Managing your "Portlyfolio" - can we talk?
The late comedienne Joan Rivers liked to start into one of her comedy routines with this phrase: "can we talk?" It was a sign to the audience that Joan was ready to unload about something that would cause us to gasp and then perhaps laugh until our gut ached. I can’t say that I always found Joan’s sense of humor funny but I’ll never forget her “can we talk?” line. Joan usually crossed the threshold of discomfort by discussing the “unmentionables.”
A few weeks ago I went to the doctor. He had been monitoring my blood levels for treatment of adrenal fatigue. I’m now happy to report that after several months treatment that my strength has returned. As a routine part of the visit they also took my blood pressure. After the procedure, I was SHOCKED to find out just how high it was. Now, mind you, the very salty potato chips that I had eaten the night before didn’t help the matter, nor the extra weight I was carrying, or the lack of exercise. Unknown at the time was an infection which can also elevate blood pressure levels.
As a result of this experience I’ve recommitted to taking care of myself. I’m walking briskly for about 25 minutes 4-5 times a week, lifting weights, reducing sodium intake, reducing sugars and drinking plenty of water. There has already been a noticeable drop in my blood pressure and I’m trimming down.
I mention all of this because in today’s creative environment so much time is spent sitting. While necessary to perform our computer oriented tasks, the sedentary nature of our work is simply not beneficial to our health. Several recent articles have stated that “sitting is the new smoking.” If you don’t believe me then just Google that phrase and see what you come up with.
In the last several months I’ve read in the news about several photojournalists that have dropped dead from heart attacks. Some I’ve met and others I’ve known about. I'm not suggesting in any way that their deaths could have been prevented. Their loss is a loss to us all, but especially to their families.
It’s not uncommon for those of us involved with photography to battle the bulge. The bulge can be made even worse when we carry our cameras and lenses. There is a trend, (and I like it) toward carrying lighter cameras which put less weight and stress on ourselves, but we can’t always do that because the “better” tool for the assignment just might be the biggest camera/lens combination we own.
I’m an on again, off again cyclist. Much of that has been due to my own health challenges. When healthy I like to cycle somewhere around 16-20 miles per ride, several times a week. I have a light weight bike. In fact a really nice bike. One day the subject of weight reduction came up in the company of much more committed and accomplished riders than me. One of the guys (a triathlete I think), said “yeah, everyone is looking for ways to reduce the weight of their bikes but won’t make an effort to reduce an equal amount of body weight.” I laughed and felt personal conviction at the same time.
Wrapping things up, as you can see, I intentionally misspelled the word “portfolio” and said “portlyfolio” to help get your attention. Your portfolio is the way that you draw attention to yourself and convey to others that you are competent at what you do. Let’s resolve to take care of ourselves starting now. Some of the “worst for us foods” have the potential of being consumed in the upcoming days and weeks. After the guilt of over indulgence, some folks will choose to remedy their problem with a “New Year’s resolution.” Quite honestly I’ve never seen too many of those work. How about if we give our family and friends the best gift ever and that is develop a plan of proper diet and exercise that will enable us to be around for many more holidays to come. Can we talk?