Archives For health

So.

It’s been quiet around here.

Well, it’s been a year. Heck, it’s been a couple of years. Life has a way of taking the wind out of your sails when you’re not looking.

Lots of things have happened; I turned 50. I’m parent to both a legal adult and a teenager. One whom I’m obliged to interact with in strictly an advisory capacity. And the other of whom wishes that were so.

I’ll leave you to figure out which is which (though the teen is oftentimes the more mature of the two).

In all seriousness, it’s been a journey of endeavoring to find a path forwards when my waistline isn’t the only thing in my life to go all pear-shaped.

Things have happened. Heavy things. Things I’m not sure I’m even ready to process yet. I mean how can I when my health is not great, my wife’s health is even worse than mine, and work is demanding more and more everyday…

Infirmity has a way of contracting one’s world till it seems as small as Hamlet’s nutshell. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the bandwidth (or the energy) to even begin to muster any outrage over the political climate in the U.S. (for instance). Life is more an unremitting treadmill of exhaustion and obligation.

It’s not that it’s a bad life, per se; I live in the wealthiest county in the world. I have a good family, a nice house… It’s just the weariness. The bone weariness. Nobody told me that one of life’s cruel jokes is that it demands more and more while taking health, energy, vitality at an ever-increasing rate as the years roll by.

Life seemingly takes more and more without truly giving anything back. It’s oftentime dry as sawdust, tedious… Repetitious. And I can’t fall apart; I’m the (as the saying goes) sole breadwinner for my family. It’s on my shoulders. It’s not that fun robbing Peter to pay Paul, keeping the bills paid, keeping a roof over our heads when more and more seems to be going out the door every day. Again, I’m not so much complaining as stating a fact (I know I live the most prosperous nation in the world, that I live what many would term a comfortable, middle class life; I get it). I guess it’s just getting harder and harder to get by on one income these days. Listen; I want to hustle, to bring home more green. I just don’t know how with: sleep apnea, thyroid disease, and my wife’s health challenges that take so much time and energy to address. I’m doing good to get up and go to the job I have… Seriously, I don’t measure my coffee in cups anymore; it’s pints. It’s either amazing, or distressing, how much caffeine I can imbibe in a given day and still be absolutely dragging myself in the door when I get home…

One day bleeds into the next, into the next, into the next. It’s hard to muster the energy to be excited about much of anything when I’m wondering what I’ll need to do to get some sleep. How much Melatonin will work for me? How about Valerian Root? Chamomille tea? I’m bone weary just sitting here typing this out.

Have you been there?

How did you break out of your rut?

Have you ever felt like the walking dead?

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“Behold the mobile prostate van,
Let all your trousers fall,
Bring forth a shining speculum
For this won’t hurt at all.”

I saw this on the street today. As a man of a certain age, I’ve been there–in the doctor’s office, mind you. There’s no way I’d head into some van to have my nethers poked and prodded.

NO. WAY.

In fact, after I recovered from the sheer horror and shock of seeing the smiling faces on the side of the van (I mean seriously, who enjoys the finger wave? the old guy looks happy, the guy in the middle has got a face saying “can we do that again that was kinda fun,” the football player has assumed the position, and I’m not sure what the couple is doing–lady, you don’t have one), it occurred to me that this is kind of comical. I know prostate cancer is no laughing matter, but getting checked sure is a pain in the butt!

Now turn your head and cough…

Okay, that was bad, but somehow it just doesn’t make me wanna sing ‘He Touched Me,’ you know? Because I can assure that it wouldn’t be joy which flooded my soul… You wanna know something else? When I was a new believer lo these many years ago, we would sing ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus Name’ at the church. When we got to the second verse–because I didn’t know the word, “prostrate” at the time–I heartily sang to “let angels’ prostates fall.”

Hold that image in your mind’s eye for a minute. Who’s gonna clean that up? “Angels,” came a booming voice, “pick up your prostates! Put them back. Let’s try this again. Clean up in aisle five.”

“All hail the power of Jesus name… No, no, no!”

——————————-

Okay, seriously, while our body parts/bodily functions may indeed cause us some discomfiture, the need for prostrate screening is real. Men, get checked. For your sake, for your family’s, for everyone who Depends upon you.

This has been a PSA from your friendly, neighborhood RandomlyChad. Oh, and, “Thank-you, sir! May I have another!”

My Exercise Program

randomlychad  —  January 9, 2015 — 6 Comments

For the past six months, I’ve been exercising. Exercising harder than I ever have in my life. Unlike my wife, whose goal is to be trim and fit, I’m looking to add lean muscle mass. My hope is that, after reaching what I feel is an appropriate weight, to cut fat. Being that I’m 45 it’s proving somewhat difficult to shrink my midsection. Where just a few years ago I was able to drop forty pounds just by doing low carb, it’s not proving quite as easy this time. Although admittedly I previously didn’t include rigorous strength training in my fitness regimen.

The long and short of it is that while I’m not gaining weight, I’m not losing it either. I chalk this up to muscle being denser than fat (that’s what he said). 😉

Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past several months:

Peak 8 high intensity interval training for cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This includes a three-minute warmup, followed by a thirty-second sprint, followed by a ninety-second walk. The sprint is repeated seven more times (for a total of eight). I cool down until my heart rate is back in the 120s. Out of the twenty-two-and-a-half minutes spent on the bike/elliptical only four total minutes is spent sprinting. Thus I only spend a little more than an hour doing cardio every week.


My Tuesday and Thursday weight training regimen includes:

Dead lifts: 300lbs lifted 10 reps x 3

Unassisted pull-ups: 25 reps x 2

Squats: 300-320lbs: 25 reps x 2

Bench press: 200-230lbs: 10 reps x 3, or 25 reps x 2


My Saturday workouts inlcude:

Dead lifts: 300-320lbs: 10 reps x 3, or 5 reps x 3

Bench press as above

Tricep cable pull-downs: 15 reps x 3

Bicep arm curl machine: 70-80lbs, 10 reps x 3-4

Hammer bicep curls (rope handle), 140-155lbs, 15 reps x 3

Straight arm pull-downs (for the back): 15 reps x 3

Hammer machine double crunches (for abs): 75lbs, 50 reps x 2

Spinal rotation (for erector spinae, obliques, and abs): 140lbs, 15 reps x 2/each side

Caveat lector: if you are going to try these exercises, please do your due diligence, and research them online. Read up, and watch YouTube videos. Proper form is key (and is the grammar of weight training if you will) . Bad form can hurt you. Please be advised that if you try these exercises, I’m not a doctor, or a personal trainer; I’m not recommending them, rather just reporting what’s worked for me. You are on your own. Any liability for injury rests solely with you.

Thanks for reading!

What does your exercise program look like?

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?

I’m losing my eyebrows. And my hair is thinning, too. No, it’s not cancer (or chemotherapy), but my thyroid.

Several years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and have been on supplementation ever since. I thought this would augment my waning energy levels, but it hasn’t yet.

Yes, it could be worse–it could be cancer, or a thousand other things. It’s not, and thank God for that.

But it is a slow fade. My energy ebbs everyday, I crab at my wife and kids…

I despise mornings.

Work days are far fuller with far more to do (the motto? “doing more with less”) precisely when I feel as if I have less to give.

If you have noticed my absence from your blog, where maybe I used to comment daily, or weekly, this is why:

I have to triage my energy. I have a family to care for, a day job, this blog to write, and the book project I’m working on.

It truly is me, and not you. Know that you are in my thoughts, and prayers. And that I am with you in spirit.

In the meantime, I’m losing my eyebrows. My body that was fearfully and wonderfully made fearfully fades.

But His grace is sufficient. I have to trust this. What else do I have? Who else has the words of life?

How have you found God’s grace to be sufficient when you’re ground down on life’s millstone?