Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Gruntin’, Gaspin’ And Wheezin’

March 22, 2014

Wednesday March 19th, 2014 – Gurnee, IL/Island Lake, IL

Where did my youthful exuberance go? Instead of lovin’, touchin’ and squeezin’, I’m gruntin’, gaspin’ and wheezin’. The years are catching up with me, and there’s nothing I can do but fight it tooth and nail while I still have teeth and/or nails. Old age is on the way but only if I work for it.

How did all this happen so quickly? I was too busy with crisis management to enjoy my young buck years, and now that I’m finally starting to figure things out a little there are a whole new set of challenges ahead. This life thing is no easy video game, and the levels change dramatically.

Today I got myself up early and forced myself to get some exercise by taking two grueling laps at my favorite walking track the Gurnee Mills Mall. I used to go there regularly, and I could feel the results over time. It’s a huge mall with twists, turns and offshoots that make things interesting for a walker. There are things to look at throughout the route, and it’s not just a boring treadmill.

Unfortunately, I’ve moved farther and farther away in the last few years, and now it’s a 25 mile trip one way. That sucks up way too much time to drive back and forth, not to mention gas at the cut rate price of $4 a gallon these days. If I lived closer I’d go every day, but that’s not an option.

I absolutely need to get back in a steady exercise groove though, and I have been concentrating on it since my birthday. The weather has been a little nicer than the polar vortex conditions we’re used to this winter, and that’s part of the reason I fell out of my groove. Another part is that it’s a big time commitment of time and energy to work out every day when I am on the road working.

The road life and regular exercise is about as good a fit as the Kardashians and long marriages. I do try to make time when I can, but many times I just can’t. I know that wouldn’t be an excuse if my heart pops like a zit, but in the real world that’s how it is. Pick your poison – earn a living by working at what you know how to do, or have zero income at all but stay home and stay fit.

I wish it were an easier fit, but it just isn’t. Most of my morning was shot by the time I drove to the mall, did my two full laps, went to have a healthy breakfast and then drove home to hose off in the shower. Who has that kind of time every day? Right now it isn’t me, but today I forced it.

A good walk like that usually keeps me sore for a couple of days, and I’m tender already. I feel it in my legs and can barely stand up, but it’s good soreness and I know I need to feel this pain as much as I can for the rest of my life. It takes conscious effort now, whereas in my youth it didn’t.

I used to walk all over the place and not even think about it. Now I have to plan it out before I do it, and force it into being part of my day. Is it fun? Unfortunately no, but I don’t think having a heart attack would be party time. This is part of the aging process, and I see that and accept it.

As the weather breaks, I’ll get out and walk a lot more around where I’m living. There aren’t a lot of walking paths like there were at my last place, but I won’t be here that long so hopefully it will only be a temporary hurdle. I did it up right today, but it’s only a day. It has to become habit.

Two laps through the Gurnee Mills Mall, and I was ready to call an ambulance.

Two laps through the Gurnee Mills Mall today, and I was ready to call an ambulance.

I’m A Dinosaur

December 21, 2013

Thursday December 19th, 2013 – Island Lake, IL

This is supposed to be the best time in history to be alive, but I’m not so sure if I’m convinced. Technology offers a lot of wonderful conveniences we only dreamed about not that long ago, but the human side of life seems to be shriveling up before our eyes. Life is changing too fast for me.

I’m not saying I want the world to be Amish, but a little more stability would be nice. Reading is an example. Does anyone actually sit down and read a book or newspaper anymore? It’s all on the internet or kindle, and everything is fragmented. I know I sound like my grandpa, but I’m not in sync with how the world is going and it’s frightening. What will it be like ten years from now?

Quite honestly, there’s plenty of technology to last me the rest of my life. I don’t need to own a video game that decapitates space aliens and squirts real blood through my TV. The video games are becoming more and more realistic and life is becoming more like a video game. It’s insane.

I was left at the starting line growing up in the ‘70s. Video games were starting to take root but I never developed more than a casual interest. I had friends who had Atari games, and I’d maybe play once in a while but it was never an obsession. For whatever reason, I never became lost in it like so many millions are today. It’s a way of life for society, and I’m on the outside looking in.

Maybe I’m an old soul who lived many times before, but I’m satisfied with simple things. I am fully content sitting down and reading a book for an hour or two, and if anything I can’t find the time to do it as much as I’d like. If I had my way, I’d be able to have time every day for reading.

I do spend a lot more time than I would prefer reading and answering emails, but that’s not the same. I’m talking about plowing through a book from cover to cover and opening myself up to a line of thinking or bank of knowledge I hadn’t come across before to make me a smarter person.

It takes effort and discipline to maintain a reading schedule, just as it does to maintain any kind of daily regimen. I’ve managed to keep up with this diary for almost eight full years, even if I’ve missed a couple of days here and there. I always catch up and have an entry for every single day.

Have I physically exercised every day for the last eight years? Hardly. I’ve fallen behind and it needs to change yesterday. I’m out of habit, and it will be hard to get myself back in a groove but it’s a necessary inconvenience. If I let my health go, nothing else matters. I’ll be in a pine box.

It’s much easier said than done though. There’s just too much going on to easily make time for all the truly important things in life. Especially with my lifestyle as an entertainer, I’m constantly on the road trying to get somewhere to do a show, then get to the next place to do another one.

It’s impossible to get on a regular sleep schedule, and making time to exercise on a daily basis is harder than that. Eating right? Who can do that? My idea of a balanced meal is a cheeseburger in each hand, and I know that’s wrong. I was really doing well for a while, but I’m sliding back.

I think there’s something to be said about a simpler lifestyle. I don’t know where that fine line of moderation is, but we as a society seem to have crossed it. I’m enjoying my life as a dinosaur.

Technology passed me by years ago. I'm a Dobiesaurus.

Technology passed me by years ago. I’m a Dobiesaurus.

Good Health Revisited

June 2, 2013

Saturday June 1st, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   One of the reasons I’ve been in such a funk lately has to be the fact I have not been keeping up with my diet and exercise program like I need to. I am thoroughly embarrassed, ashamed and the only thing that will turn it around is to get back into that groove. There are no excuses. I blew it.

   There may not be excuses, but there are reasons. I went back on the road earlier in the year and the groove I had worked so hard to get into just slipped away. Looking back, I allowed myself to skip a day and then it became two. Then I allowed myself a ‘treat’, and that became two as well.

   Before I knew it, I was exercising once or twice a week if that. Oh, I always MEANT to get out there bright and early every morning and take my daily exercise walk – but then the phone would ring or I’d need to drive 400 miles or I’d need to get some sleep before my 400 mile drive home.

   The road life and a healthy lifestyle are not an easy pairing. Making time to exercise is difficult enough, but often there is no place to do it. I like to get out and walk outside, and sometimes that can be next to impossible in a strange town where I don’t know which neighborhoods to avoid.

   Eating is a whole other issue. I love to sample local cuisine whenever possible, and sometimes it’s not always health friendly. An occasional treat is one thing, but I was overdoing it and I need to stop. I didn’t go totally of the wagon, but I did enough to feel it noticeably. I need to cut back.

   The summer season is here and I have painfully little road work (or work of any kind) so I have ZERO excuses. If I don’t get myself back into the shape I was in, it’s my own fault and I deserve all the bad things that will absolutely happen. I know what I need to do, and I intend on doing it.

   I intended to before, so that’s why I’m concerned. Bad food tastes SO good, and always will. It seems so unfair, but that’s how it is. For the rest of my time in the body I have, I need to make an effort every single day to control both what goes into my pie hole and how I choose to exercise.

   I’ve made the effort the last few days to get up and walk in the morning, and do I feel it when I get home. Damn, am I out of shape. And it didn’t take long. That’s what frightens me. I put in an extensive effort since I got out of the hospital in 2011, and I thought my blobbo days were over.

  SO wrong. It’s easy to slip back into old unproductive habits. I never got back into the fast food and soda death grip, but I did allow myself to partake in breads, pastas, cheeses and other nasties I need to re-eliminate. Vegetables, fish and salads need to come back more, and more water too.

   The combination of diet and exercise can do wonders. I am (or was) living proof of it but it has to be done every single day. Once or twice a week just won’t cut it, and that I am living proof of. I now have several months of warm weather ahead to get myself back to where I know everyone needs to be. I see a nation of balloon asses all around me, and I don’t want to follow their lead.

   I took a long walk this morning, and thought I was going to keel over about halfway through it. I could tell I’ve lost any conditioning I may have had, and am starting completely over. Even my blood was brittle, but I didn’t quit. I came home a sore, sweaty panting slob, and then flopped to the couch for a nap. I was proud of myself for hanging in there, but know I’m going to have a big job ahead of me keeping this going every single day. It’s not fun, but I guess a massive stroke or a fatal heart attack would not be a party either. I strayed off course, but now I’m back to healthy.

Walking Tall

December 15, 2012

Thursday December 13th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’m delighted to be able to say truthfully that I’ve been keeping up with my physical exercising as of late. That’s one thing that is truly an individual decision, and everyone is accountable for it. It’s not easy to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise, but I have been making it a priority.

It takes time and effort to exercise, and it also makes me tired so I sleep more. I do sleep much better, but there’s still the tradeoff with the extra time commitment. I try to make the best use of that time by using it to think through ideas I’m working on, but it still shortens up my work day.

It really gets tough if I have to be on the road. That’s the lifestyle that contributed to getting my type 2 diabetes diagnosis in the first place, so I have to be extra careful. It’s work enough to keep up a regular diet and exercise schedule at home much less try to maintain one living like a gypsy.

All I can do is make the best choices I can in whatever circumstances I’m in. I realize I can’t be 100% correct, and once in a while I can have a treat if it’s not out of control. I’ve really managed things well since June of 2011, and I feel the difference every day. I won’t go back to the old me.

Still, the lifestyle of an entertainer is extremely hectic and stressful and maintaining one’s good health requires conditioning over time. I ate whatever I wanted for decades, and I have to believe there are several quarts of special sauce, hot fudge and animal fat encrusted on my heart valves.

It’s not an option to give up my program now, and in fact I need to increase it significantly for 2013 and beyond. I’ve mainly been walking, but my doctor suggested starting a weight program a while back which I haven’t done. I suppose I could also start doing pushups and sit-ups as well.

Then there’s stretching and yoga. I’ve heard amazing things about yoga from many people, and it’s something I would be up for trying at some point. I’d also like to get a bicycle and use that as a change of pace from walking since I live near several paths. Maybe I could ride to a yoga class.

The possibilities are endless, but unfortunately my time is not. It’s been tough enough to keep a fairly regular schedule of walking, especially when I’m at such a stressful point in my life. I have all I can handle with everything else that’s going on, and it would be super easy to blow it off.

Hopefully, I’ll get some benefits in the long run from all of this. In my heart, I know I’m trying to play the cards I was dealt the best way I can. I’m not looking for the easy way out, even if I’ve got to make difficult choices that aren’t always pleasant. Believe me, getting my untanned fanny up early and out for a long walk isn’t my idea of a party, but neither is recovering from a bypass.

None of this is what anyone thinks about when they dream their big showbiz dreams, but it’s a part of life that we all have to deal with eventually. It’s easy to blow it off in youth, and most do. I know I did. Who thinks about daily exercise, a healthy diet and dealing with diabetes? Pass the good stuff! Why yes, I believe I will have dessert with that double cheeseburger meal. I’ll worry about it later. Well, later comes a lot sooner than one thinks. My decadent diet days are ditched.