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Free Samples of a Sleep-Deprived Brain

…or what happens when family meets work meets severe weather meets baseball…

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Exercise

The Fine and Noble Art of Walking a Dog

PinkCollarLeashSet

Nearly two years ago, we were blessed to pick up a young dog.

Bella needed a hypoallergenic pet, so we went with a miniature poodle. Holly is her name, and she’s crazy affectionate so she fits in well with us. She also has to be in the middle of everything, which again fits us well.

Where she has issues is taking care of business, if you will. Especially outside.

I honestly didn’t train her that much. She showed she could be plopped outside, take care of things and then run back. Now, though, she’s taking her sweet time to get her mission accomplished…and she’s not bothering to come back.

Hmm. Time for a change in approach, I do believe. The leash.

Holly loves to go out and walk, I reasoned. This should be a no-brainer.

And for the first few times, it was. Holly took care of business in short order and was ready to come inside.

Lately, though, it has taken a great deal more time for her to complete her task. I’ve taken to walking her some 10 minutes or more at a brisk trot before she is through. Great exercise for both of us. Not great for getting back to work.

Maybe I should just resign myself to the fact she will go when she has to. It might make it easier for both of us.

Weighty Issues

run

I can fit into a large T-shirt.

That’s no small feat. I have been excelling at modeling the XL shirts now for close to a decade. Between large plates and large appetites (for food) and small appetites (for anything strenuous) and a job that lets me effectively work while slouched with plenty of tasty treats on a regular basis, it’s pretty easy to put on poundage. For the past, oh, eight years or so, that is exactly what I have done.

I graduated high school weighing 142 pounds, and I didn’t top 130 pounds until sometime my senior year (that callus on my shoulder from lugging a sousaphone must have weighed a lot more than I thought). By the time I crashed and burned my way out of Tucson, I was up to around 160 pounds, largely because my appetite grew faster than my exercise regimen, even though I was still almost as active as when I was in high school, and partly because the college sousaphone was a ton heavier than the high school variety.

The basketball games were replaced by darts, the pop and pasta stayed vital parts of a quasi-nutritious diet…and I weighed 195 pounds as I moved from Nebraska to Kansas.

Shortly thereafter, I cracked 200 pounds. And I chowed my way as high as 230 pounds, staying between 220 and 230 for virtually all of my married life. Considering my absolute lack of physical activity, I’m surprised I didn’t gain more.

I’m not sure why my wife decided to start running this spring, but she did — and she politely encouraged me to go with her. I did a couple times, wheezing badly after a couple blocks, never getting much of a breathing rhythm, watching her casually jogging away to her next checkpoint.

Then I started walking, almost by default after my car developed some engine issues. Between the two, I have dropped at least 15 pounds with no need for shakes or Calorad (whatever the heck it was I pitched to area residents a few years ago). I’m also still eating like mad, but at least my body is burning off some of what I’ve constructed over time.

I’m glad my wife finally prompted me to start getting healthy, even though she still leaves me sucking in dust on the rare occasions we run together. Now if I can just go for the smaller plates and one round of food instead of two, I might wriggle into a medium before the summer’s out. And maybe those late-’80s basketball shorts.

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