In keeping with writing milk toast stuff without anything controversial (I got censored earlier today and upset an asshole) I will write about…
When was a young man, in my present old man’s views, I was a superman and stud. Ironic note here: I use Grammarly and when I wrote the word “stud” it tried to correct me by saying I needed a question mark. Smartass software!
I was very active in a youth devoid of computers and cell phones. I rode a bike, walked, and ran as a kid. When I was a young man I worked in a factory doing hard physical labor. For a few years I ran long distance. I biked. I lifted weights and then of course I drank plenty of beer because that is what young men did! And junk food. All the stuff that OTHER people eat these days. With full mouthes of teeth! ALL OF THEM! As the years passed, I quit riding a bike because I moved to a place where it was hazardous to ride. Major highways hemming me in. The running ended very expensively with near ruined foot tendons. I saw a few doctors and spent hundreds on special orthotics. I finally settled for being able to work for a living and walk.
For years I walked where I live. Not good for bikes but yes you can walk. I kept in good shape by walking. Then some bad things happened and that faded.
A few years ago I got a treadmill. I was skeptical and doubtful of myself about it. I had bought one many years but it broke. Expensive POS. This time, I believed the engineering was better. Since I got this one, I have more hit than miss on it. I had work injuries and had to put it away unused for a while but always dug it out. I keep it in my living room. Joke about treadmills is that they are “expensive exotic clothes hangers”. As I write this, a shirt is hanging on it. A SWEATY shirt because I DO use the treadmill.
The Treadmill has become a symbol to me to keep going. After I started going to emotional, mental and physical hell back in March, I would see the Treadmill in the living room and it would shame me. Hey you fat fuck! Get moving! It is a symbol of perseverance to me. A symbol and machine that tells me to keep going. When I have been depressed and just laying around, I see it staring at me and I feel the body guilt and remember that exercise of SOME kind is good for mind and body.
I used to keep a log of what I did then that felt like too much pressure. Now I just go for the basics of staying alive. That works best. I know that I need to spend something like 180 minutes a week walking at a fast enough pace to keep me from talking much as I do so. 3mph and up is right, I have read. ANY speed is good because it IS exercise. I have a tendency to go like hell and then injure myself. I would do the same thing when I young. For example, running felt so good I would go until I was near crippled from it. But damn it felt good! Past few weeks I have been doing minimums of 30 time streches every other day or 2 days. No harm yet. Ok every other day. Now past few days EVERY day. 40. 50. Today, 60. 3.4. Nice thing about a treadmill is you can see how far and how fast you are going and your pulse rate. I use an apple watch for the pulse and it says YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FUCKING DIE!
Today I do not see my treadmill work so much a physical thing as a MENTAL thing. I often feel my life has no purpose. No reason. Useless old bastard. I admit to suicidal thoughts but then I pick my ass up and do what the treadmill tells me to. An added amusement is that for a while one of my birds, Max has been flying onto me and riding on me. Free human rides today! She used to precariously perch on a Buddha painting on my wall and then I put a bird toy perch up for her. Buddy, the hostile prick of a male bird would perch off to the side on draperies and glare at me. Do birds glare? Ok I imagine he does. Lately though, a change in both birds behavior: They BOTH perch on the thing I hung from the ceiling for them. I see them staring at me. I figure better entertainment than the wallpaper. I think of them as my personal trainers. How am I doing today guys? Yeah! Still breathing! Good pulse and breathing. Breathing is good at my age. You know, the continuance of the movement of air in and out of lungs.
I read a Buddhist scholar once said, “there is only one cause of death and that is we stop breathing”. Or something along that line. May have been the Dalai Lama. Think of it though: The heart needs the lungs and when the lungs stop moving, the heart stops. Breathing is underrated. Go ask some poor bastard suffering from Covid.
When I am doing that simple walk on a treadmill, I always become aware of my breathing. You cannot be clumsy with your breathing or your whole Self trips and falls.
I would love to get a rowing machine. Ah and an elliptical stepper thing. I would love to do weight training but there are 3 very big reasons why I am limited to walking: 3 hernias. When I was young I would push myself to do sit ups and crunches. According to a surgeon years ago, that was not the cause of the rips in my guts. It was the varied gut wrenching work I did at work. The repetitious motion. So here I am stuck doing… WHAT I CAN. A year ago I damaged my knee and thought I would need surgery for repairs but it took me a while to heal it myself.
At 66 I can sound like a stereotypical cliched old bastard talking about his glory days but at least I can laugh about myself in that. As I laugh, I can bow my head with gratitude to this life that I CAN CONTINUE TO WALK.
The treadmill has a worn belt and I feel good about that. It is watching me as I write this. I think I need to get some googly eyes for it since I think it watches me. No matter how suicidal and useless I may feel at times, that treadmill reminds me to go be in motion and breathe for a while. Besides, my personal trainers need me ;-)
Last updated October 11, 2021