Staying healthy when stressful situations arise

There will always be periods of time in your life where your training will take a backseat to some kind of hectic situation that has arisen. It may be something as mundane as a work project, or traveling, or something more serious such as a sickness or death in the family.

At the end of the day what matters is that you do the best you can with what you have. Trying to make big gains in strength, weight loss, mass gain, or any other big energy consuming task while also dealing with a big amount of stress is not ideal. At that point going into a recovery and maintenance mode is the best plan.

Figure out the minimum amount of training you can do to keep yourself healthy, maintain your muscle mass or weight loss/gain, and do everything you can to keep the status quo. If 30 minutes twice a week is all you can manage, well what is the best use of those 30 minutes?

If you do not have time to make good quality home cooked meals, well then what foods can you stock up on that are quick and easy to consume that are also as nutrient dense and will create the least havoc and fat gain?

There is always a better way to deal with a situation. The worse a situation becomes then the more you need to take  better care of yourself so that you will be able to handle whatever gets thrown at you.

Ask for help, reach out to friends and family, or even online, where many people have probably gone through what you have and are more than willing to support you.

Remember that you have what it takes to make any kind of difficult situation better, and that people are out there to help. Don’t be a lone wolf, or let yourself succumb to misery. Be kind to yourself, but remember that taking good care of yourself even in the worst case scenarios is a kindness to yourself.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.64: Tuck Everlasting on life and death and our part in the natural world

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 4th, 2020

Sometimes it is something as simple as a film that can bring us the joy, or simple serenity, we needed in a moment. I revisited an old film I had watched many years ago last night, called Tuck Everlasting. For those who have not seen it, it is about a simple family living in the woods, who many years before had drunk from a little pool of water from a tree, which gave them the gift of immortality. They could not be killed, nor age, nor change in any way. The movie is far from perfect, and as things usually are, I am sure the book version does it more justice, but there is a moment in the film when the father explains to a young girl who had discovered them that what they have is not living that really puts things in perspective for me. Here are some quotes.

“What we Tucks have you can’t call it living. We just… are. We’re like rocks, stuck at the side of a stream”

“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.”

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

The author Natalie Babbitt really captured the meaning behind the shiftings of the natural world that many of us humans desperately try to escape from.

We all live and die, as everything in this world does. The old shapes the way for the new, and the new revitalizes it, again and again, sometimes falling back, sometimes leaping forward, always bringing forth growth.

Although a part of me thinks being an immortal would be amazing, if you are by yourself in this eternity, watching as everything else changes and leaves you, the pain would be beyond comprehension. For many of us, we remain trapped in a way in our pasts, our emotions, never allowing ourselves to grow, because growth is frightening, because we have to let things die, but it is a necessary part of the wheel, for it has to turn, so that we may become more, and so that those who come after us have a chance to flourish.

Some thoughts to guide you into the coming weekend.

As always, stay health and let your geek freak fly.

The in-between

This Life flays the Soul

Disparate parts, decaying, lifeless

Strips the Spirit bare of Meaning

I circle through Life again and again

Searching for the Spark of Joy

Spoken of in childhood hopes and scattered dreams

Until Death holds me by the throat

I choke on this thing called Life

For there are no answers here

In the in-between

Only whispered lies and false promises

-Jason B

 

 

I open at the close; Death and sacrifice

I open at the close.

I still remember the first time I read those words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and had to work through the idea that Harry was going to die.

I remember feeling disbelief, rage, disbelief again and finally despair.

I had been through so much with Harry, and even though it infuriated me that it had come to this end, I had to accept the outcome because, after all, this wasn’t my story.

Luckily for me Harry ended up surviving, and all my emotional tumult was wasted. Yet even though I have re-read Harry Potter dozens and dozens…and possibly dozens more times since I was a child, every damn time I get to that part in the book I get super emotional. I realized a long time ago that it wasn’t about the fact that Harry would die(seemingly!), but more so that he was ready to make that choice. For someone that young to choose to die so that others would simply have a chance at a safer life was truly a beautiful ending for someone who had given all(albeit for nonsensical reasons due to the fact that half the stuff in Harry Potter is plain stupid, and I say this with deep love for the books!).

Self- sacrifice to something bigger than yourself is a difficult concept for many as we all live in such a narcissistic bubble these days, but it is the foundation of most hero stories and is what draws us to many of the characters in well known books and shows.

The idea of the hero is so pervasive because it touches upon a core issue for many of us, which is to push away that deep biological drive to save ourselves.  The hero does not want to die, but she believes that the responsibility to aid others is paramount and is worth dying for.

I think the world would be a very different place if each of us had something we felt was worth dying for, because it would give a deep sense of purpose to our lives.

In the end, death is the final chapter. Whether hero or villain we all must walk through its doors in the end. The reality of death pervades all life, sweetens it and terrifies the shit out of us.

The question is whether at the end of it all, we can look back upon our lives and know that, at the very least, we tried to stand by our beliefs.  Tried to figure out who we wanted to be, and strove towards those ideals.

And if you are one of those great souls who gives their lives in service to whatever your ideals are, hats off to you.

I will leave off with this little story pulled from the book bird by bird by Anne Lamott, because I believe innocence and the heroic many times go hand and hand.

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Make the right choice

Nature is our beginning and our end. We are birthed into this world with no purpose other than survival and procreation. But although our primary purpose may seem meaningless in the grand scheme of things, nature has allowed us a wide breadth of experience and choices in between birth and death to find joy and create our own inner purpose.

We are left with only 2 truly important choices in this life.

We must choose in our minds the reason why we wish to live, and how we wish to face our inevitable deaths.

Unbound, with courage.

Or filled with fear and ignorance.

Make the right choice.