View from the Pit – Chapter 4 – It’s my lifestyle!

I could change my lifestyle, …but it’s my lifestyle!

– Name withheld for privacy

By my count, 17 years ago, I was introduced to red wine. Correction: 17 years ago, I was introduced to “good” red wine. The next obvious question would be varietal, vintage, or region…I only know it was expensive, and it was incredible. I remember the wonderful meal at Jeff Ruby’s South Beach Grill in Cincinnati (Covington, KY) like it was yesterday: Raw bar appetizers (Crab legs & Shrimp), NY Strip Steak, and Lobster Mashed Potatoes. I also remember the Mt. Veeder Cabernet followed by a Cain Five Meritage. Wow!

I also remember my friend and mentor at the meal. He introduced me to a level of taste, enjoyment, and leisure that I had not yet experienced. (In hindsight, it might have been better to lack this experience!)

Prior to this evening, I had tasted red wine, but I guess, not very good red wine.

We have had many meals together since that night at the South Beach Grill. I always look forward to them. We have enjoyed each other’s company. We have discussed and developed strategies that have benefited both our companies. We have benefited greatly from our work and our leisure activities.

About 10 years into our relationship, our dinner conversation turned from steak, leisure, golf, and family to health and doctors … cholesterol and blood pressure. It seems my friend’s doctor had directed some changes in order to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and the like. We discussed the actions needed … less booze, more exercise, less travel, less stress, more vegetables, less red meat. It was a pretty somber discussion over Porterhouses and baked potatoes. As the second bottle of Cabernet was opened and decanted, he muttered….”Dammit, I could change my lifestyle, but … it’s my lifestyle!” The table laughed as we all toasted the future.

What great words from a great man! I have used them often, even taken credit for them!

My interpretation: I have succeeded in life by working hard and playing hard. It is the only way I know. To adjust anything may well reduce objective numbers on a chart, but what about the “subjective” world? Who is going to enjoy this fine red wine and this dry aged beef? What about great conversations with friends? What about the long practice of breaking bread with favorite people or business associates / partners. How about celebrating victory or success? … or decompressing after a loss or failure?

Pretty heavy stuff.

The next words from my friend were, “There is a reason, the good Lord invented Lipitor!”

The summer of 2016 is in full swing. The July 4 celebration is around the corner. Please make sure you celebrate more than ever!

Congrats to my old friend and mentor on his upcoming retirement. I know he is elevating his celebration level!

– TS