Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

Exercise, Exorcism, Pi, and ALS

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James Martin
Sunday, September 30, 2012

For most of my life I have tried to stay in good shape. However, the shape I have pursued is soft and cuddly, not hard and chiseled. Many consider the circle the perfect shape and I have taken that to heart; and my stomach, my thighs, etc. Summed up, round is profound and thin is grim.

Think about the perfect circle as measured by pi. As you probably remember, pi is the mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It also comes in banana cream, cinnamon apple, key lime and pecan. So I offer this theory: pi is the ratio of a food's shape to its enjoyment. All good food is round, thanks to pi. Think about it, pizza, burgers, donuts, cookies, cakes, pies: all great, all round, all delicious. And when food is not round we pretend and put it in a bowl, thus finding the inner pi in square foods such as salad, high fiber cardboard cereal, and sides of broccoli. Pi is the pleasure component of food.

And in this media centric world, we are conditioned to defeat the pi through exercise. Many people pound the pavement. Me, I prefer to pound donuts; it's easier on my knees. In fact as a pi-man I like to pull up next to joggers and ask them if they need a ride. If I can prevent just one knee replacement, I will have done my share for pi.

Exercise has become a type of religion, and with all religions there are fanatics. They preach of runner's high, I counter with the inner peace of pi. These lost pi-souls, pay a monthly tithe to their temple "health club" to lead them to physical nirvana. They employ exorcists who, while playing rhythmic music, dance and yell to exercise out the inner pi. It is an obvious racket, so much so that they have courts where you can hit a symbolic pi against a wall again and again and again.

Some pi-less people run marathons. A marathon is a race against yourself (there can therefore be no losers) for a distance of 26.2 miles. To put that in pi-perspective that is the length of about 185,000 pies side by side. Now putting it that way sounds like something I might be interested in.

On October 7th my brother- in-law, Matt Ballard will be running in the Chicago Marathon in support of ALS. He is trying to raise money for the ALS Association. If you would like to contribute, please visit the link below. Thank you.


Last updated: 10:46 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

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