You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Life balance’ tag.

I arrived at the airport today around 1 PM for my 8:15 flight home, after listening to some atypical whining at our leadership training. Early arrival avoided another day’s charge for the rental car and helped out my associates who needed rides. There was plenty of time to eat, read, manage e-mail and eat some more. Ultimately, our flight was canceled by fog in Walla Walla. Tim, one of our physician leaders, was also awaiting this flight, and he’d played this game before. We were first in line to re-schedule, betting on an 11:10 flight to Pasco, an hour from home, as well as the kindness of his wife who would pick us up. The thing is, this was a good day!

Maybe the “bad” days are vital for perspective. I remember enjoying Christmas and a nice long run the day after. Then I slipped into flu-like symptoms, followed by a sinus infection. Soon afterwards, I faced debilitating lower back spasms, accompanied by sciatic nerve pain. What had happened? Was I getting a little taste of what it’s like to be old and dying?

I tried rest and heating pads, muscle relaxants and OTC pain killers, movies and sleep. Two courses of antibiotics killed the sinus infection, but the back problem lingered. Then it got worse; I couldn’t even bear to go to work. Sitting in my desk chair after the arduous challenge of getting there seemed like too much. Would I get better or worse?

Small acts of compassionate kindness can be pretty big. My co-worker Sue mentioned to our Director of Rehabilitation that I was in a rough place, and gave him my phone number. Tom called me promptly that Friday and carved time out of his busy schedule to see me that day, a week sooner than my scheduled visit. What a gift! He manipulated my lower spine with twists and bends. The pain relief was significant. I was on the road back to life! I was able to take long walks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as do the backlog of chores and my assigned rehabilitation exercises and stretching.

I’ve had several follow-up sessions of physical therapy, as well as deep tissue massages, and my condition continues to improve, especially when I have the time to walk, stretch my back and legs and tone my abdominal and lateral movement muscles as prescribed. My new masseuse is the best I’ve ever had, so I’m back to regular treatments. I am moving towards life balance that I didn’t realize I was losing.  Running and lifting were good, but not a complete health solution. I am reminded of the need for balance in my life: yoga, stretching, massage and diet are integral parts of my wellness, in addition to strength and endurance training. Will this recent wake up call help me remember to do all these things, consistently, that make me well? I surely hope so!

What might the future bring? Will I run and golf again soon? Will I be able to to do whatever I want?

I think it’s time to dream again. Yay!

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Sometimes I fly like an eagle!

Sometimes I fly like an eagle!

Bicycling is cool cross-training. I can pedal hard for a couple of hours without feeling sore or overly tired. It’s fun, scenic, invigorating and healthy. What a win!

Weight-lifting leaves me sore, most often. It suggests a hint of masochism, mixed with egotism. Sometimes it feels great, sometimes it’s really hard. It always keeps me more fit, more youthful and better prepared.

Standup paddle boarding is a new addition to my life. It fits in beautifully with a self-propelled lifestyle, delivering great abdominal, back, arm and leg endurance training. It always feels adventurous to me.  Yay!

Nordic skiing has a very special place in my heart. I’ve skied into heaven on earth. The risk of cold, remote places is enhanced by beauty, adventure, invigoration, inspiration and wonderful endurance training. I love it!

Running is in my spirit, woven into my soul. It offers endurance or speed. Self-propulsion feeds self-confidence and a willingness to tackle new pursuits. Running opens doors to greater adventures, like awe-inspiring backcountry hikes!

Hiking with a heavy backpack, for many hours, feels like a marathon to me. I like that it makes me stronger. The process gets really tough. I learn mental discipline. I learn that “can do” trumps “can’t do” almost every time I really want it to.  The views are painted on the front page of the newspaper of my soul. Treasures!

Golf is the best game I’ve ever found. It challenges my mind in every way imaginable. It offers physical challenges in beautiful locations. It can not be mastered. I’m lured by the feeling of balls struck well. It’s been a busy couple of decades, but golf teases my spirit with a sense of impending reunion.

Volleyball is one of my favorite team games. It tests quickness, creativity, coordination and spirit. It’s fun to learn teamwork. Basketball and football are other favored team sports. The excitement makes these almost as much fun to watch as to play.

When I was a kid, riding my motorcycle was part of my daily routine. My bike gave me freedom and wild adventures. It got me high! I’m sticking with non-motorized bikes now, because I want to extend life if I can. But I still love to get high.

One way is water-skiing. Cold water slaps my face and everywhere else. Bam! The boat jerks hard, testing strength, balance and mental toughness. I rise above the fish and skim across the water, as free, wild and crazy as a teenager. Yeah! Hit it!

Fun is part of balance!

I search for a balanced life because I have faith that it will be the best.  Have I tasted true balance, or is intuition and/or a higher power guiding me towards an ideal?  Do the rewards in different aspects of life make me “want it all?”

When in love, it seems I’ve gone all in.  All my eggs in one basket.  The whole retirement fund bet on one investment.  Nearly singular focus.  Addiction to substances also created severe imbalance.  Overemphasis on play detracted from intellectual discovery.  Other people say that they “want it all.”  Is this a wish to target balance, managing a meaningful job, lover, play, exercise, prayer, meditation, friends, learning and emotional balance?  It seems that the healthier I get in some aspects, the more efficient I become, freeing up time.  Does this make “having it all” possible?  I’m really excited, hoping that I’ll get to find out!

Thank you for your love!  Thank you for the chances to show you my love!  God has illuminated His beauty and His love in your smiles, your spirits, your laughter, your curiosity and your service to your loved ones.  I have found great joy in incredible experiences of love.  They have been the highest of worldly highs, far better than any drug.  Thank you for the spiritual growth that your departures have blessed me with!  When you left, I was forced to turn to God.  Thank you for all of your human limitations.  These also brought me closer to God, for I was forced to accept outcomes that made no sense to me.  I continued to learn to surrender my will; the other choice was insanity!  I may never understand much of what has happened in life, but I can adapt to changes by relying on God.  He is my hope for sanity and serenity.  I see now that enriching my life springs from service to others and becoming a better version of me.  Each day that I awaken, I have a multitude of options to better myself relationally, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  As I take the steps to do these things, I am blessed with optimism, inspiration, excitement, compassion, commitment, curiosity and amazing adventures!  I have no idea what will come next in life, or how long it will continue, but I’m happy to take the next steps!  May God continue to bless you!  Live well!  ( :

Age really is a state of mind!  Maybe it’s a state of sore ankles, tight back and slower recovery too…. NO!  That’s my mind trying to trick me again.  I need to rest, I need that giant Costco chocolate muffin….  Ha!  I want to be child-like, not childish.  I want to be adventurous, not fool-hardy.  I prefer to be athletic, but not obsessed.  I remember some cool old adages:  variety is the spice of life, moderation in all things, etc.  A balanced life: the elusive, alluring goal that draws me on.  When I was a young man, I was too lazy to build the strong muscles that now tease me on.  Some days I think I’m making good progress and other days I think I’m losing the battle, physically speaking.  I refuse to surrender, as my belief is that the aspects of health are so inter-related:  physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.  Life has dealt me blows, as it naturally does.  I want to bounce back, better than ever before.  My belief is that God makes all things possible.  He’s done amazing things in my life.  My recovery from the pits of despair and hopelessness fired my faith.  If the value in life is loving others the best I can, then I need to be the best version of me that I can be, to be spiritually capable of such love.  Today I ran 8.5 miles in glorious sunshine!  I tried to serve my kids as best I could today, which strangely led to the start of this blog.  My loving daughter Annie, aka http://fitnessaficionada.wordpress.com/, masterfully pointed out that the worst case scenario is that I’ll have documented part of my life and thoughts for my kids to read.  Cool!  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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