Routine has a way
Of making spontaneity cautious,
Of making adventure untenable,
Of putting acceptance into an unwieldy place.

Then there is the idea that a routine
Is a foundation for things like
Finding paths in the snow,
Running down the middle of a dark road,
Or under bright stars
In the moments before sunrise.

I love those routines,
The morning,
The cold and dark,
The frozen breath banter
Making the feels like temperature
Nothing but a conversation piece.

For it’s in those heart-pounding meet-ups
Where the repetition of one stride after another
Takes me away from the routines
Of going to work,
Watching talking heads banter about treason and liberty,
Or just sleeping my life away.

This month, the one built on so many failed resolutions,
Is proving to be the sort of break I’ve needed,
One where I’m taking leave of my excuses, my limitations,
Thirty-one days of living a routine filled with challenge,
Adventure, and “bull-shit” that staves off apathy.

The rewards are plenty of laughter,
A chance to stretch my social hesitancy,
An opportunity to test my resolve,
And an occasion to get outside of my normal routine.

Thanks, Y’all…

art background brick brick texture
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…

Drizzle,
Putting it to my commitment,
Shoved aside,
As positive peer pressure
Proved it’s worth
For a ten spot.

Darkness,
Having dominion over me,
Sent worn legs napping
As a recovery began
Following a hilly run.

Springsteen,
Monopolizing my creative soul,
His stories, his lyrics,
Just his effing energy
Making me think differently
About how I became me.

Hoops, burgers with tots,
Boring ass football, and
Some Irish spiritual hydration
Are putting this long day
Back into a fuzzy haze similar
To the drizzle that challenged me earlier.

Thank goodness I accepted…

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
Spiritually,
Emotionally,
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.

They run in the morning darkness
Just bouncing flashes of light
Too far ahead for me to hear
What they are talking about.

I feel like I’m climbing Everest
On that final push in the dark
Where I’m locked into every step and
Imprisoned within my thoughts of finishing.

I’m running without a light,
Counting on my night vision and
The contours of the road to guide me safely.
Both adding to the thrill.

For I’m chasing the pack,
And running with fear about those behind catching me,
The oxygen feels thinner, my lungs and legs ache,
My hands are getting cold, and I’m alive

Because I am testing myself,
Four weeks into this level of running and
The changes are beginning to happen,
I’m starting to believe again.

The believing
Is charging the batteries of my competitive self
That have truly lit my way in life,
Maybe covering for a lack of talent or smarts,

But always keeping me in the game and
Feeling like I might have a chance.
As the lights pass beyond where the darkness lets them be seen,
They disappear. I know that someday I will catch them.