Monday, January 4, 2010

Inspiration, anti-inspiration

So John posts on Facebook that he read my column in the December issue of Triathlete titled "Unflattering Mom Genes," the one where I own up to my very bad visit to the doctor, the one she looked at my blood lipids, sat me down and threatened to put me on cholesterol medications. I'd link to it, but it only appears in the print edition (way to hitch your wagon to the horse of the future, there, Jef). To make a short column shorter, I go on to cite Jim Fixx and J.I. Rodale, two paragons of fitness who died of heart failure and became causes célèbre for the crowd looking for an excuse not to exercise, as my sources of anti-inspiration and vow to change my ways. I close with the phrase:

"I know I will die. I know I could die young. I expect to die pissed. But I refuse to die embarrassed." And now John has made my day by adopting that as his motto for the season.

The story, as long-time followers of my nonsense already know, is that I changed my diet, dropped my cholesterol into a safe range, lost some weight, run a little faster, feel a lot better, and have to look elsewhere for my rage and embarrassment.

John's post is cool enough by itself, but his timing is better than any comedian's I know. For one, it somehow seems right after a hard week when my cat who lived perpetually pissed died remarkably peacefully of heart failure. No idea what Fiona's cholesterol numbers were, but I do know how much I appreciated, and will forever appreciate, the kind words and reassurances and occasional tasteful joke from so many friends. Thank you, more than I can say. (We now return you to a more direct and logical connection to John's post about my cholesterol.)

While John was mentioning my column, Dane was tipping me off to a photo of a restaurant in Toronto called "Dangerous Dan's Diner." This was too cool. My first book - before Frazz, before the VeloNews cartoons, before the Inside Triathlon and Triathlete gigs, before Trizophrenia - was a children's picture book called "Dangerous Dan." You can see in the photo that the old-school diner has a new-school Web address posted, which I followed to find their signature burger. Let's just say I can enjoy their name, but I will never be allowed to eat their food. I still half wonder if my bad blood test this summer was still due in part to the Solly's Butter Burger I had in Milwaukee a year and a half before that. And let's just say that, next to a Dangerous Dan Burger, a Solly's Butter Burger looks like a fish-oil pill on a bun.

And here I am in Michigan, halfway between Solly's and Dangerous Dan's. Either way the wind blows, I'm dead the day they determine there's such thing as second-hand cholesterol.