Last week there was no Friday Fitness for reasons. Kea needed specialist help and surgery, and I spent most of that week being a worried husband. This is a situation where knowledge — particularly obsolete knowledge — is a very bad thing. The recovery has been frustrating for her. I had surgery earlier this year (which was relatively minor) and we both have found that being the spouse is far, far worse than being the patient.
Both my sons have finished university and left town: though the lived in the student quarter for the last couple of years they were “always around”. I miss them.
Both Kea and I have had to return to fitness and self care after years of being alone, trying multiple things, and getting less healthy, not more so. We had our fair share of crises. We both raised children alone — for over a decade. It was hard.
Since we married, we have had multiple crises: within the family and without.
Crises can cause you to grow.
Adam’s wife walked out a year ago. This is what he wrote… a year down the track.
I am quite proud of how I have handled this year. I managed to follow my own advice and not do anything too stupid. This is a considerable achievement when your life has fallen to pieces around you as the opportunities for stupidity are many and varied. I suppose the key to this was to go to ground, to not let the outside in. I worked, I went to the gym, I kept this website going, and on weekends I made sure to be very calm indeed. I saw no women at all; in fact, I made a distinct point of not partaking of any random opportunities that happened to cross my path. It helped that the random opportunities themselves were mediocre. The big guy looking out for me I presume.
Another aspect was that I viewed my circumstances as a personal challenge. We’re often good at personal challenges that are extraneous to ourselves, such as winning a race or writing a book. But when we are entwined with the personal challenge at an emotional level, that’s when things can get very difficult indeed, and this was about as difficult as it gets in that respect. So to have passed this challenge intact I am somewhat glad. I still wish that I needn’t have gone through this but we don’t get to pick what life throws at us.
Finally, because of the divorce I went back to Church after an absence of over 35 years. The old cliche that He works in mysterious ways is rather apt I suppose, although this wasn’t that mysterious; more like a giant kick in the butt. But I heard, and I listened, and that is the important thing. This never would have happened if I would have stayed married so I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. And because of that knowledge I find myself at peace with my life, which is a remarkable turnaround from that conversation a year ago.
I’m not that proud, though this year I’m down on the weight, the balance is better, and my fitness is better. My productivity is up. Because the past is gone. I’m aiming to improve. Perhaps that will make Kea happier. Perhaps I’ll meet my fitness goals.
But I am more interested in the growth of others. I am more interested in giving the glory to God, for the improvements in life generally come when God kicks me in the bum. Hard.
I have produced, read, shredded, and generally dealt with research papers for pay for years. I generally don’t talk much about such here — perhaps I should, but I will confirm one thing: the press release is not the paper, and the newspaper report is not the press release. In the simplification, all the subtle things that matter are lost.
The better blogs are better than the newspaper, and Mark has a good guide in how to proceed.
Learning to read them is an important skill, however, in today’s environment of what I call “research sensationalism.” This is where the popular media gets hold of a scientific research report and blows the findings WAY out of proportion, usually while misrepresenting what the researchers actually did and/or found. You know what I’m talking about.
Unfortunately, you can’t trust popular media reports about scientific research studies. Too often, it’s shockingly evident that the people writing these reports (a) aren’t trained to evaluate scientific research, and (b) are just parroting whatever newswire release they got that morning with no apparent fact-checking.
Thus, if staying informed is important to you—or you just want to be able to shut down all the fearmongers in your life—you need to learn how to read the original journal articles and form your own judgments. You don’t have to become an expert in every scientific field, nor a statistician, to do so. With a little know-how, you can at least decide if the popular media reports seem accurate and if any given study is worth your time and energy.
For what it is worth, the progress over the last week has been — dramatic for Kea.
|Change this week||-3.4 kg||-0.7 kg|
|From baseline||-8.4 kg||-7.1 kg|