My daughter and I continue to debate who is the stealthiest ninja and I laugh.
Because if you really know me, if you have seen the inner sanctum you know I come on like a freight train but do have moments where I am as soft spoken and quiet as a monk.
I have spent a good chunk of time doing a crazy dance with fear and uncertainty.
Had more than a few moments where bad dreams made me fly out of bad, a crazed look in my eyes because I knew something was coming to get me.
Fortunately there was no lag time between reality and awareness of it being just a dream and since I have been living by myself no one knew these moments existed.
No one heard me mutter “it is just a dream” or saw me wrestle with fear I hadn’t ever experienced before.
I haven’t written about it because it took a while for me to decide to embrace it and bring it closer.
Made it much easier and because I have always known where it comes from managing it has been relatively easy.
Back In The Saddle Again
I don’t know why I didn’t join the gym sooner, can’t say there is any particular reason other than I have been so lost in my world it just slipped my mind.
It was a mistake but life is filled with them.
Been there every day since I signed up and the plan is to keep going.
I love the clinkety-clank of the metal and the pain that comes with pushing my body to do one more rep.
Earbuds in, it is Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and AC/DC to start.
Kickstart My Heart, Girls, Girls, Girls and Shoot To Thrill push me through the initial warmup and I have to remind myself to take it easy.
Haven’t lifted like this in a while, but the body remembers and muscle responds. Might take effort to be the Stealthiest Ninja but throwing iron is as natural as putting words on a page.
I am built for demolition and moving heavy crap with or without purpose.
There are very few guys on the court who look like they are older than 25, let alone 40 so I am uncertain about whether I am ready to try running with them.
Steely Dan fills my ears and I roll my eyes because Reelin’ In The Years isn’t what I want now. Bring back Vince Neil and company, let me pretend I am hitting a club on the Sunset Strip around the late eighties/early nineties.
I need to call upon my legs to do more than send me stumbling, don’t want to be that old guy.
Instead of calling next I walk over, pick up a ball and start shooting.
Haven’t held a basketball since I left LA in August.
The first few shots are awful but I start to hit more than I miss and feel like I am starting to find a rhythm again.
But fear says not to play because I am not wearing high tops and I don’t want to roll an ankle.
This is new to me, this hesitation and concern for babying my body.
I don’t like it. I may not be the most coordinated or graceful man but I have spent the majority of my life being virtually unbreakable.
I know it because I have jumped from the roof into the swimming pool or the grass. Jumped out of cars and off of bikes and done all sorts of stupid crap and mostly been fine.
Eventually I’ll get in one of the games, with or without the damn high tops.
Did Rikki Lose That Number?
Back on the indoor track the Boss is singing Born To Run for the 1,983,328nd time and I am watching a woman run past.
She is moving pretty good and I am curious how close she is to top speed and how long she can keep it up for.
After her second pass I am tempted to start running because I don’t like being passed. It is silly, but I know that even in my almost middle age I can still pop the clutch and move much faster than people realize.
“A quick first step for a big guy” is how a kid in LA described it.
I told him it wasn’t smart to use euphemisms for fat and challenged him to a race.
Twenty years older and 60 pounds heavier.
I rarely make bets I don’t think I can win. I don’t like losing.
Later on someone will ask me why I haven’t asked for help and I’ll tell them I have sent out smoke signals and brainwaves.
“People aren’t mind readers. You don’t like it when that is expected of you and you shouldn’t expect it of others.”
“Sometimes I like living with the same double standards they do.”
Black Hats Are For Heroes
A note comes in, “you are supposed to wear a white hat. White hats are for heroes.”
“Nope, I don’t wear sweaters because other people are cold. Don’t write about celebrities on Facebook and hope they somehow find my post or do lots of things people say we should do. Black hats are fine for normal people and heroes.”
I am told I am difficult and I shrug my shoulders.
“Sometimes I come on like a freight train and sometimes I am a ninja. Love me for who I am, not who you want me to be. Life is filled with double standards and contradictions. That is what makes it interesting.”