Assembly line,
The institutionalized boredom
Saps all caring from an individual
Leaving them a tapped out breast
Expressing toxic milk.

Not sure what that means
Because I’ve been teaching about stuff
We were supposed to have learned
My attitude dragging,
My will fading,
My belief that I mean anything to my job
So distant that the Hubble couldn’t find it.


Boxed in, nowhere to go,
Stuck in a state of nerdiness
Where all that interests me
Is what I’m doing right now

As I write, it’s obviously writing,
My ultimate form of puzzle making,
Puzzle solving, or just plain working out
The puzzling nature of life.

Earlier today it was running,
My body begging to stay in bed,
To back down from the cold,
My soul refusing to give in.

So there at mile three or so
I had a choice, stick with half the pack
And dash home for four, or brave the dark
Denying my urge and run with the other half for seven.

I became a runner nerd,
Sucking up every bit of available oxygen,
Soaking through three layers,
And living interested in the example of my running partners.

It’s the day gig tripping me up,
My interest is like the moon, waxing
With ideas about the hope of learning and
Waning in the realities of how uncool it is to be nerdy.

Perhaps I should just preach to the choir
Finding an audience in those who understand
School doesn’t have to be painful,
That learning can happen when people talk and invest.

No financially, but
Mentally, physically, and socially.

Instead, that idea is boxed out,
Pushed aside by perceptions of relevance,
The dopamine delivery system that phones have become,
And the apathy that many display when faced with challenges.

My lunar-like learning cycle will run its course,
It will be pitch black and I’ll be running through a lesson
With the choice to be bored or invested,
Hopefully, I’m still interested enough to write about it.

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.

The Marathon Course


We are built to run. We move forward with efficiency. We can cool down effectively. We are able to think and make decisions about pace, technique, and whatever else comes to mind. Thinking comes with some barriers, though. Because we have the power to make choices about what we do, motivation, or lack thereof, becomes a factor in our training. What do we do to manage those moments when motivation becomes a barrier to our training? How do we get back on track or stay moving when our energy is down? I bet there are a million answers to that because we all have our ways of maintaining our commitment to exercising.

I’m writing this after a thirty-minute run under the most horrible condition, blasting thump-thump music. I arrived at the Y this morning unsure of what I would do. My calf is still sore, more so after running twenty minutes yesterday. The parking lot was so full that I could not find an easy spot for my truck. Everything I was thinking told me to just go home. I’ve got at least 100 reasons to run this “sort of” race, so I decided to make the walk over the bridge and hit the track. Don’t make fun of me, but the distance from my truck to the track might have been two-hundred yards. When I finally got to the track (two minutes, maybe), I was washed over by a tsunami of sound. The banging bass muffled the incomprehensible exhortations of a tank topped man getting a hoard of people to do whatever form of weight lifting cardio they were doing.

Yesterday, I ran in the gym at my school with music from Hayes Carl, Paul McCartney, and whatever else is stored on my iPod. That’s right, iPod, it’s a Classic and it still charges. The tunes were soothing and let my mind focus on how I felt. However, I ran alone and before long my calf was letting me know it was time to quit. I gave in rather easily. Today, I was faced with the daunting task of running through the multitude of aural and visual distractions that I knew would beat me down in just a few minutes.

So I started running. The first few laps were tough. I could hear the guy breathing into his microphone. My calf was tight, but the tightness would move around leaving different parts of it relaxed. The thought crept into my head that maybe it was going to be okay. Below, the entire gym floor was covered with people working hard. I peeked over the rail while they were squatting and something happened. The bars going up and down must have hypnotized me or something because I got into a flow that would last for the next thirty minutes. I barely thought about my calf. I dismissed the hoots and “yee-haws” from the class below. Ultimately, I had the best run I’ve had in a long time.

I think it was the thump-thump music. Somehow the music put my mind at ease and let me do what I’m designed to do, run. I didn’t think about sticky muscle fibers, weight, angry parents, or the confirmation of Cabinet members. I just ran.

That’s how it should be…

Thank you for reading my blog. I am running this “marathon of one” to support the Kennett Area YMCA. If you would like to support the Y, I have provided the link to their site below. Since this about running for a charity of my choice, I think it would be awesome if you donated to the Kennett Area YMCA, if you have a cause close to your heart, by all means, use the spirit of this challenge to give to a charity or organization you are more comfortable with. I would love that…good for this journey’s spirit!

Kennett Area YMCA-Donate


Photo Credit: Chris Hancock-All rights reserved


“I don’t know what his motivations were, but…”
Said a university president when he spoke
About Live Aid back in 1985.

He sounded skeptical
About the potential of long haired musicians
Doing what governments were not.

Thirty years later, I don’t know what their motivations are
When bosses get company cars
And I get a pittance raise each year

Or how these presidential hopefuls
Can act with indignation
When their tricks are used on them.

I miss Live Aid enthusiasm
That got gobbled by the festival frenzy
Where motivations are clearly corporate.

For what it’s worth
That university president realized the greatness of the day
And supported the cause in awe.

For what it’s worth
I can’t wait until November
So I can turn the news back on.


Photo Credit: Google Images

A lull between games
With just enough time
To purchase an indoor cycle
To kick start the lull in my cardio.
The mission now
To own motivation
Without worshipping some clown
Or obsessing on the science.
Exercise should be fun
Training too
Although now I think I’m working out
Just to feel good
Forget crazy goals
Aspirations of the some great distance run
I just want to sweat
Move my legs, and
Feel more energy
Beginning right after this double header
Of youthful hoop action

That’s what I want
To throw on the floor
Of my class
Precious morsels
That the students would fight over
Like they were the last bites of
Sustenance coming their way
It’s the attitude I’m really wanting
Not the mauling
That might occur
If raw meat was given to
A hungry pack
It’s the hunger

I want the students to be hungry

Once I worked with inner city students
Who wanted to go to college so badly that
They endured a contrived ridiculousness
Only because they knew
The higher education would further their goals
They hung from cables, wrote in journals, and
Conformed to early curfews
Because they knew this was a stepping stone
Beyond the kibbles
City life was doling out to them

I miss their hunger

For the fight was worth it
In two weeks
These young people grew to see
How important decision making was
That consequences made real
Can really change a perspective

I miss their hunger