My Addictions

I have in my life activities that I find so fulfilling that I am addicted to them. They feel to me as though they are critical to my health, survival, and sanity. Without them my life would be drab and incomplete.

One is weight lifting, sometimes called weight training. For many years, I’ve had my own weight bench, barbells, dumbbells, and an exercise bike. I was also a runner until several years ago when I had knee replacement surgery that went awry. I haven’t been able to run since.

I didn’t run or lift weights for health reasons. I did it because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nothing matches a runner’s high or the sense of sheer vitality that comes from a good, hard session of lifting weights.

Unfortunately, as injuries and illnesses affected me, I became less able to engage in my favorite exercises. I haven’t been able to run at all for several years. Then a couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I underwent chemotherapy and radiation and finally has the upper lobe of my right lung removed by surgery. I have tried several times to resume weight lifting but haven’t had the bodily strength. I’ll try again this spring.

Another of my predilections is music. I discovered classical music as a child, and my fondness for it soon grew to love. For years, I composed and even took a BA in music from the University of California. These days, I have less free time than ever before, but I still squeak out an occasional hour for listening to my recordings. My all-time favorite composer is Bach, with Brahms not far behind.

My love for music led me to teach myself as a child how to play the piano, even though I didn’t own one. While in high school, I scraped together the money to buy the cheapest piano I could find, an ancient upright that lasted me all the way through college. Today I have a Steinway grand, a gift from my daughter, that doesn’t get the attention it deserves because I’m too busy writing and doing readings and presentations.

More tomorrow.

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