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Health

Back among the living

  • Health

I had a seizure at work at the end of September. It’s been an interesting month since then—I lost close to 30 pounds in the hospital, and have been wobbling towards health after my discharge a couple weeks ago. Now I’m into the insurance weeds, sorting out unpaid leave, short-term disability, and FMLA coverage. As a government employee, I have a good group plan, but it’s still a maze of paperwork and many, many checkups. (High blood pressure, adult onset Type 2 diabetes, pulmonary abscesses, pneumonia, renal failure… just another year in the life.) Anyway, I’m slowly returning to a semi-adult functional level, and may return to work in a couple weeks. Easing back into my desk job won’t be bad; but I’ll need to revisit most everything else about my lifestyle. It’s fine. I’ve bought some time.

Walkabout

  • Health

A week ago, on something of a whim, I signed up for the Cornhusker State Games 2021 CSG Walk, which was held yesterday morning. In this volkswalk-style event, participants were given a choice of two routes and a window of time to complete their walk. (You can learn more about this type of non-competitive event at the American Volkssport Association.) I chose the longer route—pictured below—and started out just before 7:00 AM. We had good cloud cover making the morning temperature bearable. But the humidity was off the chart from my first step; even if I were in better physical shape, I’d still have been flop-sweating within the first mile.

A screenshot from an mobile exercise tracking app showing a city map highlighting a 5.5-mile walking route, in the shape of a lopsided figure-eight, through residential areas in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Cornhusker State Games 2021 CSG Walk. This was the longer route offered to participants; the other path was approximately two miles. (Screenshot from the Map My Walk mobile app provided by Under Armour.)

This part of the city is a tree-shrouded older residential area, including some of the fancier Country Club streets. Passing through the neighborhood surrounding the golf course, I encountered a fluffy black cat lounging on a garden path, a gaunt red fox carrying a breakfast catch, and a City Council member out for a (personal) morning jaunt. Other foot traffic was light, even counting the joggers and dog walkers who shared the route.

The walk was lovely, though the long route pushed me towards the edge of my endurance. Exercise walking is something I just haven’t been doing, and it shows. But with some focused stretches, good socks and shoes, and a judicious application of ibuprofen, I recovered from the exertion easily enough. (A late-morning nap with our cats also helped.)

Several years ago, I was jogging 5K routes. Since then, I’ve fallen into a routine of constantly having to re-form basic exercise habits. I can almost trick myself into believing that’s the same as actually keeping those habits—but no. Committing to yesterday’s event without overthinking it is probably what got me through it, bypassing my uneasy brain. Maybe that touch of managed recklessness is the habit to develop first, and the rest will more easily follow.