Friday, February 26, 2010


It's early, that's for sure. Damn early. So early that it's still really dark out. But I made it to the gym by 5:30 each morning. Well, except Thursday. Wednesday night I had insomnia and the thought of getting up at 5 for the gym after about 3 hours of sleep was just too much.

The point is that I feel much better when I go to the gym. I sleep better. I have more energy during the day. Although I may fall asleep early. Very early. I just feel better after having gone to the gym.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day Two

So as of today I've been at the gym 13 times this month. I'm to the point where I enjoy the walking on the treadmill. And I love the way that I feel after working out. I actually like the sore muscles from lifting weights.

The next two weeks I'm stuck at work from 8-4:30. And working out at 5pm means lots of people at the gym and I can never get the arm machine that I want. So, I've been getting up at 5am and heading to the gym before work. Now that means that I fall asleep about 8:30. lol But I'm up and working out and it gets me ready for the day.

I have to tell you that yesterday was HARD. But it got easier today to get up and easier to work out. Pete thinks that I'll be so used to getting up at 5am that I'll be up that early on the weekends. I think I'll be able to sleep in!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Death

When I was 8 my uncle Donnie died of lukemia. He had been sick for several years. In and out of the hospital, blood transfusions from all the siblings. I remember long car rides down to the U of M for visits, but I don't remember the visits themselves. I don't remember him. I rembember getting into a car acident on the way home one night. I remember the police car ride home. But I don't remember him.

When he died the family had the Priest from church come out to the farm for us kids. There were 12 of us cousins and we got to ask any question that we wanted to about death. I don't remember asking any. I remember one of the boy cousins made a wisecrack that I thought was funny, my parents did not.

I remember the 3 nights of the wake. It occurs to me that no one does 3 nights anymore and if I had to guess, it would seem that it took more time for news to travel then. More time for people to get to the wake too. I remember going to my other grandparent's house for food on the nights of the wake.

I don't remember the funeral.

3 months later we repeated the process when my Grandpa died. Same 3 days of wake and funeral. Again, I don't remember much about it.

And in that time I've been to many wakes and funerals of friends and loved ones. I surely don't remember them all. And I can honestly say that they don't get any easier.

My niece Alison is struggling with the death of her Papa. She's trying to wrap her 7 year old brain around the concept and meaning of death. Nevermind that she doesn't understand the process. And she surely doesn't understand the rituals. All she knows is that it's confusing and sad. She just wants her Papa back. I wish I could remember what it was like as a 7 year old. I so much want to put my head close to hers and whisper that I understand and give her the words of comfort that she needs.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

the thief

I've heard cancer descirbed many many ways and really I think cancer is a thief.

It sneaks in when you're not looking and waits in your body. Waits silent until it decides to start growing. It grows fast or slow, but it grows. And still it remains silent. It sometimes gives very little signs of it's presence. But it's there. Sometimes it not only remains silent and growing, but it moves too. Spreads out from where it started to new areas of the body. New tissues, new areas, new parts. And again it lays silent, waiting. Again it grows and forms and travels.

Once it's done it's work, it leaves that scar of it's presence. It leaves that place it was or will always be. It leaves not only the physical scars, but the emotional ones too. The silent scars that reach up into your brain and into your soul and change you forever. Good or bad. Even if you get the cancer gone forever, the scars are still there. The reminders of what happened are still there.

And sometimes, many times, it steals you away. It takes your life, one day at a time. One breath at a time. One memory at a time. It makes you into someone that you never thought you'd be. It takes your body piece by piece and your soul chunk by chunk.

Even worse it steals from those around you. It steals their dreams for you. It steals their memory of you if they're young. It steals their future with you from them. It steals you. Your wisdom, your love, your encouragement, your help, your being.

I've known both. The people who have been stolen forever and the people who have been stolen for a little bit and returned. I know someone who's fighting the thief right now and I know one who just lost his battle.

I wish them all peace. I wish the survivors, those lost in battle and those fighting some peace. I wish the victims of the thief, the children, families, friends and others peace.

I dislike the thief named cancer.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Sometimes life is such a struggle. And I don't mean that in a, I want to off myself way. I mean that I can have the best of intentions, know what I need to do and all that and still struggle.

I'm struggling with exercise, weight and food. Previously when I wanted to feel betterabout myself I'd exercise more. The treadmill mainly. It usually takes a week of struggling to get on that thing 5 times a week. But after that first week of struggling I'm reminded just how good it feels to exercise. Not necessarily the rush that everyone talks about, that takes longer, but the good feeling of sweating and moving. Only I can't do that right now. My knee and my leg are sore. Most nights it's just sore from the sitting, standing and walking that I do on it. I really want that feeling of moving.

So therein is the issue. Because I can't exercise, I blow it all off. I could eat better, but lately I've been so hungry. Nothing seems to satisfy me. I bought all kinds of veggies and made a salad from them to take to work each day for lunch. But by the time that 9:30-10:00 rolls around I'm so hungry that I eat my lunch. Then I spend all day talking myself out of just how hungry I am. Usually I cave in for food in the afternoon - whatever is in my office - and then feel horrible about my choices.

So it's a struggle. I need something to motivate me out of the struggle, the hard time and at least forward motion into the good.

Monday, February 01, 2010


also known as the place from hell on the last day of no joiners fee month...

It started out ok. I put dinner on to stew and then we left to to join the Y. Yes, this will make the third gym I've joined in about 3 years. It just occurred to me that I have become one of those gym flunkies that I laughed at previously. Oh well. We should have realized something was up when we drove in and the parking lot was packed. Even worse, we went inside and the lobby was this swirling mass of loudness.

I asked for a tour to see what it was all about. I'd decided that I wasn't going to join if it wasn't something that I'd really use. Big mistake. We waited and then were grouped with a family for the tour. The dad said little to nothing the whole tour. The mom was outspoken and commented about EVERYTHING. The older girl was about 5 and kept interupting the tour guide with the Walmart receipt from her jacket pocket or by taking everyone's picture with her pretent cell phone. The shutter noise was really authentic and when she did it to me, it make me stop and wonder why a girl was taking my picture. The younger girl was about 3 and just wondered aimlessly.

In the pool area, the girls wandered through the family dressing room looking into every place and slashing through the puddles. The mom and dad never said a word to them. The mom said that she'd only swim if she could wear her clothes. The guide had to point out that every swimmer had to have a suit. The mom was rather large and told the guide that they couldn't afford to buy suits for all of them, they usually swam in their clothes. The guide said that they'd need to get suits for this pool. As an aside, Pete and I should have figured out then that this tour would be all about them.

We went upstairs next and the Dad simply grabbed the younger girl by the hand and carried her up the stairs by holding her in the air by her hands. The younger girl wandered all over the stairs making Pete and I have to change course several times. Upstairs is the child free zone. Kids are not allowed up there normally. It's where all the machines and workout areas are. the older girl kept snapping her imaginary cell phone at everyone until the guide had to tell her to stop because people kept thinking she was really taking pictures. The younger girl was running all around and on machines and pulling, and yelling... I quickly walked by Pete who walked away so that people didn't think the kids where ours. The mom kept saying that all she'd do was walk on the treadmill and all she wanted to know was about them. She kept saying that she'd never lift weights so we didn't need to go over there. Finally Pete spoke up and said that he lifts weights.

After about 30 minutes of touring, we were done. Both done with the tour and Pete and I weren so done with being there at that time. But the guide sent us down to fill out paperwork for joining. It was at that time that the other family piped up with "Well, we cannot afford to join." Pete and I shot each other a look, but stayed quiet. Then we went to our own table to fill out the paperwork. The guide told them that they'd be eligible for reduced rates if they had a pay stub. The Dad shot out of there like a rocket and came back from the car with his pay stub. The mom said she didn't have hers. In the end, the family was paying half of what Pete and I pay for a dual membership.

Then we had to wait for about 30 minutes to get our cards from the front desk. By that time, Pete was so done. The front lobby area is clearly not for us. And I didn't have the heart to suggest that we go back to work out after dinner last night.