Monday, June 21, 2021

We call it summer!


First day of Summer 2021 at 6:05 am and already hot!

Summer 2021 arrived yesterday with my approval, but my summer heat had already arrived earlier in my part of the world.

And, apparently, this heat has arrived other parts of the United States.  My former hometown contacts tell me it’s been very hot there.  The media seems to be on an uptick reporting a southwestern United States heat wave.

Is it time to switch gears from the rampant COVID reporting and start something new, or old, like climate change or global warming?

Some people call this heat climate change or global warming.  Yet others call it a “heat wave.” 

Here is Arizona, we call it summer!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Monday, June 14, 2021

New York Yankees baseball game tickets for 100 push-ups?

I think it’s stupid how all these government “leaders” are coming up with their nifty ideas of creating various carrots to encourage people to get their COVID vaccinations.  It really tells you what they think of average Americans; throw a hungry dog a piece of meat and he’ll devour it regardless of whether it tastes good or not.

In no order of stupidity, here’s a sampling of what some governments are doing to encourage average American knuckleheads to get their COVID vaccination:

ü Washington state says licensed marijuana stores can offer free joints to promote coronavirus vaccine clinics.

ü West Virginia is expanding its incentives to encourage residents get vaccinated with weekly lottery drawings offering cash, trucks, guns, and scholarships to those who've received at least one immunization shot. 

ü California has what appears to be the largest COVID inoculation incentive in the nation: the chance for 10 residents to win $1.5 million each.

ü New York state has a “Vax and Scratch” scheme, where when you get your COVID vacation, you are entered into a free New York State Lottery, where top prize stands at $5 million.

The list goes on and on, but I’ll stop with these representative examples.

As recently reported by Fox News, to reach his goal of getting at least one COVID vaccination shot into the arms of 70% of the nation’s adults by July 4th, Joe Biden unveiled a five-part plan to reach that goal, which included steps to make it easier to get the vaccine and incentives such as free food, beer, and tickets.

There’s no shortage of incentives being offered to encourage people to do what many people have decided not to do; get a COVID vaccination shot that they believe comes with unknown risks.  Can’t say I blame them because I’m one of them.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these same governments offered incentives for people to eat healthy and less, and to engage in regular and vigorous exercise activities?  Do you think it would work?  Do you believe the outcome would be great?

How about if every American leading an unhealthy lifestyle started walking 30 to 60 minutes a day and losing weight?  If they did, they’d be entered to win a nice incentive; maybe something like a $250 gift certificate to buy some new clothes so they can toss away their fat man or fat lady clothes.

I think it would work for the same reason these government “leaders” think their silly incentives will work.

How about some New York Yankees baseball game tickets for 100 pushups? 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, June 7, 2021

Make America fit again!

 

My Burpees x 100 Summer 2021 Countdown is a work in progress and today is day seven of this countdown journey.  I’ll have more to share about how it’s going next week.

But I do have something to share this week.

Question:  How do you make American great again?

Answer:  By being fit.

A fit America is a great America. This is Pierini Fitness and I approve this message.


Do your burpees and make America fit again!

 Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Burpees 2021 Journey


Earlier this year, I began my Burpees 2021 Journey with a goal of performing a 100 burpees workout for 100 days in 2021.  I started my journey on January 1st and completed 100 burpees that day in 15:56. I was off to a good start.

But along the way, this good start changed.  Lackluster enthusiasm for the task, a sternum injury along the way, followed with some right-hand and wrist injuries that still linger, and before I knew it, I was behind the performance pace needed to complete 100 burpees workouts for the year.  As of the end of May (yesterday), I’ve only completed 24 burpees workouts and my last burpees x 100 workout’s time of 15:46 is only 10 seconds faster than my January 1st effort.  I have a long way to go.

By frame of reference, last year on June 1st, I began a Burpees x 100 Summer 2020 Countdown, completing 100 burpees in 12:48.  Therefore, it’s now taking me about three minutes longer to complete 100 burpees than last year.

My goal for the first day of summer last year was to complete 100 burpees in 11:00.  I accomplished this goal on June 19, 2020, with a time of 10:46.  

As is often the case with burpees, I eventually got burned out, distracted, and eventually lost the burpees conditioning gained from my Summer 2020 Countdown effort.

To jumpstart my lethargic effort thus far this year, I’ve decided to start today a Burpees x 100 Summer 2021 Countdown with plans on completing 100 burpees each day until the first day of Summer 2021 on June 20th.  It’ll be like last year’s countdown except I’ll not set a time goal for the first day of summer but promise to make my best effort each day.  It would be nice, however, to knock three minutes off my current time, which would be a time of 12:46, but we’ll see.

If I get a burpees workout in every day until the first day of summer, that’ll give me 45 burpees x 100 workouts year-to-date for 2021, a much better position to be at mid-year with a goal of 100 burpees x 100 workouts for 2021.

Wish me well and follow along as I share the details of my Burpees 2021 Journey.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day 2021

 


Pierini Fitness remembers all soldiers who died in the service of our U.S. military.  You will never be forgotten. 

Thank you for the freedom I have this Memorial Day 2021. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, May 24, 2021

Makes this middle-aged man’s heart cry

Dear Aiden, I never knew you but will never forget you.

You may have read the same news I did about the 6-year young boy who was fatally shot last Friday during a road rage incident as he innocently sat in his backseat car seat while being driven to school by his Mom.    

Kindergarten student Aiden Leos was shot and killed in Southern California when a bullet fired from a vehicle passed through the back of his mother’s car and through his back while he was sitting in his booster seat.

The currently unknown murderer fired a shot at the trunk of Aiden’s Mom’s car and the bullet continued its journey until it struck little Aiden, whose initial word was “Ow!” and then "Mommy, my tummy hurts."

He made it to the hospital but didn’t come out alive from this horrific road rage incident.

His Mom and other family members will never get to see him play baseball, ride a bicycle, graduate from high school, or grow into a young and handsome man.

As a grandfather of four little grandsons, the oldest being the same age as deceased Aiden, this news brought me to my knees.  I couldn’t get little Aiden off my mind yesterday while driving to church and driving home.  While my prayer life has been weak as of late, I found myself saying some prayers for the repose of little Aiden’s soul and that God comfort his Mom and other family members in their grieving and mourning journey. 

The tragic death of little Aiden Leos makes this middle-aged man’s heart cry.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, April 12, 2021

From these roots


Growing up as a young boy and spending time at my Grandmother's house, I remember one of her favorite  television programs was a soap opera named From These Roots.  It was a daily soap opera that aired on NBC from 1958 to 1961.

Its storyline was about a successful writer who had returned to her New England hometown to run her family newspaper.  Honestly, I wouldn't have even known this but thanks to Wikipedia, I now do.

What made me think of this?

Well, like the successful writer who had returned to her hometown, I've returned to my hometown where I've been the last four days.  My stay here is a brief one week.  

I've had time to spend visiting my Mom who will soon turn age 90.  And, I've had a couple opportunities to return to two parks where I would regularly do my fitness workouts.  One day I went on a great four-mile run and enjoyed every minute of the it.  The weather was great and evidence of Spring was everywhere I looked.  The other day I had a great pull-ups workout and the weather was amazingly awesome that day too.

I've taken drives here and there that not long ago were part of my daily doings.  It seems surreal taking these drives because now I know when doing so, it's as a visitor to a place that can now best be described as from these roots.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, April 5, 2021

Do I really need to know this?

 

In my olden days, I’d read the newspaper daily to learn what, at the time, was important for me to know.  Like most people who are creatures of habit, the stuff I read each day was about the same – front page headlines, local news headlines, sports page and maybe the weather.  At some point that I can’t remember when, I started reading obituaries and funeral notices.  And on Sunday, I typically read the Sunday “funnies.” 

Conversely, the stuff I skipped was about the same.  It didn’t interest me, or I never found the time to get to this news. 

I suppose it’s not much different now but, then again, maybe it is.  With a smartphone in my hip pocket and daily access to a desktop or laptop computer, I’m bombarded with, or seek out due to boredom or habit, whatever headline and related “news” happens to be on the computer screen staring at me. 

For good or bad, this is information overload, and a lot of this information is pure junk.  I’m not alone so together we seek out, or are seduced in, to headline after headline that in the olden days would never get our attention or cross our eyes.  Consequently, we carry much more “news and nonsense” in our minds because of a modern technology landscape that’s a never-ending and increasing part of our lives. 

It’s as if we’re the General Manager of the world, always needing to be prepared for a “State of the World” address to, or discussion with, everyone who’s part of our lives. 

It’s a tremendous burden and responsibility that we probably never sought out; it just fell on our laps thanks to this boundless information age modern technology has given us.

Lately, I’m trying to use a filter in my mind’s eye to chisel down my reading content to what’s only necessary. 

So, when I stare at my smartphone or computer screen and headline after headline shouts at me, “Come on in, I have something interesting that you need to know!”, I now ask myself before accepting the invitation, “Do I really need to know this?” 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 29, 2021

Nothing great to say?



I’ve shared more than once here at Pierini Fitness about my daily practice of reading obituaries in my, now, former hometown newspaper.  I initially shared it over twelve years ago here:

Reading the obits 

Living in a different town in another state, I still read my former hometown obits each morning, but have also started reading them in my hometown weekly newspaper.  Now, however, I don’t occasionally encounter reading about the passing of an old elementary or high school buddy or a former client.

Still, I enjoy reading the obits of those who have passed, learning about the life they lived and the good person they were, even if skeletons in the closet details of lives they lived, or the jerk they were, are omitted. 

Now at the tail end of my middle-age manhood, I’m approaching the timeline in my life where I’ll soon be able to count the years of life I have remaining with the fingers on my hands.  It’s an eerie realization that my date with the Grim Reaper is getting closer by the day.

Another similar math-oriented realization mental exercise is making a wild guess of how many years of life I may have remaining and then adding it to the current age of my four little grandsons.  I did that yesterday while driving to Sunday Mass. 

If, for example, I make it to age 80, my youngest grandson will be 16 years old, the only age during which when I looked in the mirror and truly saw a 16-year-old kid.  If that happened to be my exit planet earth age, I’d miss his high school graduation.

That would be a shame.

If I thrive reading the obits of others, maybe I should grab a paper and pen and compose mine. 

Would I enjoy reading my obit?

What would it say?

Maybe it’ll be like the obituaries I typically read; a wonderful story about a great person who lived a great life.  I’m sure such a fictional composition is within my literary paygrade.

But in a moment of truthful reflection, I ponder what if there’s nothing great to say?

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 22, 2021

Dead butt syndrome


Reflecting on the last 40 years working in the rat race, now that I’m a retired man, I realize that the work I did came with an occupational hazard of sitting for a living.  So much that when people saw me standing while they were sitting, they’d often tell me to have a seat, to which I replied that I sit for a living and, therefore, choose to stand.

Yup, I put a lot of time sitting on my seat that it’s a wonder I didn’t develop bed sore-like outcroppings on my gluteus maximus.  Maybe I did but didn’t know because I couldn’t see them. 

I suppose, maybe, all the fitness training I’d done canceled the damage from all this sitting, not to mention the known health risks.  There’s no shortage of internet articles warning us about the perils of a seated lifestyle.  While sitting, I’d always skip these articles because they didn’t have “preaching to the choir” content of interest.

Now that I’m a retired man, I realize that I still spend time sitting, perhaps more than the average retired man, but honestly, I don’t know for sure.  In the words of an internet fitness brother from a different mother who once shared his thoughts about this subject, “I enjoy a good sit.”

But a recent internet article I skimmed brought to my attention a condition caused from sitting too much.  It’s familiarly coined “dead butt syndrome” but the medical term for this ailment is called gluteus medius tendinopathy, although it’s also often referred to as gluteal amnesia.

Digging a little deeper, while sitting and reading, I learned that this condition results from the gluteal muscles essentially “forgetting” their main purpose: supporting the pelvis and keeping your body in proper alignment.  It’s caused from spending hours a day sitting and not getting up frequently to stand, walk, or otherwise move around.

This new knowledge begged me to answer the question if I might be afflicted with this malady, unbeknownst to me. 

Or maybe the fitness training of high-volume kettlebell swings, Asian Squat holds, burpees and running has given me a protective hedge from this comfortable lifestyle ailment.

Time will tell as I pay more attention to my hindside, hopefully though, not living in fear that I’m sporting a serious case of dead butt syndrome.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 15, 2021

Sit down and shut up!

Last week, my jabbering reflection shared how there’s too much joy I’m experiencing just being rather than doing.  Yesterday, while spending time with my 6-year young grandson, I had an opportunity to suggest he do the same.

He came up to me after suffering from a long one minute from having nothing to do, telling me that he was restless and bored; he wanted to be told of something new to do.  I came to his aid with a suggestion and a great youthful example of being rather than doing.

What was it I suggested to my grandson in response to his wanting something to do?

I suggested something seemingly so simple, but perhaps not so for an energetic 6-year young grandson who has yet to master the joy of stillness being.

I suggested he sit down and shut up!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, March 8, 2021

Another amazing sunset

f
February 8, 2021 at 6:21 pm outside the front door
 of the worldwide headquarters of Pierini Fitness
 

When announcing to the world - my small personal world – late last year that I was retiring, I got lots of responses, ranging from congratulatory greetings to unsolicited advice and comments.  A common denominator of comments I received was that I would eventually get bored and end up back working at least part-time.  Now that I’m in my sixth month of retirement, it’s as good a time as any to reflect and share if this boredom phenomenon has arisen in my being, either entirely or in part.

Nope!

Yup, as of this moment, I have no desire to jump back in the rat race as a part-time business owner, consultant, or an employee working for someone else.

When in the rat race, however, I’d regularly say that when I retire, my legacy career would be working as a bagger at Trader Joe’s, a store where we shop for groceries.  Over many years shopping there, I’d watched their various employees doing their jobs.  They all had smiles on their faces and looked like they thoroughly enjoyed their jobs.  I would always think that maybe I would want some of that.  I envisioned myself bagging groceries or restocking shelves while moving around the store with some bouncy energy in my swift movement from here to there. 

It seemed so free of the highly technical nature of the work I did in my career where I was constantly using my brain and knowledge to serve clients needing my skills.

Truth be told, I currently have no desire to do anything like this, and I don’t need the money.  I’m still in the honeymoon stage of being a middle-age man retired person. 

How long will it last? 

Who knows, but I’m having strong beliefs that it’ll last longer for me than it does for others who are retired.

I think what separates me from them is that I have a lazy gene with which I was born.

Even though I worked my tail off for over 40 years, behind that external hard-working self-employed businessperson character resided an inherently lazy man.  Now that I’m retired, this lazy man is front and center and my new external character; I see him every morning when looking in my bathroom mirror.

This lazy gene protects me from the boredom others experience of not having anything to do.  I’ll never suffer from performance addiction as a retired person.  There’s too much joy just being rather than doing. 

To count my blessings and smell the roses – or maybe cactus, while looking forward to another late afternoon to view the beauty, outside my home front door, of another amazing sunset.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Monday, March 1, 2021

A pancake I didn't like



Thanks to my grandmother, I grew up developing a joy of eating pancakes.  She would make them for me for breakfast whenever I visited her which was often.  I have fond memories of feeding myself full as a young boy and, later, as a teenager.  There was no better feeling than that of feeling full after eating a good stack of pancakes, topped with butter and maple syrup.

This joy carried over into my adulthood and still lasts today as a middle-age man.  I like pancakes and eat them often.

And the tradition of being a grandson eating pancakes also continues because now I regularly make them for my grandsons who live two houses away; they like them too.  I make breakfast pancakes for them often, as often as they like which is often.  I take great delight doing because of the joy on their faces eating my pancakes and the fond memories of my grandmother making them for me and the delight on her face from the joy of making them for me.  I hope one day down the road, when I obviously won’t be around, that this ritual will continue with my older adult grandsons making pancakes for their grandsons, or granddaughters.

Aside from keeping this familial ritual alive, I also take great delight in eating pancakes when going to a restaurant for breakfast.  Mrs. Pierini Fitness oftentimes can’t believe that I’m ordering pancakes again for breakfast, rather than scrambled eggs, hash browns and toast like she does.  Only a pancake-eating middle-age man would understand why my breakfast choice seldom changes.  I’ll do a waffle or French toast every now and then, but good old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes are my preference.

In the new town where I live, there’s a popular restaurant that always has a full house for early morning breakfast.  About one month ago, I went there for the first time with my wife and lo and behold, pancakes were on the breakfast menu.  The menu warned to only order one because they’re very big.  There was an option of ordering two which had me scratching my head because I think of a full-stack consisting of three good-size pancakes and about right for a starving middle-age man. 

When placing my order, the waitress confirmed that their pancakes were very large and that they generally talk most people out of ordering more than one.  My first reaction was that this waitress knew not of my pancake-eating legend.  I was inclined to order two pancakes but at the last minute, submitted to her recommendation ordering just one.

I’m glad I did because the pancake she brought me was huge, as in manhole size huge!

I only ate one pancake at the Horseshow Cafe


I managed to eat that one giant pancake, but it took some work which left me surprised because I was hungry.  I took a picture of this pancake before eating it and sent it to some friends in a text message with this comment: “My wife and I went out for breakfast. I wasn’t that hungry, so I only ordered one pancake.”

I’ve never met a pancake I didn’t like.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, February 22, 2021

My middle-age man fitness, health, and wellness journey

Jumping for joy, I made it to age 66!

First some ancient history.

When I was a kid, today, February 22nd was Washington’s Birthday, a national holiday, and a no-school day.  We kids loved it.  Ten days earlier, February 12th, was Lincoln’s Birthday, also a national holiday and a no-school day.  We kids loved it too.  Somewhere and sometime later, the powers to be came up with a change and created President’s Day, honoring both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Now, on with today’s reflection.

Pierini Fitness recently had a birthday and is now a 66-year young middle-age man.  The countdown advances for my entry into old manhood which I’ve defined as age 70 years.  I’m trying to make the best of my middle-age man years that I have left.  How time flies when you’re having fun.

Speaking of time flying, my 65th year did just that – flew by fast and was full of action and change.  One year ago, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have done all that I did this past year.

I became a Medicare Man and started realizing big savings in my health insurance costs.

I retired and sold my business.

I relocated to another state and bought a new home.

I did other stuff too, but I won’t bore you with those details.

Age 65 was a good year and one of those birthdays right up there with age 16 (old enough to drive), age 21 (old enough to drink) and age 25 (old enough to start saving in auto insurance premiums.)

Were there other key birthdays along my journey?  I’d say so but it would take some reflection to come up with a list.  Maybe I’ll save that chore for another day and it’ll be another Pierini Fitness reflection.

Thus far, as I enjoy age 66, I continue being blessed with good fitness, health, and wellness.  To be honest, I’m currently not as fit as I was last year, but fitter than most men my age.  Good enough sums it up best.

Am I a better person by other benchmarks?  Who knows; that’ll take some honest reflection.  Maybe I’ll save that chore for another day and it’ll be another Pierini Fitness reflection.

I do know this, I’m thoroughly enjoying being a retired person and have no burning desire to practice my profession on a reduced-scale basis, or to work some part-time job to have something to do. Nor do I have a calling to run out and volunteer for this or that at my church or some local community organization.  I’ve got four little grandsons living two houses away who always are a source of action, entertainment, and responsibility if I need some of that.

So here I am because, wherever I go there I am.  Therefore, it only makes sense to continue marching forward in my middle-age man fitness, health, and wellness journey.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Monday, January 25, 2021

Hanging around



I’m a middle-age man fitness character who seems to do best if there’s a measurable fitness challenge that I’m chasing.  Recently, I chased a goal I had of doing an Asian Squat for 10 minutes.  I diligently trained to improve the time in the squat, starting off with a modest 2-minute squat and advance to 10 minutes over the course of about six weeks.  I’m still doing Asian Squats because I’ve learned of their value and spillover benefit to other aspects of my life.

But there’s time for a new kid on the block in my fitness challenge world and it is a pull-up bar hang hold for time.

I have a history of doing pull-up bar hang holds for time over my middle-age man fitness training journey.  To the best of my knowledge, the longest I’ve hung before dropping was for 2:08 but that was done a long time ago, exact date unknown.  In 2019, I decided to resurrect this and managed to hang for 2:02 before dropping.  Then, the exact reason unknown, I got distracted or lost interest and made no further progress.

A couple weeks ago, I began hanging for time.  The first time I lasted for 1:30 before dropping.  On my second attempt, I lasted for 1:33.  Last week, I managed to hang for 1:48.  Here’s that effort:

Progress comes slow unless the training is structured which it now is.  I’m taking an interval training approach like what I did for the Asian Squats.  I’m also doing some forearm endurance training using a fitness gadget I recently purchased.  I’ll have more to say about that one in a later blog post.

Pierini Fitness will soon be a 66-year young middle-age man fitness dude and it sure would be nice if before his birthday he’s able to surpass his lifetime best of 2:08.  I’m training with that short-term goal in mind.

So, it’s fair to say that, until further notice, I’m going to be spending time hanging around.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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