It’s going to be hot out there today,
What will I do?
Cozy up to the treadmill with fans and a/c?
Head over to the gyms with a mask?
No and no,
I’m going outside and I quit the gym,
Four months broke me of the need.
More, though, I hope, I gaining a sense of purpose,
Looking to push past my fear,
Learning to live responsibly,
Like the challenge of the heat.
Truth is, I can’t take it anymore,
The seclusion,
The subjugation,
The stasis,
And I’ve been exercising outside all through this thing.
It’s too much to take at this point, the heat cannot win,
Sports, restaurants, they’re sort of opening, but
So much fear still exists.
Don’t get me wrong, people need to be comfortable going out,
People need to decide what is right for them,
I’m ready, ready to take my chances,
Hopefully not putting others at risk,
Ready to get back to work, to school,
To living as normally as possible.
It’s outside, today, heat and all. My bike is calling.
I just don’t care anymore…
In a responsible way.

I’m eating falafel burgers,
They are banging,
An enormous appetite
After a super long ride inside
Being satisfied
By the chickpeas and spicy brown mustard. Yum.

It’s a crazy day, my boss running a personal marathon,
My daughter running a personal marathon,
My friend gutting out a “shitty” run,
My workmates laughing at distance learning’s insanity,
And after my ride, I’m living in some kind of Fwapian haze.

Let’s have a summary of what I learned today,
One, the saddle on my indoor bike is not comfortable,
Two, YouTube Premium, if you like YouTube, is worth it,
Three, people are effing amazing at what they can do, and
Four, I love being around that kind of energy.

After about thirty minutes of riding,
The voices in my head started talking,
“The race will be cancelled,”
“Your butt hurts, go run instead,”
All the negativity that can screw up a workout.

I only do this stuff because I can,
There are no dreams about even modest personal greatness
And when it starts getting hard mentally,
That’s my favorite part of the challenge,
That’s when the workout starts, when the voices begin.

Tricks are there to help,
I’d stand, I’d move around in the seat,
Mostly, I watched that screen
Drawing from the inspiring videos of ultra this-and-that athletes.
Their mindset became mine.

Today’s playlist included trail runners, trail runners, more trail runners,
Doing 100-mile races, races in the mountains, Mexico to Canada running,
It was fabulous.
Their grit, their determination, and the way what they experienced was
Exactly the same as what I experience gave me comfort and strength.

I thought about my boss, a Goggins disciple, hunting for the perfect race,
His determination something I draw from.
My daughter, her quest something I know, conquering doubts and
Striving to push the boundaries.
Then my friend, coping with corona, still getting at it even with reservations.

All three guide me, make me want to continue
Just like the YouTubers who are the elite of the elite.
I like to think I’m some simple dude meandering through life,
But the truth is more like I’m a surfer, catching a specific wave,
From a determined group of people.

Sometimes I know them,
Sometimes I don’t,
Always I’m connected in a way that is probably crazy to others.
Kinship doesn’t do it, comrades doesn’t do it,
It’s about the energy to me…”energyship?” (Indulge me.)

So, now that the falafel burgers with spicy mustard are gone,
I’ve moved on to Tostitos, ah…, the salt is banging,
A margarita craving has just set in,
I’ll get through it without and hopefully tomorrow
Will be just as good for our energy as today was.

Rain is falling, again,
I can’t say I mind
Because I’m hoping people will shelter
Staying away from the places
That might put others at risk.

I broke the rules this morning,
Letting the forecast schedule my workout
Which was okay
Since I committed to riding inside
Instead of pounding the pavement.

The course was out in Cali,
Posted to YouTube and there I was riding
At twenty-eight virtual miles per hour
Jostling for position, until at the end
It was obvious, the camera rider’s soul was gone.

Mine, too, sort of,
Since I tried to match the pace as best I could
On my spinning bike.
Limited to rpm comparisons,
I clocked in at about half the rpm of the soul starved one.

Right about where I thought I’d be,
Half as good as those dudes,
Same as when I run, about half as fast as the fastest,
So I toweled off, changed into dry clothes,
And headed upstairs

Where the coffee was hot, and a sixteen-ounce
Piece of pound cake was waiting for breakfast.
The coffee let loose the flavor of a chunk of ginger
And eventually became a mug of coffee leftovers
Watered down with boiling hot water.

The color of the water gradually going from coffee dark
To water clear and less of a ginger kick with each mug.
Maybe half as strong with each refill,
Perfect for a rainy day,
Watered down.

Madonna?
ABBA?
Hornsby?

Why do we like who we like?

Running?
Swimming?
Cycling?

Why do we do what we do?

And we do them all.
I suppose there is no figuring them,
Especially, the ABBA thing,
Although, as I found today,
I know a whole lot more Madonna
Than my masculine membership probably allows,
But then, again,

Why do we like what we like?

Hornsby…the home connection, the stories, the variety.

Why do we do what we do?

Running…it what I’ve always done.

A bad reason, I know,
But I’m not ready to claim
The others in my fitness calling.
Not really ready for Madonna or ABBA, either.