Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

It Is A Vicious Bi-Cycle

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James Martin
Sunday, January 13, 2013

Last month, with a few of my kids, we ventured out to the mall for Christmas shopping. Of course the mall was packed with anxious people racing around the maze of shoppers and sellers. It was a good opportunity to people watch, but alas, sometimes the watchers are also watched.

As I stood there, slurping on my large Pina Colada Orange Julius, I was approached by a prim and trim well dressed man. He gave me his business card which read "Jackson Hurumph, V.P.Goodyear Marketing." He asked if I was not busy during the upcoming college bowl season, his company would be interested in advertising on me. I gave Mr. Hurumph my own hurumph, and waddled over to find solace with Mrs. Fields and her chunky chip macadamia nut cookies.

The following week, I had my quarterly doctor appointment. As always, it began with me stepping on the large animal scale next to the carnival barker offering stuffed animal prizes. The scale made rumbling and groaning sounds and then the bells began to ring and the LED lights began to flash . I didn't win a stuffed animal, but was awarded the Governor's State Fair Blue Ribbon. Maybe Jim's diet of whatever I darn well please, was not the best plan of action.

During my appointment I inquired about some exercise routine and they advised a light cardio workout wasn't going to kill me. You have heard of Doctors Without Borders, well I am a patient of Doctors With A Sense Of Humor. Too bad watching t.v. isn't a cardio workout.

With everyone home on Christmas Eve, we went to see Santa and get our annual family picture with him. We waited in line and when it was our turn, Santa asked if he should instead sit on my lap. Then in all seriousness, I asked him for an exercise bike. He said it was kind of last minute, but with a twinkle in his eye, he said he would see what he could do. (I had a sneaking suspicion that Mrs. Claus gave him one last year that might just make it my way.)

To my slim surprise, Santa came through and I received a recumbent stationary bike. In English, that means I sit back (in a chair like seat) to pedal instead of sitting on one of those racing bike seat suppositories. The stationary bike is full of bells and whistles, resistance levels and types of workouts; it measures my speed, heart rate, and calories burned. It does everything except drag my fanny onto it.

And like all other New Year resolvers on exercise bikes , I have spent the first part of 2013 peddling my way to nowhere. No matter how fast or hard I pedal, I remain in the same place chasing less of me by exerting more. It is a vicious cycle, or better said a vicious bi-cycle. Overall, I have been diligent in using it and am looking forward to seeing less of me in the new year. Wish me luck.

Last updated: 9:24 am Monday, April 29, 2013

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

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