Learning,
That process that never lets me down,
Finding something new,
Renewing something old,
Shedding layers,
Finding someone different,
That is the way.

Riding,
A bike, they say it’s never forgotten,
New are rollers,
Proving old dogs need new tricks,
Like losing the training wheels or
Avoiding running over people’s feet,
That is my way today.

black metal armchair
Photo by Michael Morse on Pexels.com

I hope my compadres are hurting too.
We have taken on a ridiculous challenge
And my abs are singing the blues,
They echo from the hollow rock of being sedentary
Which I’m not,
Except for the lack of core work,
The couch,
And those yummy ice cream bars.
It seems unfair that we work so hard,
Burning fuel in the dark morning hours,
Running, falling, dodging the traffic,
Only to neglect discipline in other areas of fitness,
In nutrition, and the sinful hydration practices.
We pay the price, then some idiot… me,
Says something stupid and another says, “Okay,”
And then we are tummy terrorists
Destroying our egos and abs.

Loving it!

Sometimes we must remind ourselves
That we are here to get at it,
We are not here to sit around,
To be sedated by the idiot box, or
Get caught in the net.

Sometimes we have to get out there,
Put comfort to the side,
Dare to challenge the limitations we allow
When we don’t accept our role
In whatever is the grand design.

Always, we should always find our potential
In the meaningful ways that we can,
Whether upright, exercising our mechanical advantages, or
While thinking, taking stock of
The mindful magnificence we possess.

Always find a path,
Beit a walk, a run, or a ride in pursuit of what it means to be human.
Lose yourself in thought on the meaning of effort,
The satisfaction of challenges, and the rewards
Of engaging in risk as to know what is possible.

Hey, what’s wrong with being a rebel’s rebel?
Isn’t there a song about them,
The extra rebellious ones.

Those who flaunt convention,
Taking the mundaneness out of life,
Daring to be different.

I know more than a few early risers
Who fit the description,
Runners, professionals, high-minded parents…

I’m running with that crew,
Literally and figuratively, a bunch who go hard,
Laugh hard, and who are living as if Chuck Norris was closing in.

It’s a crack up, the quick banter,
The sincere support, the only expectations,
Be yourself and be kind; refreshing in its rebelliousness, huh?

I know a lot of others,
Few who meet the criteria of being a rebel,
Still, fewer who are rebel’s rebels.

Having survived winter with this crew and
With the holy weeks of summer approaching,
I can’t wait to see how the rebellious ones take on the heat.

My guess is with the same disdain for norms,
Rejection of excuses, and a love of the post workout life
That percolates in this group.

So I say, “Bring it on, the limitless madness of
Soul taking, ass-kicking, and a mockery of convention all
Rebel’s rebels crave. Game on, y’all.

The sound of a sphincter slamming shut
Is an ominous tomb
Too often happening because
We become too engrained
In our ways
To accept with a quiet openness
The bounty that challenges present
Loosen those exit ramps,
Accept obstacles as opportunities, and
Deny uncertainty any dominion
Over the spirit of adventure

Walking through a burned out antique store
Where wooden beams
Still stood stoutly despite
Being charred and cracked
By the ravages of the inferno
I’m unable to explain
Why abstract paintings hang
With colors beckoning like neon in the desert
Providing peace to the horror wrought upon
The warehouse of leftovers
One canvas in particular commanded my attention
In ways it represented the great fire
With striking reds dancing closely with supple yellows
Bringing a warmth to my skin
Much as sitting on the hearth before a fireplace
During holiday get togethers with family does
Strangely the smell of destruction was not there
Only honeysuckle for some reason
A scent from my youth
When I would walk over a little hill
To a basketball court with plywood backboards
That has long since been replaced weeds and neglect
The beautiful paintings pointed ahead
Like stepping stones leading me
Through the cryptic maze left by the blaze
The expanse of this old store
Seemed to go on forever
Until I reached the frame of a room
With it’s door still closed
For some reason I didn’t just look around
Instead I opened that door
Entering into a small room
With a large, but simple table
On top
A Remington typewriter with
One sheet of paper cued up
For fresh thoughts
So new and so bright
Radiating with potential, begging to be struck
Looking back through where I had just been I saw
The paintings were gone
Lost to guide me back to through the rubble
Forward was the opportunity of uncertainty
Providing the possibility of difference
From the carnage of playing the same game
Confidently
I chose to step into the room
And shut the door behind me

Sometimes people will challenge me
To write competitively saying,
“See if you can top that.”
I usually accept more because
I don’t run the court anymore
But still harbor some gamesmanship
Down there where it’s all stored
This time, though,
I might be hard pressed
To top a love declaration from Romeo to Juliet,
A young texter professing his youthful love
For his equally young girlfriend
I can’t help but wonder
If his love comes with wisdom
Even though Time has a way of
Excluding the inclusion of life lessons
For adolescent romantics
And all that comes with being
So in love that finding the right words
Becomes hard because you are with her everyday
And telling her how great she is
Sometimes gets lost in the routine of living
And the apologies for not appreciating
How she makes your life so easy
Ring inadequately
As they are lamely let out
The pain within so awful
It is impossible to accept
How ridiculous the lack of recognition
Has been for her
Does he even know how he will
Listen to her no matter what
Just because it’s her and she puts up with him
And even when something has turned on her rant
She looks damn good mad
Or will he be able to sit with her and her friends
As Man Solo
Listening, not speaking for long stretches
And able to just look
Across the way feeling that same energy
He felt when he met her
At the Half Moon all those years ago

I don’t know if I can accept this challenge
My Shakespearean quill might have to bow
For I simply love my wife
Without the pomp of impassioned prose
She’s my best hanging partner
My trusted advisor
My worthy adversary when conflict must happen
And my tender companion when conflicts are resolved
She’s a mother with perspective
And a soul with toughness tempered by a warm spirit
She’s someone I’ll always be around
In ease, in hardship, forever
So Mr. Full of the Flowery Romantic Love Notes
Your exclamations of going steady
With rockets and fireworks symbolizing
Feelings and emotions
Trump me this time
But I’m thinking about the right words
To describe how my real, not proposed life
With my wife
Is better
Because it
Is

Reading today from the book of mobility
I got poked in the eye
By a quote challenging me
To work on my weaknesses

It’s so easy to not labor along
Sticking with the fun stuff
The things I have success with
But today I took this challenge as a sign

The decision to raise the rings
Was something else
They swayed before me
Teasing me to, “Get up or shut up.”

To which I decided
That playground Trnka style
Would be my goal
With an inverted hang dropping to a skinned cat

Blood rushed to my head
As my posture straightened out
Disorientation settled in
As I spun like a kid on the monkey bars

It was awesome,
Mr. Trnka would have told me to stop
Because I was hurting his eyes
But where style was lacking, satisfaction reigned

Get out this weekend
Turn yourself upside down
Challenging a weakness
Becoming stronger with the effort