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I kept up with the kid

December 3, 2009 - Paul Giannamore

Last night, part of the experience of attending the last Duquesne U. vs. Pitt basketball game at the Civic- err- Mellon Arena included the joy of walking uphill from Fifth Avenue to the arena ... while trying to keep up with my son, who is 29 years younger and about five inches taller than me.

And I kept up with him. Didn't run out of breath.Ditto for the return trip, which included walking back uphill onto the Duquesne campus.

Six weeks ago, I don't think I could have done it. I'd have been winded, sweaty, and crampy. So, while I'm not looking anything like Charles Atlas or Aaaahhhnoooolllld Schwarzenegger, and I doubt that I ever will, it's good to know that daily exercise, eating lots of oats and getting between six hours and eight hours of sleep a night works. As does giving up tobacco, sweet stuff, most meat and avoiding the temptations of fast food and pizza.

I don't know if I'm joyously doing all of that at all times, nor do I think I can go an entire year without pizza. Heck, I slipped up for Quaker Steak and Lube wings a couple weeks ago. Some things you just cannot avoid entirely, lest life no longer be worth living at all.

But I am trying like crazy. I can now do a half hour on the treadmill without needing defibrillated. I can even move the elliptical walker for 15 minutes without my legs feeling like they would be better off amputated.

Of course, the purpose is to avoid the need for amputation someday, so that's an incentive.

And, the glucose, levels have stabilized right around the 100-115 range now, as if a magical switch in my fat body has been flipped. Hope that continues.

It can be done. It must be done. And if you doubt it, consider that six weeks ago, I'd have died if I tried walking a half mile uphill with El Duque(sne).


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