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…]
Koala goes for a morning run…Get those knees up!
Notes: SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan.
R. Dass: “Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
6:31 am. September 6, 2014.
76° F. Humid.
He’s wearing black shorts, above the knee.
He has two bands on his left wrist. Both black. A Garmin GPS, tracking time and distance. A Vivo Fit, another Garmin tool, tracking his step count. His head bobs, no, it tics, checking progress on his devices every 30-40 seconds.
His shirt is canary yellow, sleeveless. The sweat stains are darkening his shirt, spilled black ink creeping down his chest.
His running shoes are off-the-shelf new, with hyper-green florescent laces, tied with symmetrical bows on each foot.
His head is down but for the presence of oncoming traffic, when he’ll steal a look up, and offer a wave to the driver who gives him wide berth.
He’s heavy footed. Solemn. A hulking, Dutch plow horse, blinders blocking out peripheral vision. The furrows behind him, turned and plowed over and under and over again. [Read more…]
Crickets. Birds. And me.
Humidity 90%, but cut by a cool morning, 57º. Running weather.
I check my exercise log. Last running entry: August 3rd. I scan the page. More white space than entries. Ray is down 36 lbs in 7 weeks. I’m, well, you know, Up. And, staring at white spaces.
I’m out the door.
It’s Thursday. Evening.
(Another) last supper with the kids before they depart. It’s a short week, I’m off from work on Friday. Heaviness lifts. Weariness lingers. Gratitude drifts in. A peaceful, easy feeling sets in over dinner. Family. Our family dines together.
It’s Friday. Morning.
Eric comes up to the attic. “Why are you a hermit, Dad?”
We exchange fist bumps. As he turns, I jump him from behind and we wrestle. He’s become unmanageable. I pull up before things break, on me.
It’s Friday. Early afternoon.
We’re in the car to JFK.
President Obama visits Weschester County on Friday afternoon – the same Friday kicking off the long Labor Day weekend. His security team has shut down I-95, 287 and all major thorough ways, snarling traffic. The result: A 2.5 hour drive to JFK. Purpose of the President’s trip: Fundraisers. [Read more…]