Starting again – CPAP Happy

There’s comes a time to start again. Good Animal, as a starter blog, has served as a great place to dabble in ideas and expressions, stories and places. It’s will be in a state of perpetual growth and change. Time to start writing it again with a new vision. As my Dad once said, “writers write” and he said best. So true. Just write it out.

CPAP Happy. That’s where I’m taking this blog. I’ve been told by one sleep physician and more than one respiratory therapist that I have a weight-connected issue called OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea affects more of us that we realize. Having once woken up happy, well rested and alert, I now take half h0ur or more to fully wake up. And only then with at least two jolts of crap coffee from a plastic capsule. Sweet.  Dragging my ass out off bed at 6:00 am has never been harder. I’m 45 years old.

So I’m in therapy now. OSO therapy or therapy with something called a CPAP. CPAP stands for \Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It’s a device the size of a toaster that sits on your bedside table, forcing air into an airway that’s supposed to stay open while you sleep. So if you can wear what feels like the face sucker from the first Alien movie on your face and fall asleep, then you’re good to go. Picture Han Solo searching around the outside of the Millenium Falcon for alien life forms during The Empires Strikes Back. Yea, that’s what one of these things looks like.

Han with Mask
Good shootin’ Kid!




I’ve been training for an eleven mile obstacle course race. It’s promised to be an event for the brave of heart, tough minded and robustly muscled. British Special Forces guys came up with a new way for the common day athlete to be tested. It caught my attention the first time I heard about it. Seven months ago I gazed over my coworkers shoulder in awe at the Tough Mudder videos on his laptop. This is the real deal I thought. A Special Forces inspired endurance event with physically and psychologically demanding hurdles and obstacles to test the strongest among us. Who wouldn’t want to plunge into a vat of 30 degree ice water, jump from a two story tall platform, and climb monkey bars spanning the length of an A-frame barn roof? My first thought was “where do I sign up?” and then I did so with a lump in my throat.

ImageThe race is Saturday, 29 Septermber. My team, Better Wetter, is signed up for Tough Mudder in Seattle. The temperatures will be in the mid-60s and perfect for people traveling from Juneau, Alaska. Training workouts have spanned from intense hiking trail runs up Perseverance trail in Juneau and grueling cardio and plyometric workouts to easy walks in the neighborhood with the dog. The training part was fun. The racing part will be even better. We have a team coming together from Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Our team name is “Better Wetter”, a silly play on the constant rain fall of Southeast Alaska and the condition we’ll be in by the end of the race.

We’ve ordered t-shirts that say “Flash” on the front and have a big bolt of red lightning on the back. I ordered a fake brown mullet and I’m contemplating wearing that sucker for laughs. One of the guys will be wearing his head mounted “Go Pro” camera. We’re sure to get some good pics and video for Good Animal.

I thrive on adventure. I wouldn’t bother otherwise. Who, in their right mind, would want to do such a thing? I would for one. And I paid to do it. This is going to be my kind of adventure weekend.