Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PFQE March 31, 2009

In the financial reporting and tax world in which I earn my keep are many acronyms clearly recognizable to those who also exist in this world. Here’s a sampling of 9 acronyms to add to your unimportant nothingness knowledge base in case you are ever a contestant on the game show Jeopardy:

FYE – fiscal year end – a reporting period other than a calendar year such as the federal government’s fiscal year end of September 30th. Its fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th.

FASB – the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the United States standard-setting organization of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

GAAP – generally accepted accounting principles promulgated by the FASB that businesses follow in preparing external financial reports for investors and the general public.

GAAS – generally accepted auditing standards promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that independent auditors follow when conducting audits of financial reports.

IRC – Internal Revenue Code – the codification of federal government revenue laws applicable to income, gift, estate, payroll and other taxes applicable to individuals, businesses and other entities.

MACRS – Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System – a system of how depreciation is calculated for tax purposes. Depreciation is the method of claiming a tax deduction for an asset purchased over a specified time period.

MTD – month to date – generally used in the context of financial or productivity activity reports for a period within the current month. For example, March 31st MTD sales.

QE – quarter ending – there are four quarters in an annual reporting period. For a calendar reporting period, they end on the last day of March, June, September and December so today is the quarter ending March 31st.

YTD – year to date – like MTD, generally used in the context of financial or productivity activity reports for a period within the current calendar or fiscal year. For example March 31st YTD profit.

Have you had enough? I’m sure you have. It’s really all nothing important but it makes for an easy blogflection or maybe boreflection.

All that really matters is that today is a Pierini Fitness quarter ending - PFQE March 31, 2009.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 30, 2009

Next to nothing

Something is better than nothing is a training mindset that I’ve written about before of how I train during my busy work season like now. You can read more about it here: Something is better than nothing

Squeezing in fitness training was very difficult last week. Here’s what little I accomplished:

In my basement beginning at 5:15 a.m. – a single set of 54 reps of the combo of shoulder dislocates/overhead squats using a light wooden pole – a single set of 54 reps of 4-count cherry pickers – a standard grip pullup hang hold for 54 seconds – a handstand hold for 54 seconds. Then at my office in the morning, I managed to skip my jump rope for 100 skips and perform a single set of 25 reps of standard pushups on my knuckles. Cumulative exercise time: about 15 minutes.

In my basement beginning at 4:15 a.m. – a single set of 54 reps of the combo of shoulder dislocates/overhead squats using a light wooden pole – a single set of 54 reps of 4-count cherry pickers – a standard grip pullup hang hold for 54 seconds – a single set of 54 reps of standard burpees completed in 5:36. Cumulative exercise time: about 15 minutes.

In my basement beginning at 5:35 a.m. – a single set of 54 reps of the combo of shoulder dislocates/overhead squats using a light wooden pole – a single set of 54 reps of 4-count cherry pickers – a single set of 12 reps of standard grip pull-ups. Cumulative exercise time: about 10 minutes.

So that’s a total of about 40 minutes last week, a far cry from the 30 minutes a day that the “fitness experts” recommend for most adults.

The combo of shoulder dislocates/overhead squats with a light wooden pole continues to be my favorite early morning exercises to wake up my middle-age man body. Here’s an explanation and short video demo of this great exercise: My shoulders feel great

I’m not so sure what I did meets my baseline standards for a something is better than nothing workout; in fact, my training last week can better be described as next to nothing.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The temptation is brewing

Today is Sunday and, once again, Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and soul. Thus far I’ve managed to not work on Sunday during my busy work season this year despite being, at this very moment, in the thick of a grueling workload that needs to be completed in only 17 days.

Last year at this time my wife was in Israel and Egypt for a two-week pilgrimage and I was able to use my temporary “bachelor” status to work harder than is acceptable when she is home. I actually snuck a couple of Sunday work days in last year to have a safety net for unexpected demands at the 11th hour and I’m glad I did.

As the government-imposed artificial deadline of April 15th get closer, I’ll do my best to not work on Sunday but I must be honest and confess that the temptation is brewing.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hitting a rock bottom

Listening to middle-age fat people ramble about their challenges of trying to lose weight reminds me that there is nothing new under the sun. Rambling about this today is what they rambled about yesterday and, more likely than not, what they will ramble about tomorrow as they continue being fat.

Show me a fat person asking for advice who says they don’t eat a lot of food, or that they eat healthy, but still can’t lose weight and I’ll show you a fat person telling a lie, 99.9 percent of the time. For many, no advice sometimes serves a better purpose so, left unaided, they can hit a rock bottom that will give them the resolve to do something entirely different besides talking about being fat.

By rock bottom, I mean getting so fat and obese that body sweat accumulates in puddles on the fat folds distributed all over their body, or they are so out of breath and have such an elevated heart rate after climbing a flight of stairs that they become scared to death. The rock bottom of being publicly embarrassed, like overhearing a couple of young teenagers whispering about that fat person waddling down the street, or bending over and ripping the seat of their pants or busting a zipper.

I've heard and read more than one testimonial from former fat people, who are now physically fit, healthy and sporting lean athletic looks, who had rock bottom experiences that motivated them to change their ways forever. Like the fat man who took his son to an amusement park to ride the roller coaster but couldn’t because the attendant was unable to lock the safety bar due to his gut and lap girth. He was publicly embarrassed and humiliated in the presence of his son and that was his rock bottom.

So maybe the best I can offer someone asking for advice are compassionate and kind prayers and thoughts that they hit a safe rock bottom sooner rather than later, because once they do, they’ll look up to the heavens and cry to God that they are sick and tired of being fat and, in that rock bottom moment of truth, gain the motivation and passion to conquer a weak mind and make real changes in their relationship with food rather than just talk about it.

Excerpting something I read on another fitness blog, what a fat person needs to do is look in the mirror and say if they are fat it’s their own damn fault! That moment of truthful clarity may very well be hitting a rock bottom.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, March 27, 2009

What you just read

If I had a minute for every minute that I spent yesterday pondering how busy I am right now, I could have composed a decent blogflection for today. But since I spent that minute pondering, rather than saving it, I’m flat broke out of time and coming up short today with no creative and original blogflection that I pride myself on delivering every cyberspace morning come rain or shine.

To admit that it was me rather than some external force that I have no control over is so tough to do, even for a seasoned middle-age man with calloused skin like me. Sure, I could have blamed it on a computer problem, personal family emergency, or a call to lend a Good Samaritan hand to a needy person and probably convinced anyone and everyone who took the time to read about it.

But I’m a middle-age man who prefers to walk the path of rigorous honesty, so I’ll just share that today I have nothing for you to read other than what you just read.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rebels in remission

The other day I met with a client who is a 62 year young middle-age man medical doctor and after discussing his taxes we spent a few moments chatting about this and that. He’s been a client of mine for over 20 years. He can best be described as someone part of the mainstream medical community, a “what you would expect” character from a middle-aged male M.D., and quite different from the character I recall 20 years earlier. He was more comfortable in those days walking down the beaten path, feeling more at ease in that zone than the middle of the road he now walks. He didn’t buy in to the lifestyle and mindset that most of his peers chose, perhaps resisting the career and financial success that his education offered.

I shared my observation with him and he agreed. He attributed his former self to the times in which he lived as a teenager in high school and young man in college and medical school. Profound changes were taking place in America that had a huge impact on young Americans; changing the music they listened to, the beliefs and values they formed, and curiosity they had about their life to come. An unpopular Vietnam War, the hippie movement, and an emerging drug culture cultivated a questioning character and a rebellion against the government and religious institutions that would have been unthinkable by their parents’ generation.

He further explained that moving along the life continuum from young man to middle-age man, getting married, and buying an expensive home were strong influences of shifting his tide. Many wild stallion young men and early-stage middle-age men have been tamed into respectable citizens by a good woman and wife. He is one of those tamed stallions.

But despite his calmness and tamed demeanor, I told him that when I look deep in his eyes I see someone who I often see in myself; we are both rebels in remission.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another fitness first

In all middle-age men fitness journeys are personal records, amazing accomplishments, awesome workouts and other “never to be repeated” best efforts. We all have our stories and memories for a lifetime of these golden moments that will always be ours to cherish. They bring out the “what it’s all about” of fitness and health, the why we do it, and are sensationalized with the middle-age man athlete imaginery medals and trophies we give ourselves that sit on the mantel in our mind’s eye.

In the wee early hours of yesterday morning, when 99.9% of those in my neighborhood were sleeping and all was calm, this middle-age man was in his basement at 4:15 a.m. squeezing in a quick 15 minute workout before going to work, something I’ve never done before at the time of the day and, for me, another fitness first.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grouchy overworked middle-age man CPA

Yesterday was a long and demanding day at the office. I arrived at 6:30 a.m. and left at 8:30 p.m., a 14 hour marathon work session with the only breather from the funk of my office being a quick run to my car to grab a bottle of water stored in the trunk. At the end of a long day, I spent a few moments to quickly compose this blogflection, yearning for a gym workout, some outdoor fresh air and a good joke to bring out a desparately needed belly laugh. None was to be found.

I did manage a 5:15 a.m. 10 minute workout in my basement at home, followed by another 2 minutes in my office at 6:15 a.m. consisting of 100 skips with the jump rope and 25 pushups on my knuckles. That was the best I could do.

I found myself forcing the work at various times rather than going with its flow, and being wrongly agitated about this and that throughout the day. I was not the most pleasant person to be around. There’s nothing worse than being in the same room during tax season with a grouchy overworked middle-age man CPA.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 23, 2009

My 2009 Lenten Journey

Today is day 27 of my 2009 Lenten journey, a forty-day period before Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending the day before Easter Sunday, April 11th this year. We skip Sundays when counting the forty days because Sundays commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. It originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. In addition to penitential prayer and almsgiving, we observe the abstinence and fasting Lenten obligation.

The abstinence obligation is from eating meat on Fridays throughout the year and on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence from another food instead of meat is observed in some parts of the world. In addition, abstinence is not required on solemnity days of the Church.

The fasting obligation is to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Soon I will share with you the ways in which I engaged in penitential prayer, almsgiving, abstinence and fasting during my 2009 Lenten Journey.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lounge lizard Sunday

I’ll be brief as I can – today is Sunday and Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and soul. See you tomorrow because today is his lounge lizard Sunday.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yakety yak - blah, blah, blah

It’s been another work hard week for me as I wrap it up today with a full day in the office, looking forward to Sunday for a lounge lizard lazy rest day. Getting to the office by 6:30 a.m. or earlier and working until at least 6:00 p.m. takes its toll and the absence of outdoor being makes me feel like an incarcerated prisoner doing time. My sentence will have been served in 25 days and I will be a “free man”.

I did manage to get to the gym twice this week, plus I did some light exercise in my basement and at my office a couple of early mornings to strengthen my body against the occupational hazards of the sitting I do for a living.

The left side of brain nature of my work leaves the right side of my brain lonely at times, begging for attention and activity, much like a dog that has been locked in up the house all day waiting for his master to come home and take him for a walk. Believe it or not, my daily blogflections at Pierini Fitness is when this cyberspace dog gets to take his walk. It’s when I get to relax and cybespace utter yakety yak - blah, blah, blah.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, March 20, 2009

Life in the fast lane

How time flies when we’re having fun! Where did winter go? It left us in the wee hours of the morning because today is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to the astronomical definition, spring began today on the Vernal Equinox at 5:48 a.m. GMT and lasts until the summer solstice, June 21st this year.

Please accept my prayers and thoughts that good faith, fitness, fortune and health is bountiful in your life during spring 2009, and during each and every day for the rest of your life. Jump in the front seat of the race car of life, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for an exhilarating ride down the superhighway of life in the fast lane.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Find something else to worry about

My recent meetings with clients and acquaintances are reminders of the worries many people have about the economy and its impact on their personal finances. There’s more worrying going on than anything I’ve witnessed in my 30 year career as an advisor to individuals and businesses about financial and tax matters.

Several years ago I attended a workshop with a psychologist guest speaker. He said something interesting that still resonates in my mind to this day, that worrying is a form of excess greed. I approached him after the seminar and asked him to clarify what he meant by his statement. He said it was based on his experience counseling affluent people and the worries they had about maintaining their economic wealth.

There’s another facet of worrying that’s often not obvious to the worrier. While personality may drive the worrier, so are its learned aspects. When I catch clients knee deep in worry mania, I’ll ask who taught them how to worry, their mother or father. I’m always amazed at the swiftness of their reply that it was one or the other but not typically both parents. Rarely will they respond that it was neither.

More often than not, I find that the worries my clients bring to a meeting are imaginary rather than real, like the image of the boogie-man a young child has in the darkness of the night after viewing a Frankenstein or Dracula movie.

So whether it’s a form of excess greed, personality or learned behavior, the truth of the matter is the worries are real in a person’s mind with all the emotion that tags along for the ride. As I sit across the desk in my face-to-face meeting with clients, with no personal emotion attached to their worries, it’s easy for me to be objective and poker face-like by assuring them that all is well and that all will be well.

Often, the departing counsel to clients who come to me with financial worries is simple – I tell them to trust in God, get to work, live a Spartan life, cultivate relationships with family and friends because that’s what’s most important, check back in a few years so I can tell them “I told you so”, and go find something else to worry about.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pencil neck wannabe in training

Like many young boys growing up, I spent a fair amount of time watching big time wrestling on television. My favorite wrestlers were the “good guys”, but there was one “bad guy” wrestler named Ray Stevens who I secretly admired. I always looked forward to his post-match interviews with the ringside announcer. Ray Stevens, who later in his career became known as Ray “The Crippler” Stevens, would go around calling everyone a pencil neck, a term he likely borrowed from Freddie Blassie, another wrestling legend.

I’m guessing that every skinny boy and man with a thin neck couldn’t help but be reminded of it whenever they listened to Ray’s television interviews. It was a strong image in my mind and is even to this day, much like Mac the 97-pound weakling immortalized by the classic Charles Atlas comic book ads.

Good news about being a pencil neck hit the newsstands this week with a health news article about a recent Framington Health Study research finding that neck circumference was associated with cardio metabolic risk factors. In other words, neck fat is closely associated with the known factors for heart trouble, such as cholesterol levels and diabetes, said a report using data on 3,320 offspring of the study's original participants.

So for us middle-age men fitness warriors who train hard for good fitness and health, maybe the image we should have of ourselves is that of a pencil neck wannabe in training.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This would be it

I continue to evangelize about the wonders of the ab plank, a simple, easy to perform anywhere, yet effective exercise that works my abdominal and core muscles better, in my opinion, than any sit-up or crunch variation.

What is the ab plank exercise? Most middle-age men fitness warriors know of the ab plank exercise so the following explanation is for those who do not.

The ab plank exercise is from the family of static isometric postures, various exercises in which you hold your body in a fixed position for a period of time, either for multiple sets with short rest periods between sets or for a single set as long as possible.

There are several variations of the ab plank exercise but the one I’ll describe is the standard garden variety ab plank exercise. Begin on the floor face down resting on your forearms with your palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels, like a wooden plank. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal muscles to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.

This exercise works all my abdominal and core muscles and eventually works my back muscles as time goes on. I prefer a single set for a maximum hold time. My best effort is a 5:01 set but I can’t do that now.

Here’s a short video I found demonstrating this exercise:

The best way to sum up how much I like this exercise is a frequent testimonial I make about it – if there was only one ab/core exercise I could perform, this would be it.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 16, 2009

Skipping rope

In my basement is a jump rope I own that has been collecting dust for years. For the last month I’ve been thinking about resurrecting it and for some brief skipping rope workouts, but thus far that’s all I’ve done - think about it.

Today, however, I went a step further – I brought it with me to work. With one more month of my busy work season of 65 to 70 hour work weeks, I’ll continue with my something is better than nothing training strategy. Starting today, I’ll take short rest breaks between meetings with clients and marathon sessions on the computer and spend a couple of minutes skipping rope.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How time flies

Once again it’s Sunday and Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit. It’s been a hard week with the seasonal demands of my work and an accumulated sleep deficit, so a Sunday rest day will be put to good use.

But do come back tomorrow for a guaranteed creative and original blogflection about a topic yet to be determined. There’s one final thing to share and that is today Pierini Fitness turned 200 with its 200th consecutive blogflection about everything under the middle-age man sun.

Deo gratias for the gift from God to be able to swiftly create my cyberspace ramblings every day come cyberspace rain or shine for my cyberspace community of loyal readers. I’m having fun doing it and am amazed at how time flies.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pierini's Law

Parkinson’s Law was the first sentence of a 1955 humorous essay of Cyril Northcote Parkinson, based on his years of experience as a British civil servant. Parkinson’s Law is an adage that work expands as to fill the time available for its completion. I learned of it in a college economics course and then saw examples of its truth during my brief stint as a government employee over 30 years ago. Times may be different now; I really don’t know.

There are a couple close cousins to Parkinson’s Law related to eating behavior, or at least my eating behavior, although I don’t think I’m alone. The first one I read about on another fitness website and the second I learned by self-observation.

The first was written by a person describing how his Dad used to say he never let being full stop him from eating more. There’s an element of truth to this and I believe the roots of it go back to childhood experiences when parents would tell their children they needed to finish their plate of food before being excused from the dinner table.

The second one is based on observations of my behavior at home and work, particularly the contrast in behavior during busy and idle times. This adage states that eating increases as to fill the time available for eating. I don’t eat as much when very busy with my work or home activities because I don’t have the time to eat. In contrast, I eat more when I’m not very busy because I have more time to eat.

If you observe something similar with your own eating behavior, rather than blame it on lack of willpower, you can now find comfort in knowing it’s a middle-age man condition caused by the forces of Pierini’s Law.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, March 13, 2009

This is a second call

Memories and visions of being at the airport include the series of intercom announcements about the imminence of my flight’s departure and the excitement of my travel journey. It all begins with the first call, followed by the second call and ends with the third and final call for flight number so and so to so and so city departing from gate number so and so.

Like the airport flight announcement, in my February 18th blogflection I announced a first call to middle-age men and women who can step up to the plate and serve as guest bloggers during my brief absence the last week of April. You can read about it here:

Calling all middle-age men and women

Thus far, four middle-age men have offered to serve as guest bloggers but more are needed, including desperately-needed middle-age women guest bloggers.

The ideal blogflection composition is one that is 500 words or less about a topic of the guest blogger’s choosing related to middle-age man or woman fitness and health, reflective ramblings or political thought. Cuss words are not allowed but cleverness, metaphors, rhetorical questions and sarcasm are encouraged.

Attention all middle-age men and women – this is a second call.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shooting blanks

Tired from an accumulated sleep deficit, the normal flowing stream of thoughts to keyboard that are always present during my daily blogflection writing efforts were nowhere to be found this morning, like a drought on a hot summer day. It happens every now and then in the circadian rhythms of life when I miss the lift, bowl a gutter, strike out at the plate, drive the golf ball into the sand trap, trip and fall, or whatever imagery you envision of someone failing to perform and coming up short.

So that’s all I have to say in today’s blogflection because my normally cocked and loaded cyberspace weapon of middle-age man reflective thoughts is shooting blanks.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just doesn't seem right

Yesterday I received one of those periodic notices from my bank credit card company. I have two credit cards; one for business and the other for personal use. The notice was for my personal credit card.

Reading the fine print of this notice, I learned that a variable delinquency rate that applies to purchases, advances and balance transfers is subject to a minimum DPR (daily periodic rate) of .07942%. A bunch of numbers to the right of the decimal point hardly means much to me until I do the math and discover that it translates to an annual percentage rate of 28.99%. Before dismissing this as a felonious commission of highway robbery by my bank acting as a mob loan shark, I found relief in knowing that it’s really a deal compared to pawn shop loans.

What’s interesting is that my bank has received about $45 billion of federal government bail-out assistance under the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP). Since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, I think it would be a good idea for taxpayers to charge my bank a similar interest rate on this $45 billion. That would earn taxpayers over $13 billion plus some change per year. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Numbers crunching gymnastics aside, there’s something about a bank charging an annual percentage rate of 28.99% that just doesn’t seem right.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Go away or here to stay?

Gray, gray go away and come on back another day.

My daily early morning meetings with the bathroom mirror are revealing new gray hairs and moustache whiskers, constant reminders from Father Nature that I’m a middle-age man in full blossom and an old man in training. What should this middle-age man do?

Unlike the middle-age men of yesteryear, many from my generation have borrowed a solution that middle-age women have been using for years – coloring or highlighting their gray wisdom streaks. To be or not to be is my dilemma and question – a gray haired middle-age man that is.

Exploring my options, I visited a website that sells hair products for graying men that want to do something about it, or stay in the game as the website states. Maybe that’s what I want to do – stay in the game. I learned they have two solutions for me: one gets rid of all my gray hair in 5 minutes and the other allows me to keep a little gray with something gradual. I can buy either product online and the good news is that the first order is completely free.

There’s no mention if they ship the product in a plain brown box with no clue that it’s a hair coloring product for a gray middle-age man who desires a little privacy. As an alternative to buying it online, I could go to a distant city wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and buy it at a store, paying with cash so as to not leave any evidence. Middle-age men like privacy.

After much deliberation in solitude, this middle-age man has chosen to keep his gray hair and whiskers instead of joining the ranks of juicers, my middle-age men brothers who have chosen to juice their hair with an infinite selection of colors under the rainbow. I’ve decided there’s more than one way to stay in the game.

That’s my decision today but tomorrow may be different. Every morning when I look in the mirror, I can choose to admire my gray hair and whiskers or be in agony about them while I ask myself - go away or here to stay?

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 9, 2009

My middle-age man truth

A universal truth is something that is true in all situations. There’s a middle-age man truth I discovered several years ago that guides my fitness and health endeavors.

What is my middle-age man truth? Glad you asked. Simply stated, I’m only as good as my last workout and I am what I eat. It’s my mantra echoing in my mind during moments of weakness - when I’d rather skip a workout and sit on the couch wearing a faded and worn pair of loose baggy sweat pants in a comatose and sedentary condition with a bag of chips on my lap.

I’m only as good as my last workout and I am what I eat – for me, it's my middle-age man truth.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Savor your Sunday

Well I survived the first week of March during the busiest work month of the year for me. Needing to work about 280 hours this month to win the deadline war, I managed to clock 67 hours this week, from Monday through Saturday. It’s amazing how little food and sleep my body and mind needs during busy times like this.

However, every middle-age man who works hard eventually needs to rest his body, mind and spirit and today is my day to do so. Visit Pierini Fitness tomorrow for a guaranteed creative and original blogflection about a topic yet to be determined. Until then, you too rest your body, mind and spirit and savor your Sunday.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Who needs a middle-class big brother?

A couple days ago I learned about the White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families; have you? It’s a major initiative by President Obama targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America, comprised of top-level administration policy makers – real middle-class people like you and me.

The task force plans include regular meetings (won’t that accomplish a lot!) and outreach sessions with representatives of labor, business and the advocacy communities (also known as special interest groups and political campaign contributors). The chairperson of the task force is Vice President Joe Biden.

The task force website states that it will “work with a wide array of federal agencies that have responsibility for key issues facing the middle class and expedite administrative reforms, propose Executive orders, and develop legislative policy proposals that can be of special importance to working families."

Can you hardly wait for the good that will come from this? Don’t hold your breath waiting!

If you don’t have anything else better to do with your time, go here to keep informed of what this task force is doing for you: White House Middle Class Task Force website

But in all honesty, I encourage middle class working families to instead visit Pierini Fitness. I am the ambassador of middle-age men around the world, advocating their interests and expressing their views of the way life was, the way life is and the way life should be. The stuff I write about in my daily blogflections is better food for thought than listening to these federal government bureaucrats so far removed from the realities of middle America.

Besides, who needs a middle-class big brother?

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, March 6, 2009

Then I'm getting older

Today is my son’s 29th birthday. It’s also my father-in-law’s 81st birthday and my friend’s 54th birthday.

Starting with my friend, I wish her a happy 54th birthday and assure her a common understanding of our middle-age man and woman bodies, minds and souls. The ambivalent messages of your mind telling you this but the mirror telling you that should not be a source of bliss but rather gratefulness. Count your blessings and realize the abundance of your bounty.

For my father-in-law, I wish him a happy 81st birthday and give him special thanks for being the father of my wife. He leads a very active elder life. I always take notes of his actions and thoughts when in his presence because they provide clues of my elder future. God has blessed him with the grace of humor, one of his fountains of youth.

To my son, I wish him a happy 29th birthday and remind him that he is still a young pup so enjoy his youth. As a young boy growing up, he would look to me as an example of what to do in this and that situation. In him I see a maturing young man with beliefs and values grounded in God. I sometimes now find myself looking to him as an example of what I should do in this and that situation.

To each of them, please accept my prayers and thoughts for your good faith, fitness, fortune and health. Know that the best is yet to come, your chronological age count has advanced by one, and you’re getting older. Find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone because if you’re getting older then I’m getting older.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cheap adult day care

This is the time of year that I meet face to face with many of my clients. The things we normally talk about changes from year to year and vary from client to client. This year, however, many are talking about how much their investment portfolios have declined in value and how this may change when they are able to retire. Some realize they'll have to work longer than planned. Others now acknowledge that they may never be financially able to retire.

Many of my self-employed business clients seldom fully retire, with the exception of doctors and dentists, including those who have accumulated enough wealth to safely retire. They may semi-retire and scale back how much they work, but they generally keep working in their business.

What about me?

For years, I've announced that I'll work until age 70 so that means another 16 years. I have some family requests to pull the plug sooner and do something else less demanding and different. Thus far, I've not been responsive to those requests but one never knows how the life we live can suddenly change.

There's never a dull moment in the work I do and it keeps me out of trouble. I'm sure that's the case for most middle-age men and women. For many of us, work is cheap adult day care.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How bad do I want it?

I’ve known my fair share of Monday morning quarterbacks and back-seat drivers. You probably know them too. They tell you what you or someone else should have, could have or would have done in this situation or that.

A close cousin of this person is one who outlines challenging fitness goals while sitting on their butt in the comfort of their home, safely removed from the gym where that training effort takes place. I’ve been one of those close cousins at various times; setting fitness goals and training plans that look great on paper but difficult to achieve or sustain. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars but showing up and doing the work is another thing.

When I want to know whether I’ll put forth the effort to achieve my ambitious fitness goals and training plans, all that I need is a moment of rigorous honesty while looking at myself in the mirror and asking myself, “how bad do I want it?”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ripping the seat of my pants

Working long hours this month leaves me little time for fitness training. It also makes me wonder how much training or fitness is needed for the average middle-age man.

What's the best way to test whether I have a minimum level of fitness?

It’s really a simple test in my opinion. As a middle-age man, I should be able to run up a flight of stairs without being out of breath at the top. I should also be able to bend over and reach down to tie my shoestrings without throwing out my back or ripping the seat of my pants.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's nothing great but something

For years I maintained a cyberspace fitness journal but now I don’t. For the nobody who is interested, here’s how I trained last week – I’m very busy with my work so I’m following my something is better than nothing action plan:

Early morning in my basement – using a light wooden pole - shoulder dislocates/overhead squat combo x 54 reps – good mornings x 54 reps – then a handstand hold for 0:54.

In the late afternoon I made it to my gym for an Olympic lift training session. After the usual flexibility and warm-up drills I did the following (all amounts in lbs.): squat snatch: 95x3 – 95x3 – 115x3 – 115x3 – 135x1 for 5 sets – 145x1 – clean & jerk: 95x3 – 115x3 – 135x3 – 145x3 – 155x3. Then I wrapped things up with 6 sets of 6 reps of my 6-grip pullup/chinup medley (standard grip pullups, standard grip chinups, close grip pullups, close grip chinups, wide grip pullups, and wide grip chinups).

Early morning in my basement – 6 sets of shoulder dislocates/overhead squat combo x 9 reps followed by 4-count cherry pickers x 9 reps – wide grip chinup hang hold for 0:54 - handstand hold for 0:54.

In the evening in my basement, a single set standard burpees for 54 reps completed in 5:04.

I didn’t train because it was Ash Wednesday and I was fasting.

Early morning in my basement – shoulder dislocates/overhead squat combo x 54 reps – 4-count cherry pickers x 54 reps – close grip pullup hang hold x 0:54 – handstand hold x 0:54.

Early morning in my basement – shoulder dislocates/overhead squat combo x 54 reps – 4-count cherry pickers x 54 reps – close grip chinup hang hold for 0:54 – handstand hold for 0:54 – a single set of standard burpees for 54 reps completed in 5:01.



So I managed to train four out of the last seven days. It’s nothing great but something.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, March 1, 2009

He is exhausted

Welcome to the month of March with spring right around the corner. Today is Sunday and, as usual, Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit. Visit tomorrow for an absolutely and positively creative and guaranteed original blogflection about a topic yet to be determined.

The chief executive blogger hopes to take an afternoon nap because he is exhausted.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum