As most of you know I turned 50 on May 29. We had a nice party beforehand and then I got to go to NY city for the first time. Had a grand ole time. The following week we had some team members who did the APF Nationals. We have relatives on my side in SE Indiana back in the woods. They are getting on up there in age and have had some really hard health issues like my Aunt with 3 bouts of cancer and my Uncle with triple by pass and an aortic aneurysm after the by pass. Them both being tough as nails told death to come again another day. In the meantime, we made a journey to hang out for a couple of days before heading to the meet.
The small piece of farmland my family owns in Indiana is tucked away and surrounded by lots of woods, fields and a few people here and there. It is quite peaceful and as soon you turn up the lane, you forget about most of society as the trees that have been trying to gobble up the lane for decades darken and block out most of the sunshine and of course your cell reception. When we first got there, they did not answer their door so the wife and I stroll around and suck it in. By the time we got back they had made it to the door, only after my Aunt happened to look out the window and see the rental car. It is cool outside and we sat on the porch and chatted for several hours.
When we were young, they would all sit around for hours talking. Nobody really drank so it was just conversation. As a child, I had to go go go and could never understand or tolerate sitting unless it was to eat and then I’d hit the woods. A few decades later, I get it and just hanging is pretty awesome. Of course, you hear all about the ailments over the past years. You get some more details you didn’t get the last time or two like the radiation treatments for my Aunt’s cancers were the old barbaric kind often leaving her skin burned if they did not cover up. I had 30 radiation treatments, she had double that and then some! My Uncle John would not be here today because after his aneurysm the ambulance got lost going to the house. My Aunt was strong enough to hold him upright in a sitting position until help finally came, and that saved his life. He also had some amazing care givers and doctors. About that time, we both realized if this was combat, they both would get many medals and accommodations.
The next day we got back to the house at about 10:30 am. They asked us to give them till at least 10. We had us a nice breakfast sandwich in Laweranceburg to kill some time. The wife likes a soda any time of the day and breakfast is perfect for that in her eyes. The lady was ringing me up and said blah blah blah and two pops. I stand there dazed for a minute as I am trying to decipher what she says. She finally looks in the cooler direction and I remember,”pop”. I had not heard that term for soda for so many years. We got to the farm and they are both sitting on the porch cleaned up and acting like they had been there all day. My Aunt who always wore pig tails in her youth has them done up and looks cute as a button. Uncle John, hair slicked, is sitting in his chair with his button up short sleeve shirt on with the front undone so the chest and scars are hanging out. This is normal by the way as a youth, he never buttoned his shirt unless it was cold on the farm.
We chatted for a long time again and had planned to leave about 12:30 or so to get to Chicago before nightfall. Before long, I am digging around in 30 year old vans and an old trailer, vacant at least 30 years, looking for a portrait of my great uncle from WWI. The van is an early 80’s van with the wood ceiling that has fallen down and the windows are crusted over making it difficult to look in. From the outside it looks like a no go as the door is rusted shut. I look in the back and see the ceiling lying on the seats broken and nasty. After a wrestling match I get the door open. I am deftly afraid of any type of bee or wasp and expect to get hammered by them. That does not happen but my Uncle says, “Watch out for sumthin’ livin’ in there.” Already on high alert I get in but am not attacked by anything. I rummage around with dust and decay flying up my nostrils. Luck is not there. so I shut it up for the absolute last time in this vehicle’s life and move on to a camper next door. I survive this as well and Floyd is nowhere to be found. The wife and Uncle have gone off to the old trailer they used to live in that is now surrounded by trees and rotting. I get out of the camper thinking I have skated only to hear,”Your Uncle thinks it is in the trailer.” I sigh and say okay, the hunt is making everyone happy except the guy storming the GD gates here! My Uncle says precisely where he thinks it is as he prunes away the poison ivy from the old concrete block steps to the trailer. He then tells me to be careful as most of the floor is rotted. Yea for me… I get in and the floor creaks and gives as I try to stay on the very narrow floor support beams and not on the rotted flooring. Of course, the portrait is suppose to be hanging up in the old kitchen which is down the HALL. I survive the hallway only to be met by many old birdcages partially blocking the route. My Aunt used to raise all types of birds and sell them for many years. In high school, I cleaned these cages for beer and gas money for my 1976 Candy Apple green Pinto station wagon.
Moving them around I peak around the corner only to see nothing on the wall. I yell back at them as such and then look at the stove which has something oval looking like a picture frame. Suddenly it rushes back to my brain the frame and picture that I used to see on the wall. I tell them wait a second and then proceed to move many things to get the 6 feet or so to the stove. I get there and start to pick it up and there are large animal turds on it that we later speculated that it was a Bobcat. The glass is broken and my thoughts are that it is highly unlikey to have survived. I hand it off to the ole lady. We get it outside and apart less the turds and much to our amazement, Floyd had survived 30 plus years in a trailer that was open to the elements. I had forgotten his expression but it was a somewhat angry one but I guess after 30 years and cat pooping on ya we would all be a tad angry.
If you have watched any of the Alien movies, surviving this felt like any scene where they are in a room with the pods. Post this, we were back on the porch hanging out. It was past time and we were about to try to take off when my Aunt wanted to go pick up Bologna sandwiches from the convenience store in Holton, IN. This store supposedly had some good sandwiches and it makes them tickled to death to do this. Sorta like the take out from last trip which meant McDonald’s did. We agree because what else are we gonna do and my breakfast has wore off anyhow. During the wait while the wife and Aunt were gone, I felt like I was gonna get the questions about the farm. The day prior my Uncle had asked about whether we would move back and I played dumb while he talked about them not being able to take care of themselves on the farm at some point. Not a comfortable subject for me thinking about that as they have always been independent. He dropped it and so the next day I thought it would come up during the bologna samich run. It did not as we talked about old farm equipment he had and this and that. We will be ready when they are though is in both of our minds.
The bologna sandwiches were pretty damn good. The wife only wanted cheese and gave me her bologna which made for about pound plus for me. There is something very satisfying about a bologna sandwich and this one was really good. We started to say our goodbyes and both my Aunt and Uncle reiterated the story about a motorcycle that my Uncle and Dad were fighting over. I mentioned this awhile back as it was really silly that two 70 plus year old men were fighting over who owned this motorcycle that had been sitting up for decades in a barn and that neither could ride the damn thing even if it was fixed. But we got their side as well for the second time and some more details left out by my father. The cycle feud continues on however. Maybe I can squash it when I see my Dad again as it really is a waste of time especially at this age in the game. Either way it was great to see and hang out with them leaving my Uncle with uncomfortable hugs and love you guys which he does not like.
Off to Chicago. Friday, before the meet, we planned a Be Activated session with Dr. Eric Janota who is also a regular doctor who utilizes Be Activated in his practice. We both really needed it. I had been working on myself a lot but begun to fade out on it. The wife had not really done much either in quite awhile. We were both pretty stressed out and sucking it all in again. To be honest, I had sorta got close to my previous status before Be Activated (RPR is another term for it). This meant locking back down physically, no desire about much and no motivation, almost a depressed state it felt like. It is not just a sesh with Eric ever. He has gnarly paws that are deadly when they dig in. He asks many questions before any work is done though. His goal is to bring it to the surface before physical work starts. He is also another person outside of the two of us working on each other which has many of its own roadblocks. He is also much like me – an introvert so he got me open fairly quickly. My desire to be free from the records I play (we all play our own) is there but also my misery and personal suffering is also a safe and familiar place to hide from where I want to be as a person. It is your own castle with a moat that you can wall yourself up in, My castle door was about half way open with insecurities and feelings of uselessness trying to close the gate.
Once it was pulled to the surface, some breathing point and just finding my breath work reestablished my grounding and I felt really good and calm again. He did lots more work and hit some points I am not familiar with. He had done this last time as well. We are trying to talk him into some seminars covering work not in level 1 and 2 but so far he isn’t into that so we will keep pecking away at him. Long story shortened to a novella is I have to decide what makes me happy where I am at this point in life and which perspective I want to take. Twenty years ago, I began to drive my life in particular directions to do one thing-powerlift. Powerlifting made me very happy. Once powerlifting ended, I again drove lots of my life in particular directions in order to create a safe haven monetarily wise for our family in businesses that we were good at and would make me happy and obviously enjoy while contributing positively and helping other people drive their lives in the directions they want to go. This happiness was not as strong as the powerlifting happiness was for me. That was my perspective. Successful, yes, really happy not so much. This is my own internalization by the way if that does not make sense. So Eric’s session left me with the question about what really makes me happy in my life and the perspective that I can take or not take. My time with Eric was then done and it was shred the wife time.
We left feeling good. The wife’s glass is always half full and mine was as well. We left Sandwich, Illinois which is in the middle of fields and headed back to Chicago and the APF Nationals. Old man Mike had a solid meet and Stevie Nicks did too benching a sweet 584 raw. We saw a lot of old friends and laughed a good bit. On day one of the meet, it was packed with lifters. I have not seen this meet that strong with people in possibly 10 years. The enthusiasm was high making the meet fun again. Day two was much lighter with the number of lifters but still plenty of fun and energy. I was happy to see the guys do well and have a good meet.
3 laps with sled and charger harness. Yes that is all.
— end the article —