Michael O’Rourke rose to our collective memories this past weekend as we indulged in Irish festivities at Kilkenny’s Irish Pub in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Michael O’Rourke, my great, great grandfather, is the immigrant ancestor who made his way to America from Ireland to begin a new life. As the legend goes, Michael was forced to leave Ireland, along with his brother Patrick, because of his affiliation with the IRA and the British crown’s desire for his head. Patrick later became a Catholic priest in Wilmington, Delaware, and Michael got a job on an island in the Chesapeake Bay where he worked one week on and one week off. Eventually, Michael married and started a family. Ironically, after Michael found peace in America, he was run over and killed by a ship in the Chesapeake Bay while rowing to work.
Now, every year my family dawns our Irish familiars and heads to our favorite authentic Irish pub to hoist a pint to our heritage and to our immigrant father and IRA refugee, Michael O ‘Rourke. In fact, we raised far more than just a pint. As our own tradition has developed over the years we found ourselves (my wife and adult children) in an annual toast fest featuring a shot of Michael Collins Irish whiskey and at least one Irish Car Bomb (a mixture of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Guinness beer). Of course, the day would not be complete without an Irish meal featuring either a Shepherd’s Pie or my favorite, Shepherd’s Seafood Pie. This year my wife’s boss joined us for a time during our celebration and surprised us with a stack of pizzas to help get us by between meals.
I say all this to introduce the fact that I did not do well on my commitment to my eating and exercise plan. In fact, when I weighed in on Monday I weighed an astonishing 251 pounds – up six pounds from my low of 245. Is it possible to gain that much weight in just a couple of days? Apparently so. It seems the chemistry of the super carbs from the whole grains, cheese and other processed foods along with the proteins metabolized into stored fat. Two other factors were my body saw an opportunity to store up after being regulated to smaller portions for months and my colon was probably much fuller than normal. The result – six pounds.
My immediate reaction was grave disappointment. I worked so hard and now in one day I throw away at least two weeks of work. After the disappointment wore off I flew into Type-A personality mode and headed for the gym for some self imposed Irish penance. Big mistake. Here’s a hint: never try to lose all the weight you recently gained in one workout. It doesn’t work. The result may be a pound or two but the pain will linger for days. The best thing to do is get back into the normal routine and be patient. I had to learn the hard way.
Today, I am 248 and falling. I had a moderate workout today mixed with patience and a little rebellion from muscles I had forgotten about. My diet is back to normal but the memories of my Irish celebration and my great, great grandfather Michael O’ Rourke still linger. In fact, I think I may relive the moment this evening with Pam along with a Guinness and a fine cigar at Kilkenny’s Irish Pub in Tulsa. After all, if there is one thing I have learned from Michael O’ Rourke – you never know when your time is up so you better enjoy every minute with the ones you love.
I hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!
End of Day 51.