man in brown shirt standing on train rail near coconut palms
Photo by Oliver Sju00f6stru00f6m on

A day of trains,
The freight train that is waking early,
The empty coal train that is fasting,
Taking the bike for a rails to trails ride,
The express of an afternoon nap, and
A screening of Cairo Station.

Each was on schedule,
Full of its particular clickety-clack rhythm,
Its whistle, and its relaxing sway.
This day was awesome
Arriving right on time,
Just when I needed it.

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.

It’s amazing how good a few lunges and squats can feel,
Simple exertion to take the edge off of being lazy.
Not many, maybe just about ten of each does the trick,
Letting there be a sense of accomplishment, a moment of youth.

Of course, when that is preceded by a bonking run
The kind where heat and humidity crush a spirit
Only about eight tenths of a mile from home,
It’s no wonder the squats and lunges work their magic.

It’s those moments of failure that let the successes feel so good,
Nothing like a few easy calisthenics to get the blood flowing,
To set the mind to dreaming again about another run
Where an outcome is certain, success, failure, or denial.

Alarm clocks,
Contrived annoyances to keep us on track,
The type-A tool of getting ahead,
The faux symbol of responsibility.

I’ve lost them during the pandemic.

My dog wakes me,
Instead of some digital chime.
The sun is out
Instead of night’s darkness.

I’ve developed a normal relationship with the sun.

Easing into the morning is routine,
Leisurely breakfast, sipping coffee, reading news,
Exercising happens when I’m ready,
Not when the bell goes ding-dong.

I’ve gained a relaxed rhythm during the pandemic.

The afternoons pass with quiet family time,
Lazy napping, on Thursdays and Fridays TV golf,
Dinner, PTI, writing, and when the sun sets
Getting ready for bed.

At some point the next day, the sun will rise.

This day, minus Zoom,
Was beautiful.
Bright sun, warming temperatures,
Lots of exercise,
A walk with my dog,
A good book about a man and his dog,
And hanging with my family,
Near and through the distance.

Rain and cold tomorrow.

Went running this afternoon,
The lady down the street was walking her dog,
It was barking as it always does,
That high pitched yelp
Like the toy store mutts.
I rounded the corner into Watership Down
Where a rabbit must have been hit by a car
The vultures had not gotten to it, yet,
A little further up the hill,
A field mouse of some sort had not bad it, either,
The worms everywhere
Since the rain has pushed them out of the ground.

I just kept going,
The few miles I had planned
Passing at a snail’s pace.
The death that is around,
The uncertainty of life,
The fear of getting sick,
It all is taking a toll.
That’s why I get out,
To get away, to find some peace in nature,
To not be bothered by infection rates,
Body counts, or right-wing blabber.
I suppose this one didn’t do its job.

Going off the rails,
Whistles doing little to avoid the crash
Cars slamming together,
This is impossible,
The waiting,
The unknowing,
The secrecy,
And the impending crisis.

What do we do,
The crash will surely come
And all I can think to do
Is run.
Get away, figure things out,
Breathing away from the crowds
On some ignoble quest of discovery.

That’s what I’ve got,
That and time,
The space between the first and last days
That’s got to be filled
That has air,
The air letting me breath
As I run and ride,
As I find out what I am made of.

I enjoy goofy fitness challenges. Given the current state of the pandemic, I thought about challenging myself (and anyone who feels like joining in) to:

1. Exercise in a way that respects the prevention behaviors being sought in your community.

2. To keep a fitness mindset through all of the restrictions we are under.

3. On a personal level, keep training for a June triathlon that I’m guessing will be postponed. Staying goal-directed…

The Challenge

Complete exercise equivalents to equal the Trans America Bicycle Trail (4,215.2-miles).

The Equivalents

Biking and Running: Miles = Miles (Swimming will go here if we ever get that back.)
Burpees: 88 Burpees = 1-mile (It’s a made up number…) I hate burpees, so that’s why I included them.

You can come up with your own “eqs” if you would like. Remember, the challenge is to keep exercising.

How long does the challenge last?

50 days is about 85-miles/day. Your guess is as good as mine, but Im shooting for under 100-days. Start when you start. I’m getting it going 3/20/2020!

Good luck and check out the link below:

TransAmerica Trail Info

Be mindful of your health and fitness before starting this. Make sure you are healthy enough for the activity you choose to do.

My young protege,
I call him the journeyman,
Is hobbling around
Like the master of the shop.
His young calves are tired,
Sore from the sudden burst in volume
As lacrosse pre-season starts.
I know his hitch in the get-a-long too well.
Tired hips, tight hamstrings, sore lats,
It seems like each day is a struggle.
One to be loved and embraced,
Cherished for the feeling
Of still being in the game.
Tomorrow, he will wake,
The soreness will probably be just about gone
I’m swimming, so my aches will be buoyant,
Hopefully, that will make things a little easier.