Like most aging baby boomers, I am determined to stay healthy, fit, active and – “Hey! Get that rubber glove away from me!” - medically violated on an annual basis.
I try every day to keep my body fit but Lord knows, it ain’t easy.
For instance, a few years ago when the study came out that red wine contained resveratrol, which was quite beneficial for the heart, I went for it. When a follow-up study confirmed the resveratrol advantage but estimated a person would have to consume something like 20 bottles of red wine a day in order to experience real benefits, I went for that program too. I have no recollection whatsoever of 2008.
Still, I soldier on in the name of mental and physical wellness. I follow a daily regimen that I hope will see me fit and feisty by 85.
7:45 A.M. The radio alarm goes off and CBC-Radio One informs me that Portugal has been eliminated from the World Cup, Bob Probert has died and Stephen Harper is still Prime Minister. I reach for the bottle of Tylenol and by mistake, I down four Fisherman’s Friend cough drops, which give me instant indigestion.
8:00 A.M. I pad down the beach steps, drop the towel on the railing and take my morning plunge. It wakes me up; I do 50 breaststrokes out, 50 back and I feel great. This sets up my day like a golf ball to a tee.
8:30 A.M. I remove my old-fashioned, whistling kettle from the stove for my tea, list my day’s priorities and catch the local weather report, which ends with an E. coli bacteria warning. Swimmers are instructed to stay out of the water. Symptoms include headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.
8:50 A.M. I scan the newspaper to learn that my stocks have been decimated, the city of Toronto is under siege by anarchists and storm troopers and a new medical study links Alzheimer’s disease to tin pots, like my favourite, old-fashioned kettle.
9:00 A.M. Depressed and slightly nauseous, I go out to my office in order to write something funny.
9:15 A.M. As I prepare breakfast, the smells of bacon and eggs frying, toast and fresh perked coffee still linger after all these years. I open a packet of Quaker instant oatmeal, which helps lower my bad cholesterol. I add hot water and stir. That’s my breakfast - goop.
9:35 A.M. I return to my office in the hunt for something humorous to write about when I come across a recent clipping of Darryl Durr. He’s a 46-year-old serial rapist and murderer in Cleveland who is asking for a stay of execution because he claims he will likely suffer a violent allergic reaction to the lethal drugs that the state of Ohio will use to kill him.
10:00 A.M. After a few business phone calls, I go for a walk. It’s hot and humid. Great. I’ll sweat more. I do a brisk walk along the Bay and back.
11:00 A.M. I catch the news on CBC-Radio, which warns people against exercising in these record-setting temperatures. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.
11:05 A.M. Hey, I might as well go for a swim! So I do.
11:20 A.M. I’m starving. Right about now I’d trade my car for a Dagwood sandwich with both mustard and mayonnaise. Instead, I throw a handful of raspberries in a bowl and smear them in vanilla probiotic yogurt. That’s my snack - pink goop.
11:45 A.M. Back to my morbid humour column, I come across a news item in which a woman who was put to death in Texas for murder, ordered Twinkies, Cheese Doodles and Diet Coke for her last supper. The closest I’ve come to crime is a speeding ticket and yet from that three-course meal “to die for,” I could only have the Coke.
12:10 P.M. After sorting my mail, I open my cheque from the government, which is supposed to help me get through the early stages of the dreaded Harmonized Sales Tax. The amount is $10.40. In the eight days since the tax kicked in, I've been H.S.T.’ed by about $60. This reminds me to…
12:30 P.M. I now feel nauseous. I’m also confused because I don’t know if it’s due to E. coli bacteria, heat exhaustion or the goop.
1:30 P.M. I spot the flashing light on the mail delivery truck and I rush to the road to have a conversation with my postie because, according to the experts, engaging in social intercourse reduces stress. I want to talk World Cup. He talks tires. The postie misinterprets my offer of intercourse. Awkward.
2:00 P.M. Gallows humour column starts to gel when I locate the clipping confirming the town of Biritiba Mirim, Brazil has no more space to bury dead people and no land for a new cemetery so the mayor has outlawed death. He encourages residents to look after their health and lists the penalties if they break the “no dying” law.
2:30 P.M. I have a late lunch of wild salmon, Triscuits and carrot sticks. I’m eating so much food loaded with Omega-3 fish oils, two small openings have appeared on my upper arms. They look a lot like gills.
2:45 P.M. I take my pills - a multivitamin with mineral supplement, an aspirin, a Choless tablet and Niacin.
2:46 P.M. My body is suddenly covered in hives, my face is on fire and my heart is racing. I look at my grocery list. Bad handwriting means I bought “non-generic Niacin” instead of “non-flush Niacin.” I take a steel brush to arms and legs.
3:30 P.M. Not tired, but I nap anyway to restore melatonin levels.
4:15 P.M. I awake and face the fact that my daily plan to stay fit and mentally sharp has become a serious hazard to my health. I realize the only way I’ll ever see 85 is to move to Biritiba Mirim, Brazil and obey the law.
4:20 P.M. Taking no chances, I stay perfectly still until 5:55 p.m.
5:55 P.M. Finally, preparations are made for the news hour and wine shooting or as I call it, “my resveratrol treatment.” Today, I will have to increase the dosage.
SEPTEMBER 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND
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