Monday, December 9, 2013

Quarrelsome Litigant

Did you hear about Bruno Leduc? He has been labeled by a Quebec judge as a "quarrelsome litigant". That is someone "often demonstrates stubbornness and narcissism" and that the claims are "at the limit of being rational." If anyone could be defined as such, it appears it would be Mr. Leduc. He most recently sued the Dominican Republic because it rained on his vacation. In fact, he has sued so many companies in the last 13 years that the judge now is barring him from lawsuits without prior approval from a judge.  He is the type of guy who would sue McDonalds for getting him fat then sue his gym for not getting him thin. Although, I don't know the guy personally, he sounds like the north end of a horse going south.

 In regard to our health, most of the time we would need to be filing a lawsuit against ourselves. Almost all of the risk factors for death and disability(obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, and even some cancers[for more on that see: Cancer in developing countries: The next most preventable pandemic by Lopez-Gomez et al]) can be reduced with healthy diets (including no smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation), regular aerobic exercise and visits to your doctor for check-ups. And yet we, as a global society, continue to lose years off our lives from early death and protracted bouts of disability. This will need to be a class action suit.

The trouble is that for many of us, exercise isn't fun and it's hard. Even for people with an athletic background playing team sports, most aerobic exercise(like running) was punishment. You ran laps if you made a mistake, wind-sprints if you lost a game, etc. For many people it is hard to convert that sense of punishment to pleasure as the opportunities for team sport participation diminishes as we get older. But we need to find some way to stay active! With the increase in sedentary work, long commutes and television, society is sitting on its collective butts now more than ever. Meanwhile, studies have shown that sitting is the new smoking. No seriously. Studies have looked at sitting times and found that the more you sat the sooner you died( for more on this, see: Sitting Time and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer by Katzmarzyk et al).

My sister is a great example of someone who hates running. Growing up playing almost exclusively basketball, running was certainly a punishment. She has expressed on numerous occasions her distaste for running for the sake of running. But she has picked it up. You could say she's running for her life. For she knows that she needs to get aerobic exercise to stay healthy and fit so she has decided to give running a try. And in true Ferreira form, she isn't doing it half-way. Knowing that simply "staying fit" won't be enough motivation for her on dark, cold, snowy days in mid-winter, she has decided to sign herself up for a marathon to keep her going on those frigid days.

Meanwhile, I am hoping that she finds some enjoyment in running as well as the competition. She did the first leg of the Mill Cities Relay yesterday and ran 7 flats for over 5 miles! This comes a day after her longest run yet. When asked how she did, she replied that she wished she knew where the finish line was so she could have run harder... Oh yeah! A little sandbagger:) I can't wait to see how she does once she starts running on a regular basis. And now that she's on the Gate City Striders, she has the opportunity to race the New England Grand Prix so I'm hoping this will keep her excited about running and kicking some butt.

You see what I did there? I am making running fun. And that's what you've got to do. It doesn't need to be running but it does need to be aerobic. Make a game out of it, track your progress, sign up for a marathon whatever. Just get out there and do something so that you can live a long and happy life with the ones you love.

Which brings me back to Mr. Leduc. I may try to employ his services and have him sue the manufacturers of chairs so that everyone has to stand at work. That good service may outweigh all his frivolous lawsuits in the past.  Or maybe not.  

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