Monday, January 18, 2021

A good and honest life

It’s something sort of difficult to admit but I will; Pierini Fitness is having a hard time writing new middle-age man reflections about living and dying, gracefully-aging, and trying to live a good and honest life.  It has been my genre for a long time, so I see no need to change it.

At various times in my long blogging journey, I’ve encountered similar “dryness.”  I think it’s something all artists and writers experience from time to time.  Sometimes it’s the result of burnout and other times, it’s the result of lethargy.  I’m not sure which of the two, or something else, that’s fueling my current episode.

Maybe I’m not spending enough time reflecting about the life I’m living but this seems hard to believe.  After all, I’m retired now from the rat race and one could argue I have much more time for pondering that in my past. 

Maybe it’s the new surroundings I’m living; a new home in a new state with none of the familiar outcroppings that for so many years were my life.  I’m not sure that’s an excuse, however, because you’d think that the newness that’s part of my life would create boundless opportunities to think about this and that, to reflect about the life I’ve lived and the life I hope to live for the rest of my life.

Blah, blah, blah, I could ramble on forever and it would not lead me to a light at the end of my dryness tunnel, a passageway I must go through to emerge into a state of being and mindset where and when I start to bang out some homerun written reflections.

If you have anything to add to what I’ve shared that might illuminate the darkness of where I’m at as a blogger, please let me know.

If not, be patient because it’s a matter of time before I’m fully back on my middle-aged man reflective saddle giving you my two cents about living and drying, gracefully-aging, and trying to live a good and honest life.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 11, 2021

My Burpees 2021 Journey



Last week I told you about my Asian Squat Journey that’s currently in progress.  I’m pleased to report I had a good training week and was able to set a new personal best, a 9:00 Asian Squat.  Here’s video proof of my latest proud accomplishment:



As also previously shared, I have a goal of completing an Asian Squat for 10:00 by my 66th birthday.  I have about five weeks to accomplish this goal and at this point, I’m confident I will.  Check back often for updates. 

Moving on to another 2021 fitness training preoccupation I have; it’s with an old friend named burpees.  I’m calling this fitness training preoccupation my Burpees 2021 Journey. 

For 2021, I’m going to complete 100 burpees workouts of at least 100 burpees.  The burpees I do have a pushup and hands-extended overhead jump with each repetition.  The jump makes them harder; at least that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Last year around this time, I was knee-deep with my burpees workouts and had a goal of completing 100 burpees in 10:00 or less.  I never achieved this goal but got, sort of, close with a time of 10:37 until distractions and/or burnout arrived. 

Reviewing past training journals, my current time to complete 100 burpees is about what it was last year.  I’ve completed three burpees workouts thus far in my 2021 Burpees Journey and have 97 more workouts to do.  Just hanging in there and showing up will result in progress which’ll be nothing more than reclaiming what I had last year and eventually lost.  Maybe, this year, I’ll finally achieve my goal of completing 100 burpees in 10:00 or less.

Here’s my latest effort, burpees workout number three.  You’ll notice I’m sucking air because I’m not in burpees conditioning shape.  I’ll be back.

I’m asking that you privately cheer for me as I travel down my middle-age man fitness training highway working my 2021 Burpees Journey.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 4, 2021

My Asian Squat Journey


I still have vivid memories from over 46 years ago when I was a young soldier stationed in the Republic of South Korea.  A bunch of us soldiers would regularly spend time in the village outside our military base.  We’d roam here and there, down the main streets and into the meandering alleys where homes were located on both sides. 

I’d notice Koreans in front of the homes engaging in conversations with their neighbors while, for some, smoking their cigarettes.  They weren’t sitting or standing but in a very low squat position known by some as the Asian Squat.  They’d stay in this position for what seemed like forever.

Another Asian Squat memory I have is one day when I witnessed a group of Korean mechanics who were taking a break in front of the garage where they worked.  There must have been a half dozen of them in a circle.  They were smoking cigarettes and talking and laughing while playing a board game.  They stayed in this position their entire break time and then when their break was over, they sprung up like frogs and went back to work. 

This is all an introduction to something I’ve been doing the past month that I’ve named my Asian Squat Journey. I’m spending time perfecting me being in the Asian Squat bottom position, trying to improve the duration of time I can spend before crumbling to my knees and quitting.

The first time I did this, about one month ago, I timed myself and stayed in the squat bottom position for a whopping two minutes.  That was, unbeknownst to be at the time, the beginning of my Asian Squat Journey.  How long will it last and where will it lead me?  Time will tell but thus far, I’m having fun in my journey.

Since progress comes from training and not just by being good looking, I’ve been training and have settled into two workouts.  The first one is a timed hold that I do at least once a week.  Thus far, I’ve been video recording my tests and uploading them on YouTube for my archival benefit so that when I’m an old man sitting in a rocking chair and crapping my pants, I’ll be able to take great delight in thinking about the things I used to do.

Thus far, my best is an 8-minute hold.  Unfortunately, I had video recording technical difficulties of that accomplishment so there’s no video evidence thus far.  But I did upload on YouTube an executive briefing video of my accomplishment.

Here’s a video of my 7-minute Asian Squat hold:



The other training workout I do is called my Asian Squat Interval Training Workout.

It consists of 15 rounds every minute on the minute where I sit in the Asian Squat bottom position for a fixed time interval and then stand and shake it out for recovery.  I believe I started out with 20-second squat holds with 40-seconds recovery and have advanced to 45-second squat holds with 15-seconds recovery. I did try a 50-second squat hold with 10-seconds recovery, but I had a bad day and threw in the towel after completing seven rounds.  I’ll try that workout again, probably this week.

I’ve done another interval training workout during which I superset shorter-duration Asian Squat holds in tandem with rounds of alternating pull-ups and chin-ups done every minute on the minute for 30 minutes.  The goal is to complete 100 repetitions of pull-ups and chin-ups and get some decent squat time in.  For these interval workouts, my squat times have been shorter thus far, ranging from 20-seconds to 25-seconds.  I’ll try 30-seconds my next workout and see how it goes.

In the process of achieving what I have thus far, I announced to myself a short-term goal of a 10-minute Asian Squat which I’d like to achieve by my upcoming birthday in about six weeks.  We’ll see if I do it.  If not, I’ll keep marching forward because I’m liking the benefits this training is giving me.  I’ll have more to say about these benefits in the future.

So, until further notice, I’m having a good time with my Asian Squat Journey.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year 2021


Good morning Pierini Fitness sports fans.  I’m finally checking in after being away longer than I thought.  I wasn’t ill or out of the country, just enjoying my new life as a retired middle-age man.

It seems that I just didn’t deliver in the blog department much the remaining part of 2020.  I’ve had my main computer down and it isn’t as easy trying to bang out and post award-winning middle-age man reflections using my iPhone.

My computer is still down but will be back up and running within the next week.  So, rest assured, I’ll be back.

I plan on being more regular in sharing what’s going on in my life, not only my thoughts and feelings but the workouts I’ve been doing.  I have been working out but not at the gangbusters pace that I did earlier in the year leading up to my retirement on October 1, 2020.  I have lots to share including my 2021 fitness goals.  Stay tuned for the details because the best is yet to come.

Until then Pierini Fitness sports fans, Happy New Year 2021.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The best hat to keep the sun out


It’s hotter and sunnier here where I now live, and I must wear a hat to keep my crown safe.  I’ve never been a hat person but now I must.

Shopping around for a hat is no easy task.  Most hats, at least the baseball version, have a logo of some business or professional sports team.  Who wants to be a walking billboard advertising peon for them?  Not me.

The cowboy hats are an exception, but they don’t seem to be good hats to wear when engaged in my middle-age man fitness pursuits.  So, I need a good baseball cap.

After shopping around, I decided it was necessary to take things into my own hands.  I came out with a good solution of the best hat to keep the sun out.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, November 16, 2020

It's no fun taking a spill

The next thing I knew, I was flat on my belly on the ground.  I didn’t see it coming; nor did I know what hit me.  I almost sprung up, though, and immediately knew there was damage.  My right cheek bone had a shiner, my ribs hurt, and I had scrapes and scratches on my hands, legs and knees.

My first reaction was to run but honestly walking seemed easier.  After thinking about it briefly, I decided to run because I would escape quicker from where I hit the ground.

What was this all about?  Did Pierini Fitness mouth off to the wrong person, only to get sucker punched in broad daylight?  If so, did he deserve it?

No is the answer to both questions.

This happened two weeks ago to this day. 

While out on a run one afternoon, I misstep and took a spill, something I hadn’t done in a long time.  I’m now running on uneven terrain with a little elevation and with a little running rust from time off I took due to my business retirement and relocation to another state.

Yup, I fell flat on my face and flat on my stomach.  I saw it coming but there was nothing I could do about it.

Bruised ribs aren’t run.  I used to get them every so often when I trained in karate.  Makes sleeping at night difficult, particularly the first couple nights.  Trying to get the sweet spot for laying in bed pain free takes some trial and error.  Plus, you got to use the elbow roll trick to get out of bed.  It was a rough first week. but I survived.

The following Monday, one week later and one week ago this day, I felt better to attempt to run again.  I ran three miles and, while my time was slower, I felt good that I was able to do it.  But it told me that I needed more time to heal so I spent the rest of the week taking brisk three-mile morning walks.

Today I’m feeling much better and will go for another run.  I’ll be extra cautious and concentrate on good leg lift with each forward running step I take because it’s no fun taking a spill.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Smothers Brothers Syndrome

Someone from an internet fitness discussion forum suggested that I might consider sharing my professional knowledge on my Pierini Fitness blog.  I honestly never considered it until now and have decided to share, here, something I wrote a couple years ago that appeared in my now retired monthly client e-newsletter.  I hope you enjoy what follows which I’ve slightly modified for here.

Smothers Brothers Syndrome - A serious ailment your adult children heirs may become afflicted with after your passing related to inheritance and unresolved emotional relationship issues with you and their siblings. Those suffering from this ailment are predisposed to unpredictably bellow to their siblings, "Mom always liked you best."

The stuff I write about oftentimes has its origin in my memories from long ago. One such memory is from 50 years ago when I was an entry-level teenager. Then, I would regularly watch a weekly television show called The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a comedy and variety show television series hosted by brothers Tommy and Dick Smothers. The show's content appealed to a youthful and rebellious audience because of its audacious political satire and guest musical entertainers who played the modern music younger people enjoyed.

While our parents and grandparents preferred to watch Bonanza, an also-popular western television series on the other channel, we wanted to watch Tommy and Dick Smothers. This was circa late 1960's, a period of youthful unrest and social rebellion from the status quo with which our elders were comfortable. While its political satire content is tame by today's standards, in the late 1960's, it regularly stood on and crossed the line of what was considered permissible for television.

What I enjoyed most was when brothers Tommy and Dick would sing a song while strumming their musical instruments and engaging in sibling conversation. Tommy played the guitar and Dick played the bass. Predictably, they would eventually start arguing. Older brother Tommy had this "slow" persona to his character while younger brother Dick came across as having a superiority complex. This character dichotomy fueled their entertaining "conflict." Eventually, Tommy became flustered and resorted to delivering his audience-pleasing favorite line, "Mom always liked you best."


This “Mom always liked you best." bellow of Tommy Smothers is still alive and thriving in the family dynamics of clients I've served, particularly when parents are deceased, and their surviving children heirs are left waiting for their planned inheritances to be distributed.

Sometimes, their inheritances are clearly defined in wills and trust documents while other times there may be ambiguities best described as both intentional and unintentional. The result is sibling conflict fueled by deeply embedded emotions formed long ago, best-described by Tommy Smothers' famous-saying of "Mom always liked you best."

I call this behavior the "Smothers Brothers Syndrome" and it's a real force to reckon with among siblings in the post-mortem period of their parents' passing.

I've witnessed some of the most appalling behavior imaginable among siblings over perceived inequities of inheritances from their parents' estates and trusts. And, unconscionable behaviors such as fighting over property that should go to them rather than their sibling(s). I've witnessed one sibling filing a police report for alleged criminal acts committed by another sibling. Some of what I've witnessed is best described as "nasty."

Toss in another variable of a parent who remarries and provides for his or her surviving spouse different from what adult children believe is "right."  Then, what you might hear is "Dad liked my Mom better." or "Mom liked my Dad better."  Again, it often gets nasty as in real nasty.

Years ago, when my office was at a different location, there was an exercise room on the first floor. I would often go there to exercise during lunch or after work. One person I would regularly see there and engage in conversation with was Ernie, a trust litigation attorney. Ernie made his living, and a comfortable one at that, representing surviving spouses and adult children beneficiaries, and executors and trustees of wills and trusts, who were at odds with each other. Sometimes the conflict could easily be resolved while at other times, expensive and lengthy litigation in front of a judge was necessary.

Are these post-mortem conflicts destined to happen in all cases? 

No, but my experience has been they're more likely to occur in estate and trust administration of a deceased client's wealth transfers to heirs.  Like a nice and high-priced steak, sometimes these conflicts are rare or medium rare, while at other times they're well-done or extra well-done.

What's the lesson for you?

Be aware of an above-average risk for post-mortem conflict among your heirs and do your best to minimize the likelihood of such conflict by how you define, refine and modify your wealth-transferring intentions in your trust and will documents.

Finally, be aware that Tommy Smothers had it right when he uttered over 50 years ago that "Mom always liked you best." Do your very best today so your heirs and other loved ones will not encounter episodes of the Smothers Brothers Syndrome.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, November 2, 2020

Watching paint dry on the wall

It’s one month later and I survived the first month of my retirement; it went well. 

Reflecting, it amazes me how busy I was in the “rat race” right until the very end.  Closing my business was busier than I would have thought.  You’d have to be self-employed to totally understand. 

My new retired status has come with some perks.  First, I’m sleeping more and that feels good.  The last month of working was stressful and this affected my sleep.  It seems like I was regularly waking up at 3:00 am and staying awake.  Thoughts of all I had to do made it hard for me to fall back asleep. It took a while to break this wake up at 3:00 am nasty habit, but I finally have done so. 

My e-mail and telephone ringing volume has slowed down big time.  No calls or e-mails from clients.  I’ve had a few and they were easy ones.  There may be a few more this new month but they, too, will be easy ones.  It feels nice to have a smaller e-mail inbox and to have my phone not ring so often. 

I find myself looking out the window often, becoming familiar with my new rural surroundings.  And, taking walks and runs in new territory is helping me adjust to my new landscape.  It’s a tad bit harder running at a higher elevation on unpaved rounds of changing grades.  I’m sure in time this more challenging running path will get me back in tip-top cardiovascular conditioning shape. 

But, overall, life is much simpler and not having much to do is an adjustment.  My grandsons do keep me busy but that’s a pleasant busy if you know what I mean.  Still, it sometimes seems as if I should have more to do. 

If it starts to bug me, I can add some challenging chores to my daily regimen.  Like, for example, waiting for the mailman to arrive so I can walk to the mailbox to see if I have mail or, sitting down and watching paint dry on the wall. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 26, 2020

I'm a professional grandpa


One hundred twenty years ago today, my paternal grandmother was born and today I remember her and the significant contribution she made in my self-esteem formation.  She passed 45 years ago yet pleasant memories of her are as fresh as yesterday. 

The best way to honor her today and each day for the rest of my life is being the best grandpa possible to my four little grandsons.  And, this is what I intend to do, today, tomorrow and each day remaining of my life. 

I’ve recently shared here that I’m newly retired.  Guess what?  I’m not retired, I’m a professional grandpa. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 19, 2020

Someone looking like that

 

My gracefully aging journey is a work in process that constantly leaves visual footprints that my aging is real and not imaginary like the mirror images I see in subdued lighting suggesting something other than my truth.  Mrs. Pierini Fitness said it best earlier this year when telling me that while all my fitness training may give me a lean and mean athletic body appearance than someone my chronological age, it comes at a price of giving me a face looking like a 70-year old man.

Ouch, that sort of hurt.  Not really, but it made for a great laugh.  Life isn’t worth living if you can’t have a good laugh about yourself, courtesy of someone else.  My reply was that I’d gladly take a lean and mean body any day even if it comes with a 70-year old looking face; Freddy Kreuger, here I come!

Further visual evidence of my aging was bountiful this year because I took a lot of photographs of myself during a lengthy period that I named as my Coronavirus 2020 no cut look.  You see, I went about eight months without a haircut in a “science experiment” of sorts.  While my hair doesn’t grow as fast as it used to, after eight months, I had some amazing hairlocks length and wildness that gave me an appearance I hadn’t had in a long time.

And, along the way in my Coronavirus 2020 no cut journey, these photos showcased some of the most unflattering imagery possible of Pierini Fitness.   I surprised many clients and acquaintances who hadn’t seen me in a while, and repeatedly annoyed Mrs. Pierini Fitness who constantly badgered me to get a haircut.

But I held out until I retired; then, on my first day being retired, October 1st, I finally visited my barber and got a haircut that would make an Army drill sergeant happy.  It felt good to be groomed; the science experiment has run its course.

There were, however, some surprising benefits to the grunge look I sported for over one-half a year.  First, the panhandlers who frequent the area where my office was located no longer hit me up asking for spare change.  Second, I had a homeless person come up to me once and look me in my eyes, telling me, “Hey man, you’re going to be OK.  Life will get better, trust me.”

Well, not really, but telling this to others made for a good laugh.

To sum up my Coronavirus 2020 no cut science experiment lasting a whopping eight months, it gave me a look that some would say, “Back in the day, you had to go to the circus to see someone looking like that.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum