Rains fell in that biblical kind of way yesterday,
They cleared out just about the time
We all started to run this morning.

We kept a pace that was too fast,
I dropped back, alone, until the turn for five,
When my bud slowed and brought me along for seven.

We talked, walked, never balked,
It was the good kind of run that happens
When the pace is right and the company solid.

We mentioned emotions and mechanics,
How important they are in triathlons,
Really, in everything we do.

He and I recognized that part of the journey
Is so important, maybe even more so than,
The pace, the distance, the medals.

When we were done,
I felt alive, ready for more, and
With work what it is, today, I was off to lift.

I have a rule, never exercise angry,
That’s the ingredient for tension,
Tension is what gets me hurt.

I got to work and hit the weights,
No distractions, no waiting for equipment,
My music, it was heaven.

Until the crush of gossip information
Entered the sanctity of the glorious grind.
Someone shared “compensation” information with me.

Why should I care what others make?
Why does it matter how people act?
I’m only in control of me.

And I could feel myself losing a little control.
My heart rate went up a couple of zones,
Literally, orange if you’re counting.

The sets and reps got checked off.
An old shoulder injury reminded me that it might still be there,
But I didn’t care, anger is tough to undo. Anger will not be denied.

Guilt too, I suppose, as I talked shit to myself when I finished,
Why did you listen?
When will you grow up?

After a super cold shower, by choice, it’s supposed to help something,
The anger was broken, a new realization was upon me, and
A renewed sense of emotional and mechanical purpose had been inspired.

Listen… Don’t own…
Deadlifts rock!
I’m mostly all “growed” up.

I’m not sure how to write this,
I was just caught in a social vortex,
At times traveling through Portland, Oregon,
Others passing through Vegas,
All the while standing in the effing
Self-proclaimed Mushroom Capital of the World.

Back in the day,
My family get-togethers weren’t happenings
Until my uncle and his brothers started wrestling.
A broken rib here lost teeth there,
It was a common thing,
Once one of them put a lampshade on, literally,
The party was over.

Tonight brought those feelings of youth back,
The slurred speech,
The banging buffet,
The overdeveloped cc’s of testosterone
That seem to follow brothers or those
Still living the dreams that are unrealized.

I’m not sure how to convey how great it was tonight,
I’m mean who can complain about such a spread,
Such companionship, the absolute ease of hanging
With people I’ve feared my whole career…

Especially the kind that might throw bicycles
Bust out the walls of a closet
All rock star style in a hotel.

Glad I didn’t know that at the start of the year…

But in this case the boundaries of school and life
We’re separated. I don’t know how
To get my mind around it.
It’s not something I’m used to.

Slow down. It’s all there…

Make a list…

1. It seems cake was expected, not delivered, but not missed either.
That is a testament to the quality of character of this group.

2. Poetic or not, fireworks in a neighborhood are always cool as long as
It isn’t my ‘hood.

3. Everything is better slippery…especially slip and slides. Dishwasher safe…

4. I met a guy named Joe about four or five times. It seems he knew the host.

5. Eddie Murray could hit, Darla. Listen to your husband. What am I saying,
That’s crazy talk. Wives don’t listen to husbands, especially about sports.

6. I only thought keg throwing happened on ESPN. That guy from Iowa is a beast.
Blue minivans work well as backstops.

7. Dogs are some manipulative mofos.

8. When the kegs are flying, the party is either just getting going or nearly over.
I hadn’t been to a dead keg party since college. I hope I pulled my weight.

9. Did I mention BBQ?

10. The last two strides of the Belmont were amazing…

I can’t begin to explain
How much fun I had tonight.
For a jackass who cowers in public,
This had to be the best party in a long time,
Because I was with the kind of people I once knew,
Just having fun without regard for pretense,
Reputation, or ambition.
I was with real people,
Unafraid, accepting.

My kind of folks.

I know some others who weren’t there,
They would have fit in well,
Too bad they weren’t
For the fireworks,
The keg throwing,
The Crispr demonstration
On how to clone a kid from a parent
While they play corn hole,
It was remarkable.

And now we also know,
There are some challenges
The HR Momma just won’t take…


The Talking Heads sang,
“You might find yourself living in a shotgun blast.
Right now, I’d have to say that’s about where I am,
Definitely not the same as it ever was
Because for the first time in a long time in this lifetime,
There’s a lot going on
And I want to be in the fray.

Back in my yute,
I was everywhere,
Hanging with anyone,
Living the dream,
With an idea of what being an adult was supposed to be,
Which became more like a rifle bullet to me
Than a shotgun.
Duty, responsibility, marriage, kids,
That was the way, right?

Gone were the nights at the bar
Talking the crazy stuff,
Living those scenes crafted
In a Springsteen song.
Gone were the jobs that allowed for golf,
Contributed to meager means, and
Were so easily let go of.

Gone were the times of going out
To some far off area
And shooting up some cans
With a .22 or a shotgun,
My favorite was a twenty gauge.
I preferred the cans to animals
Because I couldn’t stomach the death,
Yet I never realized the slow burn
I was living by taking on some Huxstable-Keaton styled life.

Years went by in this foreign land,
Kids came, friends distant and fading,
And all I got was the kickback from a life
That brought little in the way
Of challenge, distraction, or satisfaction.

Not now…

The change has been slow,
But it’s happening.
First, the whole family thing exploded like a hollow point,
Thankfully, missing the true mark,
Although, the rehab was hard.
It paid off, though, and now healing is complete,
Stronger than ever.
It feels like I am in the old and familiar shotgun blast
With friends who get what life is about,
Not too concerned with themselves,
Not too concerned with me,
Just living, laughing, letting go of whatever
That thirty-forty something life was, the
Distorted expectations, warped beliefs in parenting, or the
Hollow bedrocks of being an adult.

I love hearing my friends tell their stories of agave inspired personalities,
Spouses unwilling to share the good liquids,
Or the fragility of men drinking beer from snifters,
Because I know those things, too.
I can laugh with them because I am really laughing at me.
It’s great being vulnerable in that way,
Especially when it’s okay to be there. That’s how friendships should be.

So, there I am, shotgun blasting.
A twenty-gauge, enough to raise the hairs on my neck,
Not so much as to put a hole in my confidence.


The winds whispered, “Now I have a goal,”
Breezy banter asked, “Are you doing that heart rate thing?”
My morning fog
Took them both in
And barely knew how to process them.

The first, a statement of comradery, made me think
Thoughts about my training
Where the ideas about how to get more fit
Fester in the comfort of a couch
And seem so easy when they are graphed out.

At 5-am the reality of what is really necessary,
The commitment, the drive, the smarts
Are nearly obstacles to getting things done.
Hearing someone say that they had a goal
Punched my gut bringing me out of a morning fog.

The second question, directed right at me, was a jolt of caffeine,
Making me realize my plan for being solo
Would not be good if I didn’t stick to the plan.
Run slower, keep my heart rate down,
Lessen the impact, and see far into my running future.

My talkative friends turned, I headed straight.
I’m guessing their pace was fast, mine would not be,
My watch became a coach, telling me to slow down
When it burned yellow, a cool green was the goal.
It was harder than it should have been.

Navigating the flattest streets in my little town
At a turtle-like pace took its toll on my motivation.
I wanted to let go, let my feet turn over quickly
So my heart and lungs could test their limits, so
My ego could be fulfilled.

But that wasn’t my goal,
That wasn’t my plan, so
I replayed those quotes from before,
Drawing strength from the awareness they inspired in me
To finish that run almost always in the green.