Sunday, May 23, 2010

Off Track

I come in contact with a lot of people at work. I have conversations with them, my shoulder gets cried on, I get yelled at, I shake hands, and I get a few unavoidable hugs. Some of these people don't practice the best hygiene and many of them shuffle around with all kinds of cold and flu germs. So...I get em. My immune system is actually quite strong but, once in a while, I catch a doozy of a bug and it just lays me out for a couple of weeks.

Oh, I keep going to work. To my mind, calling in sick means that you basically can't get out of bed. Plain old not feeling good is not a valid reason to me not to perform my duty. Yet not feeling good has been my norm for quite a few days now. Along with feeling pukey I've not been paying much attention to my diet. And exercise? Forget it.

Thus, for the last two weeks, I've gone off track with everything. Still lost some weight but it's probably due more to dehydration than fat going away. I'm not back up to feeling 100%. I may just have to chalk this down as a vacation from my fitness goal and regroup and restart later.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Breathe Easy

Driving around as I do on Saturdays when I'm at work. Mostly it's an easy, laid-back day. I go visit somebody there. Go check up on somebody at another place. Drive, drive, drive....listen to the radio....think about my upcoming days off....just truckin' like the Do-Dah Man with the window down and enjoying a nice spring day.

Whilst driving down one road this afternoon; however, I notice a whole bunch of fire trucks and police cars converge on an intersection and people proceed to run in several directions at once. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I drove right beside the tank that had fallen off the trailer in the photo above. It was full of anhydrous ammonia and the valve had evidently broken off.

I caught a lung full which felt like somebody had hit me in the chest with a baseball bat. Then I was unable to keep my eyes open. I floored my pickup and made a very sharp turn, fumbling to turn the air conditioning on full blast to clear out the air in my cab. The whole thing lasted no more than a few seconds but it seemed to be enough time for me to think to myself "If I don't get out of here now, I'm going to pass out and die" and "I hope I don't drive into another car or a house or some poor sap on the sidewalk".

I didn't die and I managed to keep from killing somebody else. It did get me thinking about what's important. I had all kinds of important things in my mind before I came alongside the broken tank. After all...I have an important job doing important stuff. I have a lot of important thoughts to think.

Except when I took a whiff of the ammonia. Then, like magic, the only thing I was able to focus on was getting my next breath.

Zen masters call it a moment of clarity.
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