We know all the basic things about all the American presidents: their complete names, their family, hometowns, achievements, and so on. But there are some things that we do not know because we do not hear about them every day, not even in the news channels that routinely dish out one issue to another about our past and present presidents.
First fact: Most of our presidents belonged to the 50 to 59 age group at the time that they were elected into office. The late Ronald Reagan was the oldest to be elected as he was 69 years old when he took the oath. The charismatic John F. Kennedy was the youngest at 43 years old.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only one who was elected to four terms, while 12 presidents were elected for two terms.
After William McKinley was assassinated, Theodore Roosevelt, then 42 years old, took over the presidency. He remains the youngest man to serve as president.
Finally, a president serves only 10 years in the office, can be elected two full terms, but can be given additional two years if he secures the presidency through the order of succession.
As a middle-aged man, most of my exercise routines are centered on improving my cardiovascular health. On a daily basis, I hit the treadmill and speed walk for about one hour and a half. Twice a week, I play basketball with some of my buddies from work. On the weekends, I bring my kid to a park or a beach and play with him for hours on end. And when I’m home on a Sunday and I’ve got nothing better to do, I put on some dance music and dance to my heart’s content. I was a pretty good hip-hop dancer in high school and in college, and I’m not about to let my age get in the way.
For me, dancing is the best cardio workout. Jogging or walking can be really monotonous. Playing basketball with much younger guys is extremely exhausting, not to mention the fact that it puts a lot of strain on my forty year-old ankles and knees. Dancing, on the other hand, can be so much fun. I don’t even have to jump around or anything. I just move to the beat, with my feet following every little move. A little shrug of the shoulders, some fancy footwork, and a little shake of my hips, and I’m having the most fun cardio workout ever. Even my kid dances along, so what more can I ask for?
I would be the first to admit that I’m not a spring chicken anymore. Although I believe I’m fitter than most people my age, I’m beginning to feel the discomfort and aches that come with aging. Getting old, however, is probably not the only reason for these aches and pains that have been bugging me for some time. My old lifestyle probably had a lot to do with it. For one thing, sleeping was a problem. On average, I slept only about five hours a day, which is never good. I also happen to be a workaholic, because I always come early for work and leave much later than anyone else. So you can only imagine the stress that I’m putting myself through on a daily basis.
The very busy nature of my work also kept me from eating healthier food. While it did not really happen every day, eating pizza, burgers and deep fried chicken has become a habit. It’s a habit that started to show in my waistline. I actually didn’t pay much heed to warnings, until one day, I suddenly experienced great pain in the back of my neck. It wasn’t strain or anything. From what I can tell, it was my blood pressure shooting up. True enough, when I had myself checked at a nearby hospital, my blood pressure was at 160/130, which means I already have high blood pressure.
That discovery scared me, since my lifestyle is not the only risk factor for me. My family also happens to suffer from it. My dad, for instance, suffered a stroke sic years ago and hasn’t been able to speak since. My mother was also hypertensive, although she died of other cause. Scared by possibility of leaving my son behind and making him a full-fledged orphan at such an early age, I have decided to take charge of my life to become a healthier person.
I am now what you might call a fitness nut. I eat green leafy vegetables and cut back on my red meat consumption. I work out regularly at the gym near my office, and is this close to getting those sick-pack abs I have always wanted. Every now and then, I undergo the best detox diet I could find, because it’s the only way I could cleanse my system of all the toxins I take in with the air I breathe, the water I drink and the food I eat. Although I still feel some aches and pains every now and then, I believe that I’m in the best shape of my life, and I intend to stay that way.
I have attended countless weddings all throughout my adult life. In all those weddings, I was a simple guest for all of them save one: my own wedding to a wonderful woman who was gone too soon from my life. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I have never been a member of any wedding entourage. I have never served as a groomsman, much less a best man in the wedding of any of my closest friends.
Last week, I finally got an invitation to be the best man at the wedding of my colleague at work, and this surprised me a bit. From what I understand of the concept, a best man is supposed to be the closest person to the groom, the best male friend to be exact. While I can consider my soon to be married colleague a friend, I don’t think we are that close to merit an invitation to be the best man at his upcoming wedding. So naturally, I had half a mind to decline, so I started saying things that would lead me to that refusal. However, I never got to finish what I had to say, because he told me I am the closest thing he has to a real friend, and he couldn’t think of anyone else to become his best man. That left me speechless, as I never realized this guy really doesn’t have much in the way of friends. I have actually noticed that he really keeps to himself at work, that I’m the only other guy in the office whom he chats with near the water cooler. Was chatting with him regularly about the previous night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother enough for me to be his best man? For him, it was more than enough.
So here I am, helping him find the best party halls in the city for the reception. I know something about wedding reception halls, having been married once before. I’m not really sure if the party hall we found was the best in the city, but I think he liked it, because he was profusely thanking me by the time we went home, like it was the best thing that ever happened to him.
The wedding is in three weeks, so I guess I’ll be seeing more of this appreciation, which I believe is undeserved, from the groom. We’ll see what happens next.