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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Hope

The morning air was a nearly perfect sixty-five degrees with only a slight breeze.  Ideal conditions to be out on the road. A day worth remembering. I hate I have lost so much of my sense of smell as I would love to capture the aroma of this early fall day in my memory bank as well.

I’m asking things of my body that it doesn’t like especially since it still has too much weight to be carrying around.   The body is fighting against itself and the mind, while the soul is just weary of it all.

Yet even amidst the turmoil within me I am struck by a moment of grand beauty.  In the middle of a pain concert raging in my feet, legs, back and lungs I stop for a moment to watch a squadron of maple leaves launch from their branch and be carried along on a gentle current.  Watching as they spiral down in the morning sunlight. Twirling and twisting in a death dance celebration of their short life.  The sun spotlighting them, highlighting their performance.

For that brief moment time seemed to stop and allow me to take it in.  The sound of the leaves rustling on the trees, the feel of sun on my skin,  the breeze gently caressing my face.  A moment of pure beauty in the midst of an internal storm.  A reminder that no matter how out of control things seem to get, there is hope because there is beauty.  Because there is beauty I know there is love.
Because there is love… I have hope.

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Update (read: bragging)
Here we are 14 days into the New Year and yes, I am still at it.
For the new year I have decided to learn how to swim. (yes, I’m AARP eligible and just now learning to swim.)
I have had a couple of swim lessons and I haven’t drown yet. I’ve inhaled my share of highly chlorinated water… but not drowned yet. (I will probably die of chlorine poisoning… but not by drowning.)

This past week we found out at work that our per-ordered uniform allowances from 2013 were processed wrong so we had 15 days to re order. I did (and for the first time in 8 years I used every single penny of the allowance)… but there is a catch.

As of this moment I’m in 42 pants. Now the smart thing to do would be order 42’s right? Well… no one has accused me of being smart so what did I do? I ordered 40s and 38s. So… now I have to keep at it in order to fit in my new clothing allowance.

So here is the real reason for the update.
**Now let me preface this with some disclaimers:
I know that to the purists, machine mileage is not the same as “real” or “on the road” mileage. I further concede that my times are s-l-o-w compared to real runners and people who are in a shape other than round.

Having said that:
Tonight I was on Mistress Sadie’s cousin the Elliptical (name yet to be determined) and I did 95 minutes of the “Rolling Hills” program for a total of 7.31 miles. Again, that’s 7.31 miles. That’s averaging sub 13 minute miles. (12.99589603283174… but who’s counting, right?) which was 11770 strides on the elliptical.
Now the interesting part is, that is more than a 10k. (and again I realize that’s not “real” running… but still, it’s pretty darn impressive if you ask me! )

I’m going to have to get a shirt or a hat that says, “I’m Getting There”

Anyway… that’s the update, we now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing and lurking.

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Ok, now for some good news.
It’s the little things these days, which bring me joy.

This time last year, along with the tight pants I had a shirt issue as well.
When I looked down I had gap disease. You know the “pucker” effect that a tight shirt will produce around the buttons? Where there just isn’t enough material to line up the button rows. Large breastses and moobies will cause that same problem. Well, I was infected with it. My shirts were eat up with button strain.

My belly was at maximum expansion in some of my shirts and the pressures on some of my buttons had reached critical mass. I even had to take out extra Ralphie Insurance just in-case a button fired off and shot someone’s eye out. Breathing deep might have caused a rapid fire burst sending buttons down range to do major damage.

However, today, I noticed that not only do my buttons now line-up, but there is breathing room inside the shirt. In fact, the shirts now fit loosely around my belly. I noticed my moobs are on the decline as well. My shirt pockets no longer arrive in a room five minutes before the hip pockets. And, an added plus is that I can no longer pass the pencil test. (meaning my moobies no longer sag and hang over my belly)

It’s the little things that keep me going, and today it was startling to realize that my shirts actually have breathing room… you know…. while I am wearing them!

We now return you to your previously scheduled surfing.

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It has been a while since I updated The Orange and Lime Green Sherbets, or how things are going with Mistress Sadie.

I will have to admit there was, shall we say, a pall in my resolve.
What with “The Wedding” and so much other stuff going on over the summer I found myself dozing while my life was on autopilot.  I had let my guard down and when I awoke from my self-induced stupor I realized the enemy had retaken ground that was hard won the first time.

So there I was, faced with the ultimate decision, what do I do?  Do I go ahead and take the easy road back to the couch and give up?  Or do I man up and dig down deep inside myself and find the Marine that I once was, pick him up dust him off and between the two of us become the man that I once hoped to be but never have been yet?

To tell you the truth everything within me fought against me this week.  Every demon from my past, every failure I have ever experienced popped up and sang its tale of woe, weakness and frustration.  All my failures, disappointments, and personal flaws whispered to me to just give up and quit.  “It’s not worth it,” they said.  “Why even try?” they said.  “No one cares about or wants you,” they argued.  “What difference will it make?”

It dawned on me, they were absolutely right, “What difference WILL it make?”  So I quit arguing, and somewhere deep, deep down inside I started to get angry.  I stopped engaging my demons and my failures and my dead dreams, and my personal flaws altogether… and in my mind I stood up, turned around and began walking.  They all withstood me, began to taunt and make fun of me until I finally growled, “To hell with all of that, I’m doing this for me!”  I don’t care about my failures, or my flaws, or even about what anyone thinks of me!  I’m doing this for me, and when it’s done I hope to finally meet the man that I once hoped to be.  Not the man someone else wants me to be, but the one who I let life beat down, the one I smothered with religiosity, the one I never allowed myself to be.

Today marks the second day back in actual training mode.  I went back to Mistress Sadie and she worked me over for 50 minutes.  35-40 minutes was pumping her as hard as I could go.  My heart rate peaked at 180 beats/min. She was glistening with my sweat when I finished.  I wiped her down and she knew I was back only now the intensity is greater than before.  I’m on a mission.

Somewhere in my encounter with Mistress Sadie today I stepped through a portal in my mind, a portal to the id.  I had to find the Marine.  I knew he was in there, covered with the sands of my time, the dust and sediment of my life.  I sent out a distress signal, that he was needed, that I was reactivating him.  If this mission was to succeed I was going to have to have him back.  His ability to endure the mental challenges was needed.  I realize now that it was I who limited his physical abilities and I was the one who held “him” back.

Somewhere around the 20-minute mark he found me.  For a brief shining moment I felt him there; he was there to rescue me.  He was there to carry me over the pain threshold and for the next 20 minutes he ran with me as we pushed past levels 8-10 on Sadie as we took the hill of level 12 and reached the summit at level 14 for a couple of minutes.   Somewhere during the 5 min cool down he nodded and smiled.  I came back to this side of the portal, completely spent but encouraged, knowing the Marine is still with me, “Always Faithful.”

I was able to do one Set of the 14 Fitlinxx stations, then to the steam room to relax, finally shower and leave.

So, here I sit.
I’m not the man I once was.  With heaven’s help I will become the man I once hoped to be.  Not for anyone else or anyone else’s approval, this time I’m doing it for me. (Now I fully understand the meaning behind James 4:14-16.  If the Lord allows me to complete this quest, then so be it.) I have examined my life, weighed it in the balances and it comes up lacking.  And if I fail, let me die in the attempt, because that would be preferable to this life of mediocrity I now endure.

I am Persifler, not the man I was, but not yet the man I hope to be.

*for those who don’t know who Mistress Sadie is:  precor_amt_100_i

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Ok, with the weather and the time change… neither the Orange Sherbet nor the Lemon-Lime have been able to ride here lately.  So… I found out my company will  reimburse half of the monthly fees for health club/YMCA membership.  The Y has “pay-the-day” joining fee this month so I joined for a dollar today.   Now I hope I have a job long enough for this to matter.

*to bring everyone up to speed.  The Orange and Lemon-Lime Sherbet are my persona on a Bike.  I wear either a day-glo Orange or a day-glo Lemon-Lime shirt when I ride.

Day 1:

Alrighty then… Upon arriving I realize I am out of my league right out of the gate.  I keep telling myself, “Don’t compare yourself to anyone, don’t compare yourself to anyone,” but it is humbling when the Geriatrics are putting me to shame.

Ok so this is how it went down.  I thought I had prepared, bag, change of clothes, towels, clean underwear (the non-holie ones),  shampoo, shower shoes, work out shorts, bottle of water … am I forgetting anything?  Lock, need a lock… I know,  I’ll use one from work. (mistake #1) It did not fit… so after 20 minutes of tossing my work van I found a short, small diameter shanked lock.  Most of my exercise so far was just walking back and forth from the parking lot to locker-room.

Thirty minutes after I arrive, I wander out into the hall.  Picture this.. an old, gray-haired, white Fat Albert (just not as cool) with a pony-tail wandering the halls with an, “uh-huh, yep, that’s right it’s my first time here, yep, uh-huh” look on my face.  My inner self was screaming, “Don’t draw attention to yourself!”  Try to blend in… act nonchalant.   One pass through the exercise area doing a little recon along the way.  Now the brain is starting to have second thoughts.  As I look around it is going, “What the heck is T-h-a-t?  What does that do?  How does that work? And finally, “What is this contraptio… oh, I see… it’s a scale.”

Ok I need to know what my baseline is so I’ll start here.

I step up… “Nothing”

Ok, don’t panic.  There, there’s the on button.  Step off and let it “zero.”

Step up… and…this time it tells me a secret, a very weighty, burdensome secret.

I look up and let out a loud, deep, sigh and  that’s when I notice it.   It may motivate some but it’s the last thing I want or need right now: mirrors.  They’re freaking E-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!  I’m still not sure how I feel about that image looking back at me.  I try to avoid the guy looking back at me in the mirror, maybe if I ignore him he’ll go away?!

So, baby steps… that’s how I’ll start, baby steps.

In order to avoid the guy in the mirror I skip stretching and loosening up. (mistake #2)  Find something that looks familiar and climb aboard.  Recumbent bikes have come a long way from what I used to know.  I try to look like I know what I’m doing while figuring out how this one works on the fly.  I finally settle in to a routine and the best I can figure I did around 6.5 miles in 30 min.

I’m sweating and sore from not exercising since the time change.  So I call it an evening and head to the sauna.

You know… they are a lot hotter than I remember them also.

So we come to the end of Day 1.

“Baby steps”… that is a massive accomplishment for me.

I leave with a sense of satisfaction.

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