Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Me, Being a Dork

RAW THIGHS (ala Frankie lane's "Rawhide" - click to play the original)

Runnin', runnin', runnin' . . .
Though my ankle's drummin'
Keep that fat ass runnin'
You're Wide!

Rain and wind and weather
Some day I'll feel better
Safe, and warm, and dry inside
All the things I'm hatin'
Sore muscles, bones a gratin'
And pain that shoots up through my thighs

Movin' on (head is up!)
Head is up (movin' on!)
Movin' on (head is up!)
You're Wide!
Chest is out (gut is in!)
Gut is in (chest is out!)
Chest is out (gut is in!)
You're Wide!

Keep movin' movin' movin'
Though my feet are disapprovin'
Keep that fat ass movin'
You're Wide!

Don't try to understand me
Just put ice on my damn knee
Soon I'll have less chafing on my thighs
My mind's calculating
About this run I'm hatin'
And how long till I can go inside

Movin' on (head is up!)
Head is up (movin' on!)
Movin' on (head is up!)
You're Wide!
Chest is out (gut is in!)
Gut is in (chest is out!)
Chest is out (gut is in!)
You're Wide!

Sorry, some days I just can't contain my inner dork!

As you can guess, I've been running regularly again. The ankle's doing fine but damn, it SUCKS that I've lost so much stamina. It's coming back though. This a.m. I ran about two miles (all totaled - I did three miles but there was still some walking in there!)at a pretty decent pace. I think I'm doing something smart though; instead of starting out with longer distance at a slower pace (which is how I started last time) I started with shorter distances at a faster pace and I'm expanding on the distance by a few blocks each time I run. It seems to be working out pretty well so far. I haven't got my full two miles at that pace without stopping yet but I'm hoping to be there by the end of the month.

The Army is killing me with the pay issue though. I'm coming up on my third drill and still nothing! I sent my PSG a voided check the other day, so hopefully he can resolve it soon. I'll give him till Friday, then start bugging him again. Did I mention that I'm official now? I have all my military ID and I can go onto any military base in the USA. I even have a high priority sticker on my car for the local Fort, so I can get in no matter what the security status is. Cool, huh? I'm taking The Wife and The Boy to get their ID's next week so we can start using the PX, commissary, etc.

Speaking of next week, I'm on vacation (yay!) Not going anywhere, just hanging about the house with the family but it is much needed. Been a VERY crazy year so far. (Major life changes tend to have that type of effect, ya' know?) I'm looking forward to just hitting the parks, boardwalk, swimming and catching rays. That's the best part about living on the Jersey Shore - my fat ass don't gotta go nowhere to do nothin' (Yes, the quadruple negatives are intentional; it's a Jersey thing!)


Friday, August 15, 2008

A Reminder of Why

I had a visceral reminder this morning of the reason I want to be a Medic. I was on my way over to the cafeteria at work this morning (it was raining this a.m. so I slept in - no breakfast) to get some food. In the lobby, there was a group of about 8 people standing around a very pale and shaking woman seated on one of the chairs. She was obviously having trouble breathing and she wasn't able to stand or reasonably answer the questions her friends were asking her. The thing is, nobody knew what to do, including me. 9-1-1 had already been called and help was on the way, but I couldn't help but feel like I should be able to help her somehow. It's a shit feeling seeing something like that and not being able to do a damn thing. I've been in that situation far too many times in my life, I don't want to do it anymore! I want to be able to do more than pat someone on the shoulder and tell them: "You'll be alright. Help's coming."

I know that I will be able to help in a few months but I really wish I'd been able to do something today. I think the woman was having a stroke of some sort but that's just a guess (obviously!). Sadly, I haven't the vaguest idea of how to treat a stroke victim. Hell, anything I did was just as likely to harm as help, so I just moved on. By that time there was a small crowd gathering and I figured the last thing the EMT's would need was one more knucklehead standing in their way.

Well, I do have some good news: MY BRACE IS OFF!!! Woo-hoo!

I'm good to go with the ankle again and I started running Wed. morning. I did three miles -of which maybe 1-1/4 was actually "running" the rest was walking and/or a very slow jog. Damn, the lungs and stamina go away fast, don't they? The ankle held up really well during the run. I wore one of those elastic braces for support -just in case- but it really didn't hurt. It was sore by the time I was done but I'm pretty sure that was just the muscles and such not being used to running anymore. At the moment, the muscles on the front of my calves are sore as hell. I had forgotten how they tightened up back when i first started running. It seems strange, I'd think the muscled on the back of the leg would hurt but those are fine. I shouldn't complain though. I was able to run a mile without any real problems on my first day back out. It took me almost two months to get to that point back when I started!

Like I said, it was raining this morning so I slept in instead of getting up to run, so I'll have to make it up tonight or tomorrow. Tonight might be problematic. The Boy has an orthodontist appointment I have to get him to, then dinner before his teeth become to sore to chew. It will probably be dark before I can get out there, and I really HATE running after I've eaten, but I also hate working out on weekends. I try to use those days to rest/recover. Well, one way or another, my old butt will hit the road!

I'm working hard on the food intake as well. Last night, we took The Boy to a birthday party down on the Boardwalk. They were serving pizza and we were surrounded by sausage sandwiches, zeppoles, hot pretzels, ice cream, and every other type of junk food known to man (And damn, did it all smell wonderful!) I was good though, I got a grilled vegetable sandwich and a bottle of water for dinner instead. (To be honest though, The Wife and I did order a medium french fries and split them.) We even drove home past my favorite ice cream place last night and The Wife offered to stop but I was good. I went home and had an apple with a little peanut butter on it instead.

One last thing for today: Over on the sidebar I have a bunch of web comics that I read (You should check them all out!) One of my favorites is Delta Bravo Sierra. Thursday's strip on the Russia/Georgia cease fire made me laugh so hard I snorted. (Seriously - and at work no less! Very embarrassing!) it's a great strip. You should go back and read it from the beginning. Great stuff.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wishful Thinking

OK, so I'm an idiot. (no shocker there for you regular readers, eh?)

In the comments of my last post, Hawkeye pointed out that the 10 lbs. I lost HAD to be water loss (Don't you hate it when people prove you wrong with simple math?) and he was absolutely right. (Thanks for the reality check, Hawkeye!) I knew it as soon as I read his comment and if there was any doubt at all, guess what? Four days after the loss, I had gained back nine of those pounds and it wasn't like I went crazy with the food. I ate normal, healthy portions, no junk, and drank only water. :-(

I was a victim of my own wishful thinking. I'm just getting so frustrated with the damn scale refusing to move! Well, it is what it is. I'm just going to have to increase the workouts and decrease the calories even more. I started this a.m. on the workouts; I went from single sets of my routine to double sets. That's 40 PU/SU, flutter kicks, bicyclers, and pull ups . . . times two! That's the core of my strength training days. I also do a handful of other exercises (5-10 of each) as both a warm up and cool down, followed by some stretching exercises. At the moment, my cardio days consist of walking three miles (same warm up/cool down/stretch) but I go to the doctor again today so hopefully I'll get the OK to take off the damn brace and get back to running. (Let me re-phrase that: "Today IS my last day with the brace!" Whether the doc likes it or no . . .) So, tomorrow I'll try the running thing again. I know it's going to suck getting myself back into decent shape for it AGAIN but I'm really just hoping the ankle doesn't hurt too bad while I do it. Damn thing is still a little sore and not back to full flexibility yet.

Did a fundraiser with the Scouts at a local festival on Sunday. What a frikkin' nightmare! It rained on/off, half the kids showed up late while the other half didn't want to work. The boys were wet, cold, and miserable. We made almost no money, had a major behavioral problem with one kid, I managed to twist my bad ankle again (minor thing) and my son got his knee and elbow banged up pretty good. There was more than that actually but I'm getting pissed again even thinking about it so I'll move on . . .

Still trying to square away my pay with the Guard. I had to call my Platoon Sgt. because I still haven't seen dime one of my pay for the last two months. Again, the cash isn't important but I need to know I'm all squared away in the system before I ship to Basic because then it WILL be important! I'm heading to the local Army base after the Dr. today to see if I can get my military ID as well. That way I can get on base for all my stuff and get The Wife & The Boy their ID's as well so they can access everything they'll need while I'm gone as well.

What else is up? Well, I've been watching the Olympics religiously (So, I'm a dork that way. What, are you even a little surprised?) Michael Phelps is kicking ass and I absolutely love watching the women's beach volleyball (No, not because of the bikinis!! Well, maybe a little cuz of the 'kinis . . .) I watch it whenever I can find it on TV, even outside the Olympics. It's a game I used to love playing when I was younger and the women are more fun to watch because there's more "play" involved than with the men. Oh, I like watching the men too but they're so damn strong almost every shot is a kill. The women have a lot more digs and extended volleys . . . gives you a chance to get excited and start yelling instructions at the TV. (Yes, I do that too. Again: why the surprise?)

Also been keeping very close tabs on the Russia/Georgia conflict. Damn me if that isn't the most dangerous and frightening thing I've seen in years. I've never believed that the old Russia was gone and they were now our happy, friendly trading partner moving towards an open democracy. This is the Russia I've been worrying over, the one that conquers its neighbors mercilessly under a cold-eyed fanatic leader (Hello, Mr. Putin!) Latest news is they've stopped their advance into Georgia but they aren't withdrawing and they've promised to take it back up if the Georgians put up any resistance. (Who sneezed? That's it, take the whole country!) This is the type of situation that could easily lead to another World War. Very scary stuff.

Ah well, enough of my drivel for one day.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm a skinny(er) MoFo!!

Hey, y'all! (amazing that I can start a post with those words having been born and raised in The Garden State, no?)

Things are cool hereabouts - called out of work sick yesterday: unpleasant digestive issues (polite phrasing, yes?) kept me up all night Sunday and I was whooped come Monday a.m. Of course, it WAS a Monday, which made it that much easier to just stay in bed! Not that such a thought would influence my decision making process . . . much. :-) I'm happily back at work today, feeling just fine, thanks for asking! The Wife is feeling much better as well, still a little stiff in the neck but other than that she's her usual happy self (read: she's back to happily bitching at yours truly!) Thanks to everyone who sent her good thoughts.

So, get this . . . the diet I was talking about last week? The one I had little hope was actually going to do anything? (I mean, come on! "LOSE TEN LBS. IN THREE DAYS!" What, you gonna send me some Ginsu knives with that for free?) Well, butter-my-ass-and-call-me-a-biscuit if I didn't drop ten frikkin' ponds in three days!! (I really don't know what's up with all the country references today, but let's just roll with it, 'kay? it'll pass soon, I promise!) I was absolutely floored. Four months of eating a vegetarian diet and exercising daily did nothing and this stupid program does the trick. Who knew????

Well, obviously the SFC who gave it to me knew. He told me I just needed to do something to "shock" my system a bit, that the body acclimates itself to just about any regular pattern and learns to use its energy more efficiently to STOP weight loss. Mighty handy from an evolutionary standpoint, but damn frustrating if your a lard-ass like me looking to drop some poundage! It's a fairly simple program: you do the diet for the three days, then go back to eating normally (i.e. like a normal person, no triple cheeseburgers, etc.) for the next four days and then you can do it again. Potentially, I can lose up to 40 lbs. in a month if the damn thing keeps working. How cool would that be? If I drop 40 lbs., I'll be golden! That will take me down to well under the Army weight tables and make my time in BCT soooooo much easier. I'll let you know if it keeps working or if it's a one-off kinda thing. I won't be able to go back on it until next Sunday because I have a family reunion this weekend and my ass WILL be eating well and drinking a few beers (Ok, maybe more than a few . . .) What I really like about this diet is that it wasn't one of those "water loss" type of diets, you know what I mean? The kind where you spend half of each day in the restroom "purging"? Nothing of the kind: it was actually easy on the system, all the food is very good for you (if not exactly the most appetizing stuff.) and there's plenty of it.

I am still having pay issues with the Army. I haven't gotten paid for my last two drills yet. I'll have to call my Platoon Sgt. again and bug him. I don't know why this is such a problem, the officer I spoke to said it was a simple change . . . ah well, what can ya' do? I also still need to get out to the nearest Fort and get my formal military ID. There never seems to be enough time to get it done at drill, so I'll do it on my own. Maybe when I take off for my next Dr. appointment on the ankle. I need to take off to get an x-ray done a few days before anyway so maybe I'll do both the same day. The ankle is fine but a little stiff right now. I walked three miles this a.m. (and jogged for a few dozen yards, which I'm not supposed to do, but I wanted to see what I was gonna be up against) It didn't hurt at all but the muscles ain't used to the running anymore so they're a little stiff. No biggie.

I have a Scout meeting tonight to discuss some issues that came up at the Summer Camp. This was the first major outing for the adult leaders who ran the program and it seems some of the older boys tried to take advantage the situation and pull some very un-scout-like crap. So, tonight we get together and discuss ramifications for their behavior. :-) Teenagers never change do they? It's just funny because the stuff they did, they would NEVER have considered if either I or any of the more experienced scout leaders were there. Silly kids, tricks are for rabbits!