Nine years ago I reluctantly left Texas and headed back to Los Angeles to go backwards in time so that I could get things set up so that I could move into the future.
If I could show you what I see inside my head you’d understand what happened in the desert between El Paso and Arizona.
Drove almost all night long and pushed myself hard enough that when I walked through the front door in Encino I vomited in the toilet in the small bathroom.
Rinsed off my face, took a deep breath and felt like a person again.
I remember that night in the desert and the promise I made to myself and others and how it felt like an out of body experience.
I remember the rest stop somewhere in Arizona where the guys with guns and I stared at each other while we sized each other up.
Didn’t know what their problem was or why they were agitated by me but knew that if I broke eye contact it first it would give them the wrong kind of encouragement.
It was a few days before Halloween and the crowd included people in costumes and made me wonder where the party was because aside from our location all I saw was empty land.
Sometimes you move heave and earth to make things happen and sometimes other forces move them for you.
Bench Your Weight
There are a variety of metrics people use to determine how strong and or how fit they are. Some of those feel more like vanity calls than trues measurement of strength.
I thought a bit about it today when I hit the gym because I remember being the twenty something who was energized by being able to bench more than 1.5 times my weight.
Someone told me that I ought not to think in those terms now and that the focal point is being able to do 75% of my body weight.
That didn’t sound or feel right to me though my own vanity was satisfied by knowing that 75% of my body weight isn’t something I’d struggle with.
I can go far heavier than that but there is not much in the way of upside to being able to say you can lie on your back and throw heavy weights around.
If something heavy fell upon me and I just happened to be on my back when it happened well then maybe this particular skill have extra meaning.
Nah, the real goals here are simple for me. I want to build functional strength that I can maintain for the rest of my life so that I am always capable of taking care of myself.
Given that dad still had ample strength in his upper body into his seventies and didn’t work out I think that with consistent effort I’ll be ok there.
But aside from building and maintaining functional strength the other main attraction to the gym is I still love the burn and appreciate using it as a way to take the edge off.
Clothes are beginning to fit differently and I have gotten a few comments so that is always a good thing too.
Still digging into Post, the Twitter alternative because I need another place to write beyond all of the others.
It has been pretty good so far and the crowd feels different than the other joints. In some ways it reminds me a bit of what Twitter used to feel like in the old days.
It is friendly and far less toxic. Some of the functionality there is being built out as we speak so it requires some patience.
If people ‘like’ your post(s) you have no idea who they are so you can’t easily find them and determine if they are interesting enough to follow or not.
That is not a huge issue as people can comment, but I think about it because part of what made Twitter special was the interaction and engagement.
The hardest part of being at the gym is not letting my memory of what I used to do impact my workout. We have to exercise as the person we are today and not the one we were.
No reason to get hurt by acting the fool but it is not always easy to be patient.
Sometimes I apply similar logic to writing because when you don’t like the words you place upon the page you can force yourself to try to do better.
That doesn’t work as effectively as we might hope it would though the advantage of doing this on the computer is that you’re unlikely to cause physical pain from producing poor content.
Though if we are truly honest the mental pain and frustration that come from pumping out the inferior stuff can be painful and embarrassing.
That moment in the desert comes back unsought and weighs upon me, a silent specter that stares at me.
I feel the unspoken question and stare back wondering what it sees and hears. Does it have any clairvoyant abilities it can use to see into the future and will it share what it sees.
There are questions that are asked of me and questions I ask of the universe.
Somewhere out there I hear a voice telling me that you have to play the hand you are dealt and hear my own voice respond that a man can create his own luck.
“Don’t have to just accept what is laid out before me just because it is the easy path. Don’t have to let inertia stop me from taking that other road. Sometimes you have to go seek out the answer because you won’t be able to rest otherwise.”
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