Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sweet Little Lies



Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies, tell me lies

As usual I started this post quite some time ago but I've been having trouble getting back to it. I guess I am pretty busy, although it doesn't seem so as the days go by. Just a constant stream of stuff to be doing and somehow my intention to blog seldom appears up at the top of the priority list. I don't look at the interwebs a lot anymore, so I'm not sure whether blogging is still a thing. Some of my friends and family tell me I need to get back on the koobecaf and do the twitter, and that I should sign up for the pinwhine and instavictim. Since I "should" do so -- according to the expert and superior intellects of professional government parasites, I won't. Bet no one saw that coming!

Dad's hanging in there. The September 30 fall he had should have finished him in short order, but he's been slowly but surely recovering from that. His liver is still screwed, but he retains enough liver function to survive and have a better-than-could-be quality of life. He relies on diuretics to keep the portal hypertension down and still gets fluid drained and albumin infused every week. He's weak and shaky but holding his own. It's not a great existence for him but not nearly as bad as it could be.

As for me, I've got cattle and land to tend, newspaper words to write, and a more physically smart lifestyle to manage. Seems to be just about the right quantity of stuff.

Back in May this working out thing sucked. I suspected that if I persevered I'd have some nice results. Loose a little weight, gain a little strength and endurance, feel a little better.

But I didn't know for sure. It was possible that I'd just blow my Achilles up again and be out of business. It was also possible that at my creaky, post-middle age place in life, that I just couldn't do it. That the tank was empty, that I'd put all that fitness stuff permanently behind me and had only recliner and decliner ahead.

I was actually more worried about the Achilles. I was reasonably sure that barring injury I could get back into some semblance of shape. I was pretty sure I still had enough juice left.

But I didn't know.

May sucked. It hurt quite a bit, which was to be expected. Doing hands-on stuff outside isn't the same as working out. Nothing wrong with outdoor physical labor. It's good for you on many levels. But it's not the same thing as building strength and endurance. That repetitive exercise thing stresses heart and body systematically and repeatedly, and that causes a lot of aches and pains. Routine physical labor doesn't do that, which is proof that working out is a different thing.

The days became weeks, then months. At first it was a slog and a lot of it I didn't much like. Pushing through the hard bits isn't a lot of fun. It feels good at the end of the workout and gives a solid sense of accomplishment, but that doesn't make the hard bit fun or enjoyable while it's happening.

Sooo... I found that lying to myself could be quite helpful.

"Man, that feels good!"

"Screw this, I'm gonna take it easy today and just do (fill in the blank)." Then along the way I find myself saying, "Just one more."

And so on. Sorry about the sideways video.

I no longer set out to do crush days. The thought is too scary and I'm too prone to giving up. If I quit before reaching a goal then I feel bad about my effort. If I set the bar low and then "overperform," however, I feel much more better about what I've done.

I have to be careful about the lying to myself though, because I can fall for bad bullshit as easily as I can fall for good bullshit. One of the sneaky things my mind does is take a concept like "rest and regenerate" or "listen to your body" and run with it -- all the way to the recliner!

I'm 60 years old, a doddering post middle-age senior citizen. Stuff hurts. Stuff doesn't work like it did four decades ago. Stuff is harder to do than it usetawas.

The bad bullshit fairy tells me that it's all behind me now and it's time to give up and give in. The good bullshit fairy says "just one more."

So far, so good.

I remember when walking up smokebong hill was a great accomplishment, and when doing so five times during a five mile walk was like an Olympic-level competition. This morning I RAN to smokebong hill, then RAN up the hill 10 times (walking down, of course, then RAN (except for a couple of video segments) home. Six point five miles in 45 minutes. Completely stupid! How can I be able to do that?

It's important for me to remember that I owe a great debt to the surgeon and team who finally unfiretrucked my achilles, and to the superb physicians and nurses at our local horsepistol who quite possibly saved my foot, leg, and even life with daily antibiotic infusions. This fitness thing has been a team effort.

It's still cool to realize that I've been able to go from shit to fit, and at an advanced age no less! Like that Yoda dude said, do or do not. 

There'll come a time when I can't do this anymore, but that time is not here yet. So for now I'll just keep plugging away. I feel better, I can do more regular work in addition to the physical stuff, and there are a lot of hot young 40-50 year old chicks hitting on me.

There are worse places to be.


  1. Good to know that your Dad is still with us. Getting in shape? Something I need to work on.

    Good to hear from you Shaun and the Plains are as pretty as I remember them in November. (An acquired taste I'm sure!)

    1. Thanks Sarge. He's hanging in there.

      The Plains, she's got a lotta faces in November. 63 mph gusts yesterday!

  2. "Good to know that your Dad is still with us. Getting in shape? Something I need to work on."

    What OldAFSarge wrote, me too.

    It's good to read your post, and somewhat bad in that I feel like a bit of a slug for not doing what you are doing. Keep us posted as and when you are able.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    P.S.- Let some ( or at least one ) of those " hot chicks " succeed.

    1. Thanks Paul. We've all got our own path to follow. Mine is goofier than most.

      Gots to be careful with the fully adult wimmins. Most of 'em can hit harder than an 8" AP round.

    2. "Gots to be careful with the fully adult wimmins. Most of 'em can hit harder than an 8" AP round."

      Yes, true that. But when/if you find a good one, it's quite rewarding.


    3. It's a gamble. You can only take so many 8" hits.

    4. Especially farm women. They are STRONG!

  3. Welcome back, Shaun.
    I bet that dog has something to do with your fitness, he seems to be herding you right along until he finally gets you to throw the ball again.
    Well done to all, and to all Season's Greetings.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Thanks John. Yep, Nona works hard trying to get me trained up. She's the brains of the outfit. :)

  4. The place needs more proper trees, said one former plains dweller to another. It's not like the Aleutians, real trees do grown on the Great Plains. Mortality called here today from Latrobe, PA. The winds of eternity are gathering close to one there and it hurts. I am back to walking which is good, for different values of good. I get hit with plantars fascitis in one foot and then the next and then all the muscles in one leg go into full spasm and lock for a couple of days. Wondering, is it diet? Exercise? Allergy? Walking barefoot in the house way into the cold of winter without a care since I can't really feel my feet all that much anyway?
    I know you're medically trained and all but your physical regime is damaging to my own medical philosophy that one only gets so many heartbeats in this life and the best way to draw that out is the comfy chair.
    The pictures of the stair were interesting. Very familiar looking except for the carpet at the bottom. When I was housesitting for a year I fell down a set of stairs exactly like that time after timie. Neuropathy does terrible things to balance and stairwells. I had to literally clean the blood off the walls near the bottom before my sister and her family got home from a year abroad.
    Best wishes for a full recovery for your dad and for you.

    1. Loss is a bugger. My thoughts are with you. As for trees, they're nice but not suited to the local environment. I love my own trees and take some pride in their existence, but they don't really belong here.

      One of the things driving my fitness quest is the realization that I'm remarkably blessed with good health while so many are not. I know a lot of folks who would give anything to do what I'm doing but cannot. It seems a bit rotten for me to squander the gift I've received while others can only dream of health.

      I used that finite heartbeat line on a physician Marathoner one time. His resting pulse was half of mine, and he pointed out that it was probably too late for me to catch up.

      Strength and agility prevents falls and mitigates the effect of falls. Once again I am blessed, and in my mind, regaining and maintaining strength and agility makes sense. Something will get me in the end, but perhaps it won't be a fall.

      Hang in there and treasure what you've got. There are always others among the living who are worse off, and when the living is done we're all in the same, er, boat.