Catching up with Dear Diary

This phone booth in New Boston, Ill., came in handy Sunday at the end of a 20-mile windy ride from Muscatine. Of course the picture was taken with an iPhone, which has helped make phone booths obsolete.
This phone booth in New Boston, Ill., came in handy Sunday at the end of a 20-mile windy ride from Muscatine. Of course the picture was taken with an iPhone, which has helped make phone booths obsolete.

After awhile, these blog posts tend to take on the feel of public journal entries. And I’m OK with that, because a lot happens in my life that I don’t write about here.

Such has been the case in the past few days. Friends and others have said things — sometimes just simple offhanded comments — that have really made me think. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve processed it all yet, but it ought to make for some interesting blogging if — and when — I figure it all out.

In the meantime, Dear Diary, it’s time to catch up on the simpler stuff.

A week or so ago, I wrote about some ongoing efforts at self-improvement that included scheduling visits with my doctor and dentist. Well, I’m supposed to meet with Nate Olson, my new dentist, on May 28, unless he can get me in sooner.

But I met Friday with Dr. Mike Maharry, who, for the purposes of full disclosure, is a Facebook friend and reader of this blog. Over the past few years, I’ve come to think of Mike as a friend — Facebook or otherwise. It made for an interesting and, I thought, pretty honest visit. (For what it’s worth, it gives me confidence for the dental appointment because Nate is someone else I’ve come to regard as a friend.)

But let me get to the point: I was worried mainly about my blood pressure and other issues I thought might be related.  On Friday anyway, my BP was 134/90, which, maybe isn’t the greatest, but it could have been worse, too.  According to the doctor, it wasn’t bad enough to put me on BP medication. At least not for now.

Instead he:

  • Told me to regard sodium as my enemy and said I should — for starters  — try to lose 5 percent of my body weight.
  • Gave me the book, Am I Hungry by Dr. Michelle May, and told me to read it.

As I mentioned, he sometimes reads this blog, so he said: “I know you’re a reader. You might benefit from reading this.”

It’s too soon to tell, but so far I think the book teaches a valuable lesson — one I’d have to agree with May is astonishingly simple, but definitely isn’t easy.

I’ll keep you posted, Dear Diary.

More follow-ups:  Nearly two months ago, I blogged about my goal to start lifting heavier weights at the Muscatine Community Y. Then, I farted around for the better part of a month before I got serious. But in the past month, I’ve been a regular.  And Saturday, I did the same workout I did on March 12, when I really started hitting the weights at the Y.

Even I have to admit I’ve made some progress — enough to keep me coming back to the weight room.

This particular workout consists of three sets of five repetitions of the bench press, squats and dead lifts.  The total amounts I lifted for each were:

Lift                                             March 30                 March 12               % increase

Squats                                       735 lbs                       575 lbs                   27.8

Bench press                             635 lbs                       525 lbs                   20.9

Dead lift                                    675 lbs                        450 lbs                  50

And that brings me to this …

Saturday, I thought it was pretty cool to lift heavier-for-me weights. I was especially pleased with my efforts in the Muscatine Community Y’s Kevin Garrison Squat Rack and at the dead lifts.

But then came Sunday and my first real outdoor bike ride of the year — a  20-miler to New Boston, Ill., in some challenging 20-25 mph crosswinds. It gives me just a little apprehension to realize RAGBRAI is only 111 days away.

Yikes. Someone, please pass the Icy Hot and the ibuprofen. I’ve got to get ready to ride again and soon.

A sure sign that summer is finally just  around the corner.
A sure sign that summer is finally just around the corner. This was taken Friday at The Brew in Muscatine. I didn’t get to ride with them, but I did show up in time to take the photo.

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