Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kid in a candy store...

After given the green light to workout I immediately decided my first workout would be to climb Camelback Mtn. a tough 1.5 mile scramble up a mountain in the middle of town. The 95* heat would be the added bonus to a great workout. I conspired with myself, ferreting gear aside so Mistress would not be suspicious of the training I had prepared.

The next morning I took some time to meditate on my plan and decided that it would not be prudent to challenge myself so strongly. I convicted myself once again for not paying attention to reality. I still have so far to go in this process. The dozens of admonishing emails and texts to 'take it easy' only cemented my resolve to reign it in.

Instead I planned a much simpler workout at the park next to my house, resting as necessary:
25 Pull Ups
50 Push Ups
50 Sit Ups
50 Floor Wipers, using two stable poles
50 Reverse Push Ups
50 Jumping Jacks
50 Burpies
20 minute run
Honestly I think the run 'hurt' me the most, though the screaming triceps today may disagree. Eight weeks ago I ran 3 hours at a moments notice with little effort. This week I am so glad I didn't stop running and really glad I only went for 20 minutes.

But hey I've been through a lot physically and had a long rest. So I'm not to beat up about it. I am just glad to not be hooked up to dialysis machine or be on a permanent training hiatus. As I have mentioned and try to constantly remember, statically I shouldn't be allowed any training right now and with it being conditional there is still a vast chasm to cross before understanding my true limitations and finding the sweet spot between itch and scratch.

Today I am going to OW swim a klick (military jargon for 1 kilometer or 1,000 meters), and attempt a 2.5 mile run. Each one lap of the underground duathlon the aztriclub is holding this Sunday. Jeff and I are going to check the run course out.

Friday I may ride to work, which is 30 miles RT and do that more regularly from now on when scheduling allows.

Have Fun.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Systems Go

Productive phone call Tuesday with the Seattle doctors. I have been given a Green Light for all things fun, or in this case exercise. And I have an action plan for the next few months from them. To begin with I can swim and use weights. I can bike and I can run. I have to self-monitor (uh-oh) and gradually build back up. Nothing long yet. I can go to altitude.

I am being sent a couple of test kits. I need to see some other doctors down here for specific exams. They want me to eventually come up and while there do a lactate threshold and resting metabolic test with a power to weight ratio thrown in. I said I can do that here no problem.

We talked about training volume and nutrition and different scenarios I can look into down here to help me out.

I asked if there was any conditions I need to place on my training and he was pretty straightforward, nothing to hard. He has a client on the Slipstream cycling team that has a similar condition to me and is now doing very well but it was a process.

I am ready for my next big adventure...I just gotta find my running shoes.

Paying Myself

I bought light bulbs yesterday. 100 watts. Not CFL's. Get over it. The illumination of CFL's is terrible regardless of the model. And from practical application I can tell you they last no longer than regular bulbs. In fact I have thrown out at least three this year after getting some for Christmas. I am not into paying more for something that gives me less of what I want.

I have begun recycling aluminum cans. Part of it is a by product of my own stewardship of the environment but I have an ulterior motive. It's going towards my 'buggy fund'. Yes I would love to own a dune buggy like this one.

A friend had one in college and I really enjoyed it. One has been on my wish list since moving to the SW a decade ago. I finally decided to do something about it but the discretionary income is not there so I will let my habits pay for it, drinking diet coke and picking up trash. I already pick up trash at the lake when I go up there so separating cans is not a problem, nor is collecting the family usage. A pound of cans, roughly 25 of them, is worth between .85 cents and a dollar. Eventually I will make the purchase and the instant upgrades just from my recycling and collecting. It will take a while but I got time.

I also picked up a very small, powerful solar charger and modified it to accept USB plugs. It cost me a fraction of what I'd have to pay for a battery operated system, plus no batteries! I have enough adapters to charge just about any small electrical device like my cell phone, iPod, gps, laptop, portable DVD and camera. Did you know charging your cell phone eight hours every night at home equals about $7 of your monthly utility bill or about $80 annually?

While I know this is silly, I pay myself to read books. I love to read and realized that when I am in a book I am not in a store spending money on impulse stuff. Depending on my training and work load, I'll read two to four books a month. I pay myself $20 a book. Its silly but an effective way to put some money aside. I only imagine how much I'd have if I started this two decades ago.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

To many of our citizens, this day holds little of the importance it once did. BBQ's and a three day weekend now cover the solemnity of remembering, memorializing, our sons and daughters who have given given their life while in uniform.

In our great experiment of freedom brave souls have stood upon the battlements ready to defend its principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The very protections we are blessed with today are due to the sacrifices others have made for us and this day is set aside to recognize them in a tribute of selflessness.

The men I have known, or been told about, the men of history I have studied, all had similar traits. They cared little for the battle they fought rather it was the cause that captured them. A desire to defend their family or protect the weak. On this day we hold in memory those that died holding the line.

In this age most of our holidays are nothing more than an edifice to commercialism. Memorial day is one of the few that is largely untouched, aside from car and furniture companies creating their three day sale blitz. For those that are deeply cognizant of this day, there is no card or gift that can remove the sadness from the heart. This day does not lend credence to what possession we want next when what we desire most is the return of someones life we held so dear. We dream of never having to hold ourself accountable to someone who we felt left this world too early. God save those that blame them self for the lose of life.

Today is meant to honor duty to county. It is meant to hold in memorial those that gave their full measure of devotion for freedom.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The return of photos?

Mighty Mo asked and asked and asked all week if he could reach his hand in the peanut butter jar and eat with his hands. Mistress did not expect him to be so....exuberant. I expected no less.

Topper, our Red Fox Lab, did in fact pounce mightily on the Mo and cleaned his face amongst the giggles.
Summer is officially here.

Have Fun.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A New Shiny Thing: Stove

Oops I did it again. Can't help myself. I bought a new Shiny Thing. I have been listening to my Godfather discuss his plans for what was to be OUR backpacking trip this August. But due to my current condition that is not going to happen. Damn it!

My new Shiny Thing is a REAL. SHINY. THING. It is an alcohol stove for backpacking. Here is the official ebay site. It uses denatured alcohol not gentleman's booze.

I have been trying to find ways to cut down gear weight and work towards a greener posture at the same time. The stove weighs one ounce and is made from a recycled energy drink can.

I am not a gourmet chef in the bush, crap I can't even cook in the house, so mostly I just heat water for drinking and heating up meals. There is no such thing as saute or simmer in my repertoire.

The stove has holes drilled 3/4" from the top all the way around. The fuel goes in the body but when a pot is placed on top it creates pressure which forces the flame through the side holes in a manner not unlike a blowtorch. A wind screen is necessary to protect the flame from the elements but also heats the pot faster by reflecting heat. Its recommended to use a wide bottomed pot or even a tea kettle based on the way the jets distribute the flame and provide balance.

The fuel, denatured alcohol, is very inexpensive and common to find. Alcohol burns extremely clean compared to propane/butane mixed one use fuel cans or what white gas puts out, the most common types of camping fuel. To save additional weight I will most likely carry my fuel in a recycled 20 oz soda bottle.

Field testing took place over several nights in my backyard with my co-pilot Mighty Mo. Each test used two ounces of alcohol. I used an older six inch wide camp pot with no lid. The first test it took over a minute for the flame to ignite the fuel and prime the jets. After that I wrapped a fiberglass candle wick around the body and add a bit of fuel to the wick when I fill the body. By lighting the wick and not the fuel in the body it warms up the fuel faster, thereby igniting the vapor faster. This dropped the priming time to about twenty seconds and saves a lot of fuel.

Without the lid I heat two cups of water in an average of 5.5 minutes. I have read that with a lid it can be done in three minutes. Makes a great cup of tea or morning cup of coffee (french press).

Weighed out I am saving at least one pound for every couple days I am in the field. I would recommend this as a gift for an outdoors friend or family member. It may never replace their established norms but outdoorsman like back ups and its a proven field tool.

A New Shiny Thing: helmet

Its the return of Shiny Thing segments. For the uninitiated, Shiny Things are usually very cool objects, though not necessarily shiny. (Though if you think about it most shiny things are pretty cool). They can be expensive or not. Shiny is a figurative frame for getting something you want or didn't want but you got it anyway because its cool to you.

I finally found a helmet for "non-biking" activity. For those unfamiliar as to why I would need a helmet for activities other than cycling please click the 'TBI' link below and read up on my unusual life of head injury's. I chose the Pro Tec Ace Freestyle SXP.

I had certain demands when making my decision. It needed to obviously protect my head from the knocks that will give me yet another concussion. It needed to have a classic, multi use look as opposed to a specific shape like a helmet. Lastly, due to my location, it needed to be well ventilated.

Pro Tec has mass popularity in groups that demand head protection like skaters, BMX'ers and special operation military units. They are light weight, take a beating and depending on the model is quite well ventilated. When I worked in urban combat scenarios in the 1990's we used this type of helmet or a hockey helmet. Neither of them had any ballistic protection, but the opportunity for injury was greater from hitting or falling down something in a busted up building.

There are helmets on the market that are more and less expensive than Pro Tec models. The deciding factor for me on this particular helmet is two fold. First it is CPSC which means it is fully complaint as a cycling helmet. Second it uses a new technology inside called SXP, which allows for multi impacts without decrease in protection. I hope to never put this technology to the test but if I do, its nice to think that the helmet may be stronger than just a basic model.

Some other positive considerations; the helmet is molded for goggles. There are a dozen vent holes on the front, back and top which will help in desert climates. Each helmet fits a bit differently so I do suggest that if anyone is looking for a multi sport helmet they try several models. The 'water' models have a liner that allows the helmet to float and provide ear protection. Some models use an additional strap that attaches around the throat to provide additional connectivity to your head.

What will I use this helmet for? Good question. Right now watching tv and yard work. Just kidding. Actually I will use this for quite a lot. I sometimes pretend to water ski, each time I fall pretty hard. For Mexican vacations I like to use ATV's and a personal helmet is better piece of mind than a rental. Mistress would like to take me horseback riding at some point. I have a full suspension mountain bike and would rather use this helmet than my over priced tri-helmet. When I do desert runs, I have been known to boulder and having this in my pack would be a benefit. I am invited to 4-wheel a few times per year and there is the potential to hit the head when being rocked inside a vehicle. I owe Bolder a trip to his town and I am sure he will try to get me to snow ski if its next winter.

In the end, this will give both Mistress and I peace of mind and that is worth a lot. I don't mind the looks I may get looking out of place. But its worth it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feeling it

I am so sorry that I have to bore my fantastic readers with thoughts instead of action. The lack of exercise in my life this last month, has truly felt like I am missing a body part. However, as a Common Man, I am sure restarting any activity will take supreme effort. Why is it always easier to stop than start?

Have I become a curmudgeon? This last week I have taken to boycotting my local Fox affiliate on tv. I simply can not take another news segment, live feed from the carpet, endless commercials or teasers regarding American Idol.

Season finales have been rolling out and last week I watched CSI (Vegas). A key character since the first episode was murdered making it a great season finale and a compelling opener for next season. While thinking about it over the weekend, I applauded the show for such a drastic move after another main character left the series mid season. I liked it because it was real. Not the murder part but the fact that we seldom work with the same people for years and years due to things like promotion, firings, transfers and other life issues. Its why I have always liked the show ER, anyone remember that Anthony Edwards and George Clooney started that show?

Last night Mistress was watching the finales of her two shows, Bones and House, and while I caught only the ends of each one, a main character from each show died or was removed from the show in a terrible way. Now I see the pattern of this year. Death sells.

If only Idol could do the same.

To stay active without exertion for the last two weeks I have been doing a little bit of home improvement every night. I got pretty far behind during IM training. This morning I woke up and my legs were actually tight. When I woke up I thought, "Did I finally run in my sleep!??!" Alas no my fantasy was not filled, it was the yard work from last night. But man that felt good to have that feeling back in my legs, even if it was from just edging my yard.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Managed Crisis

I am not normally a big weather guy, everyone knows it's fricken hot here. Today though may be a new high. It's projecting OVER 110 degrees, the record is only 105*. At 10am it was already 100 degrees. I guess today I am glad I don't need to decide what event I am going to practice, though I'd probably have chose a short run and long swim. The life of an arm-chair triathlete.

If the medical schedule holds, today a panel of specialists at a clinic in Seattle will review the 42 pages of medical records I have generated since Ironman. Hopefully this begins the next step towards my testing and God willing eventual return to nominal training. In the meantime I have already mapped out about two dozen new workout plans for myself. Some people design bead necklaces or build cabinets, I create workout routines.

I have been able to support my friends at two events since Ironman. While I did not participate in either of these events I was front and center and wanting so badly to get in the mix. For the first few hours each time, my entire body shook with a palsy I could not control and was noticeable to others. I would describe it as similar to a massive intake of caffeine or ephedrine but without the crash. I attribute it to a spillage of adrenaline much like a happy puppy can not control its bladder or perhaps more apt, when a person has a physical high after experiencing a particularly strong physical moment, like bungie jumping or witnessing a car accident up close. Curiously, without having the bonk affect afterwards, I can claim to have never felt like that before and now twice in a month after my internal injury.

The first time this occurred, at the triathlon in Mexico last month, I thought is was merely a reaction to a small hangover, lack of sleep and tropic air. The second occurrence over the weekend had no such considerations. Maybe it's just a side affect of a new me or perhaps a condition of my rhabdo that will be addressed in testing. In the meantime its something I will continue to contemplate and notate.

Have Fun. Its Monday, a new week starts today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gear Review: Ironman Shock Watch

I was going through some boxes in my garage and found my Casio G-Shock watch that I bought in 1988. I wore it almost the entire time I was in the Army and beat the living hell out of it. The watch is twenty years old, been sitting in a box for over a decade and the battery is still running. I decided to go out and get another model.

I did a lot of research, all good shoppers do, and in the end I went with the new Timex Ironman Shock watch, their equivalent of the G-Shock. I am so happy Timex makes this watch. I like Timex over Casio because, well lets be honest it has about a half dozen M-Dots around the case. Because its a true dive watch (200m, thats down, not distance) the buttons and split button are a bright orange as well as the M-Dots.

However here are the reasons I think more of you should consider this watch for your next non-HR digital timepiece.

This watch has a very large face. I personally like large watches. The reason for the added size is that as a true dive watch it is pressured which means you can use it for diving down to 200m. Also the buttons are closed off so you can truly press splits/laps underwater which is a great asset in the pool.

Secondly, Timex has a great numbers font. If any of you have really looked at other digitals closely, there are some that have darker numbers but smaller, larger numbers but use a dot matrix. Timex numbers are decent size and clearly visible from literally an arms length.

Timex Ironmans are a vision of simplicity. When compared to similiar digital dive watches, like the Casio, there is all types of clutter on face. In fact this Timex Shock takes simplicity one step further in an awesome way. Using the mode function you can turn off options like multiple alarms, occasions and on this particular watch a Golf function. Of the many modes available I turned all of them off except Time, Stopwatch, Countdown and one Alarm.

If Timex did not invent the Indiglo it captured the market share. This new generation of watches does not light up the entire watch face with the blue backlighting but designed the watch so that only the numbers light up. It does take getting some used to but it give just as much light to see at night. Plus with the FLIX system you can flick your wrist towards you the Indiglo will automatically turn on for a few seconds.

For those of you looking for a new Timex Ironman I suggest looking at the Shock. It will take a beating, is completely waterproof and able to work buttons underwater. You can turn off modes you would not normally use. I got mine at Wal-Mart for about $60 which makes it cheaper than most normal Ironman models you would find at bike shops.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

State business

Ten years ago when I moved to Arizona it was still the Wild West. The government was decidedly pro business and pro-consumer. Now its much more 'Californiafied' and become a national hot spot for illegal immigration. I thought I would include two completely separate Top News topics for today.

County sheriff Joe Arpaio, "The toughest sheriff in the country' backs down to no one. In the past he has blasted the mayor of Arizona and his sometime advocate the county prosecutor among others. Now its the governor, Janet Napalitano, who yesterday signed an executive order cutting a million dollars of the sheriffs budget tied directly to policing illegal immigration.

The sheriff has really focused on smugglers, drop houses and rounding up illegals at pro-immigration rallies. To deflect his effectiveness, protesters including the mayor are saying he is not doing his job bringing in felony warrants. He shot back that its not his sole responsibility to bring in fleeing felons and every other policing department gets funds for warrant captures. Plus Arpaio's department is the only police organization with unilateral training and support from federal agencies to capture illegals.

Needless to say there is a great deal of debate on this. The other point is that ASU, one of the largest universities in the country cut three mens sports programs; wrestling, swimming and tennis. The reason for this is to save over one million dollars but also be compliance with Title 9, a federal law barring discrimination in womens eduction which later incorporated high school and collegiate sports.

Title 9 has long had history of being a contentious program for college sports. In this case, all three sports are waning support in the West and dropped over 70 male athletes. However I think the other side is correct in saying these athletes had been involved in their sport competitively since before high school whereas ASU has been accused in the past of giving womans scholarships to co-eds pulled from intermural college squads simply to fill their quota in Title 9 spots. I think the decision to cut mens teams is incredibly difficult. Any sport would be difficult and when football takes the lions share of mens scholarships, with Title 9, a balance has to created.

What galls me is that a major university that has spiked it tuition exponentially and receives millions in federal funds can't balance its budget. Especially when ASU was giving providing almost $2 million to students who could not afford in-state tuition which is a fraction of the out of state fee. To receive this money the student only had to prove they could not prove their citizenship. Crazy.

But this state is in a budget crunch and I would rather see programs dropped over increased taxes. How about dropping light rail. How about eliminating redundant programs. Ack. This post is not a rant.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ear to Ear

I have a pretty good disposition. I am a hopeful person. I am also pretty sarcastic and I know it doesn't translate very well through a keyboard. I would rather talk face to face than anything else. So for those that I don't correspond with very much, please read my posts with a little bit of incredulity, a sense of the wry and bit of a smirk. Even with the stuff that is not so pleasant.

I realize all my writings of being banned from exercise or exertion, my descriptions of odd pains and medical results showing failed organs is pretty grim. If I didn't believe that I could rise above, then I would probably have never risen above any of the life changing, or life threating, obstacles that I have faced in my past. Oh trust me, I have some serious issues with being to optimistic, Mistress knows that all to well, but overall HOPE is a powerful thing for me.

Last Friday I had another set of labs done and today I got my results. My liver and kidney functions looked normal. YEAH. I am still dealing with some personal issues from those complications a month ago but according to the labs, blood is clean and organs working.

After the episodes Saturday and Sunday with the pain, Mistress sent me to the doc's this morning. My doctor, rolled her eyes when I mentioned yard work and effort over the weekend and after another haranguing, she ordered up a set of labs to check my CPK and renal functions. The area I described is right around my liver and she wants to see if the Rhabdo came back. It could be a lot of things. Like lifting some damn heavy and awkward concrete pieces in a deconditioned state. (I know, I know, preaching to a choir with your admonishments)

So good news. Kidney, liver and blood work on Friday looked normal. If the results from today come back good, I'd like to think I have stabilized and after a another week or so my doctors will move to Phase Two of this life plan. I doubt Phase Two will include much exercise either.

I have no idea how many phases this may take or if they are even phases at all, but when I ran missions in the Army, phase lines were imaginary lines on a map between where you started and where your objective was along the avenue of advance. The unit would reach a pre-named phase line and call the Brass with their status, "Hey You, this is Me, at Tango (phase line), Charlie Mike (continuing mission), Out." If they needed you to slow down, hurry up, or do something else, then you would get at call back, otherwise...

...Charlie Mike.

Monday, May 12, 2008


...I didn't work out and was supervised.

I had several months of tree/shrub overgrowth to deal with from my neighbor, plus assorted containers of house material that all needed to go to the dumps. In an effort to not tax myself, I worked all last week in the evening, for a about 45 minutes each time cutting back growth and bagging yard waste. On Saturday it would only be loading a truck and unloading at the dumps.

I decided that morning to first load up an unused water fall fountain that no longer fit in our backyard scheme. It stood only a few feet tall. I didn't realize it was made of painted concrete and each of the three main pieces weighed between eighty and one hundred pounds by estimate. I should have realized this as the first piece blew the tire on the wheelbarrow.

Mighty Mo in his infinite ability of word recall, yelled "Mush Daddy!" as I walked 75 yards, dragging each piece of the foundation on a tarp and using a climbing rope as a harness around my waist. Then I only had to lift each piece up onto the tailgate. That was not easy either.

Mistress made sure I took breaks and drank water and helped tie down and unload at the dumps. She even made me go lie down upstairs with movie to recover. Good woman.

While relaxing I realized I was rubbing my rib cage under my right chest. It hurt, similar to the cramping I experienced at Ironman in all the muscles around my lungs and rib cage, though this was nowhere near as extreme or prevasive. I told Mistress and it went away a few hours later.

Sunday night as I was laying in bed the pain came back in roughly the same spot. A bit wider area but same pain. I woke Mistress up and she asked if any other place hurt and it didn't. I stretched out, rolled over, massaged the area for a couple hours before the pain went away enough to doze off. In the morning the only discomfort was from my rubbing a bit too hard on the area.

I fired off a message to my consultant for his feedback. That plus my new blood work results should be in Tuesday and will know if my liver is finally back to normal.

I am trying to do right. I had no intention of over exerting and it was probably stupid to move a several hundred pound fountain in its five pieces. But I spent the next two days resting as much as I could indoors. I am sure I will be blasted in comments and by Dr. Chu but I deserve it I suppose.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Is this thing on?

Websites kind of a mess this week. My host switched me to a different server and as most of us can relate to, there were 'technical difficulties'. All seem fine now, good job I.T.

Under supervision of Mistress the last four nights I have been in the backyard, cutting down some overhang and getting ready to go to the dumps Saturday morning. I suppose if I had been unconcerned for my exertion, it would have been knocked out in one day in half the time, but it kept me busy during the week when I'd have been training. I didn't want to be out on a hot Saturday really pushing myself.

The one positive of this recovery is that I am slowly knocking out the Need To Do list that I have neglected for far too long. It being another casualty of long training weekends. Funny to think but the last time I was at the dumps I was riding on the IMAZ bike course which run right past the entrance.

Harder than it looks

Okay, lets agree up front that training for Ironman is not the MOST conducive way to lose weight, though our Florida friend Adam may disagree; he lost 140.6 pounds in ten months before finishing a 140.6 mile race. However once us mortals tuck into our training plans, we hit a set point and maintain that weight up till the taper when we'll put a fiver back on.

I envy those people who lose weight when they don't workout. I am the body type that if I don't workout I gain. That extra 1,000 calorie burn off each day from training is crucial to any success I want on the scale. So I am somewhat happy to report that I have lost weight since getting out of the hospital.

The nature of this recovery is going to be gradual thus even more important for me to watch what I put in my body until I can do any activity over a Z1. The aspect of ONLY watching my nutrition to lose weight has been a challenge and admire those that do it while not simply following a 800 calorie per day intake that is unrealistic to maintain.

Part of putting this life back together is to drop down below 185 pounds from my normal homeostasis of just under 200. I have never done this without training. Oh goody a new challenge. Well if its the only one my body is up for, so be it.

Have Fun. Racing season is here, especially for those who live in snow and overcast areas.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two sides

Part of what I do for a pay check is answer and mediate complaints between business and consumer. Working on the defense of the business, but I am fair in my process. If the business did wrong, I won't manipulate the system for an unfair decision. On this last one I have a bad taste in my mouth. The case was settled fine but when I reviewed the entire file, the description of events is so divergent that it makes me question the basis of my response for the business.

I believe the manager being accused of wrong doing made some mistakes in the follow through but did not cause the problem to begin with and the mistakes were bred from expediency and convenience not malice. The accuser is completely biased but the story also holds water. Of course I get excoriated by the accuser because I believed the business over the consumer.

In the end the accuser got what they wanted but part of my position is to find a solution that leaves each party 'whole'. There can be agreement or disagreement but what really matters to me is that the events are accurate from both perspectives. Occasionally that doesn't happen, like here.

Really the only thing I could do in the end, was forward the entire file to the managers supervisor with my final thoughts and hope that if I was lied to, it doesn't happen again.

It was a lousy win.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Days like these

There are times in the day when I am struck with incredulity. How can it be that a man who has defined his professional and personal life by fitness suddenly is unable to do it? Then I consider myself very lucky to have all my body parts, for the most part all my mental faculties and despite my currently failing liver a decent level of health. The trade off to potentially not being able to train like I did for so long is that I can still be a whole father and husband.

My future is still incredibly bright and regardless of any physical defections I may have I will not slide into sloth or obesity. I am not stunted in my outlook. Like I have preached many a time, "Ever Forward. Charlie Mike." For all the trouble those mantra's have caused they have been the foundation for me to do great things. And will continue to do so.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Weekend that was...and could be again

In hindsight there was absolutely no reason to go to Rocky Pt. Mexico for a race I was not in. Of course the whole family had a blast and I became sherpa for those friends racing that needed it. I was a third hand and pair of feet and took a couple hundred pictures.

Mo and Mistress had a great time. We along with two other families stayed at the host hotel in a 6,000 square foot penthouse. Overall there was about twenty people we knew staying at the hotel and about double that amount of people we all knew from the phoenix training/racing circuit at the race. We ate fresh prawns every night and lounged on the ocean or at the pools all day. We have learned that Mo is absolutely not afraid of heights and Mistress can let him go away with responsible teenagers and both are perfectly fine for a couple of hours.

Looking forward this week, I have calls to make to specialists around the country and look into some very specific testing on my body. (You can read, really expensive doctors probably not covered by insurance plus travel costs into that statement). Most people/patients do not do what I am planning on doing, therefore the doctors that can help me are world class and very hard to reach without inside help (which I have). Maybe I should find one of these doctors in Europe.

What do I plan on doing? Simple. Right now and for the near future, exercise is damn near fatal for me or most likely ending in dialysis. Every doctor has told me, "Never again should you exert with such intensity in your training or races." Might as well kill me; to never run or swim or bike or lift weights or even do a push up, (yes, currently I am not even allowed to do push ups), is a torturous existence.

I'm going to find a way to find what level I can compete at and then give it my all, supervised by the best doctors and endurance specialists in the world. I respect the fact that Ironman will most likely never be in my future again. I understand that some professional endurance athletes from around the world have never fully recovered from the same condition I have and it wasn't just their passion that died but their careers.

My parents were told I'd never walk well again. I am an Ironman.
My parents were told I'd never progress past a third grade education. I am a college graduate.
My parents were told they'd care for me for the rest of my life. I own a home and have a family of my own.

I am an odds breaker. Tell me I can never workout again. I'll take those odds and create my own destiny. And flourish. (cue Rocky music)

By the way...ordered my new personal use helmet today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Random musings

I have been waiting since yesterday for my labs, its the post I have been waiting to write. It's there but unreviewed, therefore unfaxed. In the meantime I been distracting myself with news and pop culture. Here are a few of my thoughts>

  • You probably know that today is May-Day, its been all over the morning news. Historically a day that workers internationally celebrated the steps taken to provide for their care and safety. It began in the United States and its most significant step is one of its first, the eight-hour work day. Later the Soviet Union and other communist countries took the day as a reason to show off its tanks and missiles and military. In this new millennium anarchists have taken it as a normal work day of demonstrations against government and riot against business.
  • Did you also know today is the National Day of Prayer? The first Thursday of May is designated as such. Bet you won't see that on the local or national news.
  • Life has been a bit chaotic lately and I had stacks of clothes to finally put away. My drawer holding all my workout clothes couldn't be closed. Everything was clean. That coupled with packing for Mexico, going to a race I am not doing, it bummed me out a little bit. More than a little bit. I've had to make a lot of changes in my life in the last few weeks, the mental ones harder than the physical one. Its a process.
  • Locally a teacher got pregnant having sex with a 14 year old student and only got three months in jail. I don't get that.
  • This week Border Patrol agents along the Arizona-Mexico border have been given new personal carry weapons to fight against illegal immigration. Paint ball guns. This is what they are to use when attacked at the border.
  • Is anyone surprised Annie Leibovitz is the photographer of the scandalous Miley Cyrus photo for Vogue? Isn't it her thing to take controversial photos of celebrities that garner attention?
  • I believe in second chances, sometimes even thirds. I don't understand the pop culture phenomenon of celebrating people like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Curt Cobain and more recently Ami Winehouse. I don't see the appeal of glamorizing or creating celebrity of drug addicts. What is to celebrate about singers and actresses who are caught on tape or die smoking crack or shooting heroin. That being said, I applaud people like Robert Downey Jr. who turned his life around and will have one of the biggest movies of the year.
I don't know, just a bunch of thoughts running through my head. Hopefully today a set of results to report on.