Running. Out of hibernation.


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.

Saturday AM: I reflect on comments from Lori and Carolann on my SMWI* blog post  – one gentle and encouraging, the other scolding, a schoolmarm.  One encouraging: any form for forward motion is good…a perambulation. The other, suggests running in place. (First they shame me with planking, these two. Now they have me standing in a waist deep over-chlorinated pool at the Y, arms outstretched, making ovals with my hands with other geriatrics. And they share, so polite, so kind. ‘Perambulation.’ What Bullsh*t is that?)  My retort?  Drive to the store and get ingredients for dinner.

Saturday PM:  I inhale particles of finely grated Pecorino Romano. Gold Dust. The olive oil, squeezed on some hill in Southern Italy, glistens on the wide noodled linguine. I add several dashes of salt and pepper. And more dashes of Salt. And pause.  The March Madness chatter, is playing on the tube, the background noise fades out.  Like the old, fraying photograph, the plate comes into sharp focus, while the edges fade out.  And I settle in the land of Bliss. I find my Center, Here, this plate of Cacio e Pepe.

I get up for my third helping. Zeke, who had been sitting at my feet, unnoticed, scurries out of the way. Large Man on the Move. I also notice that at the dinner table, I’m sitting alone – no Susan, no Rachel, no Eric, no anybody.  The Addict injecting dinner. Alone. With his chubby friend, his tail swishing back and forth, waiting to lick the plate. (Houston, we have a problem.)

Sunday AM: I step on the scale. Flash. Flash Flash. Flash. Pow!  I’m up 11.5 lbs from my 2014 low.  Can’t be. I get off and get on again. Flash. Flash Flash. Flash. Pow!  This accounts for the thickening, of the neck, the waist, the thighs.  Thankfully, the Man Advantage, the swell, is above the belt buckle and strategically centered where the shirt naturally puckers.  Man can let it all go — 15 to 20 pounds — before it’s obvious that he’s lost it all.

I head out the door. It’s 5:25 am.  Third day of Spring, but dark and cold. 32° F.

My last run was on January 19th, two months ago. Pathetic.

I’ve lost my rhythm. An elegant term for just having lost it, period.

But, I’m running.

And, that’s something.

As I approach the house in the final 1/4 mile, I think of Carolann running in the mid morning breeze on the boardwalk in Fort Lauderdale and Lori up in New Hampshire stepping, stepping and stepping on the infinite step machine, and think…

Perambulate this Ladies.  I’m coming. I’m coming after you.

Time Check: 7 miles, 69 minutes.

Nap Time.



  1. Positively hilarious and picturesque! I have totally lost it in the back seat of the car here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always wondered what is worse…..enjoying life, adding a few pounds here and there, or the stress that comes about from being reminded about how we aren’t acting how “we should be”…I think it is a toss up and possibly, the stress might even be worse. Life is short and dead is for a very long time. The healthiest guy can get hit by the proverbial truck this afternoon. Our dogs understand that and are not judgemental when they see/smell me walking in with a steaming pizza box. They celebrate my willingness to enjoy life and know they will share the crusts and maybe a few drops of whatever Cabernet happens to be open. Don’t let all the gym rats (and Vets) bring you down David….Zeke loves you just the way you are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m reading your comment Ray, and nodding my head. Yes, adding a “few pounds here and there, is OK, it’s when that few explodes. I walking the line between a voracious undisciplined appetite and exercise and it leans towards the lack of discipline on eating. Even when I know what the outcome will be. And yes, Zeke will love me just the way I am. Thankfully.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stroll, shuffle, saunter, perambulate, putter, poke around, it matters not, pal, so long as you MOVE, which it sounds like you did. 😊 So bring it…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh you are a better man…it’s been a very long winter and I need to get out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re a good man Charlie Brown…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One step at a time……

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m off to cook the pasta 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. And hence yet another reason why you need to live in a continuous summer climate like FIJI ! 🙂 Love your writing. Its honest and funny and even when you are old and fat Zeke will always love you unconditionally. (Keep running)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. onward, ho!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Christie says:

    I read this after an overindulgent day with carbs, I did stop and do some movement for 10 minute, ha. I will do 10 more minutes after some dinner. I over did movement yesterday..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Laughed so hard I woke up my fat dog. I was tempted to read him the passages about Zeke. He would’ve sympathized. But might have regretted agreeing to a carrot diet. As to you…you write really well for a man who only runs once every two months )

    Liked by 1 person

  12. love this . . thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m reading this now, properly chastised.😌Last night we celebrated my sister’s birthday. And as we ate double chocolate layer cake, she read a birthday card that said on the outside, “here’s to someone who eats right, exercises and looks great” and on the inside said, “and who will die anyway”. Life is a balance, friend, here’s to finding the right one for ourselves. And here’s to you for getting out there and running! Way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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