On the way into the office Tuesday morning I was thinking about the time I’ve been putting in on the trainer. I’m into the hard gears now, getting ready for March and pushing a gear I couldn’t at the end of last season when I was at my fittest. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that. I want to do a lot this season.
I was also thinking about meeting a friend for a dinner we have planned for later in the evening. He and I meet up every now and again to catch up on recovery and how we’re doing since our fathers passed. If I was a miracle (and there’s no question I am), he was touched by Jesus to be able to recover. I don’t know how this guy finally got it, but he recovered and flew right by five years. If ever there was a helpless person, he was it, so it’s fun to sit down and talk about the state of things for a couple of hours.
So it was those two things that had me thinking a lot about gratitude. Then my melon moved onto where I came from. Almost 29 years ago now, I had a doctor standing before me as I sat on his exam table, telling me if I didn’t stop drinking, and soon, I was going to die before I hit my 30th birthday. I figured he was exaggerating, of course, until he added, “you have the liver of a 60-year-old chronic alcoholic”. Ruh-roh.
I do love playing that tape back in my head. My 30th birthday was 20 years ago this year. That’s TWENTY free years. I should have been gone twenty years ago, but for the Grace of God.
My mother likes to tell me now and then, how much healthier I am than my father was at my age. I’m very fit. I still move exceptionally well for an old fart (possibly only a “getting there fart”). With all the running I used to do and the cycling I currently do, having left booze and nicotine in my past, I am fairly well preserved. My current doctor says I’m completely recovered from smoking and my liver healed up decades ago.
[As I sit here writing this post, I can’t help but think how fortunate I am that these are the things I get to think about on on the way into the office. Jesus, what a change from the bad old days!]
There are a hundred small-ish reasons to include some kind of fitness regimen in a recovery plan, everything from a way to blow off steam to the famed endorphin release, but there’s a big one that really matters as I age sober. My reason for including fitness with my recovery is quite simple; barring a catastrophic event, it’s very likely I’ll live to a ripe old age, all because I sobered up young. Living a fit, healthy life, I took all of my bad genes (what few there were), put them in a bucket and lit that $#!+ on fire. While no one is guaranteed a long life, I want to give my 100th birthday my best shot. If I want to be mobile when I’m 90, I’ve gotta be fit now.