Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Continuing Evolution Of Me

I'm sure by now readers are tired of hearing about my hopes and dreams, my reaffirmations and stated goals. 

So here's another one.

Since Kim and I split last August my life has changed into something completely different, and sorta weird. It's a surreal sort of existence now, living in my basement apartment while my sister's family lives in the rest of my house. I'm getting used to it, however, Joanne and I are siblings, and with that brings back and flurry of childhood issues some of which remind me of the old children's standard 'get out of my room!' We get along, but at the end of the day, we will always drive each other nuts. I still love her like a big sis.

Being down here in recent months has brought up many challenges, and my mind has not always been up to the task of maintaining a healthy life. Too much time alone, too much time to think. Last week I had an epiphany. it came to me while working on some repairs outside. It came to me when I tried to stand up, and almost fell over. It came to me as I gasped for breath from working.

Holy fuck, I'm falling apart!

I came inside, soaked my head with a cold wet towel, and fell onto the couch, thankful to be there in my place of solitude and comfort. As I regained my breath and dried off, I googled 24 hour gyms and an hour later was a member of one. Just a little spontaneous, yes, but that short time between falling over with a feeling of morbid exhaustion over a simple task and sending my payment, a whirlwind of thoughts went through my head - most of which focused on my not being here if something doesn't change. So I made it change.

Years ago I was healthy, active, fit. I was an avid camper, canoeist, and general outdoorsy type. While I was never one for a football field or basketball court, I was always on my bike, walking for hours, and a host of other activities that kept me from keeling over. At one time I was taking karate and Aikkido classes regularly just to stay fit. When I went working, I kept myself together long enough to finish any task.

I was never a big guy, I always maintained a steady 160ish throughout my adult life. Being skinny was never a drawback for me as I just simply accepted the way of things, now, as I sit here writing this, my gut is actually sticking out. So now I'm a skinny, out of shape smoker with a beer belly. 

Nope. Nope. Nope.

I went to the gym for the first time a couple days ago and did a 30 minute basic cardio workout. It was fine, nothing spectacular or fancy, no personal training needed. Just a few basic machines like the treadmill, the bike, elliptical and strength trainers. After my 30 minutes were up I walked out feeling alive, albeit a bit sore. Last night I went in again. I had the place to myself as it was quite late. This time however no sense of exhilaration filled me, on the contrary it was a sense of dread. Suddenly those simple machines were all larger, darker, and were actually mocking me. They watched me as if they were alive, and I know they thought 'we're going to kill you!'

So I started my 30 minute regime. I lasted 24. The first night shocked my body, the second night, I hadn't recovered from the first and the pain was intense. As I mustered through the somewhat tedious repetitions every muscle in my body screamed at me with a sort of 'what the fuck' notion. I carried on as long as I could but I was cooked. Once I got home I felt a little better, breathing returned to normal, heart rate came down, but that glass of scotch was the heaviest it's ever been. I swear that bottle weighed 20 pounds.

A little later I went outside for a smoke, and the second epiphany of the week hit me. I CANNOT do this without quitting. Duh. Not like I didn't already know that. I was wheezing and coughing a lot last night, and again all day today. The unexpected shock of working out had jarred something loose, and I don't imagine it's very pretty. So starting tonight I am going on the patch and quitting. Fuck this, I'm done.

If I am to fix this shit, I am going to fix it properly.

Healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, working out, quitting smoking, it all sounds like one of those late night self-help TV shows that nobody watches, but it just happened. And all because I had to repair some concrete.


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