SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
Wind 16 MPH WNW.
Feels like 6° F. (Are.You.Out.Of.Your.Mind?)
I step out the door.
Autumn to Winter overnight.
Wind shearing through jacket.
It finds the bare skin between the sweatpants and socks.
And blows up my pant leg.
George Costanza. Shrinkage episode on Seinfeld.
Got to move.
Yesterday, the legs were pumping on the Elliptical machine.
Netflix movie running.
Today. Right knee is throbbing. Bitter cold.
The Question is Why? Why are you out here?
(Hundreds of blog posts. Not one has emanated from the elliptical machine. Not one.) [Read more...]
SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com
Our sneakers dripping with mid morning dew.
We’d reach the plateau.
Our eyes held in rapture.
Not just any Green. An ethereal magnificence.
In Spring, it was an unfurling of a carpet on the forest floor.
In Summer, the ferns rose.
They climbed, fed by hard, warm rains.
Knee-high under the cover of deciduous trees.
Chest-high in clearings.
Emitting an earthy fragrance, fresh and cooling, filling our lungs.
In Autumn, Green gave way to a harvest of Gold.
Tips of fiddleheads crumbling as we batted them with our hands in our climb.
Rising particles of fine dust in air behind us.
We’d reach the creek.
A trickle now.
We’d kneel down, the moss cushioning our knees.
Lips rushing to slurp the cool water.
Pausing to catch our breath.
And, then back.
Back down the mountainside.
Our footprints cutting shadows through the ferns.
Leaving their imprints etched in our consciousness.
It’s so close.
So close today, 40 years later.
Thousands of miles away.
I close my eyes,
My skin tingles from the coolness under the canopy.
The Canadian Cascades lingering in my nostrils.
There it is.
The Sea of Green.
“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.”
Related Posts: Running Series.
I peek at the weather app before I step outside.
“34° F. Feels like 26° F. Partly Cloudy.”
Winter closing in.
I yank my Tuque over my ears.
I glance at the mirror.
The Black Avenger: Back for an encore.
Black Tuque. Black jacket. Black pants.
And Red Shoes.
I cue up my David Gray playlist.
Open the door.
And head to the street.
How often does it happen?
Just the right song cycles up.
65 David Gray songs resting.
Waiting for their turn.
And it pops up.
A bubbling geyser.
It starts slowly.
Starting from way down deep.
And surging upward.
No chemical inducements.
↓ click for audio (David Gray: “Everytime”)
Down from the doorway
And into the street
I hear the morning bell
Over and over the pattern repeat
I hear the morning bell
And all the faces cold as stone
In the January chill…
~ David Gray, Everytime [Read more...]
“Jogging or whatever our sport is, then, is the way we move from actuality toward our potential, toward becoming all we can be. At the same time it will fill us with uneasiness, with what Gabriel Marcel called inquietude, the recognition that there is work to be done to fulfill our lives. And it allows us to see, as Theodore Roszak suggested, that our most solemn, and pressing, and primary problem is not “original sin” but “original splendor,” knowledge of our potential godlikeness. “We grow sick,” Roszak wrote, “with the guilt of having lived below our authentic level.”
~ George Sheehan, Running & Being
I finished the post last Sunday.
It was titled “Running. To 10.”
~ 50 minutes of prep.
The cursor lingered over the “PUBLISH” button.
My index finger hung over “ENTER” on the keyboard. (Pulse quickening. Typos? Is this Good Enough?)
I eased back my finger. (Your gut. It’s usually right.)
I sent an email copy to Rachel who’s home on Fall break.
“Blah. Blah. Blah. Dull. Re-run. Tired. Been there. Done that. One trick pony. Is that all you got?”
Carpet-bombed by my own offspring.
“Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh?”
“Dad, you asked. If you didn’t want to know, you shouldn’t have asked.”
I laugh. (I built this creature. Chip off the ol’ block.) [Read more...]
I pull on my long sleeve shirt, first of the season.
The sunrise is working itself up on the horizon. A sliver of light in sea of darkness.
My feet are light. A soft, cool breeze kicks up goose bumps on my chest – I shiver. No matter. All body parts functioning. Biorhythms in alignment. Run friend. Run.
I pass a group of early morning runners. One is wearing a nighttime reflective green vest.
Firefighters wearing florescent green vests are lingering – - others are sweeping glass off the highway. My Thursday night commute home, and I’m late for dinner. My Northbound traffic will be clearing in 6 miles. Southbound traffic is at a standstill. I arrive at the bottleneck. The Roof of the Jeep is decapitated. White air bags hanging limp.
Yellow. Double Yellow Lines.
I lumber up the meandering hill on Long Neck Point Road. I’m winded. I slow the pace to catch my breath.
He was 12 years old. I was barreling down a 2-lane highway returning from our vacation in Banff, looking for an opening to pass the car ahead of me. Double yellow lines signal a corner. As I take my foot of the accelerator, a cat bolts in front of the car in front of us. Eric screams and buries his head into his Mother. I’m looking in the rear view mirror. He’s trembling. [Read more...]
Cloud cover low.
I’m sitting on the front stoop.
Zeke (dog) tucked in close to Mama.
Garmin finishes syncing up with the Gremlins.
I walk onto the street.
Strap on the head phones.
And turn the music up.
Take a deep breath.
I see Susan waving me back.
“Yes, I think he wants to come.” [Read more...]
*SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
90 days ago, I set a personal biggest loser challenge in my post: If all else fails. Resort to Shame. The goal: a weight drop from 210.6 to a flat 200 lbs in 90 days. Outcome: 197.6. Talk about a smack-down! Here’s the guaranteed 6-step winning formula:
- Be sure to start your diet after aggressively running up your weight. Heavy intake of salt retaining food works best. (Fill your intestines with Thai food + Pasta + Fried Chicken lathered in Häagen-Dazs. Get it up quickly. You know you’re there when you struggle to get your wedding ring off. And be so disgusted with yourself, you have no choice but to run this down. See #2 below for salt flush.)
- Cut out soda, fruit drinks, flavored water, orange juice – - anything that tastes good – - and replace with water. (In other words, swell yourself like a dirigible – this kills your appetite and gets you more exercise at night running to and from the potty.)
- On a best efforts basis, don’t eat after 7 pm. (Snacking almonds and cheese sticks with your dog are expressly permitted.)
- Exercise 40 days out of 90 days. (44%. Pathetic! Less in than out? Bunk. Less in. Period.)
- Post your weight daily on your blog. (Shame DOES work.)
- And the secret sauce, replace all ice cream intake with sugar free, 10 calorie, kiddy-sized Jell-O. (1 minimum and up to 6 maximum single servings per day aka one six-pack carton. Could I be addicted? To kiddy Jell-o? And for all of you looking to scold me about the vast amount of chemical preservatives ingested, have 6 Jell-o’s on me. No alfalfa sprouts are going to touch the inside of this tank.)
Next Goal Post:
- January 1, 2014.
- Maintain 200 lbs through the Thanksgiving/Christmas feedings.
- Back to you on January 1 with an update.
Time to celebrate the victory. With?
Haagen-Dazs Pistachio Ice Cream!
“Who are you to do something like this? What makes you think you can make a difference? What makes you think you can succeed? I was diagnosed with polio as a young boy. When I came out of the doctor’s office, my life was going to be very different. And even as such a young age, somewhere deep in there, I remember thinking, I refuse to let this define me.
Mongolia evokes the kind of emotion that I would read in an adventure book as a child. The place that was always winter and never Christmas. Ulan Bator is the coldest city in the world. There is a big problem. Thousands of children that have been abandoned, many of them living on the streets. Without the help of the orphanages, how many of them would be dead? They’re overflowing, I have to do something. I’m not wealthy. I’m not famous. And I started to think about what I could do.
I have to do something. What came up, was, running. I’m going to run 1,500 miles across Mongolia to raise awareness and support for orphans and vulnerable children.
My Dad left when I was 2 years old. Nobody should ever be abandoned. I would deny part of who I am if I didn’t at least try.
I want you see these children and spark a hope that you can make a difference.”
~ Brian Hunter. Donate to the cause here.
SMWI*: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
Creator: Sarah Anderson, Doodle Time
*SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
6:10 am. 70° F. Humidity: 100%. Thick. A mood dampener.
After an unexpected, unexplainable and unacceptable two-pound jump last week, Gadget Man replaced the seven-year old bathroom scale. I don’t need to wait three seconds of interminable flashing to see my test scores. If you aren’t getting results, replace the equipment. Pull the band-aid off and hit me.
The new scale is sweet. I step on the scale and it snaps to attention. No waiting, no flashing, no bad scores. This morning, this incredible technology signalled that I was a mere one pound higher than the challenge target, with another month to go. Now we’re talking.
Yet, what a miserable journey this has been. Rationing ice cream. Mouth salivating for pasta. A 3-cookie daily portion limit. People, this is not living. And the real question is whether this is sustainable.
This morning, I’m determined to drive this weight down. Way down below target to give me cushion. In one run.
My head is saying: 10 miles.
My body: Groaning. [Read more...]
It’s Saturday Morning. Time for the weekend warriors to get inspired to Exercise. Here’s four of my favorite recent articles on the subject:
A Question That Can Change Your Life: ”For years I’ve exercised every day — doing weights, cardio, yoga — but despite my continuous effort, I haven’t seen much change. Until a few months ago. Recently, my body has changed. My muscles are stronger, more defined, and I’ve lost five pounds along with a visible layer of fat. Let’s start with what I didn’t do: Spend more time exercising. In fact, I’ve spent less. So what did I do differently?…“
25 More Rules of Conquering the Gym: “…Gyms are tricky relationships. You fall in and out of love. Commitment fades. Maybe you have a torrid affair with ice cream sandwiches. All you know is that you used to go to that gym five times a week, and suddenly it becomes two, and then two becomes one, and one becomes none, and none becomes a brand new size of jeans…#3: No, you’re not getting a six-pack. You’re just trying to take off your shirt at the beach without people running to their cars…#6. Here’s a helpful rule on gym clothing. If you’re not sure your shirt smells? Your shirt smells…#22: The best gym on earth is outside, and it’s totally free.” Read more here. And if you’ve missed the first installment (even funnier), read it here. [Read more...]
Running, biking, walking, horseback riding, dining, community, family, vacationing – the full monty here. The tagline for this “Visit Faroe Islands” video is “Unspoiled, Unexplored, Unbelievable.” Let me just call it wonderful.
And if you are asking yourself, self, where are the Faroe Islands? Hit this link. Be sure to check out the “Gallery” Tab. Incredible photographs.
- SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
- Credit: Faroe Islands Photograph by Felix van der Gein
“As the spot unfolds, you notice that 1950s Man’s lifestyle is simpler and more active and his diet is healthier than Mr. Modern Man. He’s just happier. As the ad ends, you discover that the men are grandfather and grandson. The lovely bit of splitscreen nostalgia scored by the Tom Jones toe-tapper ‘It’s Not Unusual’ features one actor playing both parts…This ad shows that the lifestyle enjoyed by our grandparents — moving more, eating well, taking it easy — can be beneficial. ” (Source: Buzzfeed)
(And if we’re slugging back Coke Zero, Coke wins too! )
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
6:00 am, August 4, 2013: 60F. Gentle morning breeze: 3 MPH. Spectacular day for a run. I’m off. Thoughts chattering. Legs pumping but heavy. Thighs stiff. Bottoms of feet tender. All aches emanating from yesterday’s run. Marquis whispers: “Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.” Yep, that’s about right.
5:30 am, August 4, 2013: Morning weigh in. 60 days left in the Biggest Loser Challenge. I expect a bad outcome. Expectations realized. Loser! Weight: Back up 1.8. And this after yesterday’s grueling 6-mile, rain-soaking trail run with the wolf pack — slopping around in wet woods, dancing on slippery rocks, and sinking in gooey mud. Somehow escaping injury. Rambo. No, Chubby Rambo. I step (waddle) off the scale in disgust. It’s all about intake and yesterday’s feedings.* So Mr. Lewis**, when? When do I learn?
7:30 pm, August 1, 2013: Rachel returns home from work. Dragging. In a mood. She runs upstairs. Comes down. Attired in florescent, glow-in-the-dark green shorts. Matching shoes. Ear buds in. iPhone in hand. Styling!
“I’m off for a run.”
“Wait, I’m coming with you.”
“No Dad. I would rather go alone.”
“NO, I’m coming.”
“NO Dad. I don’t want you to come. I’m not interested in running a time trial.”
“Rachel, you stand right here and wait. I mean WAIT.”
She waits. We go. Road narrows. Evening traffic heavy. I slow to let her pull in front and we run single file. Her hair tightly wrapped in a single braid which bounces up and down in the center of her back. She has a graceful, confident stride. In contrast, my legs are heavy – - long day at work… 3.5 plates of pasta for dinner…laboring to keep up. I’m breathing heavy.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
6:50 am. 67F. 87% humidity. Mom’s gone for the weekend visiting family. Zeke’s not happy. Mom walks him every day. Every single day. Three times a day. 2 1/2 hours a day. Daily routine – I wave to them from the couch as they head out the door. This morning, he’s out of sync. Discombobulated. He sees me gearing up for a run. He scrambles into his cage and lies down. He’s knows what’s coming. I grab him by his collar and drag him out of his cage. He snarls, baring his teeth. (I don’t need this sh*t. I don’t want to go either but we’re going. Pure Bred Running Dog who hates running. Owner is carrying him to the car. What a picture this is. He looks me in the eye – not a happy look. I glare back.) I shift his weight to my left and pull him tightly to my chest to free up my right hand. I reach for the door handle of the car. And, pull my lower back. And grimace. Oh, boy. I open the door. Heave him into the back seat. And curse.
I fire up the car. Shift uncomfortably in the seat. Lower back. Hmmmmm.
I back the car out of the garage. Zeke climbs from the back seat to the front. And starts licking my face. ”Sit down. No bloody kisses.“ (He knows that I’m pi**ed.) He sits down in the passenger seat. His seat. And sulks.
And we’re off. Mianus Park. Plan: 5-Mile Trail Run. We arrive at the Park, leash up, and walk through the entrance. He pulls back on the leash and lies down on the bridge. He will not move. He will not accept a treat. (Oh, yes. A test of wills. Just what I need.)
Another dog owner walks by. One older German Shepard Mix. Another is a happy looking mutt with tail wagging furiously. (Did she just give me that look? Like, how’s that pure bred workin’ out for ya?)
I stop pulling on his leash. He’s now lounging, looking down at the river below. (How many shades of humiliation are there?)
I decide to pull a Mom and talk nicely to him. ”Come on buddy. Let’s go for a nice walk in the woods. Come on. Let’s go.” (Oh, for God’s sake. I can’t do this. Is this what I’ve come to? Man-up. 206 lbs of fighting machine against this 70 lb beast and he’s got the upper hand. No chance.)
I look at him. He looks up at me. His tail swishing on the bridge deck. (Is he smiling? Could this be funny?)
“You are going to come. Right now. And run.” (Our last visit to this Park was not a great show. And an Elephant never forgets. And this one has a plan. I will not let him off leash to have him lie down in the grass at the bottom of the hill forcing me to back track. No sir. Not me. I will drag him for five miles, if that’s what it takes.) [Read more...]
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
8:24 am. 74F. 66% humidity. Late jump. Two capsules of Nyquil Flu & Cold down the gullet the night before. Slept like a baby. This morning, I’m woozy. After five consecutive days of 96F+ scorchers and too much in-doors time, I needed to get out.
I’m off. Head in a fog. How is it possible to have a head cold in the middle of a July heat wave?
I’m at Mile 1. I start sizing the GERM opportunity. A quick week in review:
- Grand Central Station: 750,000 commuters a day. 1000′s of hands touching my exit door, all spilling out into Manhattan.
- MetroNorth: 1000′s of touches on each stainless steel handrail we grip to hold steady while the train lurches to and fro.
- Lunch. Food particles in the cracks on table. Water spots (one hopes) on spoon. Table top has a light sheen from being wiped with dish towel, after 7 other tables. Grab water glass, warm to touch, soap smell mixed with heavy chlorinated water. Rapid table turnover = > cash flow.
- Bathroom. Hundreds of touches on the door handle a day. (Did your Mamma teach you to wash your hands after going to potty?)
- Taxi cab doors and window handles. Office door handles. Elevator buttons. Conference room tables. Arm rests on chairs.
Do I grab the handle high, or grab it low, as most grab the middle? Or lean on door with shoulder? Or slide jacket sleeve over hand? Or, do I surreptitiously slow my pace to let another open the door in front of me?
And from these touches, a frictionless hand-off to my pen, my blackberry, my phone and my computer keyboard. Hand to nose to face to mouth. The germ baton is passed on; a leaf in the wind, a feather in the air, all silently and deadly landing on yet another unsuspecting prey.
But the moment that sticks is a split second decision to shake a hand prior to the kick-off of a meeting. A natural reflex. A custom. A greeting. A courtesy.
A baby polar bear learns how to walk…
Athletes from Kenya have won more Olympic medals in middle and long distances than any other country…how do they do it?…no coaches are necessary…they thrive on teamwork and competition…genetic theories of dominance are rubbish…you can’t find any other place in the world like this…you have to be here to feel it…the mind is as important as physical talent…so what makes Kenyans the best? Perhaps it is the magic of these mountains.
*SMSI: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
5:00 am. 75F. 89% humidity. Need to get a jump on the heat. Weatherman calling for 91F by noon. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Right. (Bullsh*t.) I’m off.
Feeling good. Three consecutive days of running. Not bad. Yet, a bigger deal? Avoiding all food intake after 7pm last night. Now, this, this, was a major accomplishment. A single break in habit. A lifetime of four more-than-square meals a day. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Bed-Time Snack. (A hard Pivot? A Break? Hmmmmm. More like a kink in a fire hose. Or overnight bout of constipation. Dam will burst. It’s just a question of when. And it won’t be pretty.) But…let’s focus on the positive here. Six days into my Biggest Loser Campaign and the trend is my friend.
“His brain and body shattered in a horrible accident as a young boy, Bret Dunlap thought just being able to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and survive on his own added up to a good enough life. Then he discovered running.
You know what people think. They see jeans too short and winter coat too shiny, too grimy, and think, homeless. They watch a credit card emerge from those jeans and think, grifter. They behold a frozen grin, hear a string of strangled, tortured pauses, and think, slow. Stupid.
You learned too young about cruelty and pity. You learned too young that explaining yourself didn’t help, that it made things worse. People laughed. Made remarks. Backed away. So you stopped explaining. You got a job, got a cat, got an apartment, and people can think what they want to think. You built a life without explanation and it was enough…”
Read more here. Long. But so worth your time. Having trouble getting off the couch to work out? Having a tough day? Week? Year? Forgettaboutit. Inspiring story of the year? Running away. Read this man’s story.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
Source: Runner’s World
5:30 am. 59F. Birds up and singing in all their glory. It’s still. Very still.
I put on my Adidas running shorts. Rachel’s scolding from months back surfaces: “I can see your tan line. They’re too short. Those are Perv Shorts. Embarrassing. Go change.” I growl. Now, each time I put them on, I’m thinking Perv-Man. Words. Killer. What a delicate flower.
“What do you want to do for Father’s Day Dad?“
“I’d like to be left alone for the day.“
“Yes, if you could arrange for me to be sitting alone next to Thoreau, at Walden Pond, listening in on his thoughts, that would be a perfect Sunday.”
“Forget it Honey. Forget it.”
“Have to say Dad, you have to stop your incoherent mumbling.” [Read more...]
- Fitness can protect you from cancer — even 20 or more years down the road
- Men who were the most fit in middle age were the least likely to die a quarter century later even if they were unlucky enough to get cancer
- Men who were the most fit at age 50 back in the 1970s were the least likely to develop lung or colon cancer 20 to 25 years later
- Men who did get lung, colon or prostate cancer, the fitter they were in their early 50s, the less likely they were to die of it.
- Two things you can’t change are your genes and your age,’ she said. “But you can get more fit.
- This important study establishes cardiorespiratory fitness as an independent and strong predictor of cancer risk and prognosis in men
- These results indicate that people can reduce their risk of cancer with relatively small lifestyle changes.”
- Many studies have shown that exercise lowers the risk of cancer, but this one is one of the first to show it can also reduce the risk of dying from cancer.
- SMWI*: “Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
- Image Source: labelle-et-lebadboy
- SMWI*: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration. Spoof of Nike’s “swoosh” symbol and “Just Do It” exercise ad campaign.
- Source: TheMetaPicture
- SMWI*: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
- Source: TheMeta Picture
He was born with cystic fibrosis, a chronic progressive disease characterized by a thick, sticky mucous that clogs the lungs. Each day, he takes 50-70 pills. And he hooks himself up to a machine called the vest that shakes his upper body for 1-1.5 hours a day to loosen the mucus from his lungs. All this – - so he can run. He’s run 6 marathons, five of which have been under 4 hours. Why does he do it?
“I do it because I want to prove to myself that I can…I run because one day I might not able to.”
Source: Thank you lybio.net
A bit of hump day inspiration. Time to get after it!
Running shoes worn in the last Boston marathon were used to create this image. Learn more on how this image was created at: Boston Magazine.
5:25 am. Headline machines spewing darkness: “Curled up on a bloody boat.” (CNN) “A Grim Day for a Small Town. Bodies recovered after blast. (WSJ) ”Raped. Delhi 5 year old in serious condition.” (BBC News) This last one too much for me. I shudder. Evil. Mimi describes her contrasting realities this morning. And I’m in search for a contrast to my mental image reality. I turn away from the gloom.
5:55 am. 47F. Drizzling. I’m out the door. Need a new route. Need a change. A new path. I’m determined to run long. Man looking for accomplishment. Looking for my body to ache. The kind of ache deep in your bones. A soreness that hurts – - the achy hurt – - your body telling you that you pushed it today. That’s it.
19-year old boy shivering under tarp in the boat. Curled up. Lying is his own blood. Chopper circling..spot lights illuminating the darkness. Is his Mother watching? [Read more...]
5:50 am. I’m off. 100-year old men running marathons and I’ve been filling the couch. Now there’s inspiration.
45F according to Weather Channel. Walk outside. Feels like 60F. Strip off running jacket. Fat man goin’ to fly.
Feeling HEAVY. Thanks to my enabler friend Lori. She sent a can’t miss recipe after last week’s Spaghetti Bolognese post. Zeke (dog) and I were sniffing around like crack addicts for 10 hours while the bolognese simmered in the slow cooker…with the aroma from the meat sauce oozing into every pore of the house. When the 6pm dinner bell rang, I was at the table with fork, salt shaker, large plate. Salad? NO. Bread? NO. Vegetables? NO. Keep all distractions out of the way. I told Zeke to stand back, I needed room to feed. Four plates later (at least I stopped counting at 4), I was licking my plate…and telling myself, maybe it’s time to stop. Bliss. Peace. 10 years from today, new FDA research will find that eating Spaghetti Bolognese extends life. And you’re going to think back and say that crazy man was right. You read it here first.
Back to the run. So, here we are. The day after. A DIRIGIBLE. LARGE AND BLOATED. On the road again trying to knock out some lbs. 100-year old running man drifting in an out. I’m half his age and can’t get the pistons firing. Wonder if he lied about his age. (That’s not nice. But something seems off. He looks better than 100. Hell, he looks better than I do.)
On February 23, 2013, 101 year-old Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong 10km (6.25 mile) event in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. (That’s it! I’m going to kick his a** today. I’m sick of being embarrassed by 100 year old men. It’s sad. Really it is.) [Read more...]
- Fauja Singh ran his first marathon at age 89 and became an international sensation.
- Records? Fastest to run a marathon (male, over age 90), fastest to run 5,000 meters (male, over age 100), fastest to run 3,000 meters (male, over age 100), and on and on they went.
- By his second birthday, Fauja’s parents had cause for concern: He couldn’t walk. His legs were short and spindly, capable of movement but too weak to support his body. He turned 3. No steps yet. Then 4. Still crawling. Children called him danda, Punjabi for “stick.” Family members worried he might be crippled for life, so they consulted village doctors…At age 5, he developed enough strength to hobble. Proper walking didn’t come until around age 10.
- His goal? Get into the Guinness Book of World Records for finishing a Marathon at 100 years old. The race: The Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16, 2011. He’d finished in 8 hours, 25 minutes. He waved to the crowd as he walked across the line, then lifted his arms and accepted a medal. There were smiles and handshakes and photos with friends and strangers, then a rambling news conference for Fauja to reflect on his record. Amid the chaos and congratulations, however, Fauja never noticed the absence of one celebrant they’d expected. Guinness. (Guinness would not recognize Fauja Singh for the record. Read why at this link.)
Epilogue: On February 23, 2013, Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong 10km (6.25 mile) event in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. (Source: BBC News - Oldest Man Runs His Last Race)
DK Note to Self: Get. Off. The. Couch.
6 am. I’m off. No slackin’ today.
32F. Feels like 27F according to Weather Channel.
Snarky Man is on the move.
Black wind breaker. Blue sweat pants. Red shoes. Black Chargers Tuk.
(How do you spell C-L-A-S-H?)
Reach for draw string to synch up sweats. Only find one end. The other end is buried in hole about an inch back. Are you kidding me? Paused for 1 second – - no chance I’m going back to change. Veer way wide of the Man today. He going gangster. Let his sweatpants hang off his a**.
It all started yesterday. 3 am.
Morning ritual of stepping on the scale. Followed by Morning Delusion. LED flashing. Flashing. Flashing. (Think 10 pm on Christmas Eve as a Child .)
And then BAM.
Followed by SHOCK.
The scale reports a new 5-year high.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” — Augustine of Hippo
I don’t know who Mr. Augustine is. But I’m looking like a Hippo. I have one daughter and not two. And her name is Anger.
I get off the scale. Inhale. Exhale.
Technology! Has to be that I jumped on the scale too quickly. It didn’t find its equilibrium. It needs to set itself.
I gently step back on. (Like, if I treat it more kindly, I might get a better outcome.)
Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing.
Enough. We enter Day 1 of my new weight reduction program.
And as I reach Post Road on my run this morning, I recall my first day…
I’m off. 35F. Feeling good.
It’s the day after Good Friday.
The title of LaDona’s post banging around in my head like a 50 Cent Rap song – - the tricked up Chevy heaving up and down to the beat:
This Place Was Made By God.
This Place Was Made By God.
This Place Was Made By God.
I look around. Trees reflecting on the still waters of the Long Island Sound. Sun’s up in its full magnificence. Sky is a brilliant blue. Who else could have made this?
She goes on. This place was made by God, a priceless sacrament; it is without reproach.
(She’s so d*mn sure.)
And on. The most sacred day in the Christian calendar, and indeed, in Christianity itself. Inspiration for stunning, poignant music across the centuries. Even if you don’t believe, or if you do and God seems far away, the music speaks. And touches. And heals.
(I’m right there with you Sister on the far away part. And right there with you that the music speaks, touches and heals)
Then the mind, faster than a switchback on a BC mountain highway, turns to a conversation with a colleague on Thursday: [Read more...]
Leo Babauta at Zenhabits asked his one million followers for tips on “how they formed exercise habits and made it stick.” What works for me? (When it works.) Four strategies:
- GET YOUR WORK-OUT GEAR TOGETHER. Do it the night before. Make it easy to grab it and go. Save yourself the agony of the rationalizing self-talk: I’ll do it later. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. I’m tired. Let me check my emails and then go. Or worse, Oh, just forgettabout it.
- DO IT EARLY. Period. Or it doesn’t get done.
- GET STARTED. Take the first step. Walk out the door. Step on treadmill. Put on your shoes. Once engaged, I get propelled by the Zeigarnik Effect, the need to complete the task.
- RECORD RESULTS. You are what you measure. I record my weight and my work-out (dates, results) in a spreadsheet on Google Drive. Then, when I look at it and find gaps (e.g., No workouts for days. Shocking Weight Gain.), I find myself shamed into re-firing the engines. This works.
I share exercise inspirations on Saturday mornings to get me off the couch and out the door. This share by Steve Layman may be the most powerful story and research that I’ve read on this topic. A few excerpts…
The story starts with a Phil Bruno “super-sizing again…He was only a mile from his house, where his wife, Susan, was cooking the usual big Italian dinner for their family of five, but he was hungry now. The urge was automatic…Ten minutes later, with a bag of burgers steaming on the seat beside him, he pulled into a McDonald’s and ordered a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, an apple pie, and a chocolate shake to wash it all down…Phil had always loved food, which was part of the fabric of his tight-knit Sicilian-American family: Grandma and her lasagna were right down the street. But he’d been athletic in his youth, playing high school football and carrying a robust but reasonable 215 pounds on a six-foot-three-inch frame. Then, in his mid-twenties, he’d stopped working out, as many of us do when life starts to chew up our time. Over the years, his regular meals and high-calorie bingeing had turned him into a physical and emotional wreck. His joints ached whenever he used the stairs, his heart hammered, and he was possessed by a strange, burning thirst that no amount of ice water could quench. “I was 47 years old,” he says, “but I felt like I was 80.” [Read more...]
Late (LATE) start. Galileo’s Sun is up. I look up and bask in its warmth. I start my run into a cold headwind. Fingertips tingling. My eyes, fill with water. Like mist on cold air over warm waters. This will clear.
Run by the corner of Noroton and Post Roads. Church Corner. Ascension Episcopal. Noroton Presbyterian. Christ Scientist. Churchgoers are filing in. Man cradling baby in a papoose. Families striding briskly, holding hands with their children. Lady holding kerchief in place from wind gusts. Elderly couple shifts right to let me pass. Community. Peace be with you too.
I usually run too early to see churchgoers. Not today. Guilt washes over me. Eric joined his friends in attending a eulogy yesterday. “Weird,” he described it. “Awkward not having been to church in years.” He lights my fuse using less than 10 words. Jung scolds: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Then Robert Fulghum piles on: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” How quickly this has escalated. Yes, “my” Son – - he’s been watching. And now I’m irritated, here on Galileo’s beautiful Sunday. NO, gentlemen. Not today. You won’t get under my skin today. No sir.
Some clips need no introduction…
…after I stepped on the scale and saw the damage.