Ironman is obsessed with numbers. Let me elaborate so you may get the full gravity of the situation. It won’t be surprising that from all of the tech gadgets he excercises with, he loads a slew of performance data onto his computer. How many miles ridden, distances swam and times for each mile run all compete for hard drive space. This is somewhat excusable since he has Triathletes Disease. (If you or someone you love suffers from this illness, find out more about it here.) But once a year, Ironman goes to the doctor like a good Ironman should. He obtains his bloodwork results and puts them in a -wait for it- spreadsheet. He also notates the “normal” range (though I think we’ve already stepped out of normal range here) for the specific finding and then color codes cells that exceed the range and need attention. I can already feel that some men reading this are not alarmed. Hi dad. So. This was all par for the course until I recently came home from the doctor with a copy of my bloodwork results. When I arrived, hemoglobin packet in hand, his eyes lit up. I reluctantly handed them over because for the first time in my life, I was close to needing a highlighted cholesterol cell. Ironman dutifully entered my tainted stats while I recounted my appointment and my dissapointment. I cringed at this blip on my historically spotless health record. I went about my normal day, you know, checking every nutritional label that stuck to jars, bags and boxes for its cholesterol content. I scoured google to confirm “normal range” and all of the horrible diseases and outcomes possible if I hovered above it. I planned an exercise regimen that extended past crawling around on the floor with the Littles. But just as I had forgotten about it, Ironman rounded the corner at dinner and said (you may want to sit down for this) “I’m kinda glad you need to work on your cholesterol. This means there is finally a slight chance I may outlive you.” Ironman, I sure hope you back up all of your data. You never know when your computer might crash.
Ironman thinks I’m ridiculous. For lots of reasons, really, but a chart topper might be my obsession with expiration dates.
He considers them “best by” and I consider them more “I’ll drop dead by if I eat this” dates. I’m not sure what the secret formula is, actually. Maybe it’s just two kids sitting with a calendar and a blindfold. They could tell me anything and I’d throw it out before I let it touch these lips. Ironman’s solution is to inform me that restaurants feed me all sorts of old food I don’t know about. This just detours me from eating out, which I secretly believe is Ironman’s ploy to get me to stop putting such a large dent in the pocket book from dining out. It seems like everything has a best by date now. Even me. When people ask me how far apart the Littles are, I tell them 18 months. Then I find myself defending my Irish twins by divulging that Ironman and I are 40, so we didn’t have the luxury of “proper spacing”. So, I guess you could say 40 was our best by date. I understand that in this instance, the laws of nature guided us away from deciding to be new parents at 90, but I’d like to get away from all of this limitation. The limitation of dates, ages and numbers. When I started this blog on my 40th birthday, Ironman gave me a new laptop and wrapped it in paper with names of women who only became successful writers after the age of 40. His gift was much more than a laptop, though I think we can all agree a MacBook Air is God’s work. It was a reminder that I don’t want to be too old to start something new, too out of shape to try a triathlon (don’t tell Ironman that), too long out of the workforce to be a CEO someday after the Littles go to school. More importantly, I don’t want the Littles to adopt limitation, and I know one way to avoid that is for me to live without it. I’m going on a limitation cleanse. Just don’t make me eat that expired yogurt in the fridge. I’m too young to die.