Archives For Life

I have been mulling this one over, unsure of how to proceed.

But this is the most important blog post you’ll ever read.

Why do I say that? Is it bald hubris, or mere temerity?

No, rather it’s all about life, death, and eternity.

Specifically:

Where will you spend yours–when this life is done, and you’ve had your fun–do you just go into the ground to become

The diet of worms?

Or is there something more?

And if there is, what are you doing about it now? What are you waiting for? You see, what I believe is that there is a life beyond the one we live day-to-day in fleshly decay.

One which goes on forever, that outlasts these born-to-die frames.

And that life?

That life has a name:

Jesus.

Whoever you are, wherever you’re at, call out to Him today.

Don’t delay.

This has been the most important blog post you’ll ever read.

When I Saw Sonny

randomlychad  —  September 15, 2014 — Leave a comment

I don’t know Sonny. He doesn’t know me. Never met the man. But I was stunned by his example:

When I heard him say he was seventy years old, I was stunned! There I was, forty-five, tired, and like the eponymous “Al” of the old Paul Simon song, “soft in the middle.” I didn’t want to be soft in the middle anymore!

When I heard Sonny say that he started working out at the age of forty-four, I was stoked! It meant I could do it, too! That I wasn’t too old to get healthy, get ripped.

If Sonny can, so can I!

So can you, my friends. So can you! Take care of the temple the Lord has given you–you’ve only got the one.

What are you doing to get healthy?

Life, as they say, goes on. The show must go on. I get up everyday, by God’s grace, and carry on. But what happens when life doesn’t go on? For those three thousand souls, September 11th, 2001 was just another day.

Life was going on.

They arose, bathed, dressed, went off into the wide world on all manner of business. Trying to make it to the office, make flights, maybe make love to their spouses before heading out. Maybe working out before a busy day. None of them knowing that life would not be going on too much longer. Not one knew, as each readied for the day, that these moments would be the last with family. The last hugs and kisses. The last sound of children’s laughter (or sibling rivalry). So many lasts

I remember them today, those for whom life did not go on.

I also remember their friends, and family members, each of whom–in the wake of tragedy and loss–had to find a way to go. I remember the emergency service workers, rushing into to burning buildings while others rushed out. They made the ultimate sacrifice for those whom they did not know; it didn’t matter–life is what mattered. Saving as many human souls as possible is what mattered.

I remember us today: we, the living. I pray we remember what a precious gift life is, and how it can snatched away in but an instant. We never know when once we step out the door what a day will hold.

#NeverForget

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.