Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When I was young, and inevitably frustrated, as most youth become at some point, I longed for an axe. I wanted to chop wood to blast out the frustration I felt inside. We lived in the city, had no fireplace, and thus, no axe. I had to find alternative methods.

Those usually got me into trouble. One spring, the peonies beside my parents bedroom were in full bud. Each flower-to-be was about golf ball sized, and very firm. I slid my fingers around the flower stem, and closed my hand around the bud as I pulled up. The bud popped off nicely as I did. I took my baseball bat, and tossed the bud into the air, swung and sent the little flower-never-to-be into oblivion.

Wow! That felt really good. So I did it again and again and again. There were no buds left atop this prolific plant.

Bad idea! My dad was the gardener in my household, and he found my little self-expression and chose to then express himself. I guess in hind sight (no pun intended), it was really stupid. Those flower stems all pointing to the sky with nothing to show for their effort, nothing to support...I didn't ever do that again. However, each time I see peonies in bud, I am reminded of my early, poor decision making skills.

When Beej reached this point in life, we bought him a heavy bag. You know, the kind Rocky beat up in each of his 37 movies. We had an axe, but BJ was not me. His desires were different. I had a talk with him about not using the peony buds as baseballs. He thought my story was funny.

He used the heavy bag a time or two, but it never got the work out we expected. I remember that the things that frustrated him were different than what I had experienced. He would grow impatient with friends who did not want to know Jesus, or teachers who shut him down as he shared in class. He too, had "relationship" issues like most students, and that included...mom and dad. But as Deanna and I were talking about this over the weekend, it seemed to us that most of his indignation was over others receptivity to the things of God.

I was not that way. Not until much later in my life.

Even today, as I look at what I get stressed about, the culprit is often self-induced and not necessarily, properly motivated.

My outlet for stress has changed over the years. I have entered into different types of physical activity each in an attempt to improve my mental and physical state. I used to cycle thousands of miles a year. Then I would hike or run. Now I get out of breath walking to the refrigerator.

I did go to the doctor to have my body checked out. I had a complete physical, including a "stress test" and "echo-cardiogram." My results all came back "fine."

That is good, but it causes me more stress. Now I guess I can only blame being tired on mental gymnastics. To improve my stamina, I try to run. I can't go as far or as fast as I did a year ago. I get kinda frustrated, being competitive and all. I don't think aging is a good idea.

The things it does to your body...well it just isn't very nice. Things that used to be described as "solid" or "ripped" now sag or are plump.

I wanted to express my appreciation to the technician lady who did my "stress test" and "ECG." She told me to "suck it in" and that we were going to "create a six pack." The belt she chose to use would have barely fit around Deanna's waist. Every man in the waiting room I saw had a 100 pounds on me. What in the world was she going to do to them? That puny little belt wouldn't work on them! I searched the room for a larger belt. There was none.

My perspective on the definition of "stress test" changed after that. Apparently it has more to do with embarrassing you that you can no longer fit a 28" belt around your waist. I think I was BJ's size when I last wore one of those.

Anyway, I heard a statistic recently that suggested "walking" was better than running for losing fat. Okay, so I will try walking, actually I tried it yesterday with Deanna. I just got stressed caused I wanted to be running...oh well.

I'll keep trying. That "stress" has gotta go!



At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog! I have the same struggles too! But just remember that walking gets you in shape to eventually run again! God is in the downtime!

SuzAnne Keith
Fishers, IN

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there Brent! Thanks for the funny thoughts on stress and aging. I resonate very deeply with you on these unwanted life visitors. . . I feel your pain. . .We put new tires on our tandem this week, getting ready for summer riding. You were a big inspiration for us getting our "bicycle built for two." Love ya, brother (and brother-in-law)!

Deer Park, TX

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there and done that Brent! lol Glad to know that you don't have any heart issues. (They are not fun.) You DO HAVE 6-PACK ABS! They're just surrounded by ice like mine! LOL Have a blessed day friend!
Mark, Hudson, OH \o/

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