Knowing when it’s good,
The feeling of accomplishment,
Storied moments elusive and fleeting
When age couples with disinterest,
Knowing when it’s good,
A welcome relief.

Charging up a hill after weeks of patience,
Reckless, bolstered with determination
Unbound by the constraints
Of doubt, worry, responsibility
Just letting it fly,
The motor running hot,
Stupidity carrying the day.

The order of things doesn’t matter,
Whether avoiding Satanic graffiti,
Stories of broken hearts, or just hoping
To keep up with the fleetest of the group
It did not matter,
It was good,
It was the beginning of something new.

When new places go old school
I’ve got to say that I’m all in.
Don’t call things retro,
Just know,
Simple is better,
Like going Rocky and Apollo
Sprinting down the beach,
Gulls confused and
Yoga posers unsure.
Only old school souls who feel primal urges
Know how great it feels to bang out a run
Over sand and crashing
Jersey Shore waves,
Especially before sunrise.
Then, after a few hours
Of contemplating the summer of ’61
When balls flew out at a record pace,
It’s time to test the muscles
Against gravity and father time.
Luckily, the Jersey Shore Mecca
Is just a twenty minute walk away
With real iron,
A sweat smell,
A crooked ass water cooler,
Pictures of Arnold everywhere,
And a vibe put down by heavy metal.
Old school, not an effing health club or fitness center,
A gym full of all the couldn’t give a crap
About wellness, warm up sets, or whiny ass soccer moms
Because this is a joint
Where “pick them up and put them down”
Rings true with each rep, each set,
Each appropriately expressive grunt
And all that heavy work.

Best fifty I’ve dropped in a long time…

black metal armchair
Photo by Michael Morse on

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!

The park was never as dark as this morning,
One truck was already there,
No one was inside,
It weirded me out.

The back of the truck was loaded with weights,
Waiting to fulfill their duty
Of being picked up and put down
By an apprehensive and slightly nutty band of runners.

As the sun rose,
The bars began to stir,
The planning came together,
The group chipped away.

There was music,
There was laughter,
There were geese,
There was a good time.

In the end, there was also enlightenment,
Okay, more of a realization,
Twenty-thousand is just a number,
Will and support, that’s how we are.

Cranking out repetitions,
Churning out the miles,
All because we know we can,
All in the presence slightly nutty friends.

So, the creek didn’t rise,
Cottonmouth didn’t stop a workout,
No “doubtful” messages from the 8-ball,
Just an honest probing of us…success all around.

I worked out this morning,
My partners immature adults
Full of life experiences
I relate to.

I tried a second workout this afternoon.
Former students, current students, rival students,
All of them, everywhere,
Flexing, preening, everything but lifting.

I stuck it out for seventeen minutes,
Headed to the table for coffee and Lived the life of the old man
Who sits in the morning
Wishing to read in silent…
It never happens.
Just like now.

Why didn’t I just swim?

What have I done,
I’m the worst kind of student,
Unmoved by bass infused music,
Unwilling to do what I don’t want to do
Only wanting class to end.
Such are the attributes I bring
To some morning boot camp BS.
My friends twisted my fragile arms,
Not to forcefully, I’ll add,
And now, I sit,
Just a constitutional away
From what should surely
Have me committed.

(Part 2 after class…)

What is this new age term, social buoyancy?

Okay, maybe not new age,
Perhaps just a combination of words
Playing off a new found skill in swimming with efficiency
And the beauty of running with a group
Full of interesting people,
Trustworthy souls,
Not like some Bambi-eyed, feigning obliviousness,
Manipulating, feckless fitness debutante
Who doesn’t really get
That people aren’t enamored by the ditzy act that is
So valuable for getting exclusive club memberships,
But such a turn off to anyone able to think.

No, that kind of worthless use of salaries and guile
Is truly a waste of time.
We don’t run with them…

We did run on the emerging light of earlier starting mornings,
The evolving of our aging vocabulary,
401Ks becoming daycare concerns becoming divorce and then death.
Getting older sure is easier knowing others
Have the same issues that I have,
Knowing that those fears and concerns
Can’t be covered up by some low cut bikini bottoms,
Nope, these are real issues that need to be addressed by others who understand.

Yes, those kinds of things,
Speaking openly about aging
And the semi-futility of fighting with Father Time, Mother Nature, gravity, and
The planned obsolescence that we all must deal with.
We create new running routes, we set new goals, we devise new training programs,
And still,
We get older, our new age, and a bit
Farther removed from the Sonic Run Around where beer, burgers, and a mad dash
Were the essence of youth,
“Go for it,” “let’s get it on,” and “I dare you,”
Once made life one enjoyable challenge.

Of course, that was before 401Ks, day care, divorce, and the ever-increasing frequency
Of death touching our social circles.
Still, we run…
Still, we talk…
Still, we laugh.

Socially buoyant.