Trending downward,
Not in a bad way,
Just easing into the days,
Semi-patiently waiting for a race
And then a change,
The next big challenge
That will require more patience,
Greater acceptance of ease,
“Belief in a better way,” like Ben sang,
So I can find another upward trend.

Watching these kids run
Without much reason
For me being there
Creates some distance on my part
From the purpose of their running.

They are so optimistic,
Hoping for the few spots available.
I’m grizzled, burnt, and apathetic,
Too bothered to care these days before tryouts.

Only one here tonight
Will be eligible for my team.
He’ll make it,
So will I
When the time is correct.

Watching videos on YouTube,
The newest version of self-help books.
I’ve been gravitating towards Goggins,
But tonight, I’ll watch that biker guy,
The one who came in second, twice.

Today, I replayed his video over and over,
Just a mental rerun, a motivational loop,
Because this dude had every reason to be pissed off,
But somehow he was able to go positive and
Find inspiration after two tough losses.

“Feed the dog!”
That’s the attitude of The Seal,
That’s the attitude of the biker guy,
That’s the attitude I want to cultivate,
I’m hungry.

Master Fwap,
According to Frederick Lenz,
Said that there are places
Of great energy
On our planet.
It is there where
Creativity flourishes,
Innovation becomes reality, and
Motivation becomes effortless.

I’m not there right now.

The words are not flowing,
The ideas are not coming,
Only the desire to exercise is booming.
I love this place
For it is not the geography making me stale,
It is this place where the energy is building,
The frustration is percolating, and soon,
The flow will come.

I’ll be ready when it does.

Getting after it,
Feet turning over,
Lungs accepting cool air,
Gravity being denied,
Friction a partner,
Not an obstacle
Leaving our little group
Flying through a conversation
Barely able to explore
Why people make excuses
For shortsighted effort
Where the pain and suffering
Make for excuses too easy
To explain away
Hard work.

That’s what I learned this morning,
There cruising up Sickle,
Letting my competitive nature rise
In a way an old person like me
Would probably be advised to deny,
All in an effort to chase down
A couple of guys
Who chose not to walk
At the top of the hill.
The game was to get there,
Not pass or win,
Just to know
I could
Work hard.

Don’t say, “Calm down,”
Who we are is who we are,
The way we act,
Is who we are,
And I’m competitive,
Wanting to do my best,
Living in a culture where failure
Is sort of accepted,
So far as I “feel good” about it,
But I hate to lose
Because I think I didn’t work hard enough,
Unless of course, the situation or the opponent
Just kicks my ass outright.
I can live with that.

For a moment,
Because I don’t want that on me, Ricky Bobby,
I want to know I’m doing my best,
Pushing to the point where a little hill like Sickle
Can kiss my butt
As I keep running through the crest
Not giving those guys behind me a chance
To pass while I feel sorry for myself;
Or mollify my ego with a half-assed pride
That is a better called a false bravado.
I want to accomplish stuff,
Exhaling the noxious bullshit spewed by others and
Filling my lungs with the deepest breaths of oxygen
Hard work delivers.

Grit.

Clarity,
Induced by bags of sand
Lifted in a metronomic meditation
Built in forty second bursts,
Comes quickly
To a harried mind
Living in the muck
Of do-gooders
Who have failed
The ones they’ve helped.

To keep stepping
While the mind tempts muscles
With rest and promises of make up days
Is exactly what aggravates accountability,
Leaving those needing help
Right where they are.

Better to battle the mind with heart,
Letting each beat pound some sense,
Sense developed from discipline,
Determination, and shown
Through confidence, swagger, chutzpah
Into a soul, which is so much better than
Walking away, taking leave, quitting…
Unless, course, the latter is the truest option.

Clarity,
When quads ache and breathing is labored,
Sees life’s journey in black and white.
The choices are clear,
Get busy
Or
Quit.

Give me the grinders,
Give me the strength to persevere,
Let me compete.

Busy.

Stepping out,
Not that Joe Jackson song,
But the idea that all the rigamorole
Is not so heavy a burden,
Rather, it’s a flimsy tissue
Meant to be broken through
With one inspired snot rocket.

Passing through the constraints,
The airborn potential pearl
Is free of the limitations imposed
By the sanitary catch all
And well on its way
To challenging both gravity and stasis,
Either, the result of too little ambition
Or too much apathy.

Snot, it’s not who we are,
We are survivors, thinkers, dreamers,
People who can do more than wait for a sneeze,
Maybe we can do sixty percent more,
And if we can shoot mucous through some one-ply
Who knows what is possible when we are
Stepping out.