about 14 modern pounds, and yes, I intend to lose 98 pounds over the course of the coming year.

My method is simple. I bought a membership to the local YMCA to have access to its indoor track and weightlifting facilities. I’ve already been walking for about a week and a half, averaging about 1.3 miles per session and 7 sessions over the past 10 days. I bought a pedometer that connects to my computer and created both a HealtVault and WalkMe account to track my progress in real time. I’m also modifying my diet by dropping the habit I have of eating quick when I need to be eating healthy.

There’s no reason I can’t do this, but to make sure I’m putting it out here for everyone to see. If I fail, you’ll know. If I succeed, you’ll know. And maybe, we can work together to make ourselves better over the coming year.