November 04, 2009

We Can't Work It Out

Now that my photography gig is picking up steam, I'm generally happier than I've ever been, even when my slow days are taken into account. The seemingly simple process of composing, shooting, editing and uploading photographs has done wonders for my state of mind. However, it has also caused me to scale back one of the activities I used to love: working out at the gym.

Back when I was working, I used to do strength training twice per week, along with a weekly boxing class. These days, I count myself lucky to lift weights once per week; the effects are already creeping up. When I last visited the gym, I weighed myself on the scale and saw that I was 140 lbs. That's not bad...until you consider the fact that my workout peak weight was near 150 lbs. Also consider this: when I first signed up at my gym, I was 135 lbs!

If you haven't figured it out yet, my "problem" is the opposite of what many people experience. When I don't work out, I actually lose weight. I've never had an abundance of fat to deal with, so it's safe to assume that I'm losing muscle as I scale back my workouts. That's a problem.

You might think that physical fitness has nothing to do with photography, but I politely beg to differ. I sometimes climb on benches and similar structures when I'm shooting, so strong leg muscles are a must. Also, some cameras are pretty heavy by themselves; they're even heavier when you add a speedlight and diffuser to them. You don't have to be The Incredible Hulk to be a successful photographer, but you must be able to control your gear at all times. Finally, there's the possibility of doing a lot of walking at any given shoot.

If these points don't convince you, perhaps this will: it's impossible to get the shot of your life when you're on a hospital bed. Just sayin'...

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