Checking In 9/11/2021

Good morning! Rest day today.

I got a flu shot yesterday, and probably not a bad idea in general to get one if you can, because reportedly this flu season (Corona aside) is apparently going to be a bad one.

As I’ve mentioned before, I get flu shots before the winter most years, especially if I plan on doing a lot during the winter. I don’t want to have a training cycle or other big plans derailed by a winter flu. The shot doesn’t always work, sure: I got the flu anyway during Vancouver 2019 training, because a strain that year’s shot didn’t cover ended up going around. But most of the time, I get the shot in September/October and I avoid trouble during the winter.

Last night at the gym I knocked out my most productive elliptical workout in a while, hitting aerobic zone 2 for much of the 45 minutes. Obviously, knowing I planned to rest Saturday made it easier to go harder this time around. I hit back to back to back 40-45 minute workouts for the first time in three weeks, and am hoping to keep the train going through the next two months.

Even though the prox-ham pain’s still lingering, I’d like on Sunday to finally attempt those easy intervals during the morning, then go a bit long in the afternoon on the elliptical. I’m not feeling pain when running in brief instances, and I want to finally extend my running and see how it responds.

For today I’m going to eat a lot of cantaloupe and protein, and relax. Naps sound great.


I guess I’d be remiss on the 20th anniversary not to mention or reflect on 9/11. I don’t have much to say about the attack and disaster itself, but I do have some personal stuff I can share.

At the time I was 22 and working the overnight shift in the casino cage at Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas. I was actually on the clock in the moments the whole thing went down (about 5-6am PDT). At first, what we found out was second hand info from our boss that a plane crashed into WTC, maybe it was terrorists. It was just another random bit of national news you get while working the casino floor.

Then, I walked into her office to drop off daily reports during her lunch break. The TV in her office was on, and at that moment they broke that another plane hit the Pentagon, and it became clear it was a much bigger deal. I remember after work walking into Roma Cafe, they had a TV on in the cafe showing the coverage, and the whole room was just crestfallen.

A couple weeks later I got laid off along with a bunch of other casino employees due to the obvious business slowdown. I can tell you a lot of people thought the whole thing was the end of the world, and yes the government-controlled media coverage had a lot to do with that. Obviously, it ultimately ended up not being anywhere close to the end of the world and life has since gone on.

It certainly steered me away from whatever life path I was on at the time, and it would be a while (months/years) before I took my life off pause and sought to do anything beyond go to work (I did go back to college, and soon after moved to Seattle, where a lot happened in the 10 years following). Part of me then regretted letting the whole thing bring my life to a halt, but looking back I realize at the time I wasn’t doing a whole hell of a lot anyway. My life was in a limbo after leaving school in 1999 and a brief but futile move to Texas, and I definitely wasn’t enjoying life on the graveyard shift (which generally isn’t the healthiest lifestyle).

Putting aside the obvious tragedy and loss of life for a moment… had none of it happened, I don’t think my life would have headed anywhere better without an unexpected catalyst. Maybe I saved my money, but honestly beyond moving to a nicer Vegas apartment I’m not sure what I would have been compelled to do otherwise. This tragic national event basically ended up being the first of several catalysts for me. My life obviously didn’t get better in the short run (which is obviously still better than it ENDING, as it did for thousands that day), but it ended up going better in the long run thanks to the driven decisions that followed.

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