Friday, August 27, 2010

Working is for Chumps

I know people who love their jobs. I know people who feel fulfilled and satisfied with their careers. I even know people who are of age to retire, but choose to continue to work. I am not one of those people.

I have never really liked working. I don't feel that work enhances my life or makes me feel good. The only real satisfaction I get from a job is the money I receive from it. I really find it to be more of a chore than anything else and I don't like to do chores.

I guess the best job I ever had was the first job I had. For the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I was an ice cream scooper. I worked at a local drug store (more like a small Target of today) where there was an ice cream counter. We didn't do anything fancy like shakes or sundaes, but we did do cones and cups or hand packed containers.

I don't know what made it such a great job. I guess we were busy - it was summer and we sold a single scoop of ice cream for 35 cents. Maybe it was the fun of being the first job and first paycheck I ever received. We did have a fun staff. Most of them were also high school students, so we knew of each other. It could have been the old fashioned cash register with the big buttons. You would have to push the 30 cent button, then the 5 cent button, then sub total, and then the big black key for final total to get the drawer to open. I even enjoyed the menial tasks like refilling the inventory and cleaning the utensils. The joys of youth.

Every job since then has become a little less enjoyable. I guess the youthful days of summer are gone. I don't hate my current job, but I can certainly think of other things I would rather be doing. I would retire tomorrow if I could. It is sad that those things that used to be such fun when you were a kid are not as much fun when you are a grown up. Oh well, I guess there is nothing that can be done now but wait for retirement. Then the fun will start again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pain Update

Update on my shoulder pain - there no longer is any pain!! I was shocked (and very happy) to recover most of my mobility just a few days after seeing the orthopaedist. Now, I have no pain at all. I am glad the Advil, heat, and rest did the trick. Now I know the recipe for muscle pain relief.

My shoulder felt so good that I participated in the Triangle Sportsplex Triathlon this past Saturday. It went fine. My results were not as good as I had hoped, but I don't think I can attribute any of it to the shoulder. It was the longest pool swim I have ever done in a tri - 400 meters. Luckily, the pool was really nice and had wide lanes. I only got passed once (by the 22 year old behind me). I had some bad turns off the wall, but I finished the swim in 10:10 which was 39th out of 54 competitors.

After a 2:03 T1, I was off on the bike. I really did not study the race course or even ride it beforehand (I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to race), so I didn't know what was in store. I should never participate in a race in a town that starts with the word "Hill". The bike course was one hill after another. I don't think there was a flat section of the course. It seemed that I was either going uphill or downhill for the full 12 miles. I am not a great uphill rider, so I finished in 46:45 - 42nd place.

I had a shorter transition in T2, and was off for the double loop run course. The uphills were not friendly to my legs. My calves felt like lead for probably the first 2 miles of the 3.1 mile course. I was planning to do 2 and 1's for the race, but I had to make adjustments for the big hill on the course. I was rounding the course to make the second loop when a water volunteer told me that I needed to start running now. It really upset me. He looked like he could run a marathon without breaking a sweat. It was my race, and if I wanted to walk, it was my business. I finished well, but my time was dead last for the run at 37:37. The sad part is that the time is very close to a PR for me. I don't know whether I should be happy that I ran close to a PR, or be sad because my near PR was the slowest run of the day.

I guess overall I am happy with the race. I was glad I could participate at all. It was nice to try a new race. I just wish it were in a flatter place.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Mosque

It makes me very sad to see the protests around this country regarding the building of mosques. I understand that 9/11 was a great tragedy for this nation. I know how many lives were lost, and I understand that mourning needs to occur. Still, I wish it could be different.

The vast majority of people who practice Islam are not terrorists. Islam is a religion that preaches peace, however, there is a sect of Muslims who believe in terrorism. It is really not unlike other religions or groups. There are extremists everywhere. There are people who call themselves Christians, yet believe it is their duty to kill doctors who perform abortions. It just seems that many Americans can't see that not everyone who wants to build a mosque is an extremist who will bring terrorism to our nation.

I think these protests send such a bad message to the rest of the world. We are supposed to be the land of tolerance - a place that was founded on the notion of freedom of religion. Isn't that why the first settlers from Europe came here?

Perhaps a location so near to Ground Zero may not be the best place for a mosque or a Muslim Cultural Center. Maybe it is too soon. Still, I believe that we need to remember the principals that are the foundation of this great nation. We need to continue to exercise those freedoms that we hold so dear and allow these mosques to be built around the country. Perhaps then, and only then, the true healing of this nation can occur.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Just when things seemed to be falling into place, they pain came. I had gone to Boot Camp last Monday morning and all seemed to be fine. I came home and changed for work, but did have some problems getting my sports bra off. It had happened before. I guess the combination of sweat and a warm body doesn't make it easy to get the piece off. I struggled a bit with my arms and torso stuck, but I did get it off. I went about my day and thought nothing more of it. By Monday night, my left shoulder was really hurting.

I thought it was one of those "just getting older" type injuries. After two days of increasing pain, I knew it was more than that. I was lucky to have already scheduled an appointment with my doctor for an annual physical, so I went and told her about the pain. She referred me to an orthopaedic doctor.

I am glad to report that there was no damage according to the X rays. It seems I have a bit on tendinitis in my shoulder. The recommended treatment is Advil and heat (I had been doing Tylenol and ice - definitely not right!) After three days of treatment, I am pleased to say that I feel much, much better.

I am lucky that I have never had an injury before now. I did decide to drop out of boot camp until the next session (the coach actually wanted me to continue on with one arm), but I want to be 100% while I am there. It seems that I have come to enjoy boot camp. I do like the changing routines and challenges. I hope I will still be up for it in a few weeks.

It was a bad week. I was really depressed and feeling such discomfort all week. On top of it, my doctor told me I am too heavy and I need to lose weight. I know it to be true, but it is still hard to hear someone tell it to your face. All of this working out is fine, but without better control of eating habits, the weight will creep up. I wound up crying for a little bit Friday morning, but it is amazing what a few days can do to your attitude. I feel better now and ready to focus on trying to lose that weight. I know it will only help my sport.

It's funny how just a few days ago I felt like I had no control and things were spinning away from me. I guess that's what pain can do.