Friday, August 31, 2012

Want vs Need

Friday morning. 4:30 am.

I hear the alarm. I know it's on. It will just get louder and louder. Some random song will torture me for as long as I let it.

Just 2 more hours of sleep. You were up at 2 am. Then 3 am. You just want that time back. It's dark and a blue moon is mocking you through the window. Even those damn birds that love to nest right under your ear drums are fast asleep.

It would be easy. Just roll over. You will catch up another day.

But there's the burn. You've had your rest day on Wednesday. Now you complete the week. Push. Push. Push. If you don't...someone will put you in a hospital.

One day ain't gonna do you in.

One leg over the edge. Then the other. Dressing in the dark. iPod clicked in, torn up workout notes in the pocket.

You should drink Gatorade.

Pomegranate juice.
Vitamin C.
CO Q10.
Multi Vitamin.
Fish oil.

One big gulp.

Lights are barely on. The trap bar awaits. Last day of the light phase month ends today.

Ten repetitions. Water. Now for 20 more.

Cut it. Stop at 10. Rest up. 


Lat pull downs.
Close grip benches.
Dumbell triceps

Rest more. Everyone is talking around you. ESPN is on. You are so tired from the other night.

Twisting sit-ups.
Roll away ball abs

Give it up. You really want a donut. 

Truth is, I REALLY DO want a donut. What happens is that I will eat a bowl of chia seeds and almond milk with blackberries instead. It's not a donut though.

A donut. That would be really good about now.

Jelly, please. Thanks. Leave the box too....

Monday, August 6, 2012

From 9 to 90

I catch myself in fits of nostalgia during the final furlong of summer.

I'll be running and the wind will shift. The sweet smell of cut grass wafts over you and you are transported to the hot summer days of your youth. 

I don't peruse the obituaries as a rule. I was looking for someone but I stumbled onto someone else. What caught my eye was that she was the age of 9. I'll call her Betty.

Before a run, I'll always check which directions the clouds are moving. As a boy, I'd lay in the warm grass staring up at a stark blue sky. The slight movement of a few scattered wisps of clouds was the only indication that time was passing. The silence was beautiful and humbling. 

The article was brief, like Betty's life. She died of cancer in a local hospital surrounded by her family. 

My son is past 8 years old. I was 6 when I was first diagnosed. I see his summer of awesome and I think of Betty's family. 

Let's face it. We all want our obits to read the same. Dead at 90, after sex, with a 1/2 a glass of wine in our hand.

I think back to the sounds of the street when I was a kid. My cousin and I would walk the streets, up and down, scraping old gum with a rusted nail. We were going green before it was fashionable. No need to check in with the parents. It was sun up to sun down.

There was no i-Anything. No white earbuds keeping your bad music to yourself.  

Music was shared by people blasting it from their garage or their driveways. And best part of all was that it was free.

All you needed was a t-shirt and shorts. No shoes required at Cumberland Farms.

I wondered if Betty had any beach days. Did she miss a lot of school? 

In the evenings, the temperature would be 85 but 70 in the shade of a tree. The grass under there was even cooler and green just from rain, no chemicals to kill weeds and everything else.

Dinner was always at dusk and no matter how much you feigned ignorance, you mother knew you could hear her calling for you three streets away. 

Betty will no longer have these memories if she had them at all.

Time will slip through your hands no matter how you may attempt to freeze it. To stay in your own personal snow globe where time stays still forever.

I am looking to run longer these days. I curse myself for not being better. But it doesn't last long. I remind myself I am breathing. I am giving it my all to go beyond what I feel is an acceptable time to leave this world. 

We should all strive. One day at a time. Make a memory not just for yourself but for those around you.

You don't know when. Why would you really want to know?

Betty's obit read that she was of the age of 9. It should have read 90...