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Archive for December, 2008

Latent Pain

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In 2007 I was in great health, but I got comfortable, lazy, and then overworked. At every corner exercise was sacrificed as justification that I could do it tomorrow. I also hurt my back nearly constantly due to having a chair with a messed up back support and going to the golfing driving range often (which was stupid given my character).

In September of 2007 I dropped my wife off at the airport because she was flying out before me and I was literally curled over a cart pushing thing like an old lady. When I got home something made me try my wife’s chair and within a day or two my back went from being brutalized to working normally. Life was well.

Well 2008 is over…and I will remember it as the year I traded in my physical health (and perhaps a bit of my mental health) for material wealth. Throughout the latter half of the year my body simply started breaking down…particularly my back. The back pain from 2007 was from my chair and my stupid golf escapades, but the back pain in 2008 was from a lack of exercise and dramatic weight gain (I could write a book on gaining weight!)

I flew to New York with my wife for a hedge fund conference and our anniversary and in Denver during a layover my back went out. I tried standing up and simply fell to the ground on all 4s. I said “I am fine, don’t worry.” Then I tried getting up and I physically felt (and heard) a disk slip in my back. I was pretty-much laid up for about a week. I luckily was able to hobble down to make my speech and was able to go out for dinner on our anniversary…but I generally let my wife down by taking quasi-vacation time and making it primarily a hotel room only event. 🙁

About 2 weeks ago my wife and I went to Lake Tahoe for a break. The trip was short and rushed…but yet again I managed to throw my back out. Luckily this time I caught it a bit quicker when it first started to spasm…fell to the ground quickly, and then was fairly ginger with it – laying down.

That night I went to an outdoor hot tub. It was hot and presented a nice contrast to the 35 to 50 mile an hour gusts, dropping snow, and 0 degree temperature. I had one of the heat jets point at my back and that helped a lot. By the next morning I felt like my back was almost perfect. Yippie.

But that hot tub is probably why I am now sitting here enjoying the flu (or a really bad cold)! And thinking about that helped me come up with the concept of latent pain. I didn’t end up throwing out my back because I was really active…that was only a symptom. I threw out my back because my weight gain and physical sloth simply stands a good chance of catching up with me whenever I actually am active – latent pain.

A big part of that weight gain was stress from trying to grow too fast…spending too much and then hoping to make enough before tax time comes around…investing about double what I made the year prior into growth…changing my business model to a more time intensive and interactive model without hiring enough staff (dumb)…and building out tons of other websites.

Near the end of the year we almost bought real estate, but it turned out the multi-unit we looked at was a total pile of crap on the inside. I am glad we did not buy it because…

  • real estate offers such limited returns compared to the web
  • real estate prices are still well above historical norms
  • I didn’t want to carry any debt in this economic environment
  • buying with cash would have caused us to spend about all we have (and perhaps part of our tax money, which would have required the float again)
  • the additional stress would have probably been enough to simply break me down and make me quit working so hard and seclude myself from society

Another secret to my dramatic weight gain was that my daily routine did not include exercise (dumb of me) but included a daily pearl drink/boba run…where I would get Jasmine green milk tea with starch tapioca balls in it. Tapioca is all starch, and that strategy was one filled with empty calories.

Different people have different motivations. I think part of what made me work so hard was trying to impress my wife, though I imagine she would have been more impressed if I lived more balanced, worked less, and was not often in pain.

I really despise being compared to others because the ceiling is never high enough. Never do you get compared to a homeless guy and say “hey I am doing pretty good.” I don’t know a single other person that works anywhere near as hard or as long as I do, and I always cringe when we spend our earnings buying overpriced material possessions – you can never keep up with greed and it must be discouraged early and often. Everyone has their own value systems, and none of them justify turning yourself into a slave. I would prefer to be in better shape and my wife would prefer that I spent more time with her.

Worse yet on the material and economic wealth front, at the highest levels of our government are war criminals who confiscate our work via inflation and taxes and give it to bankers who lost trillions of dollars due to utter incompetence, greed, and fraud. It is one thing if I am paying hundreds of thousands in taxes to pay for building a country’s infrastructure, but it is quite another for me to trade in my health to pay interest on war debt and give money to criminals.

We have ok cash flow, ok savings, and really do not need to focus on the economic front…that is not the weakness. The weaknesses are life-balance and physical exercise. I bought an elliptical machine about 6 months ago…hopefully when I get healthy in the next couple days I will finally use it.

Written by admin

December 31st, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Posted in dieting