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All Glory is Fleeting

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well my whirl wind house-hunting trip to Virginia is over. I think I covered over 1000 miles in 4 days criss-crossing the area looking for something decent. I found us a real nice house in a great neighborhood....and with enough spare room in the basement where I just might be able to build me a home'll depend on a bunch of different factors when we get there....good gyms in the community, near work, etc. For now, it's still a possibility!

We really like that part of the country (Northern VA, near DC). My brother lives up there and so it'll be nice to be near him for a while. He just turned 50 and he's got 2 girls ages 7 and his life is all about Disney princess movies, iCarly, and Scooby Doo!

I also had a chance to see some other friends that worked there....and that's what bummed me out.

I planned a dinner with a a good colleague of mine, a guy I've worked with on and off in different parts of our business these past 25 years. We started out together and our career paths have intersected many times. He was in DC on business, so we made arrangements to meet and grab some chow. I had already been driving like crazy, so I told him I'd pick him up at his hotel. He said great, I'll be waiting for you out front.

I braved the late afternoon DC traffic and pulled up by his hotel right at 6:00 o'clock on the dot, looked around, but couldn't spot him. Then I hear someone call my name, turn around...and there's a fat old guy walking towards me.

What the hell! He was always a thin, 32 inch waist kind of guy. Now he had a jiggly paunch protruding out over his belt and waddled as he walked! We gave eachother a quick man hug and he looks over, smiling, "Dude, look at you! You're all fit and trim! Look at me, I got fat!"

"Yeah, what the hell!??! What, are you doing the beer and potatoes diet or something?"

"Mostly beer," he says, smiling. "How'd you lose your gut?"

"I stopped eating sh*t and started working out!"

"Yeah, I can tell....I haven't gone running in over a year" (He used to rack up 20-30 miles a week)

"How's that been working out for you?"

Well we're good enough friends that we can give each other a hard time and move on.....but I gotta tell you, I'm still in shock. It's nice to have someone you know well tell you that you're looking fit and trim (we haven't seen each other in about 3 years, back when I was somewhat "paunchy" myself), but I didn't expect there to be a total role reversal here.

Another reminder that we can take nothing for granted....that it's all too easy, especially as we get older, to fall in to bad habits that can quickly take their toll on us....much quicker than the time it takes to recover, drop the weight and effects of poor nutrition and exercise.

I've always liked the story of how Roman Generals were reminded of the impermanence of success.

"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. But a slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: All glory is fleeting."

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Have a great day Spark friends - take nothing for granted!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yea -- I've read the story about the slave before. Seems appropriate.

    Glad the househunting has gone well. Welcome to Northern Virginia. And, yes, there's lots to do here.

    I'm sorry, too, that your friend is going to seed. Good news is, there's always another spring, at least until the last winter. And we never know when that will be. So maybe, after you move, you and your friend will see enough of each other for him to think about healthy habits.

    Meanwhile, don't get crushed under some weight rack!

    1799 days ago
    Tough seeing buddies and loved ones going downhill. Understandable though...we are all swimming against some powerful tides out there when it comes to poor food choices. Those advertising dollars aren't pumped into our media to lose money for the corporations!

    Keep up the super vigilance it takes to live a life filled with SPARK! :-)

    1799 days ago
    Sad isn't it? It seems that everyone I have run into lately (that I haven't seen in a few years) is fat and old. I was really fat. Now I'm not. And I at least don't look old!
    1800 days ago
    I wonder how he is thinking about your reunion... and the changes in each of you.
    1800 days ago
    My guess is that your lifestyle (eating right and exercising consistently) is seen as extreme to your friend. Getting back into shape is viewed by him as something too tough to accomplish.
    1800 days ago
    Good thing your friend does not live in Belgium if he has a thing for beer - or he would be 200 pounds in a jiffy.
    Yep - let's be vigilant and stay on track on that muddy and slippery road to health and fitness.
    Every day counts.
    emoticon emoticon
    1800 days ago
    Maybe your friend needs the Spark?

    Good luck on your negotiating and buying your new house, moving and getting settled!
    1800 days ago
    It's hard to balance at the top of the hill without tipping too far the wrong way and starting the downward slide. Let's hope meeting up with you prompts him to get serious again about his own fitness and health....I'm assuming that any friend of yours is also ├╝ber-competitive and so he'll be determined to take you down a notch or two.

    Good deal on getting a house that fast and hoping you find a good gym with one of Stasi Guy's compatriots.
    1800 days ago
  • JENNJO322
    Great blog, I have to say I am a bit envious of your move. :-) VA sounds beautiful. I live in central FL formerly from LI and I miss the North for the beauty of nature. Goood luck with everything. Great post, and it rings true. Thanks for the inspiration!
    1800 days ago
    Good insight.
    1801 days ago
    Here's hoping he takes inspiration from you!

    Fac fortia et patere: Do brave deeds and endure!
    1801 days ago
    Beer and potatoes - is he Irish? How about bread and red wine - I'm Italian. ;)

    1801 days ago
    Where did you wind up, if you don't mind my asking. I miss, miss, miss Northern VA.
    1801 days ago
    Niceeeeee... I do believe this is the first blog I've read on Sparkpeople that used latin.. and quite effectively! Glad you found your house in the perfect place with your potential dream gym... uhmmm sorry you found your friend in no so good of shape.. I'm sure your friendly ribbing has him contemplating going to the gym today (or maybe not) but I'm sure he's thinking about it.. I'm curious though.. is he happy? Is his life turning out like he thought or even better than he thought?..

    You gave me "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi "
    for which I reply
    "Semper vigilantissimi"

    Good day!
    1801 days ago
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