From Shinedown’s “Sound of Madness”.
“I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain. Somehow I’m still here to explain.”
Perhaps I’ve been reading too much of Rory’s blog or maybe the sun has baked my brain. Either way, this post might be a tad on the “organic” side — I’m definitely in a weird place, that’s for sure.
Over winter I had the flu and while I was at the PromptCare (aka old Soviet Gulag doctors) they noticed that my blood pressure was borderline high. Back in January it came in at 135 over 90. Since then I’ve kept my eye on it and it has not gone down.
So two weeks ago I went to my family doctor to have it checked. Yes, you guessed it: still borderline high. High blood pressure does run in my family — both my mother and grandmother have/had it. Sawbones pointed to these possible causes:
- Lack of regular exercise (guilty!)
- Poor diet (guilty!)
- Stress (guilty!)
- Genetics (maybe…)
So he gives me two options: Go on medicine or try to beat it. Naturally, I’m trying to beat it.
- Switched to decaf coffee in the AM and now drink herbal tea during the work day
- Transitioning to a low salt diet and am watching the portions
- Mr. Martini and all his delicious pals have been relegated to holidays and special occasions
- Regular exercise (coming soon!)
- Stress? (see below)
My at-home exercise and maintenance training continues to suck. However, I am keeping active with the house and yard maintenance. What I have completed so far:
- Scraped and painted trim and porch of entire house
- Pruned trees and bushes
- Reseeded dead spots in lawn
- Wire wheeled the rust off the chimney flashing and sealed with roofing tar
All I have left is the scrapping and painting the patio door and shampooing the carpets. Anyhow, the point here is that after two weeks of diet and yard work I’ve dropped from 195 fatty pounds to 191 fatty pounds. Bear in mind that at my black belt test three years ago I weighed in at about 170 lbs. God bless the tae kwon do weight loss program!
Sawbones told me that only 10% of the people he treats for high blood pressure are able to reduce it through diet and exercise. I’m not sure if this is a reflection on fat Hoosiers or if it’s just that you can’t beat genetics.
According to a recent Gallup survey, the city of Evansville, Indiana has the most obese metropolitan area in the nation.
Anyhow, he gave me his blessing to try and told me to come back in three months. If it’s not down when I return then I have to go on medicine.
The kicker is that I’m still unable to light my exercise fires and I think it mostly has to do with getting my ass kicked this last year. I totally put regular martial arts practice on the back burner for career advancement. I took on way too many presentation, publications, and projects. Yes, it got me a few interviews but I did not get the promotion. All I got was fat and stressed.
Right now I’m in the “laying by my dish and licking my wounds” phase. Soon I hope to get active. The next 12 months I plan to pull back on the work-related nonsense, take job opportunities if they come, and focus on martial arts. If I can get fired up at a good dojo it will translate to good at-home workouts. It will also reduce stress. We’ll see if that combined with diet can drop the old blood pressure and prove my fat Hoosier doctor wrong. (Yes, he’s a good 275 lbs and no, I am NOT a native Hoosier!)
I’ve picked out my first-choice aikido dojo. In the next few weeks I plan to make a visit and in July I plan to start lessons. I respond well to the routine that comes with tradition so I have high hopes for this. Funny thing here but while writing this I just realized that my upcoming martial arts run has nothing much to do with ass-kicking. That’s a first, I think.
So I had a weird dream last night…
I’m 28 and competing in MMA. Sergeant Stuart, my old Army drill instructor, is my manager and he’s totally pissed at me because of my Judo Gene Lebell ring entrance plan: Can you say pink gi and Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” as the entrance song?
(click through to view)
When you gonna wake up and fight?