Tag Archives: running

People watching the gym-rat race

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 10.25.30 AMIt’s the second day of January, and I can barely walk.

No, this is not a two-day hangover.

It’s the residual effects of starting over gym for maybe the fourth or fifth time in the last 10 years.

This last break from the gym was due to long-lasting rehabilitation effort for a dislocated shoulder during a rousing game of 16-inch softball in Chicago.

By rehabilitation effort, I mean avoidance of anything and everything that caused even a hint of pain to my right shoulder.

Continue reading People watching the gym-rat race

An alternate universe in each of my sons

The 303 train from Chicago to Blue Island broke down last night, leaving me stranded in Chicago waiting for a later train.

Unfortunately, that meant I’d miss my son’s track meet.

He sent me this text just as my train pulled up to the Vermont Street stop where I park my car.

Carson RunsWhat’s unique about this text, is that it stems from a conversation we had last night while sitting around a small table at Chipotle.

It’s been a long two-weeks of sickness around our house, with everyone dealing with a combination of allergies and head colds, with a little strep throat thrown in for good measure. We needed to buy Carson a pair of running shoes for his track meet on Friday, so I made an executive decision to eat out, which is rare for us.

Continue reading An alternate universe in each of my sons

Running to Stand Still –

image

I ran today.

I’m a warm-weather runner.

I hate running.

But society make me feel like I have to run.

I used to run for pleasure, back when I was in my late 20s, and I was at the University of Oregon doing wind sprints in the gym on rainy days and jogging around the perimeter of Hayward Field when it just drizzled.

I ran two marathons with my wife. We ran the Portland Marathon in October 2003, and the Honolulu Marathon a year later to celebrate our 10th Anniversary.

After that last marathon, I mostly gave up running.

It’s a solitary sport, and unlike Johnny Cash, I am not a solitary man.

I ran a mile a couple times this week before doing my normal kettle-bell weight routines. It’s good to get your heart-rate up before you start swinging the heavy Russian metal balls.

I decided to up my mileage today, incrementally.

The magnolia blossoms are already starting to fall, even as the oaks are starting to get their buds.

And the sounds of lawnmowers could be heard over the pumping sound of Alkaline Trio in my ear buds.

The first mile was not bad, I tried to remember my form and the things I was taught by running coaches at the university many years ago.

I stopped and stretched a bit before proceeding on to mile two.

The men riding lawnmowers watched me run by and either nodded or saluted. I couldn’t tell if they were cheering me on, wishing me well or feeling sorry for me.

The soccer moms pulled their minivans out of driveways and headed off to the soccer pitches for day-long tournaments.

The wood crafters had their garage doors open and their routers whining, and the gardeners hoed the rain-softened dirt as I jogged by.

The old folks waved at me from their windows, which seem like televisions where they watch the world go by a little more slowly than it does through the Cable.

A woman searched for a small dog that got out the night before, but judging from the sound of the coyotes last night around 2 a.m., the little pug might not be coming home.

Somewhere in the maze-like infrastructure of the big 4 bedroom houses, a teenager sleeps off a heroin high from a couple of $10 hits he or she took the night before.

The suburbs may move at a slower pace than the rest of the world on a Saturday morning, but it’s all an illusion. Time is shifted out here beyond the blended city.

You blink, and it skips a beat. Blink again, and you miss two beats.

Blink again, and your kids are in high school, and you’re fighting the downward trajectory of age and gravity.

And as I ran around the blocks with the smell of fresh-cut grass in my nose, I didn’t hate running for a few minutes.

Come Monday morning, when the neighborhood is buttoned up tight, and all the allusions to actual community are swept back under the manicured lawns, I will hate running again.

Tim

The Workout –

I’m not fond of the dark. I have an over-active imagination, if such a thing can exist, and I see things in shadows and mist. 

When I run, if you can call it that, I know just how fast I can go. If a large shadow were to suddenly become form, well, I can run pretty fast. Normally I just lope along like a wounded primate confused about whether I should even be running upright.

So I’ve been riding my bike, on which I feel swift and maneuverable. When I’m riding downhill, I’m untouchable. 

I entered the forest today and grew a garden of ghoulish characters out of the twisted branches and shadowed tree stumps. I rode faster, as I do, chased by my own creation.

The fields were misted over, and I could almost drink the air. I willed the sun to rise.

I sing along with the music, sometimes louder than other times, like when I want to drown out the process of creature creation going on in my head. 

It is not midsummer any more. The shadows are longer earlier, and I’m thinking about taking it all back inside where I can set the controls.