Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get Up!

It was really hard getting up this morning.
It wasn't pain although the back was a little stiff, instead I just wanted to stay in bed for another 10 to 12 hours.
At least that was what my body was saying and it had a very convincing argument.
But my mind knew I had promised to meet several people starting with God and I always hate to miss that One.
I am sure He would understand but then again He might not, so I rolled out of bed to begin the day.
The clock was telling me it was 5:20 AM.
After getting ready and putting on exercise clothes I went to my first meeting.
My mind silenced as I awaited the Supreme Instructions and who knows how it will end but I am giving it my best shot, I pray.
Next to the gym to meet with my training partner and my trainer.
Every now and then my mind and my body say, "Go home".
It has gotten louder of late.
It may be the pace, the routine or a little of both
Last night I went to Spin and this morning will train and have a scheduled run followed by a protein shake and a couple of protein bars, some vegetables and a grapefruit.
Tonight I will go to Boot Camp, return home and eat some more vegetables, some form of protein, possibly fish or chicken and after a glass of red wine sink into bed dreaming of a Caribbean tomorrow.
Where is the comfort food, the high calorie, low nutritional density food that never fills you up?
Oh, what the hell, get over it.
I did meet with the trainer and my training partner.
It was a very tough session and my partner at the end could barely get dressed for work as his arms did not want to go over his head.
My arms were actually hot from the increased blood flow as I was getting on my long jogging pants for an outdoor run and facing the cold, 42 degrees, weather.
The wind makes it seem colder but the sun is out.
Once I had reached the site I set my watch, located the satellites and started.
3.7 miles later, 49:14 minutes later, covered in sweat, this run was in the books.
I felt great although breathless but was sad it had ended.
Now I know why I get up.
I got up easy as a seven year old always ready for high adventure.
These days the adventure may not seem as high but it is still there and is ready for the taking if you can just get going.
It really helps to have meetings scheduled especially if He is first because you never want to keep God waiting.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Learning to Run

The last time I ran was in High School.
I ran sprints and wasn't very good but no one else tried out for the 660 yard dash so that became my specialty while at the seminary.
I hated running then and that hate for running aged as I aged.
Then came Boot Camp.
The timer for station switches was usually the run and when it was my turn you could hear every one in the room groan.
The trainer even tried to soften the impact by telling me to only do two laps instead of three or four but I would have none of it and ran the assigned number.
In time I actually got better and my speed picked up and one long time member of Boot Camp recently noted that she no longer knew when I was running as I was doing about the same time as every one else.
Then 3 or 4 moths ago something in my brain tripped or died and suddenly I decided I wanted to become a runner, long distance, train for a half marathon.
A few people said they would help me and a bigger number offered to run with me, etc.
I wasn't sure as I suspected it would be hard to start running at 64 so I wanted to run alone.
I started on the treadmill and began following a training program given to me by an excellent and avid runner at the gym.
Now I am running outdoors and occasionally with others and I have to say the experience is amazing.
Am I good, no, but it has only been a hand full of months.
Do I like it, you bet I do.
It frees the mind to wander down as yet unexplored alleys.
Sleep is much better.
I am no longer timid about saying to my wife, "I am going to go and run 5 or 6 miles, see you in a day or so".
I do have an appetite again if only I could remember to eat.
So far my joints haven't been a problem and it does get you out in the fresh air.
So I guess an old dog can learn new tricks.
I just need to avoid getting run over in the gutter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Medicare Part Deux

I told some people at he gym, "As soon as I get my Medicare Card I will take you all out for Pizza".
Surprise, you can't buy Pizza with a Medicare Card.
You can get open heart surgery, admitted to a hospital, a scooter, maybe a lift chair and on and on but by George you can't get Pizza.
Just goes to show, the Pizza Lobby wasn't big enough when the benefit design people were working on the card.
All joking aside the Medicare Card is kind of daunting.
Seems a lot of doc's are getting testy about seeing Medicare patients.
Plus now you need to buy so many different options.
Part A is for hospital care.
Part B takes care of the providers or so it is said but you really need to buy a Medicare Part B supplement and then you need Part D and if you fail to get Part D you are penalized later if you need to suddenly pick up Part D.
It is all rather confusing and I was a provider in the past and thought I understood a little about the program.
Well the gym is a whole lot more understandable.
Pick up that weight and do a curl followed by a overhead press.
Do that maybe 30 or 40 time.
Now do bent over flys with that weight maybe 30 or 40 times.
The trainer stands in front of me with a sly smile on her face as the sweat starts rolling down my forehead and back.
I actually pay to endure this pain because it is easier to "hurt" oneself when someone is standing over you.
I don't think too many people would push themselves to muscular failure especially when no one is looking.
The pain went on for about 30 minutes and then the trainer said, "Going to run"?
"Today is run day and looks like I am scheduled for one hour".
I went up to the cardio floor and found an empty treadmill.
I set the speed at five miles per hour, not much more than a really fast walk and headed out.
One hour later I had run five miles and as measured by the scale, had lost three pounds of water.
This was nothing other than a simple morning in the gym and I felt like I had been reborn.
Medicare Card or not I do think I might have some Pizza this weekend but only after the Saturday weigh-in.
I guess I will have to find some cash to get Pizza for the others

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Medicare Card?

I ran 3.2 miles on Tuesday.
It was slightly uphill on the way out with a good breeze in the face.
The time was 42 minutes.
I went to Boot Camp in the evening and returned to the gym this morning.
This morning was a lift day focusing on the chest.
Tonight is Spin Night.
Between the AM and the PM I went to see an expert on Medicare Part B, Supplements and Medicare Part D.
I sat there listening, wondering how I suddenly got to Medicare age.
I realized I was "no longer in Kansas" but I wasn't on the yellow brick road either.
Lots of witches, goblins and flying monkeys can inhabit one's imagination as one tries to foresee the future.
Just remember, there is no future beyond now which keeps recurring every second for most of us.
If you are looking to the future all of the time, you are going to miss the present, trip on a rock and really hurt yourself.
So back to Medicare.
I have the card.
I am going to put it next to my Gym Membership Card.
I just betcha my Gym Card can "beat up" my Medicare Card any day of the week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More About The Core

Are you losing distance on the golf course?
Having trouble standing up from a chair?
Low back pain?
Pants getting too small at the waist?
Ever feel like you are shuffling when you walk?
Afraid of stairs both up and especially down?
These are all possible symptoms of weak core musculature.
The core muscles include the deep stabilizers (transversus abdominus, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor muscles, diaphragm, internal oblique and tranversopnialis group) and the superficial movers (latissimus dorsi (lats), erector spinae, iliopsoas (hip flexors), hamstrings, hip adductors (inner thigh), hip abductors (gluteus minimus and medius), gluteus maximus, rectus abdominus (6 pack), and the external oblique).
A good core is first stability followed by mobility with the addition of flexibility
There are multiple exercises to improve the core but a trainer can get you there faster than a "Do it yourself program".
Once you have the basics and know how to avoid hurting yourself, then go full bore.
You will first be seen to be old when posture and balance deteriorate.
You will first feel old when bad posture and bad balance become chronic.
There is no age that truly defines old.
Old is best defined by inaction, lassitude and a "shrinking" attitude.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Let's All Workout

Friday was tough.
Had to get a hard workout completed in 30 minutes.
My lift partner was on a tight schedule. Used the machines. No rest move, move, move.
Hit back, legs, chest, shoulders.
Was an intense "Cardio" workout.
Saturday was a good day.
Ran 5 miles, lifted with the trainer and ended with Boot Camp.
Spin on Sunday.
Today Monday, a good back workout and then 30 minutes on the treadmill and back to Spin tonight.
Good article in the paper today. "Never Too Old For Exercise".
If everyone would exercise I guarantee there would be significantly less people needing acute health care.
Even strengthening the Core would improve balance in the Boomers and as they age they are going to need it.
Tomorrow start with a run outdoors followed by weight training and evening Boot Camp.
Anyone can do it.
It just takes a little time, some desire, some effort.
Stay tuned to get started.
More about the Core tomorrow.