Getting Old sucks

A cozy spot for triathletes and other multi-sporters

Dstew
Bill Crothers
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:56 pm

My 82 year old mother is in a retirement building. She can drive and is completely independent. They are no in lock down but she told me they were. I bought her some coffee and I could fill out a form and visit but she stayed behind the glass door and took the coffee. It seems every email has something to the effect that I hope you are safe and healthy. I needed a few things as I would not be the least bit surprised if we go into 2 or 3 week total lockdown. I was in Walmart to get some clip on sun glasses. The clerks kept 6 feet away. In the self check out station, they have marks six feet apart. Had to get some speciality light bulbs. Kept 6 feet between me and the staff. I find myself watching a commercial and thinking, that is not good social distancing. Or a beer commercial where very attractive young people are doing what attractive young people do in a bar and I do not think she is hot but rather how unsafe that behaviour is.

Got in a nice bike ride today - just to get some groceries. The stores were not overwhelmed and it was definitely less frantic. I rode hard enough to work out a good sweat. I am slowly getting use to the new normal. The tentative plan is to go for a hike tomorrow. The funny thing is when I run, hike or bike, I always loved to do that alone. So I have been practicing social distancing for years and years.

I am finding solace in accepting my fate, whatever that might be. Not that there is no part for free will in my theory. I watched how to properly wash your hands video. I have been diligent at washing my hands and the now daily routine of wiping down the most touched surfaces. When I go out, I make sure I am keeping my distance etc. I was driving home and caught myself reaching for my eye but stopped as I had not washed my hands. But was it fate that I am taking these precautions.

I am trying to use this time to evaluate my life in thinking about what if I were to catch this and not make it. On my material wish list, a very expensive bottle of Scotch. My travel wish list; None. There are places in this world I would like to see but none on a bucket list. I hope I can still do the July bike ride and no never knows but should that be cancelled, not the end of the world. It might be neat to jog and finish one more marathon but it would only count if I were 60. There is no unfinished or pressing business. Just a few weeks ago, that was rather depressing. There was no big challenge, obstacle to overcome, mountain to climb. But now, it is oddly calming and nice.

I want to avoid being too hippy but … I had this very strange feeling that I HAD to pay off my mortgage. So for the last few years, no major vacations or purchases and everything into the mortgage. I finished that off in September and there was this sense of "is that all there is". No grand or epic sense of joy or celebration. I task, a chore done. Likely just coincidence that this sense of dread and foreboding happened before this crisis but interesting to me nevertheless. I have a theory that like a central governor, the universe through its energy talks to us. That when we listen, the outcome is better than we do not. I believe one can have every positive thought they can and things still not work out. But there are messages, hints to be picked up. Such as stop running marathons, in my case after number ??

I have been working from a home office for many years. I bought my current house 7 years ago in order to keep mine and my wife's sanity given that change. So if I never read a news article, I would have no idea everything had changed. I might wonder why my stocks are so low. Or why there is no toilet paper. But I do read, too much and everything has changed. It is very surreal.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:07 pm

Got up this morning at 8;30 and instead of heading out of a hike, stayed in bed. My back was a little sore but I went to bed with a dry cough so decided that hiking to the top of a mountain and back down if I had a cold would not be a good idea. I am now basing decisions by asking a question as to how this might impact my immune system. As it turns out, it was a hydration thing for as soon as I loaded up with water, no issues. I also decided to skip the hike because I assumed it might be busy. Looking at photos, cars will on the side of the road for I would estimate a good kilometer before the trail head. There is the physical distancing thing but I really do not want to see people on my hikes and this predates the virus.

Interesting thing about timing. Multiple marathons, an ultra and a couple of 100 mile rides and this is the year I decide I really need to cut back and moderate what I am doing. I was pulling back from my excesses at exercise and work and so this has not really impacted me yet.

I get the physical distancing as it is now being called. To avoid unnecessary contact. To practice good hygiene. But … to quote Senca: "You want to live-but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying-and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?" I say this because in looking at a photo of car after car parked on the side of the road for people going hiking on over 30 K worth to trails, the panic mob was screaming about how everyone was going to die because on this hike in the mountains, you might come across some other human beings. In my experience on bike paths, people are moving to the far side. Why is a little common sense and practicality gone? Why is it reduced to black and white: either completely ignore all guidelines or freak out and stay afraid and alone in your home? The Alberta Chief medical doctor was asked this and she said go outside with the caveat of staying 6 feet away. It is easy to do and everyone I came across today on my walk exercised that caution.

I went on a nice long walk later in the day. Then for a bike ride to grab a few things to complete my roast chicken dinner. Nice to see the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon nearly empty. Still no dry pasta but the fresh stuff was there in abundance. No Orange juice so funny how the mindless herd reacts. Everyone was very respectful and gave a wide berth. Came home, washed the hands and wiped down the items I bought so I am taking the necessary and recommended precautions without existing in fear.

My life is still not normal. But I am slowly trying to stay away from the net and news channels. the good thing is one can only read the same story or hear it on tv so many times before it stops making an impact. I was probably a very good thing that people had the living daylights scared out of them because I am not sure logic and reason would have worked. Tap the emotional first and then follow up with the logical and reason. Everyone is going to die and then this is how you keep you and your family safe.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:37 pm

Nice sunny day and the endless Covid 19 news finally had me put on my running shoes. Or more accurately my jogging shoes to attempt to rid myself of at least some of the tension and stress. No GPS but is was just under 4 K and around 15-20 minutes. I followed up with some basic weights and my metabolism was not use to this and so I have been sweating buckets. I managed the whole job without stopping and this included two noticeable hills so there is that. I even broken into a run at times but mostly, it was me trudging along. It was quite a slog but I my spirits have risen. With the ribs and everything else, I have not been elevating my heart rate and need to get back doing that.

The positive is that in the past, after 9 11 or when I first had the compression fracture in my lower back, I might fall into a resigned "depressed" mood where I would say, what is the point. What is the point not eating as many cookies as I want each day. Why go out and work up a sweat and inflict some minor pain and discomfort on myself. Why not just enjoy life. And following that, significantly increased risk of a heart attack or stroke and a rather poor attitude about everything. This time I am seeking a escape. The difference from previous times is I am going to moderate my efforts with the moderation of the moderation. That is a jog like this feels good. So over the next few weeks, what was a difficult slog is now a pleasant jog. So would then increase the intensity and duration. And since I am going to run that much, I "need/want" to have a reason to do so. One might think not having a disabling heart attack or stroke would be enough but for me, it meant an objective and goal associated with an official race. Finish upright and smiling would slowly evolve into more ambitious objectives. And then I would manage to cross over that line hurt and harm. And so ice, gels, pills, tape, etc, etc because if I eased off the pedal, I would be throwing all of that hard work down the drain. Never mind I would be sore all of the time aside from when I was running or cycling. And I was miserable to be around and everything irritated me. I had put in his work, I was going to achieve that goal because … one of those it really seemed like a good idea at the time but looking back, there is no reason I can come up. The caveat being the first time I was attempting to qualify for Boston, training to run my first Boston, my one and only ultra and the first time I did a 100 mile Fondo. The pain, the suffering and the sacrifice were worth those events.

I should add there were a number of events where I had fun training. There was the hurt but not the harm. I was not irritable or grumpy. But nor was it the overwhelming and all consuming process it could be. I had run my first Boston marathon and so weeks later, ran to qualify again and I barely remember anything of that. It was a whole bunch of fast runs and I am not sure I ever make it over 30 K and not sure any were over 25 K. Or the time I had to prove something wrong and ran the second fastest half I had ever run without a run over 16 K. And I was only running 3 or 4 times a week. Some early season trail runs fall into this category. Yes there was a goal, an objective but for whatever reason, it to not suck every bit of oxygen and energy out of my life.

I suppose this is return to when I very first started to "run". When I had no idea that some average person could pay money and have their race timed. Where the running was to deal with weight and stress and as those two were interconnected, it worked great. There was no structure. I did have to do intervals or other speed work because it was Tuesday. I ran on Tuesday because it was nice out or I NEEDED a run after a miserable day at work. At a certain point during the run, my body was signal that was enough and I would turn around and head back home.


The one silver lining out of this virus. My pet peeve in running are those people or groups that do not seem to understand the function of the yellow line. That one should always be to the right of that line whenever possible. Instead, these people straddle the line, take up both lanes and wonder from side to side as if they drunk and incapable of walking a straight line. Or some joggers 2 or 3 abreast talking to their running partner and expect you to step aside rather than for one or more to return to their side of the line. In any event, most people today were great about physical distancing but then some people were in their old and rude habits. So I had some fun with them - I would come up quietly and then just behind them, "cough." It brought me some joy to see the look of panic on their faces.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:23 pm

I do not believe my body and central governor believes me when I say I will be more moderate in my approach. The day after my first real jog in forever, I was very stiff and sore. I was able to get on my bike and ride over the deposit a cheque my mom had given me - long story but if I did not deposit that, it threw her off and so I risk the virus to ease my mom's peace of mind. I felt good on the bike so extended the ride to become more exercise than errand. And the next day I could barely move. It seems a bunch of muscles that had not been used in a certain way for many, many months decided they would and should remind me to ease into this activity.

I have been able to walk but will have to ease off the weights as I did something to my rib area. Under normal circumstances I might push it because worst comes to worst, I go the doctor. But in these times, I want to avoid any risk of that because I would prefer to have all of their resources go to other more worthy causes.

The new but still surreal normal is starting to become routine. My favorite Italian Market was open and I got some wonderful veal cannelloni and fresh bread. Their restaurant is shut down and so trying, in a responsible manner, to help support community stores. Then off to Safeway for milk. At the front entrance, disinfectant wipes. It was 11:45 am and the store was mostly empty. Everyone was keeping their distance. As a side note, same in my community with some people making a good show it by stepping well off the sidewalk and shouting, social distancing. Or at a bike path intersection stopping back to let someone pass by and them saying, thank you. There was no disinfectant wipes and not a full shelf of toilet paper or much to my dismay, chocolate milk but otherwise, one would not know they are in a health crisis. I am hoping this is more an eerier new reality than the calm before the storm.

For the last few days, I have been able to put in a full day at work. I may glance at the updates but no beeps as I have the sound turned off. It has actually been rewarding. I can spend almost as much time as I want to really go through the details of everything and do extra research instead of running putting out fires. It may be very hard to increase the pace. My manager told me that she is constantly having the conversation with herself, I need to get this done now. No you do not or you might run out of things to do by 3:00. I am very, very, very, very lucky. My job, oddly enough, has been deemed essential. But if I start to get a big head, so are pet food supply companies and bike repair shops and … I swear the list of what is "non essential" is shorter.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:14 pm

Went for a bike ride to get some chocolate milk. One store, one day, nothing. Different store, the next day, the shelves are full. Walked down the pasta aisle and there where lasagna noodles. Stopped at a independent coffee shop. One day, the shop is packed the students from the college next door and the next, a few people wonder in. When I got home, found out his shop will now have to close.

I rode to a store at the top of a series of hills as I really needed to get out of my head. As I was riding I wondered if my July bike ride will go on. It seems this is our lives for another 6 - 10 weeks at least so cannot see that going ahead. The other thing is that in a situation like this where our comfortable little world is tore apart with chaos, fear and uncertainty, it seems so silly, so superficial and meaningless if not down right stupid to pay $150 to get on a bike, pedal like hell for around 44 K. Stop, quickly refill water bottles, down some cola and energy gels or bars, get back on the bike, ride like hell 44 K back and then enjoy one beer and some pasta. To do this, get in a car, driver over an hour and cross your fingers it will not be miserable. A nice or interesting distraction but in the lens of today, how frivolous. How setting goals and objectives and using blood, sweat and tears to achieve that. Although easy for someone at the tail end of their "racing" career to say than at the beginning. That qualifying and running Boston, the 50 K race, the trail races and the long bike rides are things I hold near and dear to my heart. Thus anything I do going forward is really for "fun". To see how fast I can be but with the caveat that the training cannot be gruelling or too hard. With the virus, it is even more important for me not to test or strain my immune system for I know it is merely to see what part of the middle of the pack I will end up.

Although a race may have any an artificial meaning and point - if even to distract in a frivolous way where the results do not matter given how in the real world, what we do now can have devastating results - maybe that is the point. But setting that aside, thank goodness for running, for my biking. With the weather turning around, my City bike is ready to go. Soon, the road bike. I think - today they closed all road access to the provincial parks. Parking lots were over flowing. I had hoped to get in a hike before this happened on Monday but it did not work out. My wife is happy for her question was that she knows I hike alone but … can I really keep my distance on a trail. And right now, there is more than a little ice so do I really want to have a hospital bed right now. Forget someone else, does anyone want to be in a hospital right now? I seem to have somehow aggravated my rib injury. You know you are old when … you aggravate a rib injury by sleeping on it wrong. So walks, no weights and maybe a short bike ride are the right thing on every level.

It was nice to see today that what we are doing right now does seem to be flattening the curve. BC Health provided a model that shows that what we are doing is slowing it down. When we see stories from the Europe, it can be hard to wonder why we sacrifice if that is going to happen in any event and can forget about Korea or Japan.

In other positive news, I got paid a nice bonus this year. I had been saving up an rainy day fund as my house is such that I may need a new garage door, furnace and/or hot water tank in the not so distant future. Right now, I could live very comfortably for a year with zero income. I say that because whenever I have come close to that point - a $4,000 bike, a $5,000 sauna, a $5,000 bike with carbon wheels, a $3,000 bike … you get the picture. My job is as secure as it can be. So here I sit with a windfall of money and for the first time in maybe forever, I have zero desires or wants. I could live with a new playstation or Xbox. There are a few computer war games I would not mind owning. But I almost never play the Xbox I have. I have a number of war games on my computer waiting for me to play so these are itches I can ignore and have largely gone away. I am healthy and have everything could need or use. It is a feeling I that is oddly surreal but well in line with everything else.

If the weather is as warm as predicted, the rough plan is to go for a nice easy 20 K ride. But right now, it seems I have actually living in the moment. Everything is in pencil and subject to change on a whim and maybe for no reason.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:20 pm

Instead of + 8, Saturday was cloudy and a cool/ humid sort of - 2. So I went for a walk instead of a bike ride. Today was good for a ride but snow starting tomorrow and - 16 by mid week so decided I would put off getting the road bikes ready until I do not have to keep my bikes in the basement. When it is just warm enough to get the outdoor furniture out of storage, then the road bikes come out as well. I am hopeful that will be next week.

So I jogged, did some stair repeats and then some more jogging. Not an fast pace and took a number of walk breaks but it felt good to be out and literally be able to run away from this crisis. I am doing much better from an emotional and psychological perspective and such activities help me keep things in perspective.

My entire life has been in preparation of this pandemic. I really enjoy my own company. Once my mom called and I was out on a long run. She asked my wife if she knew where I was or how long I was going to be. My wife told me her response is she had no clue as I just disappear for hours all of the time. I bought my current house specifically to create a great home office. I have thought of joining a club to run, hike or bike but when I have seen these clubs out on the trails or roads, either having to wait for someone or being behind does not suit my personality. Plus I may have a rough plan but at one time I would go further or faster than planned. Now, I will even go shorter or slower. So when I am on my own, I can get lost in my thoughts. I can work through an issue or at times, just lose myself in the moment as I did several times today. There was no virus, no potential economic issues but rather the next step on the stairs I was running. How was my heart rate and breathing.

And as the trauma of all of this is wearing off. Where I am adapting to the new normal, I have to admit certain things are starting to get annoying. At first, my company had a number of updates. And the digital and weekly team meetings. How is everyone feeling, how are people coping. That was great and even necessary at first but human nature is human nature. The little cliques that always existed are starting to surface. The yappy know it all is once again the yappy know it all. I really enjoy the actual work but these team building activities have never had any appeal for me. I am on an Island in my home office and I am happy in this paradise. So I do not need nor want to share with someone in Ontario who has kids out of school or whatever. They give me no support and nor do I provide any. They are nice enough to have a drink and dinner with once a year or so but I not care for this get to know people I might see a total of 8 hours in person once a year. Plus what I do and how I do it is unique to me. I and none of my managers have ever figured out how it works but it does. So I cannot really share anything. And at this point in my career, I am not going to learn from someone else. Add on top of this, my industry had been facing a significant regulatory change before the virus and was to have been implemented next year so I am likely to have to change and modify how I approach my job.

As someone once told me, I can be inexpensive, I can be quick and I can provide excellent quality but you can only pick two of the three. For most of my career, I have been quick and inexpensive. I have had at time slow down and focus more on quality. So the changes were going to force me to move to quality sooner rather than later. The plan is to retire in nine years and so it is now starting to become that point in my career where big numbers are becoming less relevant. One wants to climb the ladder and gain a certain reputation, you push hard and get great numbers. But I am now at a point where that only means higher and tougher to reach expectations. And management is starting to dig deeper into my work and so the numbers are starting to no longer justify the flaws in quality. The corporate philosophy is also shifting there.

My work has been like my running or cycling. I have reached a point where I have run a work equivalent of a Boston Marathon, an ultra and 100 mile Fondo. And as with these activities, the law of diminishing returns is hitting me hard. I did not turn any request this fall and when combined with a back injury I never really let properly heal all year, by Christmas I was emotionally, psychologically and physiologically burnt out. All for, after tax, a couple of grand more. So the idea as with my exercise, focus on the quality of my activities but that can be judged not only by frequency, duration and intensity but how much fun did I have, no much pain and suffering did I inflict on myself. And with work, my numbers will not be great this year and I am going to lose a couple of thousand dollars of bonus money next year but when someone looks at my work, the quality will stand out. And I will have the self satisfaction of a job well done. Plus, the stress and anxiety of running across a high wire to get the numbers I have is something I need to get away from. It is a rush as with going fast down a hill on a bike or running fast but as I am finding out, a price that is increasingly more difficult to pay.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:02 pm

Still adjusting the to new normal. It was a little surreal as everyone was on edge, a little anxious but it did not seem much had actually changed. Then the non essential stores were closed. I had been going to the grocery store and it was slightly different but not much until I went this week. The one way aisles, the cues where to stand and a sense of fear as the many customers seemed to be afraid. As expected, some were obvious. I "had" to go first thing in the morning - great sale of Roasts my mother in law insisted I take advantage of. I was going to sneak the wrong way down an aisle, did not and grabbed some other items first. The store was rather busy. I got the meat aisle, took back but some jerk had come down the wrong way and was standing close to some person who was lingering and grabbed two of the three roasts that were left. I at least got one roast but there is still an element of a Lord of the Flies out there. The staff were happy and relaxed so rewarded my good behaviour with a Tim Horton's coffee and bagel.

Right now I am very busy with work with some caveats. Monday and Tuesday mornings, one would not know anything different was going on. Some people would wind things down a little early. This slows down so that by Friday afternoon, it is pretty much a dead stop. I volunteered for a special project that will keep even more busy for a month or two. As an added bonus, will give me some transferable skills.

I was getting into a nice routine. I would go for a run or stairs or a bike ride. Then for a walk with my wife. And then winter hit again. - 20 with wind chill and some snow. For some reason, instead of using my wonderful home gym, I was reading and watching the news all night. There was one legitimate reason, every time I did any weights I aggravated my rib injury so … But last night, tired of the constant stream of the same news. Of frigid temperatures, I got on my elliptical and started to watch Westworld. I am okay today as when my body told me to stop at 40 minutes, I did. I was somewhat surprised by my lack of endurance but spring seems to be around the corner and this will allow me to be more active.

Getting use to having one's life on hold. My wife was to attend a very large bridge tournament in the middle of June but I suspect there is zero chance that will proceed. They can get over 1,000 players and even if things are a little relaxed, I cannot see how this can go forward. Especially with the average age in their 60s and more than few in the 70s or even 80s. I have a bike ride in July. It is a couple of hundred riders and the rules have everyone go single file but … How would one work an aid station? I can see some things being relaxed but unless they can find an effective treatment, forget any mass events until there is an effective vaccine for the general population.

Before my first road race in 2004, I went to the gym, I ran 3 or 4 times a week and was blissfully ignorant one could race on an official course and get an official time. I started my home gym with one big purchase every six or so months because I had literally run myself into the ground. I eventually returned to running but for many months, happy to use that gym and go for a jog. Repeat in 2015. And this year, I had registered for the one ride and had my eye on another in September but I feel a sense of loss. It was going to be a nice distraction but not overly taxing or serious. Do a bunch of 30 - 40 K hard rides. Throw in a few 60 K rides and a handful of 80 - 90 K rides with a nice pit stop for coffee or ice cream and see how well I do against the other members of the middle of pack. I did not need this ride to motivate me to do these rides but it added just a little bit of spice, of interest. Right now, as this is one of my biggest worries, I think I am going quite well. Funny how a pandemic puts things into perspective. To show one what is really important as compared to what we had thought was important.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:11 pm

I am really, really looking forward to spring this year. It seems like a life time but about a month ago, I had been riding my bike two or three times a week regardless of the weather given my studded tires. I had hike up and over Prairie mountain. I was lifting weights and working the weak structures. I was going to ease into road biking and see how well I compared in early July. I would then do so longer mountain bike rides with my new bike and maybe one more ride in September if it was offered again. I hurt my ribs, got a cold and then the world fell apart.

The ribs seem fine now but I am not risking starting over again. I am doing some elliptical while watching Westworld. A great series thus far as an aside. But I can only do around 40 minutes right now. But I am doing 40 minutes. But I miss and NEED to get out of the house. I am fortunate in that I live on the edge of the City. So once the snow is gone, I can be on the shoulder of a highway in less than 2 minutes and no people to pass or pass me. It is literally trying to get away from all of the bad news.

At first, this was a two or three week lockdown. Now everything is cancelled until the end of June. At least. And this is our new normal for up to two years. That can be a little more than over whelming. BUT … go for a run or a bike ride, by myself as I have always done and on quiet and remote roads as I have always done brings some relief. I get the physical distancing and why we have to flatten the curve. I get no one is invincible. I have an 82 year old mother and several other relatives in their 80s so the so called sacrifice I have to make is nothing. Right now the biggest impact is instead of picking up medication every three months, it is once a month. BUT … I have no underlying conditions. So if I am smart and practice everything the expert tell us to do, in Alberta around 4% of the people who get this end up in hospital. Another 4% will die but most of them are over 70 and with an underlying issue. Bad enough odds not be stupid but on the other hand when compared to other numbers, not bad enough to have me in the fetal position and afraid to leave my house under any circumstances. No masks but I have several buffs I can use - even if to reduce the chance I spread if I have it and not know it. In the store, let someone take the roast beef I wanted rather than get within six feet of someone else lingering, etc.

There can be six to ten times the number of unreported cases so the real death and hospitalization rates could fall even further. Again, not to diminish this for I have no doubt about the nightmare scenarios. Three countries were going to try herd immunity - UK, Netherlands and Sweden and now all three have or will be moving to physical distancing in strict ways. So this is bad but not bad enough to cease living. For me, that involves going outside and exercising.



I do need to end this is on positive note. My mom lives in a retirement home. Everyone there is healthy now and they are following all of the guidelines. My mom is extra careful. The other day, my mom noticed one police car. Then another and another. Six in all and with an ambulance. Next door is a long term care center. So they drove around the buildings with lights and sirens and really made the day of everyone there. So as close as we get to Lord of the Flies as the thin veil of civilization is torn away, there is real hope things can get back to normal one day and we can return to our boring and work a day lives without too much harm to our society. To say we will survive this to me does not include physically but can we emotionally, economically and with our society intact. I read what is happening in the United States and I am even more grateful to live in Canada. But even down there, we hear about the crazies and loud mouths but most are doing what they can.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:08 am

Every time I start to get use to the new normal, I come across something else that makes it feel surreal. An empty shelf at the grocery store, the look of terror in someone's eyes when you might be a little too close in that store.

There had been hints the peak would hit Alberta around the last week or so of April. That they have to make sure of that but sometime in May, some of the more stringent restrictions would be eased. That was guess and speculation. Last night, we got the bad news. The peak will be in the middle of May and so it may not be until the end of June before there is any change. My focus had been on lives but … there has been some shift to livelihood. Although there have been emergency declarations, etc for a couple of weeks, only this week does it feel different. Someone at the store counting to see if the cap of the number of shoppers has been met. The arrows on the aisles. The plastic screens and the markers on the floor to ensure physical distancing. I have a pair of very expensive pants in a shop and the owner has offered to meet and provide the same, when I thought it was just a few more weeks, no big deal but now. What if she goes under before she can open again? I should have enough work for a month or so but two months, three months? On a logical and rational basis, I have nothing to complain about. That what the government is doing is what they have to do. But emotionally and psychologically, I am struggling. This is the great unknowns so how all of this will play out.

I have no fear of getting the virus or dying. Not that I will be careless or take any chances for no one is invincible. My fear is the long term economic future. Even then, I am well suited to have little or no impact on my life. One of the late night hosts discussed Harry and Meagan and noted, remember when they were headline.

If I take a step back, I realize that I am currently in depression with regards to this crisis. Having said that, it has not been a straight line. There was the denial at first. Low mortality rate, South Korea stopped it without shutting down the entire economy, etc. Then Italy exploded and so Denial is done with. Then there was the anger. That still pops up every so often. I am made at the virus so I take it out on people on the net who are still in the denial phase. There has been some bargaining. If I get laid off, I have enough money to last for … Or I can easily do this for a couple of weeks, a month or a little more and I can accept that, as if I have any choice or day. Then I might go to acceptance and then back to anger. With the occasional stop at depression. So I am fighting to get to and stay at acceptance.


Have had two good bike rides over the past two days. My stamina and strength suck right now. I had been going for walks, etc and so although that was likely good for my health, it is clear to me it was no good for my fitness. As it turns out, I like being relatively fit and so I am going to shift my focus to that. If even to distract me and set up something that at least gives me the illusion of control.

Dstew
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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:42 am

I had written a long and rambling rant but deleted that. For at the end I realized the source of my anxiety and stress is the consistent doom and gloom of the news and government. And combined with exchanging posts on the net with morons. I have enough work for around two months and so I am starting to really bristle at the suggestion we might be in strict lockdown for several more months. My wife needs around $10,000 in medications each year so it also makes me upset when people say how easy it is to do our part by just staying at home. I get flattening the curve and not rushing to reopen but … I was in a kiosk today. They had a buzzer so only one person could enter, plastic shield, etc. So there has to be smart ways to reopen the economy much sooner - mandatory use of masks. Cell phone blue tooth capabilities to track those who should be isolating and warn those who might be in contact. The same people who post every last detail of their lives on social media are how want their privacy protected.

What has helped and is encouraging is yesterday, 6.6 K jog. Today, a 5 K walk. I am making some small progress in improving my fitness and that is helping me. Just need to stop reading too much news and most definitely, stop reading the comments. For example, they released a model of what will happen in Alberta. My theory is that they are trying to scare the hell out of people to get better and voluntary compliance. They know a certain percentage will ignore it and the virus will spread but in a slower and more manageable manner. Why do I say this, the model was presented twice. But later on today, they had to admit that the model has 200 Albertans in hospital today when there are 44. We are far from out of the woods and need several weeks to see but … off by a factor of four. In this case, ignorance of the model would have been bliss. Peak expected around mid May or so, enough beds to deal with worst case with the restrictions and I would have been fine. But now … that raises questions and there is nothing I can say or do to change anything.

Dstew
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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:38 pm

Anger and bargaining at the same time yesterday has transformed not into acceptance but more a resignation. My wife was to play in one of Canada's largest bridge tournaments in Penticton that starts the week of June 15. I play some golf, ride my bike and visit old friends. They get well over 1,000 players at any one sitting so … I cancelled the hotel reservation. This trip has been the one and only true vacation I had taken in order to pay off the mortgage so I am sad and disappointed but what can I do. Realistically, the absolute best case is by the middle of June, they will allow maybe 50 people but regardless, they are not going to allow 1,000.

I had to pick up a few things today. Decided to take the car out of a drive. I stopped to see if this independent coffee shop was still open. No drive through but it was. It was clearly the owner who was doing everything. A young man is in 30s who had put his life savings into the shop. It was next to a small college and so there might be three staff on when it was busy. Now, it is just him and I am not sure how he is even keeping the lights on. We have to start to focus on getting our testing and tracing up to speed so that when the peak is over, we can reopen the economy in a smart way.

After running my errand, I spent time on an elliptical and treadmill watching season 2 of Westworld. It is an extremely well written series and oddly a timely one as well. The central question the show askes is what is consciousness, what is it be alive. And even further, to truly live as opposed to merely existing. The physical and mental break has helped.

We are living longer but most studies I have seen also indicate that we are not necessarily living better. And by that, the age that people start to suffer age related disability has not significantly change. Thus medicine and science are keeping people alive longer but not necessarily functional. We stick many into old facilities with four to a room and hope that a pandemic does not hit. So right now, there is this collective guilt but how long will that last. How many have to become unemployed before the strictest measures are relaxed. One example of a little over kill that I appreciate is because of optics is no golf courses are open. But courses were not going to allow carts. They were to have on line check in with your phones and spread out the golfers. There were a number of other measures to ensure social distancing. I get politically one cannot allow a golf course if the gym or playground is closed even if they can manage a golf course but not the others. Given right now there is heavy snow and - 5 but … I sure hope that the politicians have some plans in the works as some tough choices are going to have to be made. Either at the end of May or definitely by June. Right now, it is existence, it is survival. But … the death rate for someone my age in Alberta is .4%. The flu is .1%. The chance anyone will die in a car accident is .8% or 1 in 114. Again, I get we do not want to overwhelm the health care system but … living is risky and if done in a timely and smart way, it is a risk we can and should manage.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:54 am

I am not sure I am at acceptance yet but I have definitely resigned myself to the current situation. I have accepted an offer to do pandemic specific work at my company. I practice social distancing and hygiene and cleaning. I am still nervous about my wife's drugs but we are with a major pharmacy and so we should be okay.

The one thing this pandemic shows is what is important to people. I have to admit a shallow materialism. Although oddly enough, there is now very little I desire or want. I have started to run again so bought some really nice Hoka shoes. They are $190 but it is one shoe I can use where I am not crippled after a run. I enjoy a good steak so it is nice to not worry about money when I go into a grocery store. I am toying with the idea of a backyard net for me to practice golf. My lifestyle is a decent middle class and I really do enjoy it. So there is some worry about that but … I have built alliances within my company. Tried to limit my complaining and never turned down a different assignment. The pandemic work seems more like data entry than the normal analysis I would provide but that work will last for 4 - 8 weeks so no less pay and frankly, a stress free process where I do not have to think or make independent decisions is not the worst thing right now.

Watching much less tv and reading news on the net. Finished season 2 of Westworld whilst working out so physical and emotionally this has been very good. Road biking weather is on the horizon and that has improved my mood. Had pizza tonight from a small independent shop. They created a nice little shield and also asked people wear a mask or the like.

What I have accepted are the things I am powerless to control. Which is virtually everything. But I can exercise, I can read and trying to force myself to start playing games. This is all too weird and surreal right now but I am slowly trying to rebuild my world. Exercise was the first good step. Read an article that had nothing to do with the virus. Trying to rest and sleep as much as possible.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:37 pm

Went for a nice walk today. It was cold and windy but I was outside. Then for the first time in a month, was able to do weights. When I stressed, lifting iron seems to help me get rid of that. Watched Saturday Night Live and that was a very pleasant distraction from the news. There seems to be some hope on the horizon - bike weather by the end of the week. Want some good Karma so will take my city bike in to get the sealant topped off. I might be able to do that myself but … I have to walk the walk with regards to supporting small business. I even read a few articles that were not virus related.

Trying to look at the positive. I can still run and bike without any restriction. I have a job with a good deal of security. The manager that is my promoter and protector was to leave for another role within the company but decided to stay where she is. So I am feeling much better about my security but not taking anything for granted.

Resignation that I cannot do any more than I am doing is acceptance. My mom is in a retirement home that is very well run. She has her own "apartment" as it were and they seemed to be one step ahead of even the long term care. She is doing well but I will have to get some coffee for her. The in laws are in a condo with a full pantry and two full sized freezers full of food. A grandson who can drive is dropping off food. My sister is living in a remote acreage in Northern Alberta. My rich brother in law is secure in Houston. I could go on but the extended family is doing well. I face the same sense of dread and anxiety as others but I am always a 4 ready to jump up to an 8 or 9, sometimes for no reason at all. So I can forget just how good I have it. So I need to remind myself. I have done what I can do and so my destiny is now in the hands of fate. Amor Fati.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:37 pm

A good day today: Went for a jog, did 8 X stair repeats. Tried to extend the jog back but my lack of fitness caught up with me. Still, it was good to be out and about. Then took the city bike to the shop to fill up on sealant for the tubeless tires. Some snow over the next few days but then finally some decent biking weather.

The Trip to the bike shop was an interesting experience. Forgot it was holiday Monday as I went early afternoon. They only let in one customer per staff member with all of the social distancing that is required. So everyone patiently waited. I was third in line and when I was finished, someone with a tire that had to be repaired went in.

Was to start the new assignment today but there was a mix up. They seem to be treating me was the strategic reserve. I get the credit but without the hard work. That will come and I was reassured by my manager that one day, everything will return to normal.

Good news about a Canadian made testing unit that anyone can use and results in 60 minutes. They plan to produce hundreds of thousands of these units and it sounds like eventually corporations will have them and … test and trace. I have reading the British Scientists. Right now, we need to stop 70% of all interactions. With test and trace, we can ease up so that only 30% are restricted.

Good reason to jog or bike or whatever: The most common denominator for those with serious or fatal reactions to the virus seems to be obesity. Yes healthy people or other health issues can have a bad reaction but the most likely cause is being obese.

Dstew
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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:03 am

Went for a nice walk today. The forecast had been snow in the morning and rain in the afternoon - turns out it was nice and partly sunny. The walk went so well I hoped on the city bike and raced around the neighborhood. These little physical and mental breaks are working well for me.

Tried to watch the news tonight I did not last very long. Part of the problem is that many stories lack context. So one meat processing plant in South Dakota closes. A plant near Calgary shuts down a shift to allow for distancing and the herd rushes and buys up all of the pork and ground meat. It is actually depressing how many of my beliefs, more hunches at one time about how stupid and greedy the human race are seem to be confirmed. The thin veil of civilization - only heard about the run on meat as my brother in law went to buy a pork loin and there was nothing at a Costco.

I was not going to go there but … I am also getting annoyed by the media on other stories. Sweden has very few restrictions - no gatherings of more than 50 people and high school and university closed. Everything is open and the government is asking people to be smart. The journalists are jumping over the fact that their death rate is around 8% but … they are not doing extensive testing and so what is the real death rate. The government has a higher approval rating now than before. They seem to accept life is not a risk free endeavour and everyone is going to die. Meanwhile, we are listening to the WHO, an organization that praised the Chinese response when the Chinese hid the true nature of the virus. They said no human the human contact. Then missed asymptomatic can transmit. Closing borders did not work until it did. Masks are not effective until they were. We have brilliant medical minds in Canada and they should be consulted instead of the WHO. And if I hear this is the key week one more time, I am going to scream. Who knew it would be nice to hear the BC chief medical officer talk about the opioid crisis instead of just COVID 19. But then again, what the hell do I know. Just waiting for next week when I can take out my road bike.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:01 am

Took my plus size tired mountain bike out today. It was snowing but mostly slush so the 3 " tires were perfect. My brother in law warned me no ground beef at Costco and the new toilet paper panic is ground beef and pork. I rode my bike to a store in a more well to do area. I got some bacon as I have that every Sunday morning. I had thought about getting some other meat but the shelves were full. The higher end cuts of meat were on sale again - already have enough but as someone who is a bit of a meat snob, the one silver lining.

Started my pandemic specific work today. Thus I feel a little bit more secure.

I really do need to step away from the news. I bought the line that all of these politicians and health officials said about every single life is sacred and so I get enraged when I see the total and absolute neglect with regards to long term care facilities. In Alberta, 76% of the people who died are over 80. So one does not need a medical degree or be an expert in viruses to know that if that segment of the population is most vulnerable, then maybe a month ago had a restriction that a worker can only work in one home. And they have the proper gear to do their jobs without spreading the virus. In some cities one is close to being shot for sitting on a park bench but no testing, lack of training, lack of proper procedures in facilities where it is literally a life or death situation. But there is nothing I can do so … looking to next week, road bike weather.

I have a bike ride scheduled for early July. I would be shocked if it goes ahead. But I am still looking forward to road biking and so I will "train" as if it will go ahead but will hardly be devastated if it is cancelled.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:39 pm

A good day today.

Had to sit through two very long meetings but was actually able to help some people in a small way impacted financially by the pandemic. It is nice to see one's job actually make a positive benefit. Next thing I know, it is 3:00 pm. Did get in a nice job and finished off with some run intervals. I can walk right now but at my age, the true test will be tomorrow or even the morning after that.

Did not have time to really read all of the news and opinion so I was not enraged. I did have to comment on a article about how the gang that got everything wrong, the WHO, suggested blood testing to see if one has anti bodies is not the right test. Given their track record, I suspect it will be two or three weeks when the reverse themselves again but so what. It will not change the way I am working from home, social distancing or taking precautions when I go out, so I said my peace and then moved on.

On my jog, I ran into an elderly couple out of a walk. At a very safe distance of about 15 feet or more, we had a wonderful conservation. He was 73 year old and shared with me that when it was 5, the polio epidemic hit Kimberly BC. He got polio but without much impact but he says he lost a number of friends. When it was over, the school was full of children in wheelchairs. His mother wanted to leave Kimberly but was effectively barred from doing so as no family member wanted to take a polio infected child into their homes. We will survive he cheerfully says. And adapt. Playing internet crib with the grandchildren, zoom, sidewalk birthday parties and such.

To top off a nice day, I saw a delivery truck drop something off on my door step. My new Hoka running shoes. At one time I was using the minimalist running shoes and so I have to wonder what difference there might have been had I stuck with a more cushioned sole. In any event, I used my old Hokas today and as noted, can still walk. So I suspect the new and fully cushioned shoes will help even more. They are heavy and not very fast but it is not like I need to train to run. A quicker jog seems to be good enough.

Crossing my fingers about early next week + 16 and so time to get the road bike ready. No matter how stressed or anxious, I am really trying to get in a good walk, jog or bike every day. It does not hurt I am finally getting better sleep. But every so often, I have a panic attack in the middle of the night. It might be 3:00 or 5:00 am. Or even a night of restless sleep. I am taking a post supper nap in these cases. But I have found the more regular I am in my exercise, the better the sleep.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:34 pm

Took the city bike for some errands on Friday. Was able to wear bike shorts. Took the very hilly route and seemed to get stronger as the ride wore on. Yesterday, after dropping of a care package for my mom, it was a good spring cleaning for the house. It took a very long time but it was nice to see order when there is "chaos" in the outside world. Today, 3 hours to clean the garage and my four bikes. My bike was a bit sore, I was a bit tired but felt like using my new Hokas so out for a 5 K run. The average pace was 5:37 with no walk breaks so I have established a baseline.

I am beginning to accept just how powerless I am over my fate in the broad brush strokes. That I can only control a small aspect of my life. It can be a bit depressing to realize whether I excel at work or just do my job, it does not really matter at this stage of my life. Someone got some recognition from a customer but as it turns out, the employee messed up and paid too much and too soon. I was trying to go over and above and came close to making some mistakes and so realized I need to pull back. On the bright side, if I am essentially along for the ride, then I should embrace and enjoy what I can do something about. The little things such as a clean house, a clean garage or a nice job on a sunny day. Or tomorrow a 1 hour bike ride when it is + 18. I can rant, rave and ramble on about many others things and I have. So I might feel good for a few seconds and then I realize my voice is so quiet that it is barely above a whisper in a loud and crowded room. That is even more depressing or frustrating or infuriating than having no voice. But a decent jog as I today, not only provides health and fitness benefits, it is something I can mentally control and there is a actual and positive outcome. Same with a clean garage.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:16 pm

Needed a break from work and reality and the weather cooperated in my escape. It was sunny, + 15 and so off on the road bike. I am out the edge of the city and so an easy transition from City Streets to country roads. There were a few solo cyclists but a lot fewer than I thought there might be. It was fairly windy but not devastatingly so. My legs were strong and powerful but the lung had a hard time lugging the extra weight around. But as the ride went on, I felt stronger and stronger. A nice tail wind aided greatly.

I was doing great, feeling well as I entered back into the city and my neighborhood. So much so I decided to race a car and was beating them when I came around a corner. Some mental midget on a fat bike was going around the same corner on a circle when at the last second, they decided to cut in front of me. I was going around 40 kph at this juncture. The problem in swinging wide is I hit some heavy gravel. The brakes were not an option nor a hard turn to the right. My momentum had me headed to the grass meridian. Just before impact, I protected the bike and twisted so I landed on my back. I have a nice bruise on my head as my face hit the grass and fortunately, my glasses were twisted but not broken. It must have looked terrible as some woman rushed over and asked if I was okay. My reply was I could not find my glasses. She found them for me and kept asking if I was okay. I had the presence of mind to stop the ride on my garmin so I was okay.

The problem is the rib/ muscle injury was hurt again. Although I little higher. I have aggressively dealing with that to ensure not too much inflammation or spasm. Tomorrow morning will determine if those efforts will work. My chain was a little stuck but I managed to work that free with some minimal scratches. The very expensive wheels and tires were not even scuffed. My handlebars were off a little but that was a quick fix. Even took the bike out to see if I had done any damage to it and fortunately, my body took the brunt of the impact. I will heal but goodness only knows how long to get new wheels I would not want to pay for given our uncertain times.

The good news as hard as it was, as high as my average heart rate was, I managed an average speed of 30.3 kph. Considering this was my first road bike ride, I am more than thrilled. There is almost no better feeling for me coming down a slight decline, wind at my back, laboured breathing as I try to get to 50 kph. All of the stress and anxiety I feel is literally left on the road. It would have been a perfect ride but I will have to be more careful out there as there are a lot of people on bikes or running that have no clue. Good for them to be out and about so it is really up to me to keep a watchful eye on them. I had this weird feeling that this year I was going to crash so there is also a odd sense of relief that I got that over with. As noted, it was soft grass and I skidded more than anything after the initial impact so that that been asphalt or gravel, I would hate to think what would have happened. It may be even warmer tomorrow so will have to try another ride.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:36 pm

I have finally reached acceptance. With that, also a good routine.

After my fall at around 40 kph, I did not feel that bad the first night. I was more worried about my bike than my body so "had" to go for a ride the next day. I had a 50 kph head wind going out. That put some strain on the ribs/ shoulder. On the way back, I motored and had some fun. I was sore but not think much of it until I was ready for bed. Every slight move created pain. I ended up sleeping on a recliner and lost track of the number of times I woke up from the pain.

I wrapped up the ribs and used my city bike to deposit a cheque and support a small little café. I was sore again so did everything I did the first night. I even put a soft pillow on the sore spot and wrapped it to my body. I had one last heavy duty muscle relaxant from two years ago and although I am still in pain, I can go long stretches without knowing it. I am trying to do some stretching and using the Dr. Ho Tens like machine and that has helped.

A little awkward at the grocery store as you can see people having to fight off old habits and follow the guidelines. But my freezers are now full so if there is a shortage of supply of meat, I am good for several weeks.

Still getting use to working with different groups at work. Despite the world in chaos, it is almost reassuring to see that big corporation bureaucracy and petty politics is still alive and well. Tick off all of the boxes on the from and with the exacting language or get your wrist slapped. I would normally rebel against such nonsense but I am just too tired from the general stress and anxiety due to the state of the world to be bothered.

With the first small glimmers of hope that we might be able to move back slightly towards some normalcy, the stress and anxiety is also slowly seeping away.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:57 pm

The Alberta government has cancelled summer. To be more specific, all summer events. Thus it comes as no surprise that my bike riding event is also cancelled. It was to be held on July 11. There had been some suggestion it might be moved to later in the year but it is very clear a policy decision to not have any events this summer has been made.

I am not afraid of the virus in theory but … nor am I rushing out to expose myself to it either. I continue to live - I am going for walks, jogs and bike rides but with the social distancing guidelines. I may have been willing to take a chance but I would not blame anyone for not wanting to volunteer or even ride with a few hundred people. The odds may be small but they would not be zero.

The registration has been moved to next year. The best way I can describe my feelings is more a matter of fact. I am not shocked, sad or disappointed. My legs are in great shape for this time of year. I suspect I could get my lungs up to speed by the time July 11, 2020 came around. But funny how a world wide pandemic puts such an event into its proper perspective. It is a nice distraction. Something to add a little spice to one's workouts but hardly essential. At other times in my life, I am have even been angry about it but how, it is no big deal.

Had a really good rest day today. Was very busy with work so it almost forced me to just heal. I actually slept through most of the night and for most of the day today, barely noticed. But there is a now a very sharp pain in a very specific location so there is more healing to do. I had planned on a 45 K ride tomorrow but that is looking more and more like a 20 k ride, if that. In the past, I would have taped myself up, popped a few pills and toughed it out. Now, especially without any events coming up this year, I am more inclined to wait until I am fully healed. So what if I lose a little fitness in the process.

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Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:26 pm

Given where and the type of pain, I believe I damaged my intercostal muscles around the ribs. The one very annoying aspect of this is when the pain flares up, I have this, to use the words of my dear wife, "an old lady dry cough". It is slowly healing but I am trying to avoid anything that aggravates it. A short jog was not great so that means I am walking.

At the same time, my motivation is very low. Partly due to my injury. Partly because I am extremely busy at work and when I am allowed to set my own pace, when given "X" number of tasks, I tend to put my head down and not take the foot off the gas until at or near the finish line. And there is a general sense or mood or vibe created by COVID 19 that has life on pause, on hold. Under normal circumstances I would have gotten on my road bike, did a 45 minute or so ride as a nice break. But I looked outside and it was a little bit windy. It was a little cool to wear the summer bike kit and so I passed. A general sense of gloom where my nihilist tendencies can emerge in that there is no point, no reason to go out and do anything until we have a vaccine. That dark thoughts even went as far as to ask why do I even need a road bike. Having said that, my mind did answer that with good weather and when I am healthy, it can one of the best modes of escape I can find. I am literally at peace and my heart of full of contentment when I am on a bike and hit a good rhythm.

I am not reading right now. Nor playing any of the computer games I bought. Up until recently it was get up. Start the work computer. See what is what and then read about the virus on the net. Do some work. Take a break to watch the virus news on the television and repeat to one extent or the other.

Today might be the start of a new pattern. It got up, started work. No surfing on the net. I did take a 5 minute tv break but was quickly bored and returned to work. Watched a little news today but more the late night talk shows I had taped. Also watching a number of sports documentaries, 30 for 30 that are great. Although I could to watch the end of the documentary about Terry Fox as that was too emotionally hard for me. Gets me every time. Watched Survivor as a nice escape. Watched a few minutes of news on a number of different channels but I believe that they are running out of topics. And to use a Bill Maher term, too much panic porn for my liking. No context just trying to scare people. But there are also some more stories about why and how to reopen and that is encouraging.

Got into a twitter war with some overly emotional person. The second night in a row. I was merely agreeing with the Alberta Chief medical officer that the data suggests we can start to plan for a prudent and reasoned easing of some restrictions. But there are these virtue signalling morons who are arguing we need to tighten the lockdown even further so that not only no one else dies, no one else even gets the virus. Realized my blood pressure as starting to build and build in these fights so deleted the app. At the end of the day, government policy is not decided by two random people on twitter and so I was accomplishing nothing. Plus, I wrote that why not allow small retailers who can enforce social distancing, plastic screens for the clerks, etc and the response was I was suggesting a complete free for all where everyone gets the virus. So there is no real debate and instead people merely respond to straw men. A silly waste of time that would be better spent reading the stack of books I had set aside for my quarantine reading. Or to fight the Battle of Waterloo.

The most ironic thing is that aside from some brief lapses, generally speaking I have been on auto pilot in a repeating loop where my one argument for a small step towards reopening society is we need to learn to live with this virus rather than just survive. I do wonder how much is hardwired into my DNA? New threat, survival mode kicks in. Even when logic and reason is applied to data suggest otherwise. I hope that as I have recognised this habit and pattern, I can break it. Deleting twitter. One session to quickly read the internet articles at the end of the day. But to actually start living.

And in living, also try to learn from my past mistakes. If my muscles are not fully healed, do not tape and ice, etc but rather let them heal. One advantage to not having any events this year is there is no real or perceived consequence. If on July 11 I cannot maintain a 30 kph speed over 87 K, it does not matter in the slightest. Or if I cannot run more than 5 K. Etc, etc. 2020 may very ironically be the year of healing for me.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat May 02, 2020 10:57 pm

Taped up the shoulder/ ribs, hopped on the road bike and hit the rural highways. When I had done a grocery run earlier in the day, I saw at least 10 cyclists heading for the route I was going to do. It was not terribly busy or at least no more busy than a normal Saturday. I social distantly passed several cyclists and was only passed once by a young stud so was happy with the legs and lungs. The light south wind was brisk and from the southeast and so I was fighting a cross/ head wind on the way home. At around the 30 K mark into a 50 K ride, I was starting to lose some energy. My average speed was around 29 kph and given this was the longest ride yet and with the head wind, I was happy. I was very stiff and sore following the ride but a nice sauna dealt with most of those aches and pains. Just starting to get my cycling legs to see the long term forecast is for off and on showers and + 10 for the next two weeks. My have to tough out a fewer hard and shorter rides.

The new normal is starting to feel just normal. It helps that in the sauna I was watching the CBC news channel and they literally ran out of news after 30 minutes so started to show the same stories over and over again. I believe having the birthday of a Royal Child is a great sign that we are finally adapting to this new threat.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat May 09, 2020 2:36 pm

Be careful of what you wish for. I was worried about my job security at the beginning of the pandemic. 2 or 3 week lockdown. No worries. 2 or 3 month, some concern but no panic. But at one point when it was "the virus sets the time table", panic. So when asked if I would like to volunteer to help with pandemic work, I jumped at the opportunity. I was even a little concerned when coworkers were brought on board before I was.

At first, I could do the pandemic work and my old job. Then the pace picked up and I had to allow someone to take up my non pandemic work. But that was okay, if I worked day, night and weekends, I could finish what was expected of me. The light was at the end of the tunnel. Then … sorry, when we said X, we might X times 2. Now it might be X time 3 or 4 but I suspect they have no clue as to what the end looks like.

The only good news out of this is it is cold, wet and windy. My body is still healing from my last big crash. Thus even if I wanted to get out and do things, the weather and my body are not cooperating.

This has been a good test of my stoicism. I have let my emotion, my temper get the best of me at times. As with the other team members who are use to clear and constant instructions and expectations. The situation is nothing short of chaos and we have literally not gone two straight days in the last three weeks without at least one change to procedure, a change to expectations. The venting to my wife or coworkers has not been totally satisfying. But what has worked bring me peace and calm is to attack the challenge in a logical and methodical manner. That has been so successful management has asked me to put my process down on paper. It is not perfect for I was looking at the tasks I have to do, trying to break it down into manageable sections. I do 5 or 10 and I reward myself with a cookie, etc. But right now, I am overwhelmed. But I now this will pass.

It does not appear we will be seeing summer for a number of more weeks and so I can take solace in that. And incentive to plow through the work in order to be ready to enjoy the weather when it finally breaks.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat May 16, 2020 10:13 pm

My days are get up around 7:00 am or so. Turn on the computer, get some yogurt, a coffee. Deal with the approvals from the work before. I work for a large corporation so there will be at least two meetings. Do some more work. Chat with my buddy who works for the same company who is based in a different city. Do some more work. Lunch is a chocolate and some milk. Go for a late afternoon walk with my wife. More work. Eat. Watch tv for a show or three. Shut it down between 11:00 pm to midnight. Repeat. The rush and urgent work is starting to slow down. So the other day, a 5 K jog. This long weekend Saturday was work, walk, bike, work. A couple of days ago, snuck out and got in nine holes of golf.

The works itself is "customer facing" and it turns out I am fairly good at that part. I can push through a ton of work but it may not be pretty or to the strict protocols in place. But as I have found in the past, you do more than anyone else, management tends to be more forgiving of some administrative errors. It has been very rewarding for I am making a real difference in people's lives. The other day, had a little CBD oil, had a 90s alternative internet rock station on and my wife heard me singing.

The interesting thing in doing work that matters, that I can see an immediate impact and result has challenged a lot of my pre pandemic thoughts and feelings. I have now golfed, road biked, mountain biked and jogged and although I have enjoyed these activities, I lack passion. Today, for example I did some yard work and rode the mountain bike in the neighborhood as the forecast was for 20 - 40 kph winds and did not have the slightest inclination to fight the winds on the road bike. I have ridden into a 70 kph wind in the past.

I have no desire or need to improve. To challenge myself. I will still work up a good sweat but … I do not have the drive to go further or faster or … It is a odd feeling to see the weather forecast for rain Tuesday through Friday of next week and not really care there will not be any biking or golfing. At one point, I would have been disappointed at such a forecast. And now, so what.

I am thinking, maybe even hoping that once this special pandemic work is over, that I will shift back to some degree. Right now, the work is all encompassing and so hard to have any other thoughts. I obsess about things, get a laser focus and so my time and energy is on the project. The one good sign is logically and rationally I know I need to take break - golf, run, bike. And have "forced" myself to do so. But I cannot see I will go back to the old ways. But that is not a terrible thing. A weekly nine hole round without keeping score is where was at. I am starting to jog more but just happy I can do that. Yes, the thought of a race will enter my mind but then I think, but do I really want to train for that. The road bike is great but right now, stick to 60 minute rides. This does not get me ready to do a Fondo of any length but there are none in the immediate horizon to do. A couple of driveable distance ones are still planned but I am not sure they will go ahead.

I suppose without anything to train for, I am not training. Again, an odd sensation where I am just doing what I feel like. So today, some yard work and just doing a few close hills on the mountain bike. Not to get better in any way but more just to do. Maybe I had been living so much in the future or the past that actually living in the present is weird. But a weird I could get use to?


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