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

Monday, October 12, 2020

Trying on cowboy hats

Today is the 12th day of my retirement and, thus far, life has been good.  You’ve got to do it to know what it’s really like because words can’t totally convey the experience.  I’m finally catching up on my sleep and that feels great.  I did a killer nap session yesterday and felt like a rich man.

It’s quite a change moving from my hometown city with a population over 500,000 (considerably more if you count the greater metropolitan area) to a town with a population of under 10,000.  At the top of my list of pleasant changes is no traffic.  That feels great. Who would have known?

It’s a much slower pace that is starting to include some daily regularities.  Rather than buying coffee on the go, I now make it at home.  I’m still trying to get into a workout groove and that’s taking longer than I thought.  The higher temperature makes time of day more important of a consideration.  

I finally assembled my bar dip unit and have taken my portable pull-up unit for a test drive.  Both are working well so they’re ready for workout use.  I’ve established my kettlebell workout location and they too are ready for action.  I plan on getting a good workout today.

But overall, life is simple.  Thus far, I don’t miss work, but I do think of my former clients, wondering how they’re doing.  Fine, I’m sure because they’re in good hands.

Spending time with my grandsons is sure fun.  It’s great being a up front and close grandpa in their lives.  It’s a joy watching them enjoy their youth.  Lessons for me and all watching younger people enjoying their youth.

Each day is a new adventure that’s free of any forced structure or a daily grind.  Last Saturday, for example, perhaps the highlight of my day was trying on cowboy hats.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Marching forward in my new life journey - Que será, será

Good morning Pierini Fitness sports fans; did you miss me?  It’s been a long time; three and one-half months to be exact.  There’s a reason for my unplanned sabbatical and I’m going to share it with you.  It feels good to be back.

You see, I was very busy planning and executing a relocation to another state.  I’m no longer a California resident effective today.  I’m now an Arizona resident.  Who would have thought?

I also retired from my business.  That happened yesterday around 5:15 pm when my IT consultant arrived to begin the process of shutting down my computer and preparing my business and personal digital files for transfer.  Today is day one being a retired middle-age man. So far, so good.

For those of you interested, today I’m sharing what I think life might be like marching forward during the first month of my retirement, starting with today.  Some of you might not be interested.  If this is you, check back in about two weeks for my next Pierini Fitness blog post. 

I'm wise enough to know that life can change in a heartbeat or my next breath of air.  I'm grateful for the life I've lived thus far.  Assuming I make it during the first month of my retirement, here's what I imagine I'll be doing.    

Today, October 1st, movers are arriving at 9:00 am. to take what's left in my office, primarily heavy office furniture, and haul it to the dump.  Yes, the dump!  

I'm not fussing around trying to sell what I have on Craigslist for spare pocket change.  I don't need the money and I don't need the headache of taking phone calls from strangers looking for a steal and having the propensity to waste my time, time I don't have.  At the end of day tomorrow, it must and will all be gone!

It's also the day that I declare myself an Arizona resident. I'll reside in Wickenburg, Arizona, a small town of under 10,000 people with no gang bangers or homeless people, a place where people kneel for God and stand and salute the flag.

I plan on waking up very early Friday morning, October 2nd, and leaving at 5:00 am for a non-stop drive home.  Figuring in brief toilet and stretching breaks at rest stops along Interstate 5 and later Interstate 10, I expect my solo journey will take around 11 to 12 hours.  

Once arriving but before going home, I need to stop and get a haircut. I've been sporting a Coronavirus no-cut look since my last haircut early this year.  My wife has warned me I better not arrive without a haircut and I think I better heed her warning.

The following Monday, October 5th, I must go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new Arizona driver’s license. I need this before I can register to vote, and Monday is the last day to do so if I want to vote in the November election.  I dare not miss voting; it's too important.

Eventually, I'll set up my computers at my new home office. Let's say that'll take a day.  I'm not rushing to get this done because my wife needs help with more important household chores.

And, of course, I'll immediately start daily activities with my grandsons, giving them grandfather instruction about living a good life.  We'll have lots of time playing together.  I'm going to show them how to give and get out of a headlock and a hammerlock, and also show them the true meaning of the word "Uncle" that every boy learned growing up thanks to an older brother, cousin or friend.  I'll also show them what a knuckle sandwich is.

I plan on buying a new pickup truck for my new rural community lifestyle.  I no longer want to rely on friends to borrow their truck, or rent one, when needing to haul something.  I've narrowed my search and am ready to buy and will need to go to Phoenix or Surprise to do so.  I plan on taking my two oldest grandsons with me so they can learn at an early age how to bargain for a good deal.  It should be a fun experience.

I'll also resume adding new content to my Pierini Fitness blog, something I’ve been doing for over a dozen years.   Give me a couple weeks to be back on that saddle full throttle. 

Then, I need to get my fitness workout schedule in place.  As many of my former clients and hometown homeboys know, for several years now my gym has been at various local parks.  I rotated my outdoor workouts between McKinley Park, William Land Park, Curtis Park and Leland Stanford Park depending on what I was doing.  

I'll miss all these parks with their lush green grass and wonderful trees. My new training venue will likely be at home somewhere on the 1.6 acres grounds upon which it sits, and the nearby Wickenburg High School for track running workouts.

Then, there'll be the normal stuff done each week like trips to Trader Joe's for groceries and maybe Costco every now and then.  Those stores are in Surprise, a nearby city about 40 minutes away.  We'll drive to Phoenix on Sunday to attend Mass at Mater Misercordiae Catholic Church. It offers the Traditional Latin Mass just like the church we attended in Sacramento, St. Stephen The First Martyr.

We recently purchased a pistol and rifle to add a new outdoor activity and enjoy Arizona's open carry state status.  I look forward to going to the shooting range to sharpen my shooting skills.  I've never been a gun person but did learn to appreciate and respect them when in the Army firing the M-16 rifle and M-60 machine gun.  That was almost 50 years ago.

Finally, I need about 40 hours of continuing education to keep my California CPA license current, something I intend to do.  And I'll likely apply for an Arizona CPA license, just for kicks.  

I’ll also spend time providing transition assistance to my chosen successor.  I want to make sure my former clients continue to be well served.

And anything else, we'll just have to see but it should be fun and I'm looking forward to it.

I liken it to how it was when a teenager and school was out for the entire summer except now, my summer will be endless.  

Some say that I'll eventually get bored.  Time will tell if this is true.  If I do, I can always work as a bagger at Trader Joe's.  I've never seen one of their employees who didn't seem like they totally enjoyed their job. That appeals to me.

And let's not forget a daily nap.  That's what older folks are supposed to do and by golly, I'm an older folk in training!

It should be fun marching forward in my new life journey - Que será, será

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, June 15, 2020

You got what it takes

About a week ago, I spent some time on YouTube taking a trip down memory lane, this time going very far back, listening to music from long ago.  I’m not sure how I arrived where I did but found myself listening to music of the Dave Clark Five, one of the British invasion bands of the 1960’s.  I had almost forgotten about them until my memory lane trip.

After listening to several of their songs, I eventually settled on one that was my favorite and still is this day, “You Got What It Takes”.   I have a distant memory of the first time I listened to this song and sort of think it may have been when watching a regular Sunday evening episode of The Ed Sullivan Show; I’m not sure.  

The lyrics of this song tells of a person lacking in many areas that you’d think would make them less than desirable for a relationship but, somehow and nonetheless, still has what it takes for the singer, and sets his soul on fire.

Yesterday, upon awakening and after one of several planned trips to the bathroom, I glanced at myself in the mirror when washing my hands.  I had probably been awake less than five minutes.  

Looking at my mirror image, I saw the “very best” my gracefully aging middle-age man face had to offer during these first five minutes of my new day, and it wasn’t pretty.  

My saving grace was that I knew once my face woke up, I had my morning cup of coffee, the fog in my mind slowly lifted and my aging middle-age man body revved up and became action-oiled for a new day of motion commotion, I’d be fine.  Honestly, however, my immediate mirror image was very hard on my eyes.

It was then that I thought about this song, again, and in a moment of middle-age man self-love and affirmation, sang to myself in my mind’s eye, “you got what it takes.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, June 8, 2020

Summer 2020 burpees x 100 countdown

On June 1st, I decided to get ready for Summer 2020 by chasing it every day doing a burpees x 100 workout.  This would be 20 days of 100 burpees a day or 2,000 burpees completed on the first day of Summer 2020 which in my part of the world is June 20, 2020.

Here’s my day 7 effort done Sunday evening in the park.  The weather was burpees-friendly at 73F degrees with low humidity and a pleasant breeze.

I can hardly wait for Summer 2020 to arrive and I’ll celebrate with my final day 20 effort during my Summer 2020 burpees countdown.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, May 29, 2020

Because getting fat and weak isn't an option

Over the years, Pierini Fitness has “coined” and used several fitness slogans.  They’re chants for lack of a better term that cut to the chase with perspective that we all need in chasing our middle-age man upper-percentile fitness, health and wellness.

One of my earliest ones I recall was, “I am as good as my last workout and I am what I eat.”

Another one was, The fitness training program has got to match the personality.”

Recently, I thought it was time for a fitness slogan rebrand.  Businesses do the rebranding thing all the time.  While Pierini Fitness is not a business but, rather, a “ministry”, a rebranding, getting ready for Summer 2020, still seemed like a good idea. 

So, here’s the latest – drum roll please – that you’ll be seeing more of as I continue marching forward sharing my fitness, health and wellness journey and perspectives, “Because getting fat and weak isn’t an option.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pierini Fitness baker's dozen what has worked for me

I recently commented to a question posted on an internet fitness discussion forum.  The question was, “What has actually worked for you?”  Obviously, this was a question in the context of fitness.

The person asking the question shared that the Ketogenic diet, high repetition pushups, and Creatine supplementation is what worked for him.
Interesting was his following comment that he wondered why it is when we find something that seems to work that we ever abandon it.  I couldn’t quite tell if this suggested he had abandoned what had worked for him, lost his results and was now contemplating getting back on the plan.
Always willing to jump in on the action and contribute to a legitimate fitness question, I thought about it for a while and then shared what has worked for me.  The following is what I shared, edited somewhat and in a slightly different order from my posted comment:

Eat less as a lifestyle, yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life.  Don’t quit once I’ve achieved my weight loss or body appearance goal.

Jump on the scale each morning and weigh.  Keep detailed training journals.

Use a tape measure to measure my girth periodically.  Take pictures to keep my bathroom mirror and perception honest.

Take videos of me in fitness action to evaluate my form and detect my fitness lameness so I can work of eradicating it.

Change and manage my thoughts, feelings and behaviors so that food is fuel for my body and not my crank cocaine drug of choice.

Follow an intuitive fitness training approach rather than one that’s structured, depending on what my body is telling me.  Always obey my body.

Do not dodge intensity during my workouts.

Chase athleticism rather than bodybuilding.

Have seasonal fitness goals that are SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timetable to achieve.  Periodically test these goals to see how I’m doing.

Have desire, discipline, patience and perseverance when chasing, achieving and maintaining all my fitness, health and wellness goals.

Do let anyone sabotage my goals, especially ME!

Realize that if I achieve my goals, it won’t make me a better person. If I’m a jerk and turd before, I’ll be one after, even if sporting a bad ass body and having upper-percentile fitness for an amateur athlete.

Know my age.

This is my Pierini Fitness baker’s dozen what has worked for me.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

Monday, May 25, 2020

I miss you Dad

Seven years ago, yesterday, my Dad died.  I visited his gravesite and took a nice long trip down memory lane of all that I remember of him.  I also said a few prayers and thanked him for all that he taught me that makes me who I am today.   

Today, Memorial Day 2020, I salute him, and all other World War II veterans from the greatest generation, thanking them for their service. 

I miss you Dad.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, May 22, 2020

Can't do the gym thing any more

"Me and my parks are one."

I may have shared this before that once turning age 65 and becoming a Medicare Man a few months ago, I got a free gym membership with my health insurance plan.  I hadn’t belonged to a gym in probably five or more years so the thought of getting something “free” caught my attention.

It wasn’t as if not belonging to a gym was compromising my middle-age man fitness.  I’m fit right now by my middle-age man historical standards.  Since quitting the gym, I had used various public parks as my training landscape.  There are about five that I regularly frequent depending on what I’m doing.   

I have a favorite park for running, a favorite park for doing pull-ups and a preferred park for doing burpees and kettlebell workouts.  I enjoy my outdoors workouts at these parks.  I’ve found little nooks and crannies at these parks where I can pitch my fitness tent and get a good workout without calling too much attention to myself.  Trees abound at these training sweet spots that have become my training oasis. 

Nonetheless, the free gym membership thing enticed me so after exploring the various gyms that I could join for free, I chose a 24 Hour Fitness gym located downtown about one mile from my office.  It’s one of their bigger gyms that they’ve coined as a super-sport gym because it’s huge and loaded with every exercise equipment you can imagine, plus it has many other amenities like a swimming pool, basketball court, you name it; it has it. 

After joining, I decided that it would be a supplement to how I was currently training because all was going well doing it that way.  Pull-ups, bar dips, kettlebell complexes, burpees and running had been doing me good and I saw no reason to change anything.  As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I’d say during the first month of membership, I visited only four times.  This gym frequency was unlike my past when I would go to the gym five days a week.  I found that my new gym was densely populated with people exercising and it was noisy with loud music.  I also learned that, unbeknownst to me, I had become a reclusive middle-age man fitness dude from several years training in the park solo style.

I tried my best to work around this gym density and noise by reminding myself how endowed it was with every imaginable fitness exercise equipment and weights under the sun.  Still, as time passed, I was continually dodging my new gym, taking a hike, instead, to one of my favorite parks.

Then, Coronavirus struck, and all gyms closed and remain closed to this day.

It was during this gym lockdown that I decided I wouldn’t be going back.  I cancelled my free membership about a week ago.  It felt good doing this because it got a monkey off my back that I wasn’t using my free gym membership.

It was a paradigm shift – a stepping over the line in the sand to the other side – and a realization that I can’t do the gym thing anymore.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum