I wonder if I’ve hit the lull, the one that always gets me. Energy low, motivation suspect, a dead zone in a calm… All is swirling around, yet I feel no stress, no worry, no nothing. Good, right? Except there’s nothing happening here, inside, no “go,” “rrr,” or “ah.” Perhaps it is a full plate. Maybe it’s the viral uncertainty. Most likely it’s too much Netflix and YouTube, but whatever the cause, I can wait it out. Laziness will wane and the ideas will return.

They always do.

Yo, Hub, it’s back,
The manuscript, the one with the words,
The one with the guy on the journey,
Yep, that’s the one.

The time away has been refreshing,
Renewing, leaving a new found verve,
Maybe some sustainable energy,
We’ve heard that before somewhere else.

I’m ready to see where he takes us,
Parts unknown, pasts reconfigured,
The places where we never thought he’d go
Wise, risky, unafraid of what some might think.

It’s time for me to get my shit out of my locker,
To blow through doubt, distraction, and the
Dearth of worry that I feel when it’s time to get serious,
Ain’t nothin’ to it…

Time of day really matters
Miss a morning run,
Pay for it in the afternoon sun.

That’s when the feet barely patter
Lungs hurt a ton
Making the time little fun

So at daybreak cut the chatter
You’ll know when you’ve won
Because the exercise will be done.

The weight of it all caught up with me today.
Running just wasn’t happening,
Legs, lungs, lethargy all working together
To prevent anything meaningful.

The social stuff, the pandemic stuff, the school stuff
A confluence of life’s issues making the day tough,
One where I felt like not doing anything,
Just sitting watching sports like I should on a Sunday.

But that wasn’t possible, I was left with news,
Something I needed to escape from, the talking heads
Having told me all about the houses burning down
And the lack of awareness by that guy acting as President.

So I ran, passing a gaggle of geese less than half a mile
From home, and that’s when the weight took over.
This route, one I’ve run hundreds of times, owned me,
A few seconds of running, a few minutes of walking.

I got my time in, took a chance with a restricted area,
And made it home for dinner.
The Fugitive was on, so I recited the lines for kicks,
Avoiding anything connected with reality.

Tomorrow will come soon, I’ll have to decide,
Rest or continue pushing my limits,
One thing, though, I’m avoiding life,
Sad, but I am worn out. Maybe I should stay in.

Imagine my confusion
On this hazy morning at 10:30
When I’ve already taken a nap and
As the music coming from my cheap bluetooth speaker
Was the opening to A Tribe Called Quest song
Deeply buried in a running playlist,
But it was Lou Reed who started singing.

Is that how my parents felt when Little Richard sang?
Were they expecting Pat Boone?
A travesty there, at least “Quest’s” song goes somewhere good,
Not so absurdly vanilla.

The early Sunday haze has been enough,
To keep me hobbling, wobbling, not falling down,
But too non-committal to lace them up
And keep a pandemic inspired streak alive.
Yet, the welcomed mix up did something to my inner being,
So psychological and new age there, eff that,
I’m woke, up from whatever self-inflicted waste I was in.

Somewhere there’s a boat about to be picked up,
Maybe I’ll sing Quest, Lou, or Little Richard
Because there’s no confusion in a day
When music does its thing.

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.

Scouting,
No, not the NFL draft,
Looking for opportunities,
Something to try,
To do,
To show,
Scanning the maps,
Looking at the times,
Accepting some challenges,
As suggested by the Canadian tri guy.
Can’t wait.

Truth is we can’t quit,
Can’t be stupid, either,
But gusto isn’t built watching others,
That’s the way I see it,
Sometimes imagining
What two runners in my hood see
As they run day after day
Both new to the pursuit
Both keeping everything in sight
Their pace, their commitment, their goals.

I want their vision,
Clear, sharp, unrestricted
Finding the dime on the floor,
See possibility in all of this madness
So it’s off to the races,
These little segments that others have blazed
That I’ll test myself against
Just to see what I can do
If I keep getting at it.

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.

Malcolm Gladwell,
Billy Collins,
Dave Matthews Band,
George Fox,
David Goggins,
Neko Case,
Buzz Lightyear,
New Balance,
Trek,
All getting me through,
All finding a way to pass the time
Influencing,
Distracting,
Informing,
Motivating,
Setting up the future,
Enlightening the past,
Saving the present.

Thank goodness.