Wednesday, February 2, 2011
In July of 2000 I lived with a band, and in doing so I was audience to a powerful and honest friendship that existed among its members, its roommates, and its friends. Though on the periefery at best, I counted myself lucky to be among them. Every one of them, aside from being outstanding musicians, had a plan in life, and lived a working class work ethic as they graduated to lawyers, geologists, businessmen, and engineers.
One of them, the one I admittedly knew the least, died this last week.
While chatting with Leo tonight a new tone developed in the spontaneous plan-making that we kick around and quite never get around to making reality. We both probably recognized it, but Leo finally summed it up with something like: we are getting old, I regret not doing more stuff with my friends, and holy cow I need to get in shape.
Sometimes it is time to turn the music up louder, you know, Mark Twight style, when the painful moments arise. The painful moments to which he refers are those you have to push aside and not let inside of you in order to finish the race. But death passes through you the moment it occurs, and a pause from the high volume is required to gather yourself and start climbing again.
So, for my mate Leo, who is stuck in the Midwest instead of joining his mates to mourn a brother gone forward, I accept his wise charge that now is the time, and I honor Bill Howe and my mourning brothers by saying that I will be there when trips are planned, and yes, Leo, we will get in shape.
Life is now, and today is the only day I have to get in shape for the rest of my life.
I will live the advice I give my patients:
-Eat lean protein at every meal
-Drink 10 huge glasses per day
-Ditch the salt
-Cook your meals from scratch
-Get your heart rate above 120 every day for 20 minutes, increasing by 3-4 minutes every week (I will be doing quite a bit more than this, mind you)
-Plan a use for your good future physical conditioning, one to which you become committed.
Rest in peace, Bill. We will live, we will ponder our permanent ceilings, we will remember you, and we will toast you at our campfires while we make good on plans we only before talked about.
Here's to now.