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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Today, June 18th, 2014, I begin again....a fresh start

I posted 9 days ago about starting over and getting ready for Everest 2015.  Well, things didn't go well from that week forward.  First, I missed 2 swim practices due to an aching shoulder.  That first week was followed by more missed swim practices and a few missed runs and then a complete collapse in my workout routine.  My third week began with more rest to recover from my rest.  Sheesh!  When will the rest end?  Why the bad start?  Well, I have several reasons/excuses/rationalizations for the lapse.  Here they are:

1.  Work stress:  I had some lingering stress from my time off.  Work and colleague stress came to a peak upon my return and I had too many uncomfortable things to deal with.  Today, I dealt with the final one - not that today's event is over but I did what I needed to do to move forward.  I sent off those uncomfortable email messages to my colleagues to resolve our differences; I worked diligently to eliminate all email in my inbox; and I cleaned off my desk to signify a new beginning.  I feel completely liberated and plan to sleep well tonight.  Work stress hits me hard and it seems as if academia gets more and more stressful the longer I stay in the game.  I think I need to get away more often....

2.  House stress:  My stress was compounded by too many house projects that needed my attention (or money) and with money lacking after my failed Everest bid, I chose to spend my time.  Plumbing, electrical, framing, and drywall work brought me back to my construction days on Martha's Vineyard.  If it were not for my understanding wife and supportive cousin (who helped me out on three grueling days), I would not be at peace with my current house project list.  "The only shoeless children are the cobbler's kids" is one of my favorite quotes but not one of Kathy's favorites.  We always live in a house partially (95% or p < 0.05) finished.  Thanks to both Kathy and Kevin for being understanding and lending a helping hand.  For those interested, you can check out my web album that shows all the stuff I am doing to my house.  

3.  Poor diet:  All the stress and increase work demands lead to a really poor diet.  Hey, I accept the blame and acknowledge I will take any opportunity to live on potato chips and beer.  I ate when I could and whatever I could manage at the time. In short, I was eating garbage at home (chips, beer, and toast) and never really did much to change those bad habits.  Now that I am fat and in a good place to change my diet, I intend to move forward by decreasing my alcohol intake and eating more healthy foods at home.  Today, I started with tea and peanut butter on cinnamon roll bread.  Yeah, not a good start but maybe tonight will be better.

4.  Post-expedition irritation and stress:  If I thought Everest 2014 planning presenting difficulties, I had no clue how what 2015 had in store - at least not until this point.  We still have no confirmation about our climbing permit situation.  The costs may be the same as last year meaning I need to find a way to make a ton of money and spend none of it this year.  Not sure how I am going to swing that but I plan to give it my best shot without affecting my family.  Money is always an issue for these climbs and I intend to do it like I did it before.  I will accept whatever people are willing to donate and give them as much access as I can muster.  Any suggestions other than selling blood/plasma are welcomed.

5.  Poor sleep:  I can fall asleep but just couldn't stay asleep.  Never in my life - save for my last few weeks before leaving for Everest 2014 in the hot hypoxic tent at 20,000 feet -  have I struggled to sleep.  Exercise tires me out and I usually sleep like a baby or more like a rock.  Some days I would sleep for 12 hours followed by a 2 hour sleep night.  Here, check out the graph just so you can see:

The dotted horizontal line indicates my preferred 8-hours of sleep.  Not much sleep going on here and rarely was it 8 hours over the past month.  Those erratic and unpredictable sleep patterns wore me out - leading me to....

6.  Getting sick:  Kathy and I are fond of the quote "sick and tired of getting sick and tired."  Well, I'm there.  I was more sick than healthy since I returned from Nepal.  The stress, diet, and sleep problems all lead to my health problems.    I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  

7.  Getting over a failed expedition:  Everest 2014 didn't end for me right away.  There were too many things that lingered.  I still have no clue about what will happen with our permits, oxygen bottles, or even the funds that were to pay for services not rendered.  I just don't know.  For now, I plan to plow straight ahead and deal with the setbacks when they arrive rather than sit wondering when/if they will come.  

Today is the start of a new effort to prepare for Everest 2015.  I plan to address each one of these and slowly turn my efforts into something more positive.  As a good, first gesture, I shaved:


Here we go....