Sometimes “Thanks” can be a dis,
Sometimes “Hate” a term of endearment,
Like when you get poked to run six miles,
And you offer a “thanks” to the person
Who made you feel like a loser
For not getting out of bed to get the run done
And that feeling is less than sincere,
More of an eff you with a smile.

On that other hand, “I hate you”
After finishing that six mile run
With the endorphins pumping
And the satisfaction of having gotten something done
Even if it was only 5.75, I’m sure Strava wouldn’t lie
If only it showed up in the feed,
Is a great way to give an actual, “Thank you.”

Just a few days ago,
My legs hurt,
My motivation was lacking,
My excuses were reaching adolescent proportions
When a friend sent me a video,
It whispered in my head overnight
Making me angry for being such a little whatever word is allowed now.
I hit the roads the next day and when I finished,
Texted my boy, eff you, and I did so with great hate,
The appreciative kind.

That’s why today made me laugh,
When the wise Goggins in his sit up glory
Let another friend hear the whisper
And be so moved by the morning run
To at least allow me the dignity to choose thanks or hate.
In this case, I chose the hate, it’s more honest
And fitting with the tone
Of sucking it up, buttercup and
“This ain’t no walk in the park, Kazansky…”

By the way, consider this even for the sit ups in the pool.
I really don’t like those effers.

“It’s funny, humans tend to hatch our most challenging goals and dreams, the ones that demand the our greatest effort yet promise absolutely nothing, when we are tucked into our comfort zones.” David Goggins

A couple of days ago, I had a dream,
One inspired while in the sort of lockdown
We are all in,
I was sitting on my couch,
Probably pawing a bag of peanut M&Ms
When I thought,

“I’m going to ride, run, walk, and swim 4,215 miles
In about three or four months.”

It sounded good in my head,
Indoors and outdoors, a simple process of adding up miles
Checking them off, and before long,
I’d be heading into the Yorktown Pub
To enjoy a prime rib sandwich and maybe even
A once in a lifetime return to an adult beverage.

Today I hit the trails,
The second day of my mission,
The tall trees held back the cold March winds,
Coronavirus kept back the crowds.
My pace was steady and instead of heading straight,
I turned left heading on a never before run on trail,
The hills, the twists, the turns took me
Across to the other side of the river, well, creek,
But it might as well be a river because
There’s no good place to cross.

The new trails kept everything fresh,
People strolled on the other side,
No one was with me
Except the regular sound of my deep breaths,
The exhortation to push off Orton style, and
The realization that I’m not ready to run
All the way across the country.

Charlie Bailey unexpectedly disappeared
And I found myself running the David English trial,
Road crossings, bridges, and finally a neighborhood
Were all on my way.
I was getting tired, feeling cold, not sure of how to get back
Other than to turn around,
And face all those hills again.

Finally, the years of running these trails paid off,
I recognized a road, knew to turn there, and was back on track.
The path became familiar,
My gait smoothed out,
Confidence began to win out.

Four miles later, with eleven done,
I was back at my car.
I sat in the hatchback for the first time
Feeling that great feeling of finishing a run,
The kind of run that is new, challenging,
The beginning of something.
The initial couch optimism that was in me
Right after I hatch this harebrained idea,
The feeling of hubris that inspired me to invite others
To attempt this madness,
Was met with a reality that this shit is going to be hard,
Will take longer than I thought, and
Might be the biggest thing I’ve attempted, yet.

It’ll be over when it’s over,
Done when I’m finished.

***4215.2-miles by 12/31/2020? I’ll get it done. [4,197.7 to go…]

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The sun was supposed to shine,
My New Year’s mood was bright,
Only I was rocking shorts
As snow fell over the open fields
Inviting me for a run.

Goggins, the voice,
The profanity, the wisdom,
The honest understanding of human nature
Rang in my head and put me in that place,
The one where the excuses lack a toe hold,
The one where conviction seizes the moment
Where not is not allowed.

Just two days ago this run wrecked me
Taking every bit of energy in my legs,
In my motivation well
And using it to add to the fuel making these fields special.

The sun poked through for awhile,
I was deep in the woods,
Navigating roots and rocks,
Hashing it out with steep hills, and
Sidestepping mini bogs.

The invitation accepted,
The new year starting off well,
Confirmation of the Goggins ethos,
Excuse free exercise,
The best kind.

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.

He says to get back at it everyday,
That dude, the fit guy,
With the bald head,
And the life-credibility
To make all his profanity and practicality
Something to stand on.

Even with my one bad leg.
To get back to running tomorrow,
No limits in my mind, only the soul to suffer
To attack pain and make it submit
To my will,
My terms.

That does not mean showing pain apathy,
It means respecting the process,
Embracing the struggle,
Massaging the pain,
And clearing the mind.
Again, my terms.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Funny how a day goes,
This one where I ran while
Thinking of taking the soul
Of the wall just past
The end of my treadmill.
I stared into the yellow stripe
Calling myself all sorts of names
When the running got tough,
Then, through some act of the endurance gods
I got a second wind,
Briefly thinking I could see deeper into the yellow,
Beyond what the cinder block was forming, far
Into that wall’s soul.
That’s when I took it, Goggins style, made it my own
And finished the run.

That moment of intensity
Is the joke right now.
I just finished finding my soul,
Sitting on my knees,
Eyes closed, and
Being open to whatever.
Thoughts ran across my mental theater
Staying just as long as it took
To acknowledge their presence.
The bios tell me my heart rate was low,
My watch tells me fifteen minutes passed,
My groove tells me I took good care of my soul
As the keys aren’t getting banged
And the words are massaging my simple quest with peace.
Funny how a day goes…

It was about an hour in before
I started hearing the voices,
Goggins, Hritz, Ferriss, Hubba, Reggio,
Each talking their motivational s#*t,
Each getting pushed aside as the laps accumulated.

It was the first run after a winter of pneumonia,
After the disarray of basketball,
After the excitement of baseball, and
The welcome of pre-retirement practice,
AKA, summer vaca…

The track was the same,
Sixteen laps to a mile,
The old guy with short shorts was still
Teaching old ladies and sounding as if he
Was of the Wink Martindale of kickboxing.

The shoes were new,
Fresh, right out the box,
New Balance, probably about 70% made in the USA,
Which didn’t figure into my purchase,
They just felt good.

So, an hour in,
And the ache of inactivity was upon me,
But the goal was all Clubber, “Pain,”
Because Hritz has been pushing Goggins
And it was time that this aging guy of privelege and avoidance suffered.

The truth is that we all probably go easy
Looking for the economy, the proximity, the most convenient,
I watched a guy wait for a parking spot at Wal-Mart,
The second in its row,
While the third spot was empty as #2 pushed the cart out of the store.

So, an hour in,
The suffering began,
Keep in mind that I was slow, like never had run this slow,
Managing only two laps at a time, then taking a walk break,
Ferriss began suggesting meditation, but I was too far gone for that.

Perhaps though, self-talk is a kind of meditation,
I barked at me for being so lazy,
I encouraged me to keep on going,
I started thinking about the old people down below
And said, I should be more like them for they seemed to not be suffering.

So, an hour in,
Hubba and Reggio, friends, the same
But different, began their ranting about being weak,
Getting old, having lost it,
For awhile I listened, thinking of some comebacks. Nothing worked.

Then, the class below changed,
Two tanned teachers and a slightly younger clientele began their jumping around
Their energy was different, but their schtick was the same as December
When the bug first knocked me down.
I was really suffering, then… and, now…

A buzz on my wrist
Broke my thoughts of new-goal-survival-mode
I looked down to see six-miles down
At an hour and forty-five minutes gone.
Maybe the slowest ever, but back for more challenges.