Let’s frame up the mood this morning.
I step on and off the scale. It could be worse. What’s of greater concern is the lack of disgust. Why not just paint a large white flag on the belly and add in large font: “Yes, I quit.” Middle aged man on the down side.
It’s 8:00 am. Zeke and I are laying in bed and I’m scanning the morning papers. It wasn’t so long ago that I would have run 10 miles by 8:30 am and be done with breakfast. Now, I’m just thinking about breakfast.
The ladies of the house are off to Yoga. Men don’t do Yoga. This man anyway. Too many sweaty bodies in close proximity. Lululemon pants exposing things I don’t need to see. Rubber mats. Rubber room. Claustrophobia. Get me out of here.
Earlier in the week, Rachel pointed out that I’m wearing a track suit (expandable waist) with increasing frequency. I brush her off but the hit is direct, the wound lingers.
I let Zeke out.
I step onto the porch. Shiver. 23° F. Dark and Cold.
There’s less than a inch, but it’s there, Snow smothering Spring.
Zeke comes trotting back in, he’s wiggling, with a full body twist and turn. How come I’m not that happy after solving my internal blockages?
My running watch, fully charged, rests on the counter, waiting to connect to the satellites circling overhead. My running shoes and running gear, set out last night, are poised and ready for the firing of the starter’s pistol. My water bottle, filled and ice cold, waits silently in the refrigerator. The team is ready.
Last night’s intention — was to run early and long this morning.
I look at the gear again. Go. Now. Go. Take that first step. Do it.
Mind shifts to breakfast. Hash browns, bacon and scrambled eggs. Potatoes from Idaho, brown and crispy on top, with a stream of Heinz. The intoxicating smell of Bacon. Eggs from free range chickens, yellow and cheesy on top. Toast (home made thick crusted white bread), glistening from butter produced on a farm in Wisconsin — one piece laced with golden honey from a bee hive in Maine, and the second with dark, sweet grape jelly from some vineyard in California. All washed down with sweet Orange Juice from Brazil. [Read more…]
Monday AM: It’s Zeke’s annual check-up. He remembers the six-inch needle from his last appointment. He’s not welcoming John, the GVW (“the Greatest Vet in the World”). Zeke weighs in. He’s up another 5 pounds, peaking at his all-time high. GVW’s scorecard on Zeke sets off vicious attacks: Family v. Dad. It’s you! He only sits next to you at Dinner! You are feeding him table scraps! Do you realize you are shortening his life!” Dad Growls in response.
Wednesday AM: GVW sends an email. He’s never sent an email to me before, but he needs to send this one. Zeke’s stool sample shows no evidence of worms. Vet Code Translation: He’s fat, but at least he’s clean. All is not lost.
Thursday PM: It’s bedtime. Zeke’s laying next to me. He looks up and stares. What’s up Zeke? He tells me he’s depressed. GVWs lack of bedside manner cut deep. GVW and the Family fail to grasp nature’s natural cycle like Mary Oliver and I do: summer falling to fall, to be following by what will follow: winter again: count on it. Same with weight. Down in summer. Up in the Winter. Down in summer. Count on it. It’s a bloody cycle. No need to overreact.
A remarkable true story of a blind hiker, Bill Irwin, and his 2100 mile journey of faith along the Appalachian Trail with his Seeing Eye dog Orient.
How do you know which way to go?
I don’t. I just follow him.
How does he know?
God leads the Dog. Dog leads me.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
5:30am. Christmas Day. 2014.
A Charcoal black morning with low hanging fog. 52° F and drizzling. Christmas Day or Halloween?
A graceful leaning pushes me out the door early. I haven’t run outside in over a month. Divinity? Metaphysics? Hang-belly?
Traffic in the distance is muffled by a rain-soaked I-95. Where is everyone going?
You are strangely at Peace running in the Dark. With the Rocks. With the Potholes. Don’t you see it forces you to slow down? To pay attention with each step? In Daylight, You Rush. You don’t See. You don’t Feel.
A chill in the air…Outrunning the weather one more day…I cherish the feeling of my downtime…A moment to laugh my tears away…I like the rain but only sometimes…Living my life just a little too crazy…Could be wrong, but I don’t know…Taking the wonder out of maybe…Smelling the flowers as I go…
- SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
- For more background on Totoro and the Japanese animation film, connect here and here. “Totoro is a giant, friendly forest spirit. He spends most of his time sleeping in a hole in a tree. He doesn’t speak, instead communicating by loud bellows.” (My family would concur with this description of me excluding friendly spirit part.)
- Image Source: Implicit-egotist
- SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
- Source: All My Small Adventures (European Bison / Bisonte Europeo. Confined to protected areas in Eastern Europe)
6:02 am. Sunday, October 19, 2014. 52° F. Breezy. Autumn.
Mind rolls back to yesterday afternoon. Saturday at 4pm, and my body was signaling late Sunday. The heaviness of Work returned early, a thick Bay Area Fog. (Where’s my weekend?) I’m on a JetBlue flight heading South on Sunday afternoon to catch Monday morning meetings.
I’m ten pounds up from my six-month low. Ten pounds! My last running post was Sept 7th. My last run outside was Sept 14th. Over one month ago, and THAT run is still fresh. I glance at my notes from that day:
Garmin flashing 0.72 miles. Stomach cramps. They will work themselves out. Just slow it down. Keep your feet moving. 0.78 miles. Legs moving, body is haunched over. 0.80 miles. Pain ripping through left calf. I moan, stop and clutch my leg. No Mas. I turn and return home. To the couch.
I decide to break my pre-run routine. (Which, besides complaining about running, is to do nothing, but get out the door.)
I get down on my knees. I’m thinking 1 Plank. I position my iPhone stopwatch where I can see it. I take a deep breath in preparation. (My blogger friends are deep under my skin. Bone deep. If Lori can do three two-minute planks in one work-out and Carolann can do a four-minute plank, this is just a matter of practice, right? And, last time I checked, I’m a Man, right?)
I get in planking position. I’ll knock one of these off before my run, and then have something to write about when I return. I’m glaring at the stopwatch. (I’ll show them.)
(Think I got this.)
(Breathing a bit heavy, but I’m just finding my groove.) [Read more…]