Wednesday, July 01, 2015

My personal fitness challenge

Remember a few weeks ago when I started my personal fitness challenge of being down to 185 pounds by July 1st? You probably also remember all the setbacks I've had during that time. Still, I think I started at 192 and I'm now down to 188. That's a loss of four pounds in two months...not great, but considering all the illnesses for both Ann and I, it's definitely progress. Now, I'll be shooting for mid-August to lose the rest. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


A few days ago, I ate lunch at the Szechuan Express in Taylorsville. I ordered the garlic chicken and it was very good. I had driven past it many times and never eaten there in all of those years. The fortune in the fortune cookie said it all: “Adventure can be real happiness.”
I'm always up for an adventure. Adventures don't always turn out happy, but they are always interesting. Sometimes adventures are challenging. They tax us to our limits—mold our character, build our courage, and turn us into someone who is just a little bit different than we were before we embarked on the journey.
Adventure is part of life. There are two major ways we can approach adventure. The first is to try to have as little of it as possible. Sit down, don't move, never follow any urges or promptings, never do anything fun because it could possibly end in adventurous disaster.
The second approach is the way I prefer. And that's to embrace adventure with confidence and with curiosity. The great explorers all had this way about them. Accomplishment follows in the wake of this approach. Disaster can loom as well, but great adventurers learn to cope with disaster or die in the attempt.
I think of life as an adventure and always have. Though there are perils involved in life's adventures, those who learn to embrace them also open themselves up for a great deal of happiness. Like the fortune cookie said, “Adventure can be real happiness.” It can, and my take is that without it, you never truly find the happiness you seek. Embrace it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Put this drug on your list of don't take it unless you have to of the two antibiotics given for the relief of diverticulitis (the other being ciprofloxacin) . This drug is the one that has been making me sick to my stomach. I just took the last one. Another side effect of this drug is a sour taste in the mouth, accompanied by breath bad enough to knock a buzzard off a manure wagon. There are other side effects I don't care to discuss.

I'm so thankful that it's over.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fitness? I'm still trying

I just ran a trial 5k on a treadmill and my time was 27:42. That's my fastest time in over a year. I've been sick with diverticulitis and the antibiotics that I'm taking to fight it, so that's saying a lot about my overall fitness level. My actual race is on the Fourth of July and I will have been off the drugs for five days--my last ones are tomorrow.
As I neared the end of my run today I remembered something about one of the drug's side effects. Cipro is one of the drugs and I remembered that one of the side effects is to more easily pull a muscle. I could feel one going in my right calf, but wanted to complete the trial run, so I pushed on. It's a bit sore, but it will mend, and since I'm going to be tapering off in preparation for the race, I don't anticipate any problems by race day.
I guess the bottom line is that if you're trying to stay fit, push on through temporary pain with lighter workouts and you can pretty much maintain a base line level of fitness. Then, when the opportunities arise--like today for me--see what you can do. You may surprise yourself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On being aware

On Monday, I was out delivering my mail and I saw a vehicle pulled over to the side of the road with its flashers on. It was very odd because it had only managed to get within about four feet of the curb, and there was someone inside. Also, it was in a neighborhood, not along some highway. I passed the vehicle and delivered to the next two houses, then decided to go back and check on the person in the van.
I looked inside and the guy in there did not look well. I tapped on the window. Groggily and staggeringly slow, he reached for the button to roll down the window. I asked him if he was okay--if he needed help. He was nearly incoherent in his response, but I made out that he'd been drinking the night before.
Here it was nearly ten o'clock, the temperatures already in the low eighties, and with his windows rolled up. If this man stayed here asleep during the heat of the day, he was going to die.
He looked like he was about to vomit on me, so I left him and drove up the street, did a few more deliveries, then stopped and made the phone call to the police. Either this guy was going to die, or he was going to try and drive, perhaps endangering others. I noticed a few minutes later that the police had arrived, and soon thereafter, paramedics and a fire truck.
It would have been nice for someone in that neighborhood to have been the ones to make the call, but I was probably the right person at the right time. I guess the moral of the story is to be aware of strange events in your communities and don't be afraid to report them. You may save someone's life. I don't know for sure if this man would have died, but it was the right thing to do--to report it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blasts from the past

I just had my second bout of diverticulitis, my first coming just a little over a month and a half ago. I'm not thrilled about being back on antibiotics. They make me sick. On the other hand, I'm not to keen on having to have part of my colon removed if it abscesses and walls off. I'd rather take the antibiotics and hope and pray that they work this time. Sometimes, these blasts from the past aren't good. I hope this is my last blast of diverticulitis ever.
That being said, the good Lord watches over us and I'm confident that I will mend and mend well. There is just too much to do to be under the weather for long. Besides, the drugs are doing their stuff and other than a little queasiness now and then, I'm feeling good and was able to do a lot of yard clean up yesterday, including discovering that my one blackberry plant I had thought was dead, had sent up new shoots--so I watered it, cleared away the Virginia Creeper that invades from over the fence and felt good about the whole darn thing.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Your Song

Elton John's Your Song is one of my favorite songs of all time. Here's an early version of it performed by a young Elton John in 1970.