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