Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Tough Pill To Swallow

This morning my life changed forever. I took my first statin (cholesterol-lowering drug). At the age of only thirty-four, I consider myself to be healthy and in good shape. I exercise regularly (ok, compulsively!) and I eat a low-fat diet. And it was only two months ago that my doctor told me that I am as healthy as any thirty-something he knows. And so, you can imagine the shock when yesterday, that same doctor told me that I needed to go on cholesterol medication, most likely for the rest of my life. I sat glossy-eyed and tried to focus, thinking to myself, "Are you serious??? How can this be???"

There is a phrase that a golfer often uses when faced with a situation where he has the option to pull off the heroic shot (with high risk and high difficulty) or choose the easier shot (with low risk and low difficulty). Now adrenaline, testosterone, and a competitive nature will entice the golfer to go for the hard shot and make the birdie; but reason, logic, and percentages beg him to compromise with an easier shot for the chance to make a par. Choosing the latter is referred to as "taking your medicine." Although it doesn't feel good, it is almost always the best thing to do. I have used that phrase time and time again for myself and others while on the golf course, while never fully understanding its deeper meaning!

My pride, my stubbornness, and my competitive nature all conspire to convince me that if I just exercise more, cut down on my red meat consumption, and drown myself with grapefruit juice, I can beat my life threatening enemy, cholesterol! But in reality, that just isn't true. So this morning, tomorrow morning, and (hopefully) for thousands more, I will be "taking my medicine" and reminding myself that par is not a bad score.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Starting Fresh!

Routine, Routine, Routine! I need it, want it, and love it. It's surprizing to me that each May I get so excited about school letting out. I love the summer...sunshine, vacation, mission trips, students hanging out at the church, swimming pools, interns, long summer nights, catching up on reading, and of course, mastering my golden tan (as tan as a Scotch-Irish white boy can get). However, as much as I love the flexability that summertime brings, as we move closer to autumn, part of me ends up longing for the structure from which I wanted a break just a few months earlier.

So when August rolled around this year, I think I was as "pumped" about the school year start as my daughter Harper, who was beginning kindergarten. The first day of school was on a Wednesday. So on Tuesday morning, Harper came out of her room dressed in her "first day of school outfit," with her backpack strapped on her shoulders, proclaiming to everyone, "I am ready for school!" Her eagerness and readiness to launch into a world that will become her norm well into adulthood caused my wife and I to laugh, as we thought cynically to ourselves, "If only she knew...." But part of my thinking is right there with my daughter. I, too, am ready for schedules, routines, planning, discipline, expectations, and yes, even deadlines! I find that I am at my best in those moments. So here we go!! But check back in late April, because I am sure I will once again be begging for some summertime relief.... but this time I may have a six year old little girl pleading just as hard!