08/30/19 I can almost taste it.

I went to the gym early today because I had babysitting tonight.

That 15 minute mile goal I set is getting so close, I can taste it.

It’s funny. I really get into it hard for 15-16 minutes, drenching myself in sweat…then slow down to a lower pace for the last 15 or so…so if you just showed up and saw me walking that pace and covered in that much sweat, you’d be like “That dude needs to come to the gym more!”

Lol!

So…I have been putting some thought into going back to school to be a teacher. My therapist told me that when she looks at me, she sees the letters “Ph.D”, and that she thinks I would do well surrounded by intelligent people who care about education. She also said she could see me teaching.

The idea of being a Biology teacher has crossed my mind, and when I really think about it…I would probably want to teach at a college level. I don’t think I could handle trying to teach children in society today.

I have dome SOME research, and found an online college that offers biology teaching degrees, with a cert that works in all 50 states, and has cheaper tuition than pretty much any college.

I already have an Associates in Environmental science, that should transfer. I could bang out an accelerated Bachelor’s in no time, and I might be able to find a college that would pay me to work there AND pay for my Master’s.

Worse case scenario, I end up with a Bachelor’s and some debt.

All I know is I like my current job, but I don’t want to do it forever. It doesn’t challenge me intellectually. I literally take glue from drums or pails and down pack it for sale. That’s really it.

I like teaching people things. I like learning. I like Biology and ecology. Why not get paid to teach those subjects?

For years I have felt almost trapped in the area I live in. Rooted to a job, my marriage, my family. My dad moved to SC, and pretty much left me to take up helping my grandparents at their house (they had 13 acres and a lot of chores that needed doing.) Grandma sold the house and Grandpa passed last year, so that is not a thing anymore. My marriage is not a thing. Sure, I have quite a few animals, namely spiders, snakes and cats…but they can be moved. My brother is debating moving to a different state…

There is nothing really tying me down here anymore. I am not saying my marriage was an anchor or anything, keeping me from “living my dream” or anything like that, but it is much easier for one person to relocate if need be.

Honestly, I would probably try to find a job in this state anyway, as Connecticut pays professors a little better than many other states, and I might not even want to do it full time. I could work my current job, and be an adjunct professor at a community college. I may actually prefer a community college, as I like smaller classes where I could learn names and not just see 200 students who are numbers.

Anyway, I have a lot of research and planning to do before I jump the gun, but the idea of becoming a teacher of some sort does feel really right to me.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

06/28/19 Happy Birthday to me…

So it is my 38th birthday.

I went to work. I went to the gym. I “took it easy,” but still did well.

I still did a 19 minute mile, and did 680 lbs on my leg press. Not too shabby.

So now the serious talk. This is a rough birthday for me. I am 38. Two years from 40. I have been so stagnant for the last 15 years, that I have practically been dead. I have not accomplished anything in that time, other than racking up credit card debt on bullshit I didn’t need.

So here I am, pushing 40…renting a house I hate living in, headed for a divorce, and I am just tired. I don’t know if I have it in me to meet someone else, go through the song and dance of getting to know someone, meeting their parents, etc etc. I just keep thinking I am destined to die alone.

But that is old me talking. New me checks his passions and realizes it has only been a few weeks since the separation from my wife. New me realizes that this situation isn’t going to get better until we are physically separated, which could be 5-6 months. New me wants to believe there is someone else out there.

But old me…pessimist me. “Nice Guy” me…he convinces me to open a dating site profile “just to see”…and sees a lot of women…who want kids. Old me realizes he was talked into a vasectomy and just went along with it because he was convinced that kids were out of the question, and he would do anything to avoid confrontation, so it “made sense” for him to get clipped. It was easier and cheaper….but he was also not 100% convinced he didn’t want kids at some point on the future…

New me says “Well, if you find someone and decide you do want a kid or two, you can get it reversed.”

Old me knows that is expensive and not always successful.

Old me is a tough bastard to kill…but I am working on it.

Don’t mind my rambling. Just venting it out. I don’t like to dump this on people because it is something I have to fix, and only I can fix it…but I felt like I needed to get it out onto a physical medium, and that is what this blog is for me, so…

Anyway, remember…

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

8/26/19 Back to it!

I know…I know. I skipped two blog days last week. I missed Wednesday and Friday. I also missed those days at the gym. There is a reason. I was sick. I caught a Summer cold. I am not one to bring that to the gym and spread it, nor did I feel like going. I went to work Thursday, stayed for 1.5 hours and left…then slept all day.

But today I felt better. Not 100%, but better. In fact…

New best! That 15 minute mile is getting closer and closer!

And Erin did a 10 minute mile.

I was so very sweaty. And sorry to the girl behind me for getting you in my selfie. (As if she will ever see this. Lol.)

Then we did Chest and triceps.

So for non-gym talk, I recently started listening to an Audiobook.

“No more Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover.

The book has a deceiving title. It is not about become less of a nice person. It is about “Nice guys.” You know the type. The human doormats who never get their needs met. The ones who hide their feelings from everyone in fear of being abandoned and rejected. The boring ones who try to be perfect so everyone will love them. The ones who seek validation from others and more often than not, women.

In other words…me.

I thought I got rid of that man a long time ago, but boy was I wrong. I just evolved into hiding him better. Blech.

It is hard to explain how much this book has opened my eyes.

I highly suggest reading it, if you are a “nice guy”, or you are in a relationship with one.

You can buy it here. https://amzn.to/2HsI9hX

After my first listen, I am going to go back through my physical copy and do all the exercises.

Hopefully I can become an integrated man, as Dr. Glover puts it.

That’s all for now.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Health at any size.

Monday was uneventful at the gym. I took it easy due to being extremely tired. Turns out the reason for that is I was getting sick. I actually skipped today because I feel like crud, and I don’t want to be that guy who brings his cold to the gym (though I think that is where I picked it up.)

So for today, I want to talk about the “Health at every size” movement and obesity.

I saw a great video on the topic from Obese to beast today.

Honestly, I agree with him. I am all for being “happy in your skin” and respecting everyone, regardless of size, age, gender, pronoun choice, color etc. However, “health at any size” is dangerous. Being obese, or in my case, morbidly obese, is not a good thing. Even IF my heart is healthy, other parts of my body suffer. My knees hurt. My lower back is being compressed in ways it is not supposed to be compressed and I have back pain from it. I have bounced from pre-diabetic, to diabetic, to in remission, to back to pre-diabetic, depending on how much care and effort I am putting into my diet. That is not good for my body.

Being morbidly obese has affected my sex life. I can pretty much only have sex in 2 positions and that gets boring, fast. It isn’t the cause of my current impending divorce, but I am sure it is factor.

It has affected my relationships with both my wife and friends. My wife likes going for nature walks. My best friend loves to hike. Both have invited me countless times, and I have passed because A: I sweat like a mule and B: My back only holds up for so long before it becomes a major problem. It sucks not being able to spend quality time with my loved ones in nature, because my body doesn’t want to cooperate.

And quite frankly, and kind of chest pain becomes terrifying. I tweaked a muscle in my chest at work one day, and it hurt. It started hurting more and more, and I got so legitimately worried that I was having a heart attack, I went to the Emergency room. I spent 4 hours, and $200 to find out I was fine. No signs of heart problems…but even after being told that, I had it in the back of my mind that this was it.

I have a 4 year old nephew. I would like to see him grow and mature into an adult man. The other day he asked me to chase him and I couldn’t because I can’t really run.

I want to sit on a porch as an old man with my best friend, smoke a pipe and yell at teenagers.

I want to live damn it!

That is a large part of the beginning of this journey. I don’t want to be another obesity statistic. I am tired of being tired all the time. Tired of being sweaty and uncomfortable. Tired of having to pay 2 extra dollars for a t-shirt because of the extra fabric. Tired of Walmart only havig 2 pairs of pants that will fit me, and one of them being camo pattern. (Blech).

I am not getting any younger, and it is not getting easier, but I have to do it.

I have to do it for me.

And if you are out there, comfortable in your skin, but obese or morbidly obese…I am happy you are comfortable and confident, but drop the weight. Do it for you. Do it to live longer. Do it to defy expectations. Do it.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/16/19

So I was alone at the gym tonight. Erin has not felt well this week, and Friday is husband night for Ashley.

As seems to be what I do when alone at the gym…

I…absolutely…CRUSHED IT!

Shaved a whole minute off my mile time!

I should mention…I am a 368 lb man, so this is amazing to me. The last time I had a mile time like this was high school, and I cheated! Lol. I did 3 laps and told the gym teacher I had done 4.

This was the full cardio. I was raining sweat. Like…literally. Felt great though.

Even my arms were sweaty!

I then went on to do shoulders, biceps, back and core.

Afterwards, I went to Erin’s to smoke our tobacco pipes and talk stoicism. It was a great conversation.

I was having a rough brain day today from a conversation with Christine last night, but it has passed. I tend to succumb to emotional extremes more when I am tired, and I have not been sleeping well lately.

Listened to a great episode of “The Practical Stoic” Podcast today.

And posted a video to my Reptile Nexus youtube channel. I have not done that in a long time, as I have just not been in the head space for it.

That’s it for now. I will post another stoicism based post soon. It is 11:54 pm and I need sleep.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/15/19

So went to the gym yesterday. Ashley and Erin came with me. We all looked and felt just straight up tired and worn out, so we took it easy. No personal bests, no crazy lifts…just a basic work out. Legs and cardio.

Ashley is a ballerina, so that frog looking leg press deal is her working specific leg muscles to make dance easier.

I don’t really have the desire to go into a stoic speech today, or talk about much else. Christine and I have decided that divorce is imminent and her moving out is an ultimate goal. Until then, we are married on paper for convenience (I have awesome insurance) and that is fine. I am not even close to thinking about a relationship with anyone else for a LONG time, be it someone new or our marriage working out. Either way, us living apart is going to ultimately be a good thing for both of us in the long run, and something we both need to fix ourselves.

I’m sure I will have more to talk about in the next blog, I am just literally tired (haven’t been sleeping well), and in a poor head space today.

Anyway, remember…

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/12/19

Alone again for the gym, but I went…and CRUSHED IT HARD!

Took a full minute off my mile time. I got tighter shoes, and had a slow jog going for a minute. Then I wrecked my chest and triceps and literally dripped sweat. I love it!

You can see how soaked that sweat band is.

Today’s topic is anger. So Christine (my wife that I am separated from) has a date Saturday. My best friend Tim, got so angry at this when I told him. He went on a rant about how I should be angry and if he was me he would kick her out and make her life miserable etc etc etc.

But I am not angry. Hell, I told her to start dating other people. It was my idea. We have been together since she was 20. For 11 years I have been her only adult relationship, and I messed up by not dealing with my problems and hiding from them in video games. I would come home and bury my attention in Ark from the time I got home until I went to bed, only taking a break for dinner (during which I often kept the game up…), and it took a toll on our relationship. I see this, and I accept it. That is part of being a mature adult, and a practicing stoic.

“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

The whole point of this journey is to become a better person. Breaking down, whining, crying and pointing fingers at others serves me no purpose. Embracing my failure and using it to strengthen myself as a person, brings me closer to calm and therefore, closer to a virtuous life.

Here is one from Seneca on the matter of anger.

“How much better to heal than seek revenge from injury. Vengeance wastes a lot of time and exposes you to many more injuries than the first that sparked it. Anger always outlasts hurt. Best to take the opposite course. Would anyone think it normal to return a kick to a mule or a bite to a dog?” -Seneca

Sure, I can be angry. I could be hateful and spiteful and full of impotent rage, but what is the point? It won’t fix my problems, or marriage. It won’t fix me, and it will steer me farther from the path to inner tranquility and virtue. Remember this the next time anger wells up in your heart…will smashing things and screaming vulgarities really make you feel better?

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/10/19 My gift to me

So today I went to work and got myself some sweet, sweet overtime.

And my gift to me was dropped off. What is it?

This.

I have to remember to take sideways pics with my phone…because I still don’t know how to rotate them here. Anyway, I got myself an aluminum canoe.

Now I plan on hammering out some dents, sanding it down and painting it. Give it some new life…

And with that, comes the chance to take friends, myself, my nephew…whomever, on lake adventures! Enjoy some solitude and nature. Fish. Just be present.

Can’t wait, but I have to do it slowly. I still need cross-bars for my roof rack, a life vest (I am gonna get a belt that has a pull tab deal and inflatable thing, that way I am not wearing a bulky vest all the time) and a few other odds and ends.

I am excited. I have wanted a canoe FOREVER, and I finally have one.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/09/2019

Today was nothing out of the ordinary. Went to work, filled glue. Going in tomorrow for 4 hours of overtime. 6 hours total this week. Fine by me. It will pay for my present to myself that SHOULD be delivered tomorrow. Can’t wait!

So again I was alone for the gym today. Ashley had family stuff, and Erin was working second shift. I wanted so badly to skip and relax…but that is how it starts with me. I skip a day…then another, then pretty soon I am not going again…

Not this time.

I went to the gym. I did my shoulders, back and biceps. Then I did cardio, even though my legs are still quite sore from the 748 lb leg press on Wednesday. Still though…

I managed to keep it under 20 minutes for a mile, again! Even with super sore legs. I think slow jogging comes next, but I need slightly smaller shoes. I always buy my shoes a tad larger due to super flat feet, but that doesn’t do me any good when on a treadmill. My feet slide around in my shoes, causing friction.

I got quite sweaty today.

And now, I head to bed. I am tired and need to be up around 5:30am tomorrow for work. Sweet, sweet overtime. It happens rarely, so I take it when I can.

Remember,

There’s more to life than paying bills and dying.

8/8/2019 Luke Smash!

So today was a long one. I usually work 7:30-3:30. Due to some errors, which were not a big deal, I was super busy today trying to get an order that absolutely HAD to ship today, as well as all the products for Thursday’s weekly shipment to Germany, filled. Had some help and got the syringes done, as well as most of what I could get done for tomorrow. I can finish the last of it in the morning.

Erin canceled on me for the gym due to not feeling well. He hasn’t had a day off work in a month, so I get it. Ashley had family stuffs to do. So I had two options…skip today and make it up tomorrow for the gym, or go…and gym it alone.

I went.

And boy did I go.

First…

My goal of getting my mile under 20 minutes. You know, the one I set two days ago? Absolutely obliterated it! This wasn’t the whole cardio stint. I do 30 minutes.

I also set an arbitrary goal of pressing double my body weight on the leg press. Well, I was 372 this morning, so I would have to press 744 lbs to do twice my body weight.

Set 3, 10 reps…748 lbs!

LUKE SMASH PUNY GOALS!!!!

I got a bit sweaty too, as I tend to do. Lol.

I don’t really feel like waxing philosophically today, but I will mention that therapy went well yesterday. Cindy is nice, and she doesn’t seem to think I have ADHD. She thinks it is a combo of depression, video game addiction and a traumatic childhood. (No joke, I can’t remember before age 8…when my parents got divorced.) Going to keep at it. Tuesdays at 4pm from now on. I think it will be good.

I am getting myself a present this weekend. Something I have wanted forever. I will post pics when I get it.

Remember,

There’s more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke