running

Grumpy Old Man?

Grumpy Old Man…

My Birthday was last Tuesday; I am now officially 63 years old. I keep saying to myself, “I don’t feel 63…” Gosh, I have been saying that for the last 20 or so years. Well, not that I’m 63, you know, just saying, I feel like…KIMG0292

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, I do feel the same as I did when I was 25. What I mean by that, back when I was, 25, I spent a lot of time in the gym, (in my lifetime I have been the gym 40 of those years). All I did was run and lift weights, though. Now that I think about it, I did play softball and racquetball, and I ran a couple of 5k’s, and a couple of half marathons. I enjoyed what I was doing.

However, during that time I hurt, or sprained an ankle more often than not. The pain lasted usually a day or two and then I was good to go. I think every part of my body had suffered some sort of pull, cramp, or pain, back in the day. Nevertheless, I learned how to meditate and cope with the pain mentally so I could ignore pain. It actually worked for me.

I don’t go to the gym anymore, only because I have learned that I can do the same things I did at the gym at home. Funny as it sounds, in the last three years I have run, walked, hiked, kayaked over 3500 miles, and yeah, I did manage to work on my core and lift weights. I also lost about 80 pounds in the meantime.

My only problem now, at this advanced age, I hurt, and I hurt every day. Everything, every part of my body hurts. I decided, though, I must ignore the pain and live for Motrin! Yes, the recovery time is not the same as my 25 year old self and for some reason some of these pains just won’t go away.

For instance, about 11 years ago my son decided that he wanted to wrestle me. While rolling around on the ground he grabbed my leg and started to yell out all the positions, the WWF (or whatever name they went by at the time), wrestling move names. Well, he pulled my leg so hard that I heard and fIMG_0457elt something pop near my hip. Not a problem at the time, but my bum (Butt) started to hurt whenever I sat for an extended period time.

The next year, while playing softball, standing on first base, my team-mate hit a slow roller to the second baseman. He stood there, with the ball, waiting for me to run down the line so he could tag me out. As I slowly skipped down the line, I planted my left foot and tried to spin around his tag. I hear a loud bang, in my ears, and it felt like I had stuck my leg in a 220 volt socket.

I fell to the ground in extreme pain generating from my hamstring. The second baseman stood over me and declared; “You’re out!” as I writhed in excruciating pain, laying on the ground in the dust of the base path. I had pulled my hamstring muscle.

After two of my team-mates helped off the field and sitting out the rest of the game, I managed to drive myself to the hospital. Looking at my leg, my hamstring, from my buttock to my crook of my knee was black, blue and red. I had ruptured a few blood vessels in the process. 100_0662

Anyway, in the past ten years my hamstring cramps up just about every day. Lots of minor cramps with a major cramp usually happening at around 3 a.m. in the morning, at least once a month, sometimes like clockwork. In addition, I can’t sit for even a couple of minutes without my left rear cheek hurting. However, I sit for extended times in front of this computer, trying to think of something to write about.

Yes, I am in daily pain. My toes hurt from by daily walk/runs, and the hiking three times a week, now. My shoulder started to hurt, as far back as July of last year, when I went on an extended kayak trip. Now my shoulder hurts, for whatever reason, only when I walk over three miles. That is kind of weird, though, because I can run, not a problem, hike – as long as I have a backpack on – not a problem, play a couple of hours of racquetball, not a problem. Heck, I can even kayak, no real pain doing that either.

However, my shoulder pain, too, is excruciating and to touch in that region, well, it’s numb; I feel nothing, even if I scratch my shoulder, but I can pinch myself and I feel it. Now, I just ignore it and go on about my day. I guess I could count all those pains, but I just have learned to ignore them.

I was in the steam room last weekend, after playing racquetball, and an older gentleman was perched upon the bench. He started to rattle off all of the pains and surgeries that he had. I thought about it for a few seconds and joined in and started to name a few of my pains I live through, in my advanced age. Two grumpy old men. I quit after a few and let him rattle off a few more.

Yes, I now live for the strengths of Motrin. That is the only pain medication that works for me, so I won’t have to ask for the narcotic stuff. Oh yeah, and of course my meditation.

Sixty-three years old. Yes, I really do feel good, and good about myself. I am doing 10 times more things that I did when I was 25.

Hold on a second while stand up stretch and rub my butt out… and check up on my chili, its looking good! I forced myself to sit here and write or go nuts…or watch a movie or read all my email or mess around on Facebook or cook that chili that I have been intending on making for the last week or so…

I once heard or did someone retell that story to me, I don’t remember (old age or too much to drink?), anyway, this old man was talking to a youngster about why he was running, slowly, at his age. The youngster stated that he hurt all the time and hated to run or work out, so on and so forth. The Old man looked at the younger man and said, “I hurt all the time, but at my age I am going to keep running until that time comes and never complain about it.” I have kind of taken that on as my credo. grumpy old men

My niece left me a message, on my birthday, on Facebook. She said something about me being an old man. I hope don’t become, like that man in the steam room, A Grumpy Old Man!

 

 

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It’s been a very good year…

Mackinac 034 2009 at my heaviest.

2014 was a very good, a great year for me. In January, I went to the doctor and was told that all my numbers were too high. I had to do something or be in a lifetime of dis-ease. As of yesterday, I am going to relax for the rest of this year. But, the results are in;
this year, alone, I;
Ran — 235 miles
Walked –754 miles
Biked — 410 miles
Hiked — 95.5 miles and
Kayaked — 4.2 miles
For a grand total of — 1500.4 miles
…and I lost 76 pounds!

Me July 4 2014
All over total for all cardio, since January 2013 — 2342.7 miles.
Now, I have see how much more I can do in the coming year!

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Fat vs. Skinny: Healthy?

iam not fat

I have lost 64 pounds since I saw my doctor in January of this year. For me that’s no real surprise, since I have been doing this, gaining and losing weight, most of my adult life. What bothered me, just a tiny bit, the comments I have been getting range from good too bad to meh.

Most of the comments are, “I look too skinny”, “you are too skinny”, “you look sick”, you need to eat more”, considering I now weigh 195 pounds. One person inferred that I am fat shaming, announcing my weight lost on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Heck, I tell just about every person I meet. However, it’s not about, for me, shaming, it’s about my, and the key word is, “MY” health.

I, for one, can tell you, I eat a lot. I have cut out the cakes and donuts and a whole lot of other sweet junk foods. I am not saying all sweets, though. Every now and then, I might buy a six-pack of donuts or muffins, but they are few and far between. I have even cut down on beer. On the average, I consume about 2300 calories a day with an average of burning 700 to 800 calories per day. Plus, I have been a vegetarian for the last three and a half years.imagesY201ADZH

I started out as a vegetarian 34 years ago. When I got married in 1980, I weighed 155 pounds. A few years into my marriage, I started to eat fish and chicken. One of the things I noticed, in any of my relationships, over the last 40 years, I would always gain weight. When I was married, I reached 278 pounds. When I exited the relationship, I lost weight.

When I got divorced, 10 years later, I hit the gym and stayed around 190 pounds for most of the 90s. This is about the time I really got in to running and my goal was to run a marathon. I stayed in the gym every day, and played a lot of sports, I stayed active. And I stayed away from long termed relations.

The company I was working for decided to build a gym for its employees and I just happen to work in the building, when it was finished. By 2000, I weigh in between 220 and 225. However, I was lifting weights then and I mean heavy lifting. I totally loved the way I looked, as one would say, sculpted. At the end of 2001, I got into another long termed relationship and I packed on the pounds.

Prior to all of the above, I had great blood pressure, very low cholesterol, and a 48 beat resting heart rate. I was in super shape. I had also fasted for those 34 years four times a year for at least a week at a time. However, I had stopped because of my depressing relationship I was in but broke up in 2004. In 2005, I was diagnosed with terrible disease and had to have surgery in 2006. Plus I retired that same year.

The next six years I stayed between 255 to 264 pounds. In January of 2012, my doctor decided to put me on Blood pressure pills, but as far as I was concerned, my blood pressure was still high with the pills. It would go as high as 155/80 and as low as 119/73, it varied from day to day. So I decided was going to get out and walk every day. My son, bless his heart, brought me a bicycle in June, a comfort Hybrid bike and I rode as much as I could. I stayed around 230 pounds until…Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays. I gained most of that weight back.

In 2013 I again started my walking regiment and I tried to run, but was having trouble breathing. So, I would only run a half mile during my 2 mile walks. For whatever reason I felt, I couldn’t run so I walked and biked just about every day. I still was on those BP pills, and as far as I was concerned, they were not working the way they should, I thought.

In 2014, my doctor wanted to put me on another drug and said he was concerned about my heart and wanted me to take a stress test and a whole bunch of other test. At that point, I just nodded my head and decided I had it with the drugs and everything else and I stopped taking those pills. In February, I said to myself, I am going to run every day as much as I can.

In March, I purchased some running shoes. As of today, I have run, walked, ridden my bike, hiked and Kayaked 1098 miles (1938 miles since 2012). I recorded everything I ate, with an app, I found online, and stayed away from junk food… and of course the drugs, well accept Motrin. My blood pressure has kind of stabilized. Last week it was 118/73, but it was up for a few days, 138/78. My last reading was 127/73, considering the new guidelines for persons aged 60 years or older is a BP goal of less than 150/90 mm Hg. Not perfect, but I should be able to get another 30 years out of this old body of mine, I hope.

I’m not shaming overweight people, this is now my lifestyle and I hope to stick to it. If I look too skinny to you, so be it. I am happy with myself. I am doing this for my health, no more, no less. Everyone’s health is different. I mean, look at football players, and other athletes, some could truly be considered obese. In fact, according to the latest data, me, at 195, is still considered obese, go figure.

I probably will slow down when I reach 190, though. But, I will continue to work out as I have done most of my adult life. The only things I have to worry about now are lead poisoning, meteor strikes, CME, Gamma rays… Oh yeah, Thanksgiving and the coming holidays.

thanksgiving

The scents of my run

As I was walking, on my daily walk/run, trying to come up with some ideas for a new sci-fi story I started working on a couple of days ago, I smelled something that got me thinking a little deeper.

When I walk, I usually notice a few things that are so very prominent in nature and the real world that can either be a turn-on or a turn-off. The turn-offs, mostly smells and odors that don’t agree with the human nose. The turn-ons, mostly anything visual or have a great odor, in regard to nature.

I’m not saying that all smells and odors are turn-offs and I am not saying that visual things are turn-ons, though. Sometimes you have to use your imagination to put you onto those different planes of thoughts. Examples, from today:

  • Dog poop. This started the entire thought process. I guess not everyone picks up after their animals
  • Fish. Yes, you can smell fish. I learned this when my ex-father-in-law took me fishing, and I pass a tiny waterfall.
  • Wet grass. People usually water their grass in the morning.
  • Diesel exhaust. A UPS truck just passed by.
  • Garbage. A garbage truck just passed by.
  • Death. Yes, something has to be dead in the bushes I just passed by. I once found a body in the bushed like the ones I am passing through now, and I worked in a hospital for 30 years, I remember the smell of blood.
  • Cologne. Yes, some guy passed by with his window down and the fragrance was strong in this one.
  • Cigarette smoke. Once passing by a house. The second time someone driving by.
  • Wood or sawdust. A developer is building a brand new house, about a mile away from where I live and I guess a worker was cutting wood.
  • I am guessing some sort of fruit tree or bush? It’s blooming and the flowers are hanging over most of the sidewalk. I take a deep breath when I pass it every day.
  • Manure. That odor is plentiful along my walk. People are spreading it in their gardens or where ever they are spreading it.
  • Tar. Yes, tar. Many houses along my route are sealing their driveways with, whatever that stuff is.
  • Flowers. Don’t ask me what kind of flowers, but they are blooming right now, well, they have been for the last month. I did notice that the flowers in front of my house just bloomed yesterday.
  • Water. That is, water from a hose. You more or less smell the rubber. I remember that odor from my childhood when we use to drink from the hose. Something you don’t do nowadays.
  • Something that smelled like bar-b-que sauce. Someone was cooking on the grill today.

Yes, a few hours in my life as I run back home.

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My thoughts of nature

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I don’t know why, out of the blue, just today, it just came to me that walking, jogging or riding my bike is cathartic. Not in the total sense of the word, the thought, but for my writing sense, world. Not only that, I hear things that I usually don’t hear any other time of the day. That’s not true; I have been hearing a lot of things, mostly sounds of nature at its best.

I usually meditate and when I have the window open I hear twice as many sound and try to make out everything including the different birds I hear. As for my jaunts throughout the neighborhood, there are quite a few things I have noticed and plan to write poems about them:

I have noticed, last week the fish in the lake were about an inch long today they are two inches long. The swans are nesting, as are the ducks. I have also noticed that the Blue Jays are gone and the woodpeckers are busy putting holes in the trees. The trees are blooming, tulips are fully opened, as are the lilies and, heck what are those purple things…violets, yes that are sprouting.Image

Today I noticed the birds singing, mostly robins and sparrows

Woodpeckers pecking

The young fish splashing in the water

A small waterfall bubbling Image

Children playing on a playground, there is a grade school about a mile away

Two jets roaring overhead

The sound of my foot steps on the pavement

A lady sitting on her porch talking on the phone

Bunches of dogs barking

The wind blowing through a pine tree

The sounds of car tires on the road

Another runners feet pounding slowly by

Someone hammering in the distance – I pass a house under construction

Ducks quacking

Swans honking

A fish jumping out of the water and splashing back into the water

The sound of a generator

And the sound of me breathing hard when I sit down in front of my garage door.

I now have enough to write about. And I feel totally at ease as I wait to catch my breath before I ride my bike, for a long day of feeling good.

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