Archive for September, 2006

Much Pain….no gain

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

     What the hell was I thinking?  Well, last Monday evening, after a nice steak dinner,  I was doing the couch potato thing, letting my food settle while watching reruns of “Surivvor”.  I decided that getting up every morning and going to the fitness center for cardio and weight training wasn’t enough.  So, I tied on my running shoes, chose a route in the neighborhood and headed out to see how  much distance these old legs and lungs could take.  To my surprise i actually went further than I expected and I was pretty proud of myself, if you don’t mind my saying so.  For at least the first quarter mile I might have even been mistaken for someone who had been running on a reqular basis. I had the shoes and the running gear to look the part.  Now, the morning after……THAT was a whole different story.  I woke up feeling like I’d been used as a speed bump to slow down neighborhood traffic.  Oh sure, I expected my legs to hurt !  But not the rest of my body too.  I must have broken something! I checked. Nope, everything seemed okay.  With every muscle in both legs surely tied in knots,  I crawled out of bed about 5:45, reluctantly and very slowly. I confess that for a fleeting moment, I considered skipping the morning workout.

But I just couldn’t make myself do it.  I must be a glutton for punishment. I have to say that when the workout was behind me and I had the Jeep pointed toward the nearest Starbuck’s and the well-earned pumpkin spice latte, I felt pretty good. The scale at the fitness center had confirmed that indeed the pounds were slowly disappearing.  I was losing weight and gaining ground.

(Fast forward…about a week and a half) The weekday runs in the evening and weekend morning runs continue and the muscle aches are about all gone. I’m just a little less winded on that last mile and actually considering stretching out and adding a mile or two to the route. With the fall season comes 5k races just about every weekend and while I have no false delusions of being competitive, I know I can finish, without being the last to cross the line.

    Things are looking up! It’s getting colder every day so at some point I may have to bring it back inside and return to the treadmill. But I’ll cross that “bridge” when I come to it I suppose.    

Goin’ to San Antone

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

   Whenever an out-of-town trip shows up on the agenda at our house, my wife always comments on how “I’m not looking forward to the drive”, which means “We’ll be traveling hundreds of miles to our destination but I will be doing very little, if any, of the driving”.  Such was the way it went on our recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, to visit family.  Automatically, she takes her places on the passenger side and I get in, behind the wheel.  The sight of her carrying her favorite magazines out to the car is a clear indicator of her intentions. “I’ll help you drive”, she’ll say.  A few hours out on the Interstate and I hinted about switching places.  But that idea is only good for about forty miles or thirty minutes, whichever comes first because between the little things about the way she drives that bother me and the eventual “my back is starting to hurt” and “my shoulders are feeling  a little tight”, I always end up taking over and driving for the remainder of the trip. That’s the way it goes and I guess I don’t mind it too much on this particular journey.  The worst part of the trip if I can call it that would have been hitting Dallas as the wrong time of the day and having to fight the traffic through a city that goes on and on for miles and bumper-to-bumper cars, where everyone else is in a hurry but us.  Fortunately, we eventually reach the other side of the city limits, the open roads lies ahead, and along the way, signs warn of the Starbucks that line the interstate and provide a caffeine boost to the weary traveler.  Sweet!


Sunday, September 10th, 2006

Consider this fair warning.  If you ever have to go to “Emergency”, you’d better be sure it’s not a real emergency and minutes might mean the difference between life and death.   Whatever situation or medical condition causes panic, leading you to jump in your car, break every speed limit, run a few red lights and weave in and out of the traffic on your way to the hospital, it doesn’t prepare you for what awaits you once you get there.  The first thing you realize is that there’s twenty other people that showed up before you did.  Chattering in their little family groups or just siting in misery alone,  they all look worse than you feel. And they’re waiting just as YOU will be in what I like to call waiting room No. 1 because this is where you’ll sit until they lead you through those double doors to yet another room, waiting room No. 2. Think about it. Why would there be a television in the waiting room if they didn’t think you’d be there for any length of time?  So you sit there, watching a rerun of “This Ol’ House” or Martha Stewart and listening to others complain about their aches and pains, until you’re certain that in addition to your original reason for being there, you’ll also need to be treated for pressure sores on your okole,too. (Okay, for you haoles, that (okole) means buttocks, behind, booty, tush,the seat of your pants.)  Then, finally,  they lead you through those double doors to waiting room, No. 2.  No television back there but you do get to lie down while your wait continues.  They draw the curtains around and you think it’s for your privacy but it’s really so you can’t see the clock on the wall and the minutes ticking away, ever so slowly.  The oncall doctor FINALLY steps through the curtains and you desperately try to remember why you are there. “Doc, will you take a look at the pressure sores I have on my butt from sitting out there in the ER waiting room so long…….and, uh, oh yeah……I think my leg is broken”.

Want faster service in the ER?  Then, try this!  When you’re sitting across the counter and the triage nurse asks you what’s wrong, say, “Well, I broke my leg (or whatever)…ahh…..AND I have  (the magic “passwords”) CHEST PAINS!!