Skip to main content

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 4: Endorsement

As published at News957.com:


'm a skipper, but I'm not a quitter.
I woke up tired on the third Saturday of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia's Learn To Run For Smokers program, stumbled outside for a cigarette and found the streets covered in snow. It rained and rained and rained, then snowed and snowed and snowed. The tire tracks on the road were swooping back and forth across the street. It looked bad. A phone call to my wife at work confirmed that the driving was terrible. I gave up, shoveled the driveway and went back to bed after emailing program coordinator Jayne Norrie to apologize for my non-attendance.
That could've been it. I could've given up for the week. But, a commitment's a commitment, and when it's my health at stake and I'm doing it all in public, I might as well follow through.
Monday morning, I joined Jordi Morgan for a half-hour interview on Maritime Morning. It was strange for me to be the subject of an interview rather than the one asking the questions, but it was a lot of fun getting to talk about the program and how I'm doing.
Tuesday was supposed to be the first of two days of homework outside of the regular group training sessions. Jayne sent the team an email: "The third week tends to be the hardest, so please persist with the program, and you will start to reap the benefits soon! It will be worth all the hard work and battling with the weather, especially when we finish with the Lung Run in April and you see how far you have come."
I'm definitely not a morning person, but this Tuesday meant I'd be covering Halifax Regional council from 1pm to 9pm, so exercising after work wouldn't be happening. So, I got suited up right out of bed and went for a 25-minute brisk walk through the neighbourhood. It was cold, but I got it done.
Wednesday morning found me downtown at the doctor's office to get the now-overdue medical clearance.
Dr. Maria Sampson is a wonderful woman who's been pushing me to cut my smoking and lose weight for some time. I went to her a while back with questions about some pain in my chest. She didn't say it was anything dangerous with my heart, though I have had flutters from time to time. But she was concerned about my blood pressure.
I've had high blood pressure readings for a number of years. In mid-2002, I have it recorded as 140/90. In May, 2005 it was 130/90. It's been as high as 146/100 in March, 2009.
The doctor put me on a beta blocker called Atenolol to reduce my BP, and it's worked rather well. Between that and my recent exercise, my BP read 120/84 this week. That's pretty well normal!
So, I explained the Learn To Run program to Dr. Sampson, gave her the forms, and asked whether this would be a good program for me.
"Yes! It will help your heart," said the doctor. "And there's often a close link between what you're doing for yourself to keep yourself healthy, so if you start exercising more regularly, often you feel like eating better, and when those things start happening, then you might also be interested in quitting smoking more whole-heartedly."

"You will probably notice an improvement in your endurance in day-to-day activities," she said. "Sometimes you're not as breathless as you would normally be. I'm hoping that you'll enjoy some of the psychological benefits of exercise. So, feeling more energized and maybe a little happier, and there would be a little bonus if you'd lose a little bit of weight with that."

Dr. Sampson says if the progress continues and I lose about 10 pounds, she might be able to get me off the beta blockers! 
External Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the weirdness of time and how we feel it.

As of today, my son Gordon has been without his mother longer than he was with her. The length of time Amanda has been gone is now longer than the length of time we were a family of three. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but that dangblasted calendar tells me it’s almost three years. I have not said a word about it to G, but tonight, for the first time in a long time, he pulled out the Missing Mummy book for bedtime.

Today was my last day in broadcasting for a while, as far as I can tell.

I spent the past five years as Program Director at Newstalk 1290 CJBK in London, Ontario. And in recent years, I was also the noon-hour show host, afternoon news anchor, a commercial voice guy, TV news promo voice guy, and more.

Also in the past five years, I’ve bought a house, endured renovation mayhem, …

A request, as we reach two years

Wow, long time no write.

I didn't enjoy this past winter. I was certainly in a long slump. Things were very challenging at work. Gordon was awesome, as always, but I was just in a sustained funk from last summer on. And I'm not sure I'm all the way out of it yet. I'm still largely in quiet hermit mode, but have been making progress at resuming social contact. Little dude and I have a very busy summer that will go by in a flash.

This Thursday will mark two years since Amanda died. I still replay the events of that night in my head almost every day. I'd like to not. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, but sometimes I'm right there all over again.

Hey, can I ask for your help with something?

Two years ago, so many wonderful people told me that if there was anything they could do to help .... Well, I don't ask often. And I should've asked more. And I should ask more even now. I'm still not comfortable asking. But I'm asking for this.

I put out a vi…

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

It's been five months today since Amanda died.

Grief continues to evolve. In the beginning, I had a mix of relief and bitterness with the sadness. I was very busy handling things. Then I transitioned into a period of expansive optimism. The past month or so, though, I've been feeling kind worn out, and new flavours of sadness have sprung up.

I've still been pretty busy. Some highlights on the up side?

And on the work side, ratings results just came in for the radio station, and there are welcome signs of improvement. My bosses have put me on course to improve my management skills, which I'm grateful for -- I was sent away for a two-day class that was very educational. I've been busy as heck at work. I have enough vacation time left to take....well, until the end of the year off. With all that I've been through this year, I've taken nearly no time for myself. I'm so grateful for Gordon's sleepover nights with nana & grampa -- those nights have gi…