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Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

Stress Relief

How do you relieve stress?

Lately, it’s been doing different things.  For example, taking walks at lunch, spending time with our sons, playing on the Wii, or…

..shooting a gun.

What did he just say?

Now before you get all worked up, the gun is a CO2 airsoft handgun; a gun that shoots little plastic BBs.  I constructed an outdoor target in our backyard. First, I stood up two 6 ft. poles inside bricks, about 15 feet from the patio, while the paper is attached to the target by tape.  Masking or duct tape works well.  I load my airsoft pistol and shoot from the patio.

I can’t tell you how great it feels to simply put some holes in a piece of paper.  The CO2 gives the gun a nice sound as you unload a clip full of BBs down range.  Best of all, it’s cheap entertainment and this won’t alarm the neighbors!

Enjoy and have lots of fun…

Mark

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This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

(Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from Henry V)

As a kid, I too had dreams of serving in the military.  I read books on the Navy Frogmen.  I was fascinated by the Green Berets.  Of course, having diabetes at the age of seven, in 1976, put a huge damper on my dream.  I had a lot of inspiration.  My father served in the Navy.  Both grandfathers served in the Army.  My great uncles did too.  All had adventures; all had stories to tell.  I wanted desperately to be a part of those adventures…

But alas, that didn’t happen.  Now some 34 years later, I’m a husband and father.  I hold down a tech job and drink copious amounts of caffeine.  Boring right?

Actually, not so.  It’s what you make of life that defines who you are.  Back in the late 70’s and 80’s and 90’s…you get the picture, exercise and diabetes wasn’t actually promoted too well.  As a matter of fact, it was more downplayed, more shied away from than encouraged.  But sometimes the need to push the limits happens and so we take that first step.  I, among many of you, have pushed the limits and loved it.

To name a short list, I’ve done the following:  martial arts (28 years), scaled 100+ foot cliff walls, parachuted (my parents still don’t know I did this one), survived an Army survival course, kayaked a class 4 rapid…  The list goes on.

We, as diabetics, don’t have to live a sedentary life.  No!  We can accomplish great things IF we aspire to push ourselves beyond the walls of this disease.  We may not be able to serve our country directly, but we can support each other and the brave men and women who do so every day.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Do something great this day!

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother!

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A short 2 minute phone call can change your day.

On Monday afternoon, my wife received a call from my endocrinologist’s nurse with my recent A1c.  Now before I tell you the number, consider what I’ve been through in the last 6 months:  (Not in chronological order.)

1.  The death of my mother in-law.

2.  The death of our dog.

3.  The summer heat forcing me to use MDI instead of the pump.

4.  Lots of exercise!

5.  Both our boys starting new sports.

6.  Both boys, and my wife, returning to school.

7.  And let’s not forget work stress.

And the number is…

6.4 (If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, then you already knew the answer.)  However, what was great really wasn’t the number per se, it was the excitement of my nurse.  Her words to my wife were (and I’m paraphrasing here), “the results were flawless”.  My last A1c was a dismal 6.8 or 7.  What did I do differently or better?

1.  Exercise, exercise, exercise.  The more I exercise, the better I feel.  My BG numbers are fantastic for days when I exercise.  I now make it a point to exercise every day if only for 30 minutes.  It’s tough, but well worth it.

2.  Less carbs, more protein, no snacking.  I made a promise to myself that while on MDI, I was NOT going to snack.  I did snack, but not on my favorite Goldfish crackers, but on protein, e.g. cheese, peanut butter, ham, etc.  This worked very well.

3.  Kept the fried foods away when I could.  Fries bring thighs!  Of course, I really don’t eat a ton of vegetables either.

4.  Less is more.  I don’t have gastroparesis, but my blood sugars do a lot better when I eat less.

We are not perfect and striving for perfection is a killer.  I am not “flawless”.  However, I strive to do my very best for my family.  I want to live a long life.  I want to see the men our boys will become.  I want to see them do great things.  And by taking care of myself, I will be around to see the joys and fruits of my life.

Be strong!

Mark

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Sports

Both our boys have now entered the world of organized sports.  Our youngest son is now playing tackle football, while our oldest son is playing baseball.  I can’t tell you, from a father’s perspective, how proud I am of both of them.  They work very hard at both their studies and their sports.  This has been a blessing for me as well since I now workout regularly.  I’ve even (gulp!) taken on the responsibility of being a practice coach for our oldest son’s baseball team.  (So, Mark, what do you know about baseball?  Easy, hit the darn ball and run like mad!)

The Joy of Sports

Overall, the great thing about having children in sports is taking advantage of all the exercise.  I have a desk job and any after work exercise I can get is a blessing for the ol’ diabetes.  Besides, all this sports hoopla has me feeling young again.  🙂

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Vacation

We all need a vacation or holiday or sabbatical.  Pick one and go.  Our last family outing for the summer had us in the rolling foot hills of North Georgia.  We stayed in a nice resort area where I rode a horse, played ping-pong, shuffleboard, football, tetherball, mini-golf, UNO, and backgammon.  On average, I was outside playing 6 hours a day in the 95 degree heat (with 90+% humidity).  IT FELT GREAT!

We also had the privilege of boating on Lake Lanier.  I can honestly say that driving a wave runner 70 MPH is awesome.  Here are a few pictures of what I encountered on our trip:

Dangerous UNO players!

and…

Highly competitive ping-pong

plus…

My horse wanted to stop and eat all the time. I wonder why...

last, but not least…

A beautiful sunrise

My 7 day blood sugar average was a 91.  I had a few bad lows (40’s) , but nothing that I couldn’t handle.  I’m actually glad that I wasn’t on the pump during this trip or my sweat would’ve constantly knocked off pods.  It was great having a week with no stress and exercising every day.

I can’t wait for our next vacation!

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