And The Beat Goes On


How important is your heart rate? I guess from my perspective, Sony and Cher captured the concept most important to me in the lyrics to their song: “And The Beat Goes On”. Do you remember the sound? “The beat goes on, the beat goes on – Drums keep pounding – A rhythm to the brain -La de da de de, la de da de da”. There is a lot more to the song; well maybe not a whole lot more, but you get the rhythm (I mean the concept). When the drum beat stops one’s day is done this side of eternity.


Most of you would probably agree with me that there is a lot more that you hope to accomplish. Regardless of our age, don’t we generally want at least one more river to cross, one more mountain to climb and one more valley to go through? That is part of our self-proclaimed resolve or hope that the beat goes on.


Last night I went outside to check the water level in the pond. For whatever reasons the projectile of the water being pumped to aerate the water was falling mostly outside the pond rather than back into the pool of water. Easy fix? “Sure, all I needed to do was adjust the sprayer”. “Easier said than done” pretty well summed up my experience.


Of course, I was trying to stay out of the water and negotiate repositioning the water spray without getting wet. That meant that I had one foot on one side of the pond and the other foot elsewhere. I really should have filmed the impromptu choreography that resulted. My goal was to stay upright and out of the pond. I managed the later, but didn’t do so well with the “staying upright”.


So what do you do when you know your falling? I tried the Texas Two Step in order to figuratively dodge the bullet, but gravity has a way of taking one down. Did I mention the General’s decorative river rock that now surrounds the pond doesn’t provide for the softest landing spot? Throw in a decorative bolder or two and “rough landing” pretty well sums up my plight.


The silver lining is that my head didn’t hit a hard surface. The parts of my body that look scratched and bruised will go unnoticed. I am grateful that the beat goes on. Of course, I’m walking a little funny today, but I can mumble something about “sleeping wrong” and camouflage the fact that I needed a softer place to land.


Getting back to my heart rate, my resting heart rate is generally 106. By happenstance, the same is true for my daughter. That information surfaced in conversation on Saturday. She explains the similarity this way: “Well dad, I guess you could say we are both high strung.” So is that a compliment or a character flaw? I guess the answer truthfully is, “It depends.”


According to Google, “A high-strung (or ‘Type-A’) personality is one marked by the traits of perfectionism, competitiveness and urgency. Individuals with high-strung personalities may be praised for their ambitious or goal-centered nature, or else criticized for their lack of patience and elevated stress levels.


Wasn’t the term “stress” originally an engineering term to affix the level of wear and tear and weight that could be supported by a bridge?  I think most of us would easily agree that we don’t associate the word stress with a bridge unless it is the bridge over troubled water. I can now hear the sound of Simon and Garfunkel in my head.  The year was 1970, but that is another story.


Sometimes when I’m in the midst of a stress response, I automatically take deeper breaths and try to relax. Even the sound of running water in a pond can be a source of help unless of course, the pond is the reason for the stress. Music can also provide a sense of calm; however, I’m not sure Sony and Cher’s: “And The Beat Goes On” will do it for you. The Pachelbel Canon in D is a much better selection.


So what does a person’s heart rate generally represent? Having no idea of a correct answer, I’d wager the guess that it is one tool to determine what is normal for you. Does it bother me that my resting heart rate is 106? “Not on your life” is my answer. Okay, that is a strange answer. I will give you that. I figure as long as the ticker keeps ticking, I’m good. For as long as I can remember, I am a “106 kind” of guy.


The General would prefer that I was a “409 kind” of guy, but she’s a neatness guru (that has a better connotation than “neat freak”) and Formula 409 can minimize some of the things that cause her stress. In case your wondering, Formula 409® didn’t get it’s name for the area code where the formula was first created. “Formula 409® name is actually a tribute to the tenacity of two young Detroit scientists hell-bent on formulating the greatest grease-cutting, dirt-destroying, bacteria cutting cleaner on the planet. Thing is, creating the ultimate cleaner doesn’t just happen on the first try. And it didn’t happen on the 101st or the 301st either. It wasn’t until batch number 409 that they were finally satisfied. And so the name stuck. Formula 409®. True story.”


That gets me back to the concept where I started: “The Beat Goes On”. What were the lyrics: “The beat goes on, the beat goes on – Drums keep pounding – A rhythm to the brain -La de da de de, la de da de da”. Don’t give up on your dreams. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Crossing the finish line is one of the best ways to minimize and manage stress.


All My Best!



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