Archive | August, 2012

So much to write about, so few words coming to mind

9 Aug

This might be the Seinfeld of blog posts. Seinfeld was a show about nothing, as they liked to call it. This might be that blog post.

I’m in that weird mode of having a million potential topics to write about, but the story arcs for all of them are not coming to me. For me to write, I feel that I have to have a story to tell – I can’t sit down and just bang on the keyboard. Which I’m doing right now. I can hear you yawning already.

That said, I do want to write, and I do have topics. Here are a handful of things that are going on in my life and some thoughts on them – there will be probably more to come for all of them.

Turning 50:

Somewhere in me is a blog post about this. The story arc is that while 50 is just another number, I’m honestly feeling a larger “taking stock” feeling about this one than any of the other big numbers that I’ve passed to date. I’ve already decided to make a commitment to changing my health (more on that below), but I also think about where I am in my career, in my finances, etc. And some of it is great, some of it is not, and I’m not sure what or how much I want to share about it in this forum. Bottom line, I’m fifty. Still the same ‘ol Stew, but maybe this birthday is cranking some correction into the viewfinder more than others.

Fitness and health:

I’ve debated writing about this for TMI reasons. Well, since I do like to express myself here, and this is a key part of my life now, and for a long time to come, here we go:

For the entire year leading up to my 50th birthday, I was promising myself “I’m going to give myself a gift of getting more fit and more healthy by my 50th birthday.” The problem with that is that when you set an artificial goal like that, well, you just doom yourself to failure frequently. It was arbitrary. I had had a physical, my “numbers” were not ideal but not alarming, no other health issues to speak of, and well, it was easy to not take action. My doc told me during my physical “There’s nothing wrong with you that losing 40 lbs won’t cure.” When isn’t that the case?

Well, fast forward to early July. For the past several months, every now and then, especially with exercise, I’d get pain in my upper back between my shoulder blades. It was steadily getting worse and worse and a few times in late June/early July I went for exercise – bike ride, powerwalk, etc. and the pain would get very sharp, travel down my left arm into my and eventual wrap around my shoulder into my chest. Still, I didn’t think much of it as it didn’t come with any cardiac “indicators” – shortness of breath, feeling very tired, direct pain in the chest, etc. After a particularly bad bout, I visited a chiropractor, and while he said he thinks I have a pinched nerve under my C4 vertebra, nonetheless, he suggested I get a cardiac stress test. I called both my doctor friend “Faltese” and also my regular doctor and both of them concurred. Faltese was the one that put the urgency into me though – he said “you need to get checked right now.” OK! I went the next day.

Well, the test was mostly conclusive that my heart is fine – everything looked good, except my blood pressure was way up. The type of test that they did is only about 85% conclusive (echo stress test), but I didn’t have the pain under the heavy exercise, and the echo images all looked fine. But, my BP was well into the unacceptably high level. Well THAT was the motivation to get on this. But we’re pretty certain it’s not my heart, so I’m Ok to work out.

Since then, I’ve completely cut out caffeine – over the years, we’ve seen that my BP is reactive to it – and I’ve been 100% off it other than the occasional Diet Coke with lunch. I’ve picked up powerwalking/jogging again and am going every single morning. That said, we still have to sort out the damn pain, which I seem to be able to control when I exercising by concentrating on my form. Before going to Cancun, I went 15 straight days of hitting the streets every morning after waking up to go powerwalk/jog. It was too hot to do street work in Cancun, so there, I figured the 3 hours of dancing every evening we did helped. I’ve hit our healthclub a few times in between. Still trying to figure out what workouts I can do where I don’t get the upper back pain, but I’m also convinced that as my body changes with the weightloss and fitness that the pain thing might just sort itself out. Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt all the time.

From my high of 245 lbs, I’m down 10 lbs, and I feel a lot better. I’m also on BP meds, still sorting out what works for me with the least side effects, and of course still taking cholesterol meds. Which leads to my fitness goal – this time I think I’m just going to be a lot more successful as I’m not working towards a weightloss goal. Yes, I want to finally lose that 40-50 lbs I need to lose. But more important is my overall health. My goal is to become fit to the level where I don’t need medications to keep my numbers in the right spots. I’m not sure we can get there with the cholesterol meds, but I’m positive I can do it with the BP. Bottom line? I just want to feel better and also to look better. Wish me luck. Ok, topic covered.


We just returned from a wonderful recharge week in Cancun – just like we did last year. We went with the same crew again – our friends from Alabama. Additionally we met a bunch of great new friends at the resort we went to, which is an adults-only all-inclusive resort on the Cancun hotel zone that feels like a combination of summer camp and spring break for grown ups. A place to let loose, have fun, etc. That said, after coming home after this trip, I don’t feel the rush to write about it. Our friends from Alabama are wonderful, we met a bunch of new friends too. But nothing fresh is occurring in my head. I’m sure I’ll get to writing about this at some point – I’d love to describe for you just how important it is to our marriage to have this reconnecting time, and talk more about the amazing folks we meet there. But, the angle needs to be found. I don’t have one yet. Maybe after I go through the pictures, is when I’ll have a topic occur to me.

Which leads me to the wrapup – as usual, I’ve found a way to write more than 1000 words – even though I didn’t have anything in particular to write about. Now that the summer is winding down and things drop into more of a rhythm again for the fall, I’m sure I’ll drop back into my “every few days” groove. I’ve got a lot to say but sometimes the muse isn’t sitting on my shoulder. I’m hoping she’s going to be back soon.

As you were,


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