Time for an overhaul

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, February 24, 2011

I was once told by some wise, old friend that sometimes in life you have to work on yourself. You have to kick your tires and put yourself up on the rack to see how all the systems are running. (For some reason, I think this old friend was a mechanic.) And after 34 years of pretty much running on as many cylinders as I could, I’ve finally started to heed that advice.

I’ve started dedicating a couple of mornings a week to repairing the damages that constantly working can cause. After all, there’s only so much pizza, cheeseburgers and mountains of Chinese food a body can take before it starts to exact its revenge.

So far, I’ve learned only a couple of things during these rehabilitative mornings off.

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For one, it is never a good idea to stop exercising for an extended period of time. Getting started again just plain hurts. A sit-up that used to feel like a mild discomfort now feels like someone is trying to win a giant teddy bear at a carnival by taking a huge swing with a mallet on my back.

As for getting cardio training, I had no idea that marching in place for five minutes straight could feel like you’ve just climbed Mt. Fuji, with Mt. Fuji on your back.

But I’m no quitter this time around. I realize that my life expectancy is at least good enough to not want to spend my middle age years in a HoverRound. After all, if 40 is the new 30, then by logic alone, 30 must be the new 20. And there’s no way I’m spending my new 20s on the sidelines.

Another thing I’ve learned is that a good night’s sleep has been very underrated in my life. Of course, being an insomniac on top of everything else, I should say I’ve never truly had a chance to rate a good night’s sleep.

But more exercise has also brought a greater need for sleep. And arising from a complete night’s rest makes a big difference in the rest of the day.

Finally, I’ve had to find a new way to appreciate an old friend. That old friend, you may all well know, is food. Something my doctor keeps saying finally makes sense: Observe how certain foods make you feel and avoid them if they make you feel awful. So, I’ve started to be a bit more aware of what goes into my pie hole.

Though I know it’s never an easy highway back to good health, I feel better than ever about the one I’m on these days.

So, it is wise advice to work on yourself every now and again, good people of Suffolk. Like any good vehicle, whether human or otherwise, what you get out of it is only as good as what you put into it.