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

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.


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