Posted by Roger, a contributor to this blog.
Hi all. It has been a long time since I posted anything but, believe me, it hasn’t been for lack of trying. Unfortunately, as life unfolds, one finds that events sometimes happen that knock you for a loop. Even when not totally unexpected these events can leave you in a dark place. That’s where I’ve been and now I’m pulling myself out.
On August 28, 2012 my dad passed away. It didn’t come as a surprise and my family had been preparing for it for a couple of years. His health had been deteriorating for a while and the quality of life that he had enjoyed was no longer there for him. Also he had recently been hospitalized again so we knew the inevitable was coming quickly. Except for my niece, I’m the only one who lives any distance away, so my family called me home, just in case, to see him one last time. We arrived for the weekend and on Saturday night I sat up with him as he rested, trying to be alert to any discomfort he might feel. On Sunday morning my kids and wife told him good-bye and I gave him a kiss and told him “See ya later.” We weren’t even an hour into our drive when my brother called me to say Dad had passed away. The funeral was held the next Friday.
Grief is not something that I haven’t experienced before. I’ve lost 3 brothers and 2 nephews. However, losing a parent turned out to be a whole different ballgame. Luckily for me I live a relatively “clean” life. No booze, drugs, smoking or any of those other things that might have caused me a whole other type of grief. What I did do, though, is just go through life in a kind of daze. I slept a great deal, ate, didn’t work out, didn’t do much of anything. I did start going back to bootcamp but it was inconsistent and just seemed too hard. Life just seemed too hard.
However, recently, things have begun to turn around. I’ve kept going to the football games at my alma mater which I have always done as a stress release. I turned 50 and had a tremendous amount of attention given to me by friends and family that made me feel really special, loved and appreciated. My niece gave me a great 50th birthday party which, I think, gave many members of my family a nice break and a chance to get away. And I’m going back to bootcamp more consistently .
Interestingly enough, bootcamp has been very helpful. The group of people there have been very caring and supportive. They also have been there encouraging me in my journey back. Recently a group of us went out for dinner and I had a conversation with a friend. One of the questions he said he asked himself was what he wanted out of bootcamp. And the answer was simply to enjoy a better quality of life as we age. I agree with that. That’s what I’m doing there too. Also, as I’m throwing myself back into my workouts, my body has been really sore. So sore that after a workout this past week I couldn’t move my arms effectively for 4 days. But the joy out of that soreness is that it makes me realize that I’m still alive. Unfortunately I have to see my doctor in a couple of days for my yearly physical and I don’t think he’s going to be too happy with me when he checks my vitals. Still, I’m here, I’m alive and with the help of my family, friends, and bootcamp I’m going to keep working to enjoy my quality of life.