With our family vacation now in the rear view, I felt it was time to get back at it. Back to exercising that is. Other then an excessive amount of walking, and the consumption of numerous healthy smoothies of my brother-in-law's creation, my health plan went right out the window in Montreal. I thought a nice break would help me regain some motivation that can wane at times. We touched back down in Prince George on Thursday evening and after taking the night to relax and recover with the family, I literally hit the ground running on Friday. Friday before work a ran my usual 3 km circuit and that was enough for my first day back. I made it my goal for the week to get all of my weight lifting in, 5 workouts in total. I also was looking to get to abs a few times, and to fit in as much cardio as I could convince myself to do. The first few days back went rather slowly, I lifted weights a few times and got some yardwork done while watching the kids. I was content with the start.
On Wednesday I drove Jasmine, Asher and my neice Taylor down to Quesnel, dropping Taylor off at her dad's after a nice visit. I had a nice visit with my parents, though we were preoccupied with a health concern my older sister is dealing with. She had a seizure Wednesday morning while we were about to come down, and my mom had to escort her to the hospital. By the time we arrived at their house, Paulette was on her way home. She seemed alright, she was seemingly quite tired and had a sore back likely from the convulsing involved in the seizure she had. Seizures are not something that Paulette normally has so we were all concerned and were attempting to decipher the reasons behind the event. As Paulette was relaxing in bed an hour or so later she had another seizure and all the talk of the first seizure being an isolated event ceased. Mom called the doctor, and he asked her to bring Paulette back for observation. Paulette was very lethargic and non-responsive after her second seizure, and she needed significant assistance in walking to the car and getting in. Mom and Paulette returned to the hospital, and I made my way back to Prince George at the same time. While obviously concerned for my sister's health, I did not bring up the small elephant in the room. Would my parents be okay with Asher and Jasmine staying for the planned visit despite their worries about Paulette? Knowing how much Sheila was looking forward to the break I didn't want to be the one to bring it up. It seemed at the time that Paulette's stay at the hospital would be for one night, then she would return home. I told Mom as I left to call us if the kids proved to be "too much". We knew that Jasmine would be very well behaved, but we weren't so sure about Asher. He's active.
It's now Sunday. I haven't seen Asher or Jasmine since Wednesday and from all reports everyone is doing fine. Sheila left yesterday morning to go to her cousin's wedding, also in Quesnel. She is recovering this morning from her fun, and visiting for the day. The hope is that Paulette will be released from the hospital later today after responding well to the new medication she has been prescribed. My mom has spent the majority of her time since Wednesday at the hospital with Paulette, and the kids have spent most of their visit with Grandpa, going for a few visits to see Auntie. I am glad that my dad survived his time with his grandchildren, but I wish the circumstances were different. Hopefully Paulette is released from the hospital today so that she can come up to Prince George with Sheila and the kids when they come back tomorrow. Paulette is set to stay with us for 3 weeks while mom and dad are on holidays. Of course all of these plans have been thrown up in the air by Paulette's health concerns, but with a little good fortune Paulette will be settling in to her room at our house on Monday and we will be seeing mom and dad off on their flight Tuesday morning.
Now after reading the above you might be confused. My title and opening paragraph allude to a great week that I had, but then I proceeded to delve into some bad news. Now, I am very concerned for my sister. Hopefully, we can provide her an opportunity to rest and relax at our house. When she is feeling up to it, she will have some fun with Jasmine and Asher, as I don't plan on sitting around the house on my days off. It's been a long time since we have had the chance to spend considerable time with Paulette, and I am excited about it. The challenge of helping her out over her 3 week stay is not daunting, but thrilling. I am hoping Paulette will enjoy her stay, and maybe we can make her visiting a regular thing. The anticipation of her coming visit is part of why I am feeling so darn good. The rest, well the rest is of my own doing.
While the kids were out of town Sheila and I had a little more time to ourselves then we normally do. Sheila had been excitedly talking about a local production of "The Producers" for weeks, oddly enough considering neither of us had been to a play since we met 7 years ago. Personally, I hadn't seen a play since the school mandated attendance of the annual high school musical every year at Correlieu. Not only did I readily agree to going, I decided to contribute to the date night as well, by offering dinner before hand. Since "Dana Mandi" opened 2 years ago we have had numerous discussions about trying it out. We have had a small number of indian meals over the years and I love the cuisine. Sheila is a little less excited about the food, but was happy to have me for a dinner and a play. Dinner was great, chicken vindaloo, lamb curry and an eggplant dish with garlic naan bread. We were both stuffed and I had two lunches to take home. As it turned out, "The Producers" was great too. I didn't know the story, and other then being told it was a comedy I had no information to go on whatsoever. While it started to drag at the end of hour 3, the production was special when considering everyone involved was local talent. I laughed a number of times, and was blown away at time by the acting and directing talent on display. Gil Botelho played the lead role of "Max Bialystock" and as it turns out, he is a veteran of local plays. His talents alone may have me back in a playhouse sooner then never. I was very glad that Sheila and I had a nice night out while the kids were away.
As I had set some lofty expectations for myself this week in terms of exercise, I knew it would take a considerable effort to reach my goals. It feels really good to sit here and proudly type of my success. In the first 9 days since returning from holiday I lifted weights 6 times, completing a total of 5 routines. I did shoulder and bicep day, deadlift and hamstring day, chest and tricep day, back and trap day, finishing up yesterday morning with quad and calf day, while mixing in 3 ab workouts as well. Right after my leg workout yesterday morning I proceeded to lace up my shoes, slap on my ipod and go out jogging. My jogs all start the same, the first 700 meters or so I go in the same direction, then I have an intersection where I have to decide what kind of a jog it is going to be. Do I go straight ahead, opting for the longer 5 km loop on relatively flat pavement? Do I turn right, easing my way through the light 3 km jog? Or do I turn left, heading straight up St. Lawrence, a considerable hill in both length and grade. When I choose to jog the hill, I then have to rely on will-power to go as high up the hill as I can. I have found that after a leg workout I actually have more energy for running. My muscles are looser, I am less likely to get shin-splints, and I am more motivated to continue putting in work. As I crested the very top of the hill, I congratulated myself in my head, knowing that my jog was a solid accomplishment. Even those that are physically fit enough to tackle my running route would have to battle their own mind to get to the very top. I could stop half way and still be content with myself, but that pinnacle is the goal and always should be. I plan on being there more times throughout the rest of the summer. The previous 8 days I managed to run the 3 km loop, the 5 km loop, bike the 3 km loop, and make one bike trip up most of the St. Lawrence hill. It feels good to have accomplished so much this week, and my fitness level has never been better. Getting fit and having fun, Hal Johnson and Jo-Anne McLeod would be proud.