Mouth breathers unite!

I made an interesting discovery. I’m a mouth breather.

No, not in the sense you’re thinking where I’m a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, ignorant trumpanzee. No. I mean when I exercise, I breathe through my mouth instead of my nose.

I only just realized that. Generally, I don’t think about how I’m breathing when I exercise, particularly running. I’m too focused on all the other mechanics to pay much attention to breathing. After all, I’m not suffocating. I’m not passing out from lack of oxygen. So, how I breath never entered the equation.

But I did notice that after runs in cold weather (like today, it’s 19 degrees F with a wind chill of 13), my throat and chest feel a little sore, like the cold, damp weather is freezing my insides.

To solve this, I went and purchased a face mask. I bought the Fitwhiz Unisex Ski Mask. It’s made of neoprene and looked like it would work well.

Fitwhiz Unisex Ski Mask Neck Warmer

Looks cool, sure. And if you’re a nose breather, it probably works great. I’m only a nose breather for about a block or two, then I become a mouth breather, because I have small nostrils, or possibly a small sinus passage, and I can’t get an adequate amount of air into my lungs when I’m doing aerobics, so I revert to breathing through my mouth.

I’m not gasping for breath, mind you, just breathing through my mouth.

The issue with this mask? It’s neoprene. Neoprene isn’t very permeable. There’s a nice big hole for your nose, but for mouth breathing? Those little holes aren’t enough and that little circle thing that looks like a vent? I think it’s just for show. It doesn’t do anything, not when you inhale nor when you exhale.

And exhaling is the other thing. Those small holes again aren’t enough during exhalation. Your breath goes up and out the top of the mask. In my case, that means fogging my glasses so I can’t see.

I’ve used it twice now. Both times after a few blocks I had to rip it off my face because I wasn’t getting enough air. Which reminds me of a funny story from my Navy days.

We were taking shipboard fire fighting classes in Norfolk, Virginia. We’d put on our fire fighting gear, which included an Oxygen Breathing Apparatus (OBA) and we’d enter this large square brick building. Inside, there were catwalks and below us was some sort of inflammable liquid. They’d set it on fire and we’d enter and have to knock down the fire using different techniques.

Well, we were inside and I started having a panic attack that I couldn’t breath. My OBA unit wasn’t working, I wasn’t getting enough air. The damned thing must have been defective. Just my luck, right? In a blind panic, I ripped the mask off and took a deep breath …

… of extremely hot, noxious gases!

Yes, the OBA was working just fine, thank you very much. I quickly replaced it and went along my merry way trying not to think about how it was much more difficult to breath life-giving good air compared to deadly, burning fumes.

Anyway, that’s how I feel when I wear this mask. Like I’m suffocating. I’ve tried it twice and both times I had to remove it.

I’m sure it’ll be wonderful when it comes time to shovel snow or just walk to work when it reaches single digits, but run in? Hell no.

So that’s my story of how I learned I’m an exercising mouth-breather.

By the by, I never did apply for the scuba team while in the Navy either because of this need to breath air thing.

Oh, and I bought a new pair of running shoes, Brooks Ghost 10. I’ve run in them about five times now. Just wonderful cushioning on the cement. I don’t know why I bothered trying other brands. I love my Brooks. Run Happy.

Keep running, peeps.

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Friday roundup

A Friday Haiku

“Insufficient Funds”

The checkout cashier tells me

“Nooooooo!” comes my reply.

Weigh-In Friday

I don’t usually lead off with what my scales says, but I’ll make an exception today. What does the scale say? I don’t know, but the fox says, “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringding!”

Sorry. Try to get that song out of your head now.

Anyway, the scale read — *drumroll* — 196.3 pounds! I think that’s the lowest my weight has been since before my thyroid went wonky and I blew up like the Michelin Man, so mid-90s? (And there is one photo of me from that era. I’m so puffed up, my eyes are squinty. I hope my wife burned it.)

So, yes, I’m happy. I’ve lost 2.5 pounds just since last week. Granted, I’m hangry all the time, but nothing a fun-sized Snickers can’t tame.

I was well over 235 pounds (maybe more, a lot more, I don’t recall) when I started this adventure. It’s taken longer than I would have liked, but I’m finally seeing progress.

I think that deserves an extra apple.

Sculpting

No, it’s not a new ADHD-driven interest. I wouldn’t have the patience for sculpting. Nor was I ever very good artistically using three-dimensional materials.

I’m talking about body sculpting. As the layers of fat fall away, I’m starting to see that underneath the benefit of the exercises I’ve been doing is starting to be revealed.

I do not have six-pack abs yet, but I can see that as the keg disappears, there is a six-pack hiding under there.

Checkout Limbo

I stopped at the store yesterday for a few things, mostly stuff for a cold. You know, chicken soup, orange juice, bacon, the essentials.

All the lines were long. I waited, then it was my turn. She scanned everything, rang it up, and just as I slid my card, the card-reader went blank. Then it flashed on, Remove Your Card. So, I did. Then it said Transaction Canceled and went blank again.

The cashier said, it says you canceled the transaction.

I put up my hands. “Not me. The reader is having problems.”

After several unsuccessful attempts to get it to work, she finally called for help. Another lady came and reset it then left.

We waited. I watched as the reader rebooted. Then it went blank again. I looked at the cashier and shrugged. She said the register didn’t come back up either.

By now, the lady who had helped was swamped behind the service desk. The cashier explained to those waiting that her register was broken.

The guy next in line gets huffy. “Why don’t you move to that register?”

And she explained that register was logged in by someone else, now on break. She can’t just log in. Besides, her cashdrawer is stuck inside this register, which she can’t extract.

All the others waiting in line filtered off to other registers, while Anger Man sat steaming for a minute as if our cashier had magical powers to scan his stuff. Then, throwing up his hands, he stormed off, leaving his shit on the conveyer belt.

She looked at me. “If anyone should be upset, it should he you.”

I said, “What good would that do?”

Which is really strange, because usually I’m the one who explodes in anger when things go wrong.

Finally, the other cashier came off break and my cashier explained what was going on. Cashier2 was nice enough to ring up my purchases while Cashier1 bagged so I could get out faster.

I scanned my card and that’s when I heard the dreaded words: “Insufficient funds.” I would have laughed, because now it felt like a bad sitcom.

I tried a credit card. That one said, Overlimit. Shit. Third time was a charm, however, and I left with my purchases, feeling a little embarrassed.

Outro

Another weekend is upon us. I hope it’s a good one for you.

I leave you with a song I only just heard this morning, but I really liked it. Made for a good drive in to work.

I hope it brightens your day as well.

Remember: Keep on keepin on. Resist.

-30-

Random Randomness on a Friday

A Friday Haiku

Rain rain go away

And you had better not freeze,

No ice ice baby!

Weigh-In Friday

Good news. I lost two pounds.

*Does the happy weight loss dance*

Now if I could only figure out what I did different this week from last. Although, I did buy a medicine ball and I’ve been doing various exercises for my core with it.

Writing and OCD

I don’t know if I really have OCD, but I have ADHD-induced obsessiveness.

I’m refering to yesterday’s blog where I mentioned I was sinking into a research quagmire because I felt a scene needed a humorous anecdote to balance a tense moment where my MC is combating a demon, specifically the Egyptian demon Ammit, the devourer.

Have I completed the research and continued with my almost finished edits on my novel so I can start having it beta read?

No. To show just how obsessive I can be about being as factual and historically accurate in my fiction, even an urban fatasy faerie tale, I’m reading the entire text of “The Egyptian Book of the Dead.”

Just so I can write one short paragraph.

Tell me that’s normal behavior and all writers do the same thing.

Please?

Wisconsin is rejoicing

Yes, Wisconsin is rejoicing, or at least the intelligent part is.

Paul Ryan, who has represented Wisconsin’s first congressional district, is retiring.

What will the legacy be of Ryan’s 20 year career in Washington? One of complete and utter failure.

Looming largest for the people of Wisconsin was his total inability to prevent the closure of the Janesville GM plant, which had provided significant employment to the area for 90 years.

Ryan will also be remembered for not having the balls to stand up against Trumpy the Clown with his insane outbursts and unpredictable shifts on every position that have made the United States a laughing stock to the rest of the world and has put us on the brink of nuclear war against two countries, so far.

Ryan, who for 20 years was touted as the Republican’s budget wunderkind despite never being able to pass one of his budgets, will now be remembered as the architect of the most financially ruinous budget ever passed, one that screws the middle class, widens the gap between the rich and the poor, all while crearing a fiscal conservative’s worst nightmare of an out-of-control deficit reaching record heights never before imagined.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say. May Kharma make Ryan’s retirement as financially uncertain and and terrifyingly insecure as those of the elderly he has screwed, and tried to screw, over the years.

Once more for those in the back, social security insurance and Medicare are not entitlements, they are benefits we pay into throughout our working life.

Paul Ryan will not be missed.

Smart missiles, stupid leader

On April 11th, Trumpy the Clown tweeted: Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

The next day, he then tweeted: Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”

Wow. Trumpy the Clown sure has Russia guessing now, doesn’t he? “Will he? Won’t he? Golly gosh! The suspense is unnerving.”

When Trumpy’s lawyer had his office raided and files detained, Trumpy went on a twitter rant: “Attorney-Client privilesge is dead!” and “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!”

He’s also ranted about his wall, about sending National Guard troops to the border, how our relations with Russia are the worst ever because of Meuller and the “Fake and Corrupt Russia Investigation.”

And today he’s ranting about Comey, calling him a “proven LEAKER & LIAR,” how everyone in Washington thought he should be fired (at least every one of the voices in Trumpy’s head, anyway), and so on and so forth.

Anyone else see the striking resemblance to Captain Queeg from “The Caine Mutiny?” Trumpy the Clown is sinking deeper and deeper into an arrogant, self-possessed, delusional paranoia. I predict he will soon tweet: Aah, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that Crooked Hillary, that leaker Comey, the conflicted Meuller, and the Fake News are all out to get me and ruin America! But the people know I’m great… the best President… better than the failed Obama!

Sad!

It’s sad that we allow him to destroy the dignity of the office of the President of the United States and our country’s standing among the world community.

Forget impeachment.

Guys! The 25th Amendment is there for a reason: to rid ourselves of unstable, dangerous people like Trumpy the Clown.

Last word

It’s the weekend. It should be Spring, but it isn’t. Not that I’ve ever really seen a Spring here in Wisconsin. Maybe once, back in the 1960s, I think we may have had a real Spring with warming weather, April showers, and May flowers.

Either that, or I have a false memory courtesy of Al Jolson.

I do know that for as long as my wife and I have lived where we can plant flowers around the house, which is about 20 years, we’ve experienced a May where the ground was thawned enough and there was no danger of a killing frost to allow us to plant only a handful of times.

Despite my haiku suggesting otherwise, I’m never surprised or disappointed when it’s still cold in April or May. This is Wisconsin. Wisconsin doesn’t care what season your calendar says it should be.

Therefore, this weekend’s forecast of freezing rain, snow, ice, and a winter weather advisory is just par for the course.

Enjoy your weekend no matter what the weather.

Keep resisting.

And, as always, a song.

-30-

Random Friday

A Friday Haiku

Government shut down,
Congress cannot do their job,
Vote all the bums out.

Weigh-in Friday

I’m fighting another cold or maybe the same one. I’ve been sick most of this year so far with colds and a bout of bronchitis. Because of the cold this week, I didn’t run or exercise and yet, my body was always wanting fuel, probably to battle the cold.

So I was expecting to have gained weight when I stepped on the scale, but surprise! I had lost 0.8 pounds.

Don’t ask me how.

2018 Government Shutdown #2

khangress-gov-shutdown-meme

If you blinked, you missed it, but it was there. The government shutdown for about six hours or so because several Senators delayed the vote until past the midnight deadline.

Specifically, Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), suddenly had a conscience over how this budget plan would bust the deficit wide open, completely forgetting that they had signed the #GOPTaxScam about six weeks ago without any qualms whatsoever. Not a peep.

But see, according to conservative logic, the tax bill is all right because even though it will blow up the deficit, it puts money back into the “people’s” pockets. Granted, when conservatives talk about the “people”, they don’t mean you and I, the middle class, or the working class struggling to make ends meet, they mean the wealthy, the rich, the well-to-do.

This budget plan they just passed, however, is a spending plan and conservatives don’t like that. Conservatives don’t like to spend money unless it’s for the military. Anything else, to them, is considered an entitlement and should be cut.

So you see, there are good deficits and bad deficits, according to conservatives. Good deficits happen when they are giving the rich a tax break, but if you spend money to feed and house the poor, give medical aid to the elderly,  or educate children, then that leads to bad deficits.

Oh, and see you in a few weeks, this Continuing Resolution is only good until March 23rd, when we get to go through the whole shutdown scare again.

Backwards and in high heels

This 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon by Bob Thaves seems apropos for events this week:

ginger_frankernesttoon

Only now it should read, don’t forget that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) held the House floor for 8 hours, giving the longest speech in that chamber for at least a century, sipping only water, while in four inch heels.

That’s impressive. You go, girl.

Last Word

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

I leave you, not necessarily with a song, but a movie clip of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Enjoy.

-30-

It’s random Friday

A Friday Haiku

Government shutdown

Trump was nowhere to be seen

Where are the adults?

It’s hard to write a haiku about a government shutdown because Continuing Resolution is eight syllables.

Weigh-In Friday

Let’s start out the week in review with some good news (to offset the angry rants toward the end).

The scale says (say that like Richard Dawson doing “Family Feud”), I lost 1.7 pounds! Yowza!

And that was all done through exercise. My diet lately is less than ideal. A homemade egg and cheese McMuffin for breakfast. Ham and cheese or PB&J sandwiches for lunch, a Siggi’s yogurt and an apple or clementine for a midday snack. And then our normal overly processed dinner, although this week was probably worse than normal, which is why that weight loss number is rather surprising.

Here’s a review of our evening meals:

Monday — chilidogs and chilifries

Tuesday — pizza from Jet’s Pizza

Wednesday — a boxed dinner similar to Chicken Helper only Velveeta’s version

Thursday — since my wife was at a work-sponsored event and it was just my teenaged son and I, we had Jeno’s Pizza Rolls (a 90 count and 40 count bag, if you’re keeping score).

Yeah, I probably just gave any nutritionists reading this nightmares.

Run, Ferret, Run

It was a good week for running. I ran last Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

After a sporadic November and December and then being laid low by bronchitis for two weeks, I’m taking it slow to get back into proper running shape. I don’t want to rush it and end up with a stress injury.

My runs at this point have been for 15 minutes at 5 mph. An easy pace that doesn’t leave me gasping for breathe.

The last three runs, I increased the time to 16 minutes, and the average pace was slowly increased by 0.1 mph increments to 5.3. Last night’s run, after I hit a mile, I increased the last five minutes of the run to 6 mph.

Tonight, I’ll increase the time to 17 minutes and set the pace to 5.5 mph.

I’m way off my personal bests of last year where I was running 5k in about 29 minutes. But as I said, although I’m impatient and chomping at the bit to get back to that faster pace (which is why I finished last night’s run at 6 mph), I know it’s best for my health if I keep taking it slow for now.

Government Shutdown and another C.R.

As a Federal employee, I’m really getting fed up with not knowing if I’ll have a job at the end of each of these Continuing Resolutions. I really wish Congress would agree to a real budget instead of kicking the can down the road every few weeks.

It’s ironic because I took my Federal job for several reasons. First, I believe in serving my country. I was a Boy Scout, in the U.S. Navy, worked part time in college for the local school system, and now I’m a Fed. Second, my work history was rather woeful. I worked for close to a dozen private companies that all folded underneath me, leaving me unemployed. The last one happened at the start of 2009 during the recession and I was unemployed for nearly two years. The longer I was unemployed, the less employable I became because my job skills were no longer “up to date.” So, I applied for a Federal position thinking it would provide job security.

Job security! That’s funny in retrospect since every end of the fiscal year we go through these rounds of failed budgets and Continuing Resolutions to keep the government funded for just a few weeks more. We’ve suffered through threats of shutdowns and actual shutdowns, the one in 2013 lasted 19 days. This one, three. And we’re looking forward to another threat on February 8th, when this C.R. ends.

Join the Federal workforce they said, it’ll be fun they said. Right, the pay is low, the benefits are shrinking, the GOP demonizes us, and there’s always the threat of losing our jobs.

Good times.

Winter Wonderland?

I don’t know how your winter is going, but ours is all screwed up. We live in Wisconsin, Milwaukee specifically. Our annual average snowfall is about 52.4 inches (133 cm) per winter. And our average high temperature in January is 28 °F (-2 °C) and the average low is 13 °F (-11 °C).

This winter, we’ve experienced a few weeks of subzero weather (Fahrenheit-wise) alternating with unusually above average temperatures.

Earlier this week it rained all day Monday, it turned to snow on Tuesday, and today they’re predicting temperatures near 50 °F (10 °C).

At one point, South Carolina had more snow from that one freak snowstorm several weeks ago than we had received all winter long.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I hate shoveling. And I have yet to need our snowblower.

Granted, we still have plenty of time. March of 2017 we were hit with a record setting snowfall totalling nearly a foot and a half of snow in some parts of the city.

So, I’ll shut up now before the Fates hear me.

Milwaukee’s Racing Sausages

For more than 25 years, the Milwaukee-based Klement Sausage Company has been synonymous with the Milwaukee Brewers’ world famous Racing Sausages.

But this year, that all changed. The Milwaukee Brewers abruptly, and without explanation, broke off negotiations, and then signed with another company. Furthermore, the Brewers completely denied Klement’s any chance to make a counter-offer or renegotiate.

It was a dick move on the part of the Milwaukee Brewers. That isn’t how you treat a 25 year working relationship.

Many fans began to speculate who the new company might be. There are a lot of great sausage companies in Wisconsin, including the other Milwaukee-based sausage maker, Usinger’s, which already has Bob Uecker, the Milwaukee Brewers’ radio announcer, as a spokesperson.

There’s also Cher-Make Sausage based out of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the Sheboygan Bratwurst Company, and Old Wisconsin Sausage Company, just to name a few.

Did the Brewers select any of those?

Nooooo. They went with Johnsville.

Yes, that Johnsonville. The one that donates tens of thousands of dollars to the campaign fund of our crazed conservative governor, a puppet of the Koch Brothers, who slavishly passes their ALEC-influenced agenda that is ruining our state.

The Brewers couldn’t have made a worse choice. Combine that with how wretchedly they treated Klement’s in doing so, makes this a decision that will leave a bad taste in the mouths of Brewers fans for years.

To show our displeasure with the backstabbing treatment of Klement’s, Brewers fans should collectively turn their backs on the Sausage Races this year.

I know I will. They’ll always be the Klement’s Racing Sausages to me.

Last word

And that brings another week to an end. Hope you have a great weekend. Go support Klement’s sausages and boycott Johnsonville.

I think tonight I’ll grill some Klement’s sausages in our 50 °F weather to show solidarity.

I leave you, as always, with a song. Enjoy.

Resist.

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Q-Up

I’m mostly an indoor runner. Particularly when the temperatures are hovering near zero degrees Fahrenheit and the roads are snow and ice covered. I’d rather not risk a sprained ankle, or worse, and setting my running progress back more than I already have with bronchitis.

I run on my treadmill. It’s decent enough, though several years old now. It has a max speed of 12 mph with a 15% incline. I have yet to train to the point where I reach either one of those. I have sprinted for 15 or 30 seconds at 10 mph, but usually stick with 8 mph as my sprint speed.

My home theater is in front of the treadmill, so I can watch cable while I run, except to be honest, watching television while running gets rather boring. I much prefer music. I very much prefer my own music on vinyl, which means playing a record on my turntable.

The problem with that is, if I run for any decent time over 15 or 20 minutes, the record ends. It’s a manual turntable. In other words, I have to lift the tonearm off the record before it starts doing that “shh-shk! ssh-shk! ssh-shk!”

It’s a sound that terrifies most vinyl music aficionados under ordinary circumstances because it means the needle is grinding away in the end groove, which isn’t good for said needle. So we all have a minor adrenaline panic episode as we try to reach the tonearm before it starts doing that.

Now magnify that adrenaline panic episode with having exhausted myself running on the treadmill. I’m jumping off, trying not to break my neck as I do so. I rush over to the turntable, and attempt to lift the tonearm off the record with hands shaking from the strenuous exercise, trying to make my fingers steady enough to lift the needle without going, “zzzzzzzit!” across the record and scratching it.

I’m only successful once in a while, therefore, to protect my valuable vinyl library, I had abandoned playing them while running. Which brings us back to watching TV and getting bored.

No more.

I found a product called The Q UP. It’s a small, plastic device you set-up on your turntable which lifts your tonearm automatically when the record ends.

2018-01-17 20.58.58

It came in a small, cardboard box. I pulled it out and followed the directions (which are only online, but I had read and watched the instructions earlier).

I cleaned an area on the plinth where I planned to place The Q UP. Then, with the turntable off, I placed the tonearm on the record at the point I wanted The Q UP to lift it.

I placed The Q Up next to the tonearm with the “trigger” just touching the tonearm and then I used their little 3M cardboard rectangle to mark the spot.

2018-01-17 21.08.25

I peeled off the 3M tape on the bottom of The Q UP, and set it at the spot marked by the little rectangle.

Now, it came time to test it.

It worked exactly as designed. I’m very pleased with The Q UP and would recommend it to anyone with a manual turntable who doesn’t like experience that adrenaline panic episode every time an album ends.

And now, I can run on my treadmill, listen to my vinyl, and not have to kill myself, or my albums, trying to get to the record when the last song ends.

Life is good.

-30-

Will power needed

It’s been a ghastly holiday season from a gastrological point of view.

I stopped weighing myself in early November and that was probably my big mistake.

Probably, because I indulged excessively in holiday cookies. As well as appetizers at the family get-togethers.

I will admit that I did not overindulge when it came to meals themselves. I’ve never been one to gorge myself on Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cranberry relish. Never.

Unlike many peopme, my plate has always had plenty of white space on it. I merely take a small sampling of each dish. And I very rarely eat dessert.

I have never understood the purpose of holiday overeating. As a child, I watched relatives stuff themselves until they couldn’t any more, then they’d sit around and complain how full they are. “I can’t believe I ate so much.”

So why did you do it? No one forced you. There is no expected famine. Gluttony makes no sense.

I remember one sister-in-law, who shall remain nameless, brought a bottle of Pepto-Bismol to one Thanksgiving. My wife and I would visit one of our mom’s for a few hours, then we’d go to the other mom’s place for the evening.

This SIL did the same, going to her mother’s after finishing here.

After the Thanksgiving meal, she pulled out the bottle of Pepto and said, “I don’t know how you do it. Eating one huge meal then going to the other side of the family to eat another huge meal.”

We just stared at her. “We don’t eat a second meal when we leave here. We just have drinks and appetizers.”

I mean, seriously, it’s bad enough to gorge yourself at one meal but two in the same day?

But stuffing myself isn’t how I got myself in trouble. It was a cookie craving. We didn’t bake any this year (no spritz cookies! Sad face.), but we did pick up cookies from the suoermarket, including cookies freshly baked by some local bakeries.

And I ate those mindlessly, not counting or caring.

And I paid for it. I didn’t weigh myself — I was afraid of what the scale would say — but the visible evidence was there. My stomach was mocking me in the mirror. “You thought I was gone, didn’t you? Think again, because I’m baa-aack!”

I resolved, without making any resolutions, to get serious about exercise and eating right.

And I started the year off well. I ran the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd. Unfortunately, my streak was to end there.

I was laid low by a cold. I didn’t run on the 4th because of chest congestion. Friday the 5th was worse. And I laid around that entire weekend, consuming nothing but liquids: coffee, teas, and soups.

Monday, the 8th, I felt no better and stayed home from work. Ditto Tuesday. Wednesday, I felt so bad I went to urgent care.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The last time I took more than two consecutive sick days off was when I had shoulder surgery. Taking off sick from work just isn’t something I do.

Prognosis? Bronchitis and a left ear infection. They gave me antibiotics. Bit the thing that shocked me was stepping on the scale. Theirs read 218 pounds! That can’t be right! I’ve been on a liquid diet, for Cripe’s sake!

I weighed myself when I got home. My scale, which I’m still not sure how accurate it is, read 207.7 pounds. Better than their scale (why do they weigh younwith your shoes on?). Not as bad, but not good either.

Thursday I stayed home, but Friday the 12th I went in. My boss sent me home after half a day because I sounded so bad.

I had a three day weekend, thanks to MLK Jr Day, and when Tuesday, yesterday, rolled around, I made it to work. I went in even though I still wasn’t 100% (and still aren’t. I still have a cough, sore throat, and sniffles).

When I got home, I forced myself to run. It was a slow pace, just 5 mph, for about 1.25 miles. But it was better than nothing.

At that point, I had gone 13 days without any exercise.

I have to get back into a regular exercise routine. I have to get back into running shape and start lifting weights again.

I’ve let myself slide too far and I have to shore things up.

But dammit! It’s Girl Scout cookie time!

-30-