I had a great run. Over a year without getting sick. I’d gotten run down, sure, but nothing lasting over a day.

Then four weeks ago, I got sick. I had been run down and working hard and working out hard. Foolishly, I exercised even though I noticed I was run down and then my sickness got worse. (Surprise, surprise.)

Then, two weeks later, I got sick again. This pattern has happened before. A sickness with partial recovery followed by sickness. That’s what happens when you get weakened and don’t take steps to rebuild and then resume normal activities as though everything was fine. Flying and going to a conference for work and switching time zones didn’t help, either.

I also ignored signs.

Ignored Sign: Coffee

For example, I do fine with one cup of coffee a day–eight ounces. But I had been drinking a second cup and I didn’t stop even though my eye started twitching. The eye twitch went away, likely because I adapted to the increased caffeine. But it’s extra stimulation, and stimulation means enervation and enervation means less energy for elimination.

The other thing is that I had pretty much been waking up and drinking coffee after a glass of water. Oh, that and drinking that coffee during my morning workout–wtf was I thinking? Like I need to artificially elevate my heart rate while exercising.

Ignored Sign: Nervousness

In addition to all this I am increasingly becoming aware of a nervous streak in me that I have to watch. This awareness is good, and likely a sign that I have discovered my next mental challenge: what are the chain of thoughts/actions leading towards this nervousness?

Ignored Sign: The Smartphone

Finally, the smartphone. I’ve been writing on my smartphone to give myself time to do that which I love–write. The problem is that I wasn’t giving myself downtime. Constant screen work and constant output. I needed to just sit and do nothing, otherwise my day is essentially nonstop activity and stimulation.

*    *    *

I write these thing not to over share but to share my experiences and analysis. I think it is disingenuous to present a picture-perfect life devoid of difficulty. I also think that we view illness incorrectly when we say that “some bug got me” and fail to question why we were so weak that our immune system didn’t kick that bug’s ass. To be truthful, we should say “I succumbed to a bug because I was weakened.” But that removes all the mystery I suppose, and humans like to conveniently insert mysterious phenomenon when rational thought threatens to call foolishness into question.

What I have done here is to identify holes in my health. To identify the holes in your health is a simple exercise. Look at your lifestyle habits and simply ask: is this good for me or bad for me? Then, limit the negative and increase the positive. Yeah, you have to change your habits.