Sometimes Bad Dreams Are Better

That moment when you realize you did not have a bad dream but rather woke up to a bad reality.

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When a Macklemore Song Becomes a Sad Song

…Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ’til it’s over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us

Like the ceiling can’t hold us…

These are a couple of lyrics from the Macklemore song Can’t Hold Us and it is one of Marcus’ favorite songs. It played when I was warming up in the gym yesterday. It was supposed to pump up my mind and body as it always does. It is just like its effect on Marcus every time he views this one YouTube montage of Halo. He goes crazy, he dances. Yes, it is a song that he introduced to me and I have come to loved as well.

Saturday’s gym session, however, was different.  I was pedaling while I was holding back from crying. I could have let go of my tears and made it mix with my own sweat which are starting to drip on the rubber floor but I couldn’t. I’m in a gym. Men do not cry inside the gym unless maybe they got hit by a dumbbell.

The song eventually ended and I was able to move on. It was so far the saddest stationary bike warm up I ever had but I know that I will have the same feeling again in the next days if I hear the same song again. It would make me imagine the Halo characters in that montage where all are mighty and brave, all are strong and muscular, everyone fast and invincible. Marcus likes them. Marcus wants to be one of them.

Last Friday we learned that this will not happen.

Our second visit to another doctor this week made us discover that Marcus all along has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). This condition is a genetic problem that results to progressive muscular wasting that causes all the muscles—the heart included—to fail at some point. What got us so devastated was when the doctor confirmed what I have read from the article that wifey posted on my facebook private message—DMD does not have any cure for now.

Muscles of people with DMD weaken over time. We now understand why Marcus at age seven still cannot run just like the other kids. He cannot climb stairs. He cannot stand up on his own. He falls for no reason. And it is not his fault—never was. I now feel guilty expecting too much from him and forcing him to run just so he becomes the hero he wants to be. I have required him to run inside the house every time his Xbox timer expires. We once all thought that he just lacks exercise.

Our awareness to his condition hit us. Suddenly everything changed–our plans, our focus, our dreams, our faith. I know things will be different in the next days, in the next years. But DMD can’t hold us. Should not hold us.

…Return of the Mack, get up!

What it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn’t.

Looking for a better way to get up out of bed…

 

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Lyrics from azlyrics.com

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Mood: 9/10 Honks! (Lord, make us strong.)

Slow Down and Stop

Most of us would agree that we hate being stopped. It is the reason we strain our necks to investigate what keeps traffic from moving, often times it is what causes us to blare our horns madly to coax that unsuspecting guy in front of us to step on it.

When sickness strikes, we desperately try to fight it off. We question the heavens why us, when will we recover. And we want that damn recovery fast.

At work, we get impatient when that dream job we have been applying for just doesn’t come so soon.

And in our family, our children or spouses bear the brunt whenever things don’t go our way.

Any sign of stopping we just immediately hate.  When something breaks our momentum and keeps us indefinitely stationary we become impatient, frustrated, and irrational.

But what we must realize is that there are always reasons, important ones, that we are stopped on our tracks. For one, it is the time we are given the opportunity to reflect, to analyze, and to reconsider. Being on the go makes us feel invincible, too proud, too detached from reality, and worse, from the very people who are supposed to be the main recipients of why we want to keep on moving.

On that note, this holy week, whether too pious or not, let us allow ourselves to slow down or come to a full halt and appreciate what we currently have, what we have achieved so far. Let us stop and remember to thank the divine power who in the first place has kept us going throughout the whole year.

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Mood: 1/10 Honks! (My last work day for this week.)

I Need Prayers…and Burgers

I just had an interesting exchange with someone:

Email message: I was about to ask you last Sunday na pumayat po kayo (you have lose weight)…Do you need prayers?

My reply: Yes, I need prayers…and burgers…

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I don’t know how my other friends and immediate family will think once they see me because other than losing weight I am starting to sport a longer hair with the goal to get that ponytail back (I will try if I can find a pic) which I had when I got married and maintained until around 2004. Let’s see this Christmas vacation once I am home and and which is also when I’ll know if I can fend off food that will be abundant this time of the year. Few more days, time’s fast.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Dear God, Thanks for good health.)

Run Barefoot, Anyone?

I’m taking a break from a whole day of typing in my desperate (yet educational) dash to finish a research paper which is due for presentation this Thursday. So while checking my Twitter for updates, I stumbled upon this @TIME ‘s post: “Is running barefoot better for you?”

Out of curiosity if I’ll see the same post that was about how the Africans can run effectively and fast without any footwear, the one I saw was different but just as interesting. It is barefoot alright, but technically it’s not.

I don’t know when this Five-Finger will become a trend and make the current Nike shoes obsolete and cheap (to my delight), but right now I have mixed feelings about it. One part of me is excited to see it upfront while another part of me doubts that this is just another marketing ploy. It is just one of those things like when they’d like to sell green tea, they say that coffee is bad; when they’d like to sell a new coffee bean brand, they’d say that drinking coffee is good for one’s health. Well, make up your mind folks.

Anyway, my rant is a hopeless rant. It has worked time and again, despite having a poor product, businesses usually become better than ever. And so I know that this Vibram FiveFingers shoe will also pick up soon. It’s just all about good marketing and identifying gullible consumers who will get hooked to it like persistent leeches.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Last stretch of my research paper and I’ll be running the treadmill soon…using my Nike shoes. Not barefoot. Yet)

The Christmas Leftovers and I

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” – unknown.

It’s been three days already since I’ve been eating the chocolate roll that we had for Noche Buena. My diet since then has been on leftovers and thankfully, it looks like this day will be the last unless our refrigerator reveals another Tupperware with foods waiting to be consumed.

Leftovers, however, need not be boring. Thankfully wifey is good at cooking that leftovers get some twist during every other meal. Like yesterday, the embutido met up with the excess spaghetti sauce, and presto, instant spicy recipe that went well with rice for lunch. The dessert is the seemingly immaculate chocolate cake but paired with a couple peach-sago salad transformed into something better.

I’m not sure yet, if what’s happening right now inside my body as the last time I had an intense activity was when I joined a badminton dual-meet two weeks ago. After that whole day of flexing, jumping and smashing, I was on calorie collection as if some polar bear stacking body fats for hibernation. Now, I’m trying to avoid stepping on the weighing scale. What you don’t know won’t hurt you, right?

I don’t know if I could fit some real cardiovascular activities among some other plans I have during this vacation period. The nearest I can get some sweat out are cleaning up, detailing the car (which I already did from 7-12 noon yesterday), and fixing stuffs inside the house.

Fitness gurus say that what matters most with each person’s well-being is looking good and feeling good about his own self. Well, I think I’d prefer for now that ‘feeling good’ part. Let’s worry about the looking good aspect next year while I compete with those running the treadmill in the gym.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks!

 

Aging Anxieties

“How I was born, I do not remember. How I will die, I do not know” –Russian Proverb

My father and I celebrate our birthday always on the same date. Our ages are 40 years apart. And just recently, I turned 33.

My wife asked me one time, if how old my tatay will be this year. “Seventy-three,” I answered. “Do you think you’ll reach that age?” was her quick reply.

That one quick discussion made me think–and I assume she meant well. Would I still be alive 40 years from now? How would I look like by that time? In what condition would I be? Would I be financially stable by then? And a lot more questions I could possibly think of.

A decade back then, when I reached my early twenties I said to myself that I’d be happy to reach the age of 50. I used to fear the thought of getting old and helpless, I just don’t want myself to be in that situation.

But as I grew older, started to work and soon got married, I’ve come to appreciate life even more. Now the age goal has to be extended—as if I can do something about it. Every now and then, I would daydream about a laid-back, idyllic farm setting, my wife and I just lazily sitting outside while we watch the golden sun set over the horizon. Children and/or English bulldogs running around are always included, of course.

Sometimes though, these hopes of living longer would be snapped out each time that I would get sick. I’m often so paranoid that a little bit of headache would send me thinking of my mortality. Only the paranoid survive, right? Thankfully, I recovered and got medications for my “new” migraine. Now I can once again start dreaming of happy thoughts.

Whatever will be, will be or Que sera sera, as nanay would often sing. So true. Whether I like it or not, I’m indeed getting older. And one obvious fact would be the number of white hairs my wife has been plucking so eagerly from my head. On some days I would ask her to leave it alone as I would feel proud having those and see them in the mirror peeking out of the black ones which are still the majority for now. Until when it would be fully covered in white locks, I can only guess.

God willing, I will appreciate it a lot if the time comes that I would be 73 yet still be able to walk, to enjoy each day and still be together with my loving wife. And so, until that time comes, I’ll let my favorite daydreams continue.