Part of me used to get sucked up into the appearances of wellness – new equipment, a fancy workout space, and all the latest accessories. A whole industry [opinion alert] caters to not only those who seriously want to work hard and perform, but also to those who want to appear to belong. I learned about this a long time ago, but one of my kids actually put it into concrete, measurable data (did I mention I’m a data analyst?).

He did a science project to measure hockey stick performance based on the price/quality of the stick and the experience level of the player. [Pretty clever, I’d say]. In a nutshell, what he found was that, for a low-experience player, the quality of the stick made no difference to performance. The interesting finding, though, was that, in the hands of an experienced hockey player, the stick does make a difference; a skilled player will get significantly better performance from a high-quality stick.

Here are some things I draw from that:

  • EXPERIENCE and DILIGENCE (the hard work) generate the potential for high performance. They don’t guarantee high performance, but they make it possible.
  • High-end equipment does not automatically confer high performance on the user, but it can make you look good to other fancy-equipment devotees.
  • The true significance of this little science project lies in its conclusion that there is an interaction between skill level and equipment quality. Top-end equipment only makes a top-end difference in the hands of a person with top-end experience and diligence.

And so I’d like to share my slightly tongue-in-cheek equipment setup with you as encouragement that you probably don’t need anything fancy if your objective is to be active (I’m not training for the Olympics).

This is the bike I use to spin for a few minutes to warm up before the KBs. My bike is a Supercycle 10-speed road bike which I “procured” from our local landfill.  It was missing pedals, but it had a tall frame so it fits me. Had a great awkward moment when a salesman at a bike shop in the city asked me where I got my bike. Nothing says impressive like Supercycle from the landfill…  Also, I have a wind trainer for the bike, which also sounds impressive until I tell you where I got it. Yes… the landfill.  It was missing a bolt.

Because I’ve done quite a bit of cycling, I got some aerobars for comfort (and aerodynamics!!) and then put mountain bike bar ends on as grips.

My oldest son (of hockey stick experiment fame) observed: “Dad – your bike looks like a moose.” Okay – I have to give him that one.

Point being, it ain’t fancy, but it works. And I can rest easy knowing I did not overbuy my equipment.

All of this is to say that you don’t need fancy stuff before you can work on your physical wellness. Grab what you can find and, as long as it is safe, use it and get active. If you really want to develop skills in that area, put in the time and effort required to truly benefit from the top-end equipment.

So grab your old shoes, or whatever, and hop to it.


Final thought: I would love to hear from you if you have comments about the blog, or about your wellness journey. I’m feeling a bit COVID-deprived… 🙂