Is a Longer Healthier Life Possible?

To answer that question we need to look at why we die. For the purpose of this discussion we will exclude accidental death, suicide and of course death by murder.

The big killers are cancer, cardiovascular events and falling down and it should be noted that death is not always quick, you can live for years in a degraded state with a low quality of life.

It’s not enough to live long if you can’t live well!

The single best thing that you can do to live long and well is to live STRONG and the best way to do that is through strength training.

Lifting weights is not going to cure cancer but if I received that awful diagnosis I would probably decline chemo and radiation and simply go on the Ketogenic diet and continue to lift weights with an emphasis on compound movements.

Ketogenic diets have been shown to prevent tumors from growing and since many times cancer patients die from body wasting, having strength and lean muscle might give me some extra time to wrap things up and maybe even have some fun!

Strength training builds muscle and if you are doing compound movements such as the bench, the squat, the deadlift and an overhead press, you are working your heart which is a muscle and you are working your entire cardiovascular system. Many people survive heart attacks but most do so in a diminished state, same with strokes.

You probably never thought of “falling down” as a killer but it just might be the cruelest of them all! We lose our balance and fall, break a hip, clavicle, ankle, wrist, arm, whatever. All of sudden we’re crippled, in pain and slow to heal. Did I mention lose of mobility and one day confined to bed? Every action a major effort!

Strength training, again the only real weapon if you don’t want weak bones. Remember, your bones are alive and if you don’t use them you lose them.

And so it seems that having strength and muscle is not just for aesthetics as strength and muscle are required for mobility and functionality.

“Expectations without a plan are just a thought.”

Time

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”

That’s the opening lyrics of “Time” by Pink Floyd. The anthem of my life so to speak.

What value can be attached to time? You can’t save it for later and time does not build up interest. Time can’t be purchased but it can be given freely, for example when someone spends time with you be aware that they are giving you something of high value.

My exhortation to you is to value every moment and take nothing for granted. The conversations, the moments of silence, the shared laughter. When you travel, try skipping the tourist sites where you’re running to and fro, a picture here and a picture there. In exchange spend time in local eateries and pubs, in vintage bookstores and shops. I guarantee that is not a waste of your time.

You are always only one decision away from a totally different life!

To Travel is to Live

With my cousin.
The Bride and Groom

This year and next year I will be having fun doing short trips, usually in conjunction with the weekend while I wait for my 30 day trip to Italy, Poland and Croatia in 2020.

As I write, I’m sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my flight to take me home from one of these shorter trips.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, flying out here for a family wedding as well as making some time for myself. Yesterday I did a 90 minute hike along the beach in Pacifica, CA. Got to watch the sunset on the Pacific. Quite amazing how fast the sun disappeared once it hit the water!

“To move, to breath, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson

In the end…..

Relaxing at the Marriott Residence Inn Fresno after a long day traveling. Two flights and a four hour drive from San Jose to Fresno, only in California does it take four hours to drive 150 miles!

I’m out here for a family wedding tomorrow, for some inspiration and to do some writing. Sunday I’m staying in Pacifica, where I’ll hike along the beach, reflecting and relaxing. Some people die in solitude while others thrive. I know that I am not the only one, who sometimes needs to walk alone, to be able to walk with a crowd.

I am using my spare time during this trip to work on the outline of my novel, to do some factual research and to ponder the ending. Now that’s tough, the ending and it’s usually the part of a fictional book that is the hardest to write and the easiest to mess up.

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” ~ The Beatles

As the World Turns

Time never stops, never slows down and I want to shout “wait for me!” So much to do and I only two hands, one brain and a single heart.

My entire life I’ve been servant, a helper, a volunteer. I had no hobbies and gave freely of my time. Still I managed to fail as a husband, I struggle as a father. I’m very good at my occupation although it no longer excites me. It’s time for some changes!

Is it selfish to want more “me time”? To wake up in the morning and instead of a crisis to manage, how about a cappuccino to enjoy, a friendly voice to share the road?

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” Frank Clark

Two Weeks Post Contest

We had a great Greek cuisine at Mykonos Cafe and I had my first post contest wine! Feels great to be able eat a bit more, that constant hunger that one has during contest prep is finally gone!

My new fitness goal is to get to an elite level of strength and conditioning for a 30 day visit to Poland, Croatia and Italy in 2020. Starting a six week powerlifting cycle as I continue my recovery diet and increasing my caloric intake, yet maintaining my contest weight at 155.

Today I’m doing some shopping, need to buy some new clothes as everything I have is way too large!

Live long and live well my friends!

Lessons Learned

I am discovering that my bodybuilding competition a couple of weeks ago is encouraging others and that encourages me. Some colleagues from work are now going to the gym and tracking macros. Another co-worker and her husband were at the show (unknown to me) and now they want to get into shape and compete! Today when I was doing squats, one of the regulars came by and she told me that she was at the show and that I rocked!

The most important lesson that I learned competing in a bodybuilding event and in the preparation for the event, is that willpower is never enough for success in any area of life. That success is built upon a foundation of habits that give us a solid structure to work from. We all have good days and bad days. Stay strong and don’t let a bad day rock your boat!