The effect is already apparent #Health

Freerangegeek received an early, very nice Xmas gift about a week ago. His wonderful mother gave him an Apple Watch. After only wearing it for about 5 days he can tell it will be a wonderful tool.

It is not clear if it is the utility of the watch. Or the psychological effect of the electronic nagging. Or a combination. Or maybe just anticipation of getting back to work next week that is driving the energy.

Whatever it is, whatever the combination, does not matter. What is clear is that he has become more active in recent days. From making certain the house is picked up before bed; to clearing the sidewalk and driveway of the dusting of snow. He has become more energized and engaged with his physical energy.

He is not out training for a marathon. The Freerangeek knows his limits. And there is sadly a lot of emotional and physical inertia built up to keep him pinned to the chair and couch. Despite that he feels that having the reminder to get moving and not just sit will be a big help.



A weekend of contrasts #life #Health #kids

The weekend did not start well for Freereangegeek. He watched his beloved Buffs get demolished while recuperating from a medical procedure. Then he spent the majority of the day Saturday watching wrestling, followed by another evening of football. Sunday dawned with a day of promise. Kids were given their assignments, a good breakfast was followed by shopping. Then a day of relaxation followed. It was a weekend of activity and a time of rest.

Friday was the rite of passage that accompanies turning 50: a colonoscopy. Which followed a no fun night of little sleep combined with no food. But the returns were all positive from the procedure, no growths or problems. Friday evening was devoted to catching up on recorded shows and then football. The football was fun for a while. But it became clear early on that it was not going to be the Buffs night. Which was okay as they were effectively playing with house money on this season.

Saturday came with the chance to attend Number One Son’s first JV wrestling tournament. It began well. As said son won his first 2 matches handily. It seemed that great things were coming. But it was not to be. A lack of experience and development showed in his last 2 matches as errors were made, and the shock of playing someone 4 years older kicked in. But a respectable 2-2 record for the day with real signs of improvement from previous seasons made it all a success. Even if it was a long day for the Freerangegeek.

Saturday evening was spent in more relaxation and watching two exciting and close college football games. It was entertaining, to say the least, and a good way to unwind from the day.

Sunday was initially devoted to household items. Cooking breakfast, picking up the kitchen. Assigning chores to the children. Then grocery shopping and meal planning. That was followed by some time devoted to holiday shopping and planning. During which Freerangegeek was abe to keep abreast of football scores using his early Xmas gift.

However, when he returned it was like all energy seeped out of his body. As his usefulness went away and he fell into the depths of televised sports again.

There was a strong set of contrasting events and feeling over the course of the weekend. There were moments of excitement and activity. And there was time spent in grips of the couch and televised sports. In all, it was a good weekend, but there were moments when it felt like time was being wasted. When his employment changes in a week the Freerangegeek will have to find a better way of handling the time when he is not at work better so it will not feel like as much time is wasted.

Reviewing some things #Life #Mentalhealth

It has been an interesting couple of days. I got in some real good exercise the last few days. I really caught up on some other things. I tried to tackle some other issues with differing success. And I have had to struggle some with getting things done.

Friday morning I spent a couple of hours helping my Dad pack up his moving truck. That was some hard work. It felt good after the fact to have worked with all of that, though. Really got in my ideal workout. Saturday I laid on the couch much of the day. But I forced myself to get out and go for a long strenuous walk. It has not been especially easy to get myself into working out mode, but I am ever so slowly getting to it. To go with that I have been a good job with tracking my eating and eating better over the last week. Overall, I am pleased with this part of my changes.

I have been good with the writing. I have been doing a good job of writing some every day. Which forces me away from the simply passive entertainment mode I had fallen into over the last couple of months.

I tried to tackle some things around the house. Getting the house picked up. Getting the kids to do their part to pick up the house. This was not so easy. Danny has been feeling bad. Emily is Emily. And Jimmy has been dealing with the combination of a cold and then being full of teenage angst. That has been a real battle.

Sunday was a struggle personally. I am beginning to notice a trend. If I take the sleeping pills to get to sleep there is a definite problem the next day as far as my mood. I can hope that getting into a better exercise schedule that I will not feel the need to take the pills to get to sleep. That is something to keep an eye on in future days.

The important thing is that progress is being made. It maybe in fits and starts. It may be so incremental that it is hard to notice. But there is progress. That makes me feel better overall.

All good, time to get to work #Mentalhealth #Health

Had my yearly physical today. No surprises or excitement. Just accepting where I am at. Which is in good health, but out of shape. Now it is time to get to work.

I really like my doctor. He agreed that it is a good idea to find a way to turn my greatest weakness into a strength. Allow myself to obsess with exercise and better eating habits. Not to a point where I start a negative spiral. But to say it is okay to make a point of recording every meal. Establish a mindset that makes getting exercise a priority.

I have to approach this carefully. I need to take the physical activity slow to make sure that I do not overdo it early. It is also important to ease into the mental aspects of this. If I try to hard to develop the habits I take the risk of my brain pushing back. It is going to be a balancing act.

But it is not just the exercise. I also want to get myself back into the habit of writing. In addition to making a habit of daily exercise, I want to get back into a daily habit of writing something. Not setting a word count so much as setting an amount of time at the computer actually writing something. That could be a blog post, or working on an adventure, or something else.

My goal in all of this is to get back into what I consider good habits: eating healthy, thinking healthy, being healthy. Just to break from some of the negative habits.


It is slow, but satisfying #Fitness #Exercise

A couple of years ago I was running 15-20 miles a week. I was probably in the best shape of my life. Then two things happened. I had a bit of a mental breakdown, not serious, but enough to get me to re-think some of my habits. At the same time, my feet gave out on me as I was diagnosed with turf toe. So I lost my healthy habits. This year I wanted to get at least some of that back.

It took me a while. It has not all been successful. My meal tracking went well for several months but eventually stopped. Although I am still eating okay for the most part.

This spring I finally found a good combination of shoe and insert for dealing with my turf toe. It is not 100% perfect. I can still feel it. The pain is there but greatly reduced.

Finally this month I have been making good on my goal of getting a little exercise every day. At least one 15 minute walk every day. I have not made it every day, but I have been successful most days. I can see it when I look at my activity monitor on my phone, this month is a step up from previous months.

It does feel good, that little walk every morning helps wake me up in the mornings. Or, on some days, helps center me. A couple of weeks ago when I went to the amusement park I was concerned that all the walking would do me in, but that was not the case. Then on Sunday when we did the project I did an awful lot of legwork, left me sore for a couple of days. I have been careful to not push it.

Then last night I actually went out with the kids at a birthday gathering and played a couple of hours worth of street football. It felt really good to get out and run around with the kids. Even if my feet were sore after the fact, but not beyond the reach of a couple of ibuprofen.

I am taking it slow, reclaiming a little of my mobility and active life. I know that I won’t be able to get back to my peak running mileage. That does not mean that I cannot at least be somewhat active. It is satisfying to get back into the swing of things at least a little. Which is really all I am striving for, to be able to do things like last night or Sunday without feeling completely worn out for days afterwards.

Recovery, and still productive#Life

Friday night was the school dance, so I went, had to stand the whole time, talk with people, and even danced a little line dance with Emily. I was dying by the end of it all, just totally exhausted. When it hit me. If I wanted to get better this weekend, I needed to try to relax as much as possible. Which is harder than you think with the weather being so nice. So I did what I could, focusing on rest and recovery.

When I look back, I did manage to get a lot done. There was the school dance on Friday night. Which was fun, and we reconnected with a parent and her kids who had been out of state for 3 years. That was especially nice for Jimmy as the oldest was one of his buddies before they moved.

Saturday I had my eye appointment, got my car washed & vacuumed, and then in the afternoon we went to the Westside Wrestling banquet. Where I again tried to push it a little too much, the kids & parents had a big game of dodgeball. I didn’t participate, but just trying to cheer, do a little referee work was too much. In between we got some good house cleaning done, including the kids being forced to do some deep cleaning in their rooms. As a result, I slept very well Saturday night, from exhaustion and recovery.

And Sunday we got the gutters cleaned out. I got in some more rest. And Kim and Emily made some cookies. By Sunday evening, things were pretty much back to normal. I still have a bit of a cough, but not nearly what it was.

Danny tried the Campout, went up there, but we got a call around 7:30, he just couldn’t stick it out. So Kim went up and got him. He got to spend the weekend recovering himself from this stomach bug that he had, which was magnified by the anxiety over the camping. The important thing is that he was well by this morning, and joking around with me this morning when I dropped him off at school.

The weekend was not without its problems. I had a bit of insomnia Friday night, woke up around 3 and could not get back to sleep for an hour or 2. So I was extra tired on Saturday, which did not help my mood or physical well-being. There was the expected trouble going to sleep last night due to the stupid Daylight Savings time.

Throughout it all though I was pleased with how the weekend went. My physical health is gradually returning to normal (or what passes for such for me.) Next week is Spring Break so only one week of school for the kids before we all get some time off.


It’s going to be interesting #Health #Mentalhealth

I spent yesterday afternoon at Urgent Care. The Cough was just becoming too bad again, and I wanted to be sure it was not something worse. Good for me that it all came back okay, I got a breathing treatment, but negative on bronchitis and pneumonia. So I have an inhaler and prednisone for a couple of days and the doctor thought I should be clear by Monday. The only real effect I can see so far is I do have a small case of the shakes, probably from the steroids. She told me that I might be a little more emotional taking this. I gave the family fair warning, that I might be a little nuttier than I normally am.

Danny has been sick this week. Mostly a stomach bug. Saw the doctor who said there is one floating around, so it is not too odd that he has one, and in fact, validates his having one. The twist is that this weekend is his first Boy Scout campout. These are different  from Cubs, no parents along. I am sure that this stomach ailment is magnified by his anxiety about the campout. That’s a big step for him. This morning he asked if he was still feeling bad after school if he had to go on the campout. I’m torn on this one. My softy parent side says sure, this is not a mandatory formation, not all the Scouts will be there. My hard guy says no, you committed to doing this, you need to stand by that commitment. But the real issue is this. I know from own experience that I did not do a lot of stuff when I was younger because of my own anxiety issues. And that’s a big deal because no one wants to have regrets, I missed out on a lot. On the other hand, I completely understand that instinct to look at this new thing, this challenge and say hell no I don’t want any part of being challenged. At this point the jury is out, it will depend on how he is after school (and how hard Kim want to be.)

Otherwise, this is a pretty empty weekend for the family. There is the Wrestling club banquet. Which used to be something I looked forward to as they held it all the swimming pool where I am comfortable. But this year they changed locations. To a church that is walking distance from the house so if I want to bug out, or Emily wants to, we can easily just walk home. But Sunday is clear so maybe we can finally tackle some household things we want to get done.

One of the things that I have begun to realize in recent years is how much our physical health affects out mental health and vice versa. I knew it before, or at least, I had an intellectual understanding of it. But I had not really grokked it until now. The good thing is that because I can see and feel it for myself, I know that a lot of why I have felt so troubled this week was because I was fighting this never ending bug. And now I can apply that knowledge as a parent and help my kids get through the same thing.