Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Trivial Life Stuff

I'm sure I'll talk about this later in the year, but over the weekend my brother informed me that, as of July 23rd, I will be older than Dad when he died. I asked him if he was trying to jinx me.

My dad died of a heart attack at age 57. Each of his children is going to view their 57th year with a hairy eye ball. I think me less so than my other brothers. They are built more like Dad, who looked like a Mongolian wrestler.

I take after my maternal grandfather, who was more wiry. And actually, given that my mother's side of the family, the Norwegian hill people, are probably half troll and or half ogre (which is to say, Neanderthal), I'm surprised grandpa was as skinny and wiry as he was.

You'd figure, with all that Neanderthal blood, he'd be a thick-boned knuckle dragger. But he, and I, had/have these wimpy looking wrists and ankles. I say wimpy looking, because, well, as far as I know, no one on that side of the family, going back generations, has ever broken a bone, and it's not from lack of trying. Maybe we had some fleet-footed long distance runners, skiers, and rowers in our Viking past, and the ones that broke bones were left on the shores of England and Ireland, to face the wrath of the natives.

And let's not forget Dad's side of the family; natural athletes all, and preternaturally muscular. My uncles scared me when I was a child. I learned long ago not to wrestle with any of my brothers. That was a guaranteed defeat. Instead, hit hard and run was the name of my game.

In any case, it doesn't mean a damn thing when it comes to heart health. I haven't had myself checked out for any of that stuff. My brothers have, so, and they all got great hearts and clean vascular systems. So what do you think? Modern medicine? Modern diet? My father, like many of his generation, basically lived bird suet and sugar, smoked and drank like they were ethically bound to make way for the next generation as soon as possible, and had to raise little assholes like me, which had be to high stress.

Overheard once: "You worry about keeping them alive until age 12, and then after that, you worry they don't kill anybody".

I understand. Teaching kids in the 18 to 28 range, I know now how my Dad felt about me: DUMB-ASS!

It takes some time for the last part of brain to grow into the front part of the skull, usually no sooner than the age of 25, and in a lot of people, it just never does.

In any case, what with my health problems over the past year, I ended up getting soft and fat, and even for the first time in my life, developed a belly.

I'm not vain, or at least, not vain enough to worry overmuch about trying to regain the body of my youth, but I did decide to try and get back to some semblance of fighting trim. I don't have the time to get back in that kind of shape, and I've noticed that people in their 50s that do manage to do that, get an alligator belly and all, they look weird. It's like their meat is a little gamy and coarse. The skin, obviously, is not the elastic and supple thing it once was, and draped over these artificially worked up muscles, like Hollywood youth-obsessed freaks, it just looks weird.

So imagine how it snuck up on me with no small amount of pleasure when I noticed my pants are falling off my hips, and, oh, nice, I had to cinch the belt in a notch. Pretty good, considering I still weigh the same.

So! That fat turned to muscle, yes? And here's the thing, I haven't even gotten into spring and summer mode when I always got a little bit more time to get a lot fitter, which I use. Becuase it's more than looks, it's feeling good, it's being in shape to do my job, it's being in shape so that, when I need to, I can go from cruising speed to ramming speed.

You know what I think it was? I used to eat ice cream every night. Not a lot, not even a dish, but enough. I cut back on that. I give myself an ice cream treat no more than once/twice on the weekend.

Now, I'm going to get all unrealistic. I can stay fit, but entropy is eventually going to win. No reason not to keep trying, though.


  1. Uh-oh, neanderthal is the tricky part

  2. Troll, Neanderthal. Never thought of it but you are probably right. I had a love hate relationship with the gym. Loved my fit body, hated the time spent there. Would much rather have a fit body through daily activity but not possible in this modern age. Too many labor saving devices, different lifestyles. 3 year break and at almost 64, I'm having a hard time getting back in the routine.

  3. Yeah I know. Fortunately, my job provides for opportunities to lift and move heavy things, although I manage to do my fair share of sitting, which is slow death. But the college provides the fitness center, running track, weight room, and swimming pool for $75 a year, and I take advantage of that.