13.04.2018 – Friday

I’ve decided (recently) that I hate running. I realize hate is quite an intense verb and that I used to run almost every single day.  In terms of time efficiency, it’s a really good workout, but… I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed running, not really. I suppose I could frame my statement with various excuses; I don’t have the right build, gait, mindset or that distance running is counter evolutionary to our bipedal form, but I think the reality is that I’m just more inclined towards sloth (the vice not the marsupial) and therefore just resistant to the whole concept of forward inertia coupled with the aggressive locomotion of my lower extremities. Besides, running is bad for you.

‘Why do you run Joey? Because it feels so good when I stop’.

I usually wake up (stupid) early, usually somewhere around four am. Theoretically this time between booting up and breakfast is meant to be spent in zen like contemplation, girding my loins for the day ahead. More often than not I loose myself in some mindless (fake) news event or some YouTube rabbit hole instead.

This morning I decided to take the German Shepherd for a walk. The Basset Hound was still snugly furled up in his pillow fort and it would have proved… challenging to extract him from within its confines without considerable effort.

In any event I appreciate the way that the world feels at four thirty am. I like the Noir effect and how the only people that are awake are those indentured beings delivering bread and newspapers (I’m guessing this won’t be a ‘thing’ forever). Although this morning I did meet another idiot walking his dog. (weird)

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The ubiquitous selfie. (I’m the one on the left)

My sojourn takes me up past a film studio, through a park and then I loop past a cemetery on my way back. Just under three miles. Only about five meters from my house on the return leg I tripped on the unkempt verge of my neighbors pavement and twisted my ankle. I’ve been hobbling around today ever since. The irony.

So maybe its just walking upright that seems to be problematic for me? I feel the weight of my ancestors and my kin (all the way back to homo-erectus) as they collectively share a look of concern and then face-palm.

‘Damn Joey, been walking long?’  

At thirty nine and two months I’d like to underscore that I am a slow learner. Recently my wife has been trying to teach me some more ‘occult’ like accounting practices (specifically deferred tax). If ever there was a concept that has wrinkled the gray spongy stuff!

I feel I may have reached my ‘trick limit’ and that new tricks are now beyond me. Maybe I’m aiming too high though. Instead of deferred tax I should maybe just concentrate on the basics. You know, like putting the toilet seat down and eating with my mouth closed.

That seems like a lot to remember though.

 

 

 

That strange intersection of Locomotives and Attack-bassets

I’ve decided I have lower leg compartment syndrome in my left calf. Self diagnosed after ten minutes on Google. Who needs doctors anymore?

Before you knock self diagnosis my nephew and godchild had this really strange malady that was mystifying his pediatrician.  I googled his symptoms and casually remarked ‘have you tested for Kawasaki’s disease?’. No one listened to me, at least not initially, (Probably for good reason) but it turns out it WAS Kawasaki’s disease. I felt quite smug afterwards (as one does)

I don’t really think I have lower leg compartment syndrome (its in my top five possibilities though) but my calf is hobbling me. Not as badly as yesterday, but I have decided to skip my run this morning in favor of some downtime. Interestingly the most suggested treatment for lower leg compartment syndrome is, ‘Stop running’.

My fascia in my legs and feet have always given me trouble. For a long time I suffered from plantar fasciitis, which crippled me for the first five minutes of every morning. Recently I have decided to stop running hills in an effort to be slightly kinder to my body and just run round the indoor track. I am not naturally a runner. In an evolutionary sense I was not the guy who chased the elk to the point exhaustion and then stabbed it with a pointy stick. I was the guy who thought it would be a good idea to jump onto the back of the Woolly Mammoth from an elevated position with a flint tipped shiv, whose survival was only ensured by dense bones, an above average covering of meat and thick cranium, DEFITINELY not mental acuity . In the first person shooter sense, I am the tank*

*Which I always thought was the least glamorous of the FPS roles. Big and dumb.

In other exciting news. My parents rent out their cottage. They’ve had a slew of weird people over the years. Including a gay couple, who after an altercation led to an amusing (but dangerous) scene where one spurned, coked up lover chased the other round the garden with a kitchen knife in the predawn gloom.

Their most recent tenant (this weird shut in) absconded during the night and left the key and a note under the mat. The new people moved in over the weekend. An elderly couple. He’s had a stroke, which has rendered him mute, but otherwise fine (as far as I can tell). He has a model train set! You know the one of those installation pieces that comes with trees, hills, rolling pastures, a village and most importantly, locomotives. I have decided this could be the ultimate ‘friend’. He can’t speak, so we don’t have to engage in unnecessary banter AND (more importantly) he has an awesome train set that we can play with. Also he can’t tell me to go home.

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‘Doooot, dooooot’…. ‘schakka schakka schakka!’

Unfortunately the basset hound tried to murder him him over the weekend. He has general ownership issues which extends to my parents house and beyond.  An attack basset is initially quite an amusing thing… until you realize he’s being serious. At that point he’s already closed the distance and is trying to tear your throat out. He has a special hatred for my parents gardener, who often has to keep him at bay with a rake.

Anyways. Both dogs have now been banned.

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Which makes the German very sad.

*Joey takes another sip of coconut-coffee*

You know I used to disparage this notion of coffee and coconut oil. I tried it for a loooong time and felt zero cognitive improvement.  I’ve started intermittently fasting (my eight hour window is between 9am and 6pm). Last week some time I opened the cupboard and saw the half-empty jar of coconut oil. I figured why not, let me put someone in my coffee again.

Interestingly I felt sharper and my alert afterwards. So there might be something to this after all. Maybe I was just doing it wrong before, clearly the intermittent fasting is helping somehow. Anyways, just thought I’d mention it….

 

The dramatization of an otherwise trivial event.

I stood on a bee. (Not just any ordinary honey bee, an African killer bee*)

*I’m trying to make this story sound more dramatic than it really was.

Barefoot and almost naked, I had just come to the conclusion that frying up bacon in my boxer shorts wasn’t the greatest idea in the world (after getting bacon fat spattered in the general direction of my nipples). I had just stepped over to don my Nelson Mandela apron when I stood on the errant bee. If only I still had hobbit feet.

There was the perfunctory utterance of profanity and then I shouted for my wife (as one does) who expertly tweezed the sting and associated poison sac from my foot. (While I lay back on the bed and fought the urge to go towards the light)

This is the second bee I’ve stood on recently. Prior to that I’d gone twenty years without any close encounters of the bee kind. The last time I got stung (when I was in junior high) I swelled up like a basketball and they told me I was allergic. In addition to this life altering news they said that I should carry round this vial of blue pills (unfortunately not the matrix kind) with me at all times, which would hopefully allay my demise. I don’t think epi-pens were a thing back then yet. I lost the vial shortly thereafter… but I have been telling everyone since then (from the dietitian to the anesthetist) that I am allergic to bees.

‘As requested we have brought you the corpse of the purple-traitor’

The problem with wondering if you’re going to go into anaphylactic shock is you start stressing about going into anaphylactic shock. Which sounds stupid, but I was fully expecting my throat to close up and choke to death. My blood pressure and heart rate spiked dramatically (a sure sign of things to come I imagined). To cut a harrowing twenty minute story short, I didn’t die. In fact the entire episode was completely self fabricated. Turns out I’m not allergic to bees. Not even slightly, other than in my mind. I think there might be a life lesson in there somewhere. (Like don’t trust doctors*)

*yeah, this is my takeaway.

Sufficed to say this bee sting episode was a lot less traumatic than the previous one. Which was kinda embarrassing. I clocked 5.4km round the track and then 500mtrs in the pool this morning with (almost*) no ill effects.

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* other than to my pride. I was lapped round the track by a guy with a serious impediment. His right foot was almost at a right angle to his left foot, which looks really awkward and you might suppose he wouldn’t be able to bring the pace… but there he was. In my defense I had a bee sting!

Tomorrow I will train harder.

Why I can’t have nice things

1 January 2018. 5am. Joey is standing outside his house on the asphalt, stretching out his spine in anticipation of his run. He selects the Outdoor run icon on his Apple watch, it dutifully starts counting down, 3, 2, 1 and then… it goes dark. What the…  I take a closer look. The whole face of the watch has just popped off and is semi-dangling from the housing. The watch is dead. I stand there, perplexed.

No………..

Sadly, the first thing I think of is how this has just completely stuffed up my ‘perfect month achievement’ award.

Then I think how sad it is that ‘THAT’ is my first reaction.

I take the watch off, shove it my post box and go running.

Its a good run.

At least I think it is. It feels like one, even if I don’t have any empirical evidence to back up my hunch.

I suppose there are several ways I could interpret this event. Most clear to me is that the god(s)* of quantifiable self, hate me.

*I’m not sure if this a monotheistic god or a polytheistic pantheon so I make allowances for plurality.

Briefly I wonder what I might have done that’s annoyed them. Its a fairly exhaustive list of sins, strikes and misdemeanors…. difficult to narrow it down to just one category. Could be anything.

I imagine Seneca would have taken his Apple watch and smashed it on a rock, just to prove he didn’t need it. (Maybe) Although more likely is that he had previously negatively visualized his Apple watch arbitrarily failing. And so he was mentally prepared for the loss of an achievement award.

Things I should have anticipated.