Clipping In

Phew! Well, life sure got in the way the last four weeks, huh? So much going on that I had just enough mind left to tend to the house and grounds and not much left for social obligations. Things continue apace though Change could come at any time so I feel like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

In basic news…Sarge has lost over 40 lbs with the Peloton and following his nutritionists advice. He really is looking great. His employer has edited their fitness standards so he has to get his rowing test down about 1 minute for passing, 2 for that comfy feeling of security. With some advice from a fellow Pelotonian on FB his technique is refining into an efficient row. So happy he started this journey already – many will feel deep pressure to meet the new standards. Of course, it is also a handy way to press Retirement on those who ought to be well out the door. Do I think the Director gave him very sound advice geared to ensuring he was ready for the coming changes without telling him directly? Yep. Thank God.

Did I mention I had the same testing done? Cannot recall my last post – at any rate it was the Comprehensive Blood test which showed nothing too terribly amiss. Between it and the treadmill test I feel comforted that I’ve no inherited cardiac issues. Something that was rather a large concern for me…I am supposed to take the same supplements, of course, but cannot swallow those huge pills. Sigh…so I have to find a similar item in smaller size and take more of them.

My Peloton experience isn’t as dramatic. Loss is about 10 lbs but then I haven’t been on it as often or as energetically as he has. I try hard to keep my heart rate in a zone 2 area and the really sweaty rides are 4’s and 5’s for me – I will do them but only once a week. I’ve added weights and ab work to the routine – I love weights! – and know that will help. My main happiness lies in knowing my crushed tibial head is safe. I lived for 2 years expecting it to just explode some day and have my knee collapse onto the shards. Dramatic, huh? Well, that’s how it was in my head – this constant terror of failure. With the bike I was able to give it a safe trial. I felt I could rehab the muscles and tendons to support the whole mess and then give it a real test with the weights. I was very surprised to find that the leg was quite strong, no pain at all in the movements. I trust it again which is something that I missed.

As we age so many things go awry – the very flesh that you relied on and abused suddenly turns on you and returns that abuse. So I needed to really get my crap together, get lots of tests done, and take the last few decades of my life less for granted. In truth, I don’t think it will be that long. If it all goes to hell the odds of my making it are a tad marginal. But I figure I’d might as well not make it easy on some moron. As Tim Kennedy says –TKShirt

Do I think I can really reflect that? Meh – probably not. But no reason to not try, at least.

On the ranch maintenance side of things…we pulled the trigger on a major investment – a riding mower, zero turn variety, in the level of build that ensures a lifetime of use. I was tired of dealing with a crappy unit and having him spend one full day just to mow half of the property. Now he can get it done in 2 hours. After his first mow he came in the house, near to tears, knowing that he no longer surrenders a full day off to the task. Well worth it if you have it.


And then there is the arts and crafts side of life. I had the warp on the loom for rather a long while but had no time to progress and then no memory of how to progress. Thankfully, my dear friend came to the house on a rare off day and helped me get it finally installed. I have it on a basic twill pattern for kitchen towels and cannot wait to see them finished. I already have another pair of yarns ready.

There is a very minor error, of course, from when I returned to the loom and had to regroup but it wasn’t worth the possible disaster of trying to fix it. After all, it is near the hem end anyway. I also scored a deal on a warping mill! I am not sure I am ready to use it just yet – its real benefit lying in creating the long lengths of yarn of varying shades. It can also be used as one would for any project but I think I will use the warping board for the next project and maybe the mill for the one after that as it will include a few different shades. Weaving is a really wonderfully meditative process and rather technical and mathematical. I think that is why many men are attracted to it. My mind boggles at what 4 shafts, 6 pedals and two directions of yarn can produce. The patterns are just limitless, really. And so I shall get on with my day here and find some time on the loom.

I am especially eager to get up to the craft room because Sarge knocked out 2 of 3 major changes to my craft room – installing a curtain rod and changing out the dated ceiling fan for a LED spotlight fixture that I can tune to wherever I am working in the room. Now the light over the loom is splendid. I have a lot of natural light in the room but come winter that fimay be all I have to work with so I am thrilled we got it done. I might see if we can buy a shelf later this afternoon and get the last task completed. I hope to move all my books from a shelf unit to a wall shelf and free up that space.

Now, however, I must get my butt upstairs and on the bike. It is so easy to just let the day fly by and then declare it too late to bother. But I ate enough crap yesterday to need the exercise. I know that Peloton is getting rather a lot of media attention lately and that the adherents are rather cultish but it really is an amazingly inspirational device. The secret sauce, though, is their trainers. Really approachable, actually responsive in social media, and they truly care about your progress as well as your set backs. I know it seems rather pricey at about $3k all in with gear, annual class payment, etc. But what price your ability to jog an hour at a rate you know you can maintain for that long? What price the knowledge that your heart can take it as well as your knees? And what price the comfort of being in better shape than you were? You’ll spend that on fancy coffee in a year with nothing to show for it but rounded edges. Get a credit card, charge the thing on it, and make payments. If it all goes to hell you’ll still have the bike and better health. If it doesn’t you have both and a small monthly payment on the budget. Give it some thought.