Kids getting sick and then you getting sick

By | April 8, 2017

This year we all stayed healthier. Perhaps it was the combination of the warmer winter and healthier immune systems (that is, being able to sleep—last winter Ruby was still waking us up routinely). Until just this last weekend. We had pink eye, ear infections, and a nasty cold. The kind that makes your body ache and gives you the chills at night.

That kind of cold definitely makes me do some introspecting. Why did I get that sick? A couple things were different. We stopped drinking wine (which is all we ever drink), and I stopped eating bread. The bread part was probably the biggest shock for my body. I would say I eat bread 6 days out of 7. At one point after a week I walked by the kitchen at work and someone was toasting bread. I stopped and couldn’t help myself from exclaiming, “That bread smells goooood!”

Then there was the workload at work. I was trying to do way too much. The person in my old job retired so I was filling in for him. I tried to juggle too many balls in both things and in the end had to abruptly divert focus and lots of it. In any case, sometimes you get those sick dreams and my dreams that night were all nightmares about fucking something up.

So, there was stress. On top of that, I had lifted heavy the week prior. Taxing my system even more.

Man, I was vulnerable. So when Nora got pink eye, I got pink eye—and this nasty cold.

The weather is getting warmer and it feels great. Longer days. Even with a milder winter, there is a buoyancy to the strong rays of the sun.

And this gets me to ruggedness. The outdoor life is more rugged. I’m an indoor man and shit, it’s messing me up. Always in climate controlled buildings. It’s gotta stop.

Getting sun and fresh air is a health elixir. Obviously I’m not talking about getting burned here but getting exposure even to the early sun is super restorative.

Getting outdoors exposes you to different temperatures. It forces your autonomous nervous system to adapt to the environment. It makes you hardier.

As my high school friends moved away and we grew up and got married—and even died, the people I used to play sports with and be outdoors with are gone. Plus I’m a helluva lot more busy. Shit. But now, the kids are drawing me again to the outdoors and it’s really nice. I’m getting a sense for what I’ve been missing for all these years.

Anyway, I think I’ll be a lot more rugged as I expose myself to the outdoors more with my kids.

Last week I was just coming down with this at around this time. Now I’m physically feeling stronger but don’t have my stamina yet. It’ll still be a couple days before I train, and I’ll take it lighter. A big thing lately has been flexibility and I think I’ll be taking a video of the triceps stretch I’ve been doing lately. It’s really great. And I guess I’ll leave it at that, relaxed stretching. Even when you’re sick, you can typically do a little relaxed, gentle stretching and it feels great. It works great as a first “workout” too. Today I did a 15-minute stretching routine out in the sun and it felt great!

Author: Justin Qualler

Justin Qualler is that rare animal who balances an active life—he's both a full-time technical writer and devoted family man—with a level of fitness that takes a back seat to none. Justin's convinced that everyone can make optimal health and strength a default setting in their life.