Sunday, December 23, 2012
We (DW, me and the dogs) are heading out later today to see the kids and grandkids for Christmas.
Yesterday, DW was cooking! She made a huge pan of lasagna. Baked two different kind of cookies. Okay, the kind that are premixed and you plop them on a baking sheet, but still. She baked a Christmas themed cake, too. With sprinkles on it. Sprinkles which will be applied later tonight by my youngest granddaughter, with the guidance of DW.
While she was at it, she used the leftovers from a baked chicken we had earlier in the week, and made a chicken soup. I love that chicken soup, loaded with egg noodles and fresh vegetables. This soup will be for dinner tonight with the family. The lasagna is for Christmas eve.
This way my daughter won't be bothered cooking. And DW loves to cook and prepare dinners for family. So, everybody wins.
Yesterday I had 3 chocolate chip cookies. Still warm from the oven. I was tasked with taking them off the sheet during cooling and placing them on a rack for further cooling. I couldn't resist. Okay, I could have resisted, but I rationalized that
1. It was the Christmas season and 2. I do believe in moderation not deprivation. (something I was reminded of while reading Brooklyn_Born's blog yesterday).
If ever there was a time of year to cheat a bit on food intake, probably Thanksgiving would be pretty high on the list. But, I did fairly well during that holiday, but the Christmas baking and cooking day reeled me in, and I caved.
I also ate several fruit slices, and had a few beers, 3 to be precise. This is what happens, You give in a little and then you throw caution to the wind. You've taken that first guilty step, and the rest of the trip is easy.
Oh no, I am not beating myself up. I just understand the process, and I went with it. I know who and how I am. I will be back on schedule soon enough. I exercise hard and eat right. 'Almost' all the time. I am in shape and feel good about myself. But, I am in full disclosure mode here, and want you to know - I think it's okay to indulge oneself. FROM TIME TIME, I put that in capitals. I don't want to imply indulgence is a good thing. Because I do not believe that. Indulgence will kill happiness.
So my friends, I might just drink another beer or two on Christmas eve, I will enjoy my wife's wonderful lasagna with buttered bread. A regular sized portion, no gluttony necessary. I think I've had enough cookies, though. See? Moderation!
I'm still an athlete in training. I will resume my 'sensible' diet immediately after our family visit.
All this typing to say " moderation in all things" is, in my opinion, not a bad way to live.
Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays.
Monday, December 17, 2012
I was a really skinny kid. My best friend was fat. The kids next door were all solid muscle, and I noticed it.
Even then I was aware of my body. My chubby friend told me I was "lucky" to be so thin. I didn't feel so lucky.
That was the first time I observed skinny envy. As for me, I had a massive case of muscular envy.
I saw those ads on the back of the comic books. "Hey SKINNY, Yer ribs are showing'" where Charles Atlas offered his program to get you to bulk up so you could kick sand in the face of the bullying musclehead.
As a teenager, I looked like the skinny kid in the Charles Atlas ad.
I worked out with weights, half heartedly from time to time. Actually I was strong. I could always lift a lot of weight, and sometimes more than the bigger guys. But, I didn't look it. I was still skinny.
I got serious when I was around 25 years old. I developed a plan, and stuck with it. I've never been far from a workout since then. Sadly I never got big and muscular. But, I learned a lot. I learned about ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs, too.
I was not the 'classic' ectomorph as they are typically tall, but not always. Tall ectomorphs include guys like Clint Eastwood and Henry Fonda. But, Bruce Lee at 5' 7' is another fine example of an ectomorph. Ectomorphs are "hard gainers".
Then you have the muscular guys, Arnold, Lou Ferrigno, and Sly Stallone are classic mesomorphs. Lastly, the chubby guys are the endomorphs. You can name your own there.
Anyway, I continued to work out, now knowing I'd never look like Arnold, Sly, or Lou. I was a hard gainer for sure. But I kept at it.
Then - I got older, my waistline got wider. What?! I always had a 28" waist, why are my pants getting so tight?
I found myself actually thinking about how much I ate. And how many beers I drank. Curses. I am skinny and fat at the same time! I work out. Hard. And I am getting a waistline.
I kind of gave up on looking great in a bathing suit, and ate and drank what I wanted. I work out, I'm healthy, decent chest and biceps, screw the love handles, I gotta have my beer and treats.
So I kept on being ignoring my real health and soon enough, I got to be 170 lbs. That was my wake up call. I started dieting, and that didn't work, I would always gain it back. You chubbies know what I'm talking about.
Time passes, and I thought maybe I should start jogging. Nah. I couldn't see myself doing that. Those joggers are just a bunch of show offs, showing the world how fit they are. Screw that. But, Vic, you know the amount of calories you could burn? C'mon, give it a try.
And I did. Oh my God! This stuff is hard! It must work. Stubborn mode kicks in. I'm gonna learn to run. Lots of walking, and a little running, I am now running more than walking. One day - hey, I've run a half mile without stopping. I gradually increase. I time myself. 5K in 36 minutes. I'm so proud, I call my grandson Joe, a X-Country runner and all around jock. He congratulates me and says it's a great time for an old guy. Yeah, no respect, even my grandkids call me old.
These days Joe is always asking me how I'm doing and encourages me. He helped me get started with this running.
Y'all know the rest of the story. I found Spark People. A place to get some feedback - brag a little, commiserate a little, and get fantastic support no matter how poorly I ran, or how stupidly I trained, someone was always there to urge me on. Someone recently laughed when I mentioned how I get "lovebombed" just for running and being old. Well, sparkers lovebomb me continually. Thanks for that.
So, my friends, chubby or skinny, we all could use some help. Contrary to what you've always believed, being skinny isn't a bed of roses either. I got bullied a lot by being thin - we do get tired of being called skinny. Doesn't bother me now so much, but, it sure did back then.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Seems like old times again. Today was my first longish run since I did my first marathon in November. Took it easy for a while just to rest the old bones and make sure I was ready to do another. I had a half marathon last week as a training run as well.
So I did 15 miles this morning. Weather was kind of cool when I started out, about 60F and got warmer, 70F by the time I ended.
I started out really slowly, using the first mile as a warm up. Ran one of my usual routes, so nothing really cool happened in the beginning. It is getting to the point where I have a lot of people waving at me. In cars, or just out in their lawns puttering around. That's kind of cool. I think I'm a regular sight for them now.
I have tried a new section of town, where I am out in the open more on a more public road. Nice - different scenery, but it's out in the sun, and I don't care for that too much. I got pretty warm out there today. 70 degress doesn't seem very warm, but at mile 13 and 14 it is for me.
Oh, one interesting thing happened. I heard sirens coming at me, as I chugged up a hill. Couldn't see until the last moment that it was a Firetruck with the lights flashing. And right behind it was another small firetruck with Santa and Mrs. Claus! I yelled "Hey Santa!" and some kid (elf?) with them threw a handful of candy at me. I kept running, but there were some little tykes in a yard who thanked me when they saw the candy being thrown. I don't think Santa's helper would have seen those kids, so I am glad I yelled to them.
I didn't feel like this was a good run. I got tired soon, and never really got a second wind or anything. Just felt kind of blah, but that's fine. They can't all be special. And in retrospect, I have been pushing myself with the marathon and half marathon fairly close together, and then starting up training again fairly soon. Not being a youngster, I am walking that thin line hetween training hard and training too hard.
My strategy for this marathon is to not run for time again - I aint't that fast anyway. Just get out there and have a nice run. It is a very small venue, I think they had just under 300 marathoners and around 600 half marathoners last year.
Although this is a small marathon, the competition is very good. The track must be cleared by 6 hours. According to the records of past results I will surely be one of the slower runners and will probably be on my own a lot of the time. I think I'll like that. It's the way I train. All alone. Perhaps without crowd support it will feel like a training run and will slow me down. So, I've decided to just relax and enjoy it.
I get so much support from my family and friends! They all know that I've signed up for 2 more marathons already. This one and the Savannah Rock N Roll again, which will be my 3rd. I'll get my crowd support fix there! People just love to see old folks pushing themselves. So, my times don't matter -- I get love bombed just for running! Who knew?
I just wanted to lose a few pounds, which I have. But who knew I would get to this point. Run a marathon. Do another 3 months later? Never would have thought that possible. But, I think it is.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
I was in the hospital when my nephew Nick Newell was born. His Dad, Errol, I have known since birth also.
Errol was a champion High School wrestler when he was a teen, and a local legend in wrist wrestling in Milford, CT. I was friends with his older sister, Christine. You may know Chris as my DW, which makes Errol my BIL, and Nick is my nephew.
Nick followed in Dad's footsteps, and became a local legend as well. He was a champion wrestler in H.S. He went on to attain over 300 victories in HS and college.
I remember Nick when he was a toddler. He refused to wear his prosthetic. He'd take it off over and over again. He was not comfortable with it and and preferred using his "little arm" as he called it. You see, Nick was born a congenital amputee. Just below his below his left elbow his arm ends.
He was willful. He knew instinctively that he should adapt to what he was born with. Somehow he knew that only by rejecting the artificial limb could he grow to excell.
Today he is the XFC Lightweight Champion in MMA (mixed martial arts).
He won the title last night in Nashville, TN and I couldn't be more proud of him.
At his young age, he has been an inspiration to this old coot. I think of him from time to time, like when I get tired doing my long runs. It is humbling to me when I think of Nick, and what he has done with his life.
My little discomforts in life pale in comparison to this champion. My nephew, Nick "Notorious" Newell.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
I'm not generally a sappy kind of guy. But this will be a kind of mushy blog.
If you spent time with me, you might be surprised that I am fairly quiet, and introspective guy. I might have an occasionaly burst of enthusiasm, but I settle down again right away. I guess I just don't show emotions openly, or just am so self absorbed, I just want to be left alone.
Having said that, I must admit I have found my Spark friends to be so supportive and kind to me, I have to thank them publicly. You guys know who you are, the constant supporters who love bomb me. I don't think I can reciprocate that type of caring and kindness, it just doesn't come naturally to me. But, my non-cyber friends accept me that way. They know I care for them, but I don't verbalize it very well. I am not a social butterfly. I used to be. I was the "life of the party" when I was younger.
Now, I'm content with my life. The luckiest guy in the world,I call myself. Although I'm not inclined to act it out these days.
It must be easier to write sappy stuff like this than say it aloud. But, I am compelled to thank you all, you know who you are, for your constant support. I feel a bunch of you genuinely care about me and my progress with my athletic endeavors. If not, boy, you are really good at faking it!
Okay, that's it. I'm feeling pretty goofy right now. But - I faced my fears and sent some love out to you all.
Really - thanks for being there for me. You guys truly are good for me, and I feel I might be lacking in returning that kindness.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
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