Archives For health

Your friend Ricky Anderson calls the gym the “hurting place.” He’s not kidding! In the last week, you’ve:

Sprained your back

Sprained your foot (in the locker room. No, you don’t want to talk about it).

And you’ve  come down with the aptly (yet oh-so-understatedly) named “exertional headaches.” For the Star Wars fan, it feels like Alderaan exploding inside your head. Or maybe the Death Star. One of the two.

It hurts.

A lot.

The first time it happens, you’re like Is this an aneurysm? Am I having a stroke? Did Freddie Kruger somehow slip his gloved hand into the dura mater? Inside my skull? All you know is your world is pain. One thousand suns have gone super nova at the base of your skull…

You babble the Pater Noster, crawling into a dark and quiet place. The back of your head all the while hammering a staccato rhythm in time with the beating of your heart. It throbs, it pulses, it pounds.

You do all you can to just breathe. In, and out. In, and out. You’re calmer. You open your eyes.

That’s when you notice the halos. Everything–every bright thing–is ringed with a glowing halo. But the centers of those rings are mushy, indistinct.

Blurry. Yes, blurry. That’s the word you’re looking for. Even with your glasses on, the world is both bright, and blurry.

But you’re not dying. No grey matter has begun leaking from your ears (although you halfway wish some would–it would relieve the pressure). You want nothing but a bottle of Ibuprofen, and some rest (you settle for two pills, and let your wife drive the car).

The headache eventually subsides, leaving you with an aching, stiff neck. You read somewhere that rest is the only cure for exertional headaches.

So you take a day off.

One day off working out, and a day off of your supplements.

Then you’re up bright and early for your cardio… And you did it! No headache. This gives you hope for lifting day. You’re smart about it: you drink your protein shake, washing down two ibuprofen with it. You wait a bit, and then head out to the gym. Instead of pushing yourself, you opt for about seventy-five percent of the level you were at before. You take it nice and slow.

Your reps are slow–up, and down; up, and down. All the while you’re controlling your breathing. A headache threatens to come on. You breathe through it, gently working your neck. The pain subaides, and you continue your workout. You’re very conscious of:

Your form

Your breathing

Your blood pressure

You make it through! Congratulations!

You didn’t let the pain get you down.* Whether you worked out as hard as you wanted, or not–you did it.

You’re a champion in my book.

*Whatever pain, or hard thing, you’re facing friends: stare it down, master it. Push through to the other side. Whether it’s working out, writing, painting, cleaning house:

YOU CAN DO IT!

Master your gym today.

For a number of years, I’ve suffered from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Because of this, I’m forced to supplement my underperforming gland with synthetic hormone.

I guess it’s helped. After losing about forty pounds a few years ago doing low carb, my body seems to have settled in the 210s. Even with supplemental thyroid, I don’t lose–or gain.

I decided to do something about that. Beginning about five weeks ago, I hit the gym. I’ve been going six days  a week, alternating cardio, and weightlifting, days. This had worked out for the most part.

I say “for the most part” because I’ve hit some speedbumps on the road to wellness:

I strained my low back doing squats (my fault–I wasn’t wearing a belt).

I’ve begun experiencing what are termed “exertional headaches.” For a phenomenon this common (all over the Internet), I’d never heard of them. Guess I’m in the lucky ten percent of the populace that gets to experience:

                            

I know that’s gross–but it’s exactly like what an exertional headache feels like. In my case, it presented as an intense bilateral pain in the base of my skull. Having never had a headache like this before in forty-five years of life, I thought I was going to stroke out. Yes. It. Was. That. Bad…

Having since read up on the phenomenon, I’m not as concerned. However, I’m bummed. Because the only cure seems to be time. Time to heal whatever damage I caused via poor form, straining, performing the Valsalva Maneuver (holding one’s breath to stabilize the thoracic cavity).

It’s a bummer because I was making progress, getting stronger. But it is what it is. Pain is warning which tells us that something is awry. My body didn’t like something, and I’ve got to slow down. It’s not as young as it used to be, and I’ve been (he who knew very little exercise) pushing it pretty hard.

Now it has pushed back.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s the lesson of the Tortoise and the Hare; namely, that slow and steady wins the race.

These speedbumps will be overcome. And I will be the best me I can be.

For Jesus.

For my family.

For my friends.

And coworkers.

You see, I used to view the gym as a temple to the self, as a form of self-worship. I don’t see it that way anymore. I see it as taking care of the one and only temple God has given me: my body (the temple of the Holy Spirit). At the same time, that while “physical exercise profits little,” and that “godliness profits in all,” there’s still value in exercise.

It’s a way for me to buffet (not buh-fay) my body. I’ve spent a lifetime buffeting, eating what I wanted. Now, I’m eating, and exercising, for a purpose. And that purpose is many-fold; chief among them is to be used of God for as long as He wills.

At the same time I’ve been pursuing physical fitness, I’ve also been pursuing spiritual, mental, and emotional fitness via: Bible reading, prayer, a faith community, and counseling.

If this is what a midlife crisis is, it’s not that bad. ;-)

In closing, I’d like to say this:

All praise and glory to God, for in Him I (we) live and move and have our being.

Happy Friday, folks! Glad you could be here. Coming up on the blog will be a post on the importance of embracing conflict. It’s neither pleasant, nor easy, but is worth it (something which has taken me far too many years to learn).

Also, some time between now and next Friday, the 28th, I’ll be hosting a Noah themed giveaway. It’s a pretty cool prize pack, and you’re not going to want to miss out on your chance to win.

Thanks, and God bless!

Have an excellent weekend.

This ‘N That

randomlychad  —  February 18, 2014 — 4 Comments

You may have noticed that things have been a bit sparse around here of late. All I can say is, because life.

In the last couple of weeks:

I’ve changed jobs.

I became the parent of a first-time Girl Scout (yes, that means cookie sales, Virginia).

My wife has been dealing with health challenges. And everyone knows that when momma’s down the family comes to grinding hault. (If you could pray for her, I’d appreciate it very much).

Theny family came down mega-hard with the “crud.” While I didn’t get it, I was a lot more tired than usual. My get-up-and-go got up and went… somewhere.

Maybe over the rainbow. Who knows. I just know that since entering my forties that neither my energy, nor my focus, is in Kansas anymore.

Is that the enough Wizard of Oz references for one post? Can I get a ruling?

I’m woefully behind on both blog reading and writing. I owe both friend,  Tim, and author Shawn Smucker,  reviews of their respective books.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to work I go!

See you around the Internets, friends.

Ciao for now,

Chad

“You’re not like the other kids,” I said to my son. “I mean in all the ways that matter, you are. In your hopes, and dreams. The things you want from life. That stuff.”

“What do you mean, dad?” he asked. “If I’m the same, how am I different?”

“It’s like this, son: sometimes your mother and I, we forget. We forget, and take you to the movies, or out to eat… We forget how sick you can get. About the headaches, the nausea, the indigestion. All that stuff that comes from eating food with corn in it. I think you forget, too. Or maybe you’re fed up with not being able to eat what all the other kids eat. So you cheat.”

—————-

This is a journey that my family and I have been on for the past several years. I wrote of it in a post entitled How Blue Like Jazz Saved Me, which was about the journey of finally coming to a diagnosis regarding my son’s corn allergy. Nobody knew anything, and the detours along the way included seeing a pediatric oncologist…

I know, it may not seem like such a huge deal, but just try to avoid corn-containing foods (or drinks), and get back to me. Like Mr. White in Quantum of Solace, corn has people everywhere. It’s in everything! Plastics are made from it, soft drinks are sweetened with it, and even MSG is synthesized from it.

Say what you will about Chick-fil-A (they use MSG), but it’s one of life’s cruel ironies that it’s not something I can share with my son. Something as simple as a chicken sandwich! I know that’s not huge, but it is one of my (dwindling list of) guilty pleasures.

And as he gets older, the consequences just mount up. Lest you think I’m overststing things, he’s had both a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy, and both showed lesions–lesions where linings were irritated because his diet consisted of foods his body rebelled against. The price of indulgence maybe be small now; later, he could be looking at Crohn’s, colitis, or worse…

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

So I write this today more for him, than I do for you, constant reader: take this seriously now before you wind up in a world of hurt. I know it’s not fair. I know you want to be like the other kids. I know eating, or drinking, these things won’t kill you now (like someone with a peanut allergy), but what about down the road? Do you want to shorten your lifespan over things you can avoid?

I guess what I’m saying, son, is that you’ve got to learn to think long term. Think about consequences. How will this effect you in the future when you’re a husband, and dad?

These are the cards you’ve been dealt; how will you play them?

And how about you, constant reader? Do you have food allergies? How do you handle them? Is there anything you can’t eat?