Form and Function

“Form follows function” is an axiom in architectural design.  It says the form of a building should be determined by its function.  An office building should be designed to maximize the needs of business offices.  A church should not have the same design but should fit the needs of the congregation physically and aesthetically according to its spiritual sensibilities.

As I was running this morning, I was concentrating on my form.  Was I lifting my legs high enough so as not to scuff my new Adidas, but not too high so as to expend more energy than I needed?  Were my arms held at the right height to minimize drag but not to tire my upper body?  Were my breaths matching my pace?  If they were too ‘comfortable’, I wasn’t putting enough effort into my run.  If I felt I was gasping, I needed to pace myself better.  Form follows function.

I have been running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for four weeks.  It was exciting to break a personal best last week, but my function is not to try to break records.  It is to maintain my body’s form and lose some weight by completing the distance every time out.  I will improve my breathing, maintain the flexibility of my muscles, and sometimes run a personal best.

When I complete my runs, I walk from the finish (our house) to the park and stretch.  Then I have a little workout doing pull-ups and other assorted exercises.  I do a total of at least 25 pull ups.  My first set is usually the gauge for my improvement.  I’m averaging 7 pull-ups on the first try.  That’s up from the 3 or 4 when I started this program.  When I’m done, I walk home, shower, and weigh myself before getting dressed.  It’s always a good start to my day when this number goes down.

This afternoon, I decided I needed to do more of something.  I rode my bike to Chalchuapa and returned via the park for 25 more pull-ups.  When I got home I took Duke for a walk.  He likes to pull on his leash to sniff other dogs or go where he shouldn’t.  More exercise.

My physical form is improving and that’s my function.  Thank you architects.

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