Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 5.143 This is That

Maybe I should be more serious. Perhaps my inept attempts at self depreciation in the human condition, my part anyway, are ways to cope with the gravity of the situation. Maybe I laugh at myself because if I didn't I would spend all my remaining days sobbing for my poor, poor pitiful self.

An altogether new sensation has appeared, centering in my chest, and causing a fairly high amount of discomfort. I will stop short of calling in pain, but it is real and it is here. And since I have never felt anything quite like this, it is concerting.

As in what now?

I took a Tylenol last night before hitting the futon and laid down hoping for the best. If that was the best I hate to think what second best might be.

It was also DAY ONE of the no alcohol test period. We agreed yesterday to test this before launching further into pharmaceutical experimentation. As much as I would love to rid or reduce the amount of current discomfort by any means, we need to test the obvious first.


I have been avoiding this for along time. You know the reasoning, the excuse, the deal. We have a beer after almost every workout. It is social, a bonding with the team. But I am kidding myself to think that I can down four seven percent (by volume) IPAs every night and sustain any semblance of good health, let alone get back to race shape. The road is long and windy enough.

So I cut a deal with the good doctors yesterday. We'll test for thirty days. No beer or wine (I quit hard liquor thirty years ago) and review the results on June 26, my next appointment.

Today is DAY TWO.

Some of the topics I wanted to present this morning in our ninety-minute spin session were, I think, a way to empower myself at the start of this effort. Self motivation, if you will. They were:

Doing the radical. You want big change you need to change big. Check.
Effort. This will take all I got. Period.
Making magic. That happens in the moment, not last week or in thirty days.
Respecting ourselves as we waddle through the mud.
Challenge. What a great opportunity for growth.

This, my dear friends, is that.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 5.142 What a punch line

The Cardiology department shipped me off to the Psychiatry department. We are in 'process of elimination' mode, searching again for what is causing these horrific symptoms. They think (and who am I to argue) that two areas can be comparatively easy are the two that surround my alarmingly regular anxiety dreams. They think (and who am I to debate) that stress, possible depression (here we go again) and/or a chemical imbalance is to blame for all this nocturnal trauma. I keep telling them that I think it is the medication but that always seems to fall on deaf ears. Maybe because it is an in exacting science and since every body will respond somewhat differently, we need a longer trail period in which to error.

So, yeah, OK.

The fellow starts in with the usual questioning and I kinda take it from there. I tell him all about my issues, in decent detail, trying my best to remain objective and non-emotional.


We get to the, ahem, heart of the matter when I segue to the dreams. The guy is straight as an arrow, he has yet to break even the slightest smile, because after all, this is important shit, no? But when I start to retell my dreams I can see he is amused. I mean, they ARE funny.

So I ham it a little. It is my stage, I am the main attraction, I know my audience and what the heck, I want to prove to him that I can be tough as nails. For reasons that might have something to do with my obsession for 24 and the book on tape I just finished, Lone Survivor. Maybe my dreams are an extenuation of my admitted weakness as compared to Jack and a Navy Seal.

By the time I hit the third dream, he is grinning and holding back a laugh. Now I got him. I tell him about the last one, the one where I need to reset the pacer password and user name in, like ten minutes, or the device will automatically shut down.

I pause.

He looks at me and asks, 'what happens then'?

I pause again, widening eyes directly at his.

And we both say simultaneously but with different pronouns,

I/You die.

We laugh.

What a punch line, eh?

I should send that one to Louis CK.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 5.141 Magic


The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

(Please) take a closer look at that definition.

It ain't hocus-pocus, presto-chango tap of the wand.

It ain't about the mysterious nor the supernatural.

It ain't about illusion, smoke and mirrors or distraction.

I have been convinced that magic is available to us all, all the time. Even Muggles.

We witnessed and then rehearsed a little of it last night. And no, it had nothing to do with sex. 

We witnessed the magic of the moment. The eternal opportunity to become so fully connected and present that a enormously powerful dynamic is created.

A simple matter of aligning the body with the mind at high intensity. The result of this synchronicity almost always allows the inclusion of spirit.

And then you got it. Abracadabra.

Mind, body and spirit. Doing one thing. Doing that thing well, doing that thing with the sole purpose of engaging with a state of harmony and power, peace and satori.

The same magic that we find in practice we perfect in the show. BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME. What you do in practice preps us for the main event, be that an oratory, presentation, competition or recital. How we practice is how we play. Bike or bassoon, marathon or telethon.

There is magic in the moment.

Where else could it be?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 5.140 As Expected

Not as bad as I expected.

It was a long week off. After last Wednesday's THREE sessions, I was off to run and gun in the Southwest. Packing feather light, there was not only zero workout gear, but precious little time to get in one anyway.

Every athletically conscientious traveler knows this. It is one of the reasons we have franchise gyms. 24-hour fitness centers across the street from the Ramada, as example.

Making matters even worse are the Denny's, Burger Kings or Waffle Houses standing and beckoning between your room and the gym.

Let's see: French Slam or Stairmaster? Whopper with cheese or the squat rack? A pecan waffle or an hour of cardio?

Tough choices. Even for the most focused among us.

Missing a couple of sessions is no big deal in the big fitness scheme of things. But an entire week is.

Which is exactly how my week shook out. I was busier than the proverbial one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, up before dawn and home well after for five days. Coming and going was worth one each, with the net net being six days of nada. Muy male.

Making this morning's Super Eight set (#5) terse at the least and scary at best. I was nervous, an anxious state bolstered by last night's frustratingly real dreams of my pacemaker needing a new password and user name…..or else. A new TSA rule, I was informed, to keep terrorists from implanting IEDs where a pacer should go.


It is now 'tween time. One down and one to go. Tonight should be a piece of cake compared to this morning's level of outrageous intensity.

After another week of testing, we now know the value of consistency.

This is nothing new. The caveat being, that the better one's condition going in  - the better one's chances of getting it back.

All made easier with a bypass of the fast food joints and a little something of something. A run, a jog, a walk.

Without this, it will be worse than expected.

Please trust me. And pass the strawberries.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day 5.139 I should be ashamed

I should be ashamed.

Maybe. You can be the judge (all rise).

Here is a re-cap of my day yesterday. While certainly not the longest day of my life, it covered some terrain, inflicted a degree of torture and met most criteria for challenge.

After Sunday's two shoots (Santa Fe Century and Hyde Park State Park Hillclimb) I went in search of honest Mexican food in Santa Fe. While I failed miserably on the food mission I was very successful on the cerveza one.

So I woke Monday with a headache. A real negra in the  modelo if you know what I mean.

Undeterred, I decided at 0630 that my time could be well spent, or better spent, shooting local B-roll. Better, I thought, clarity increasing with the throb decreasing, bite the bullet, drive to Taos, find a hill climb, shoot it, have lunch and start the return trip.

I drive the 70 miles to Taos, a town I have always wanted to visit, Google the best climbs, ask a native where it can be found, stop at Wal-Mart for an on-sale 64GB sd card, find the route, shoot its 17 miles up and back, have a shitty cheese and green pepper omelet and turn the Altima around to execute the 70 mile return leg.

I stop half way at a DQ for a dipped vanilla cone and turn on the radio for the first time. I am falling asleep despite the sugar, carbs and stunning vistas. I hear the same song for the eighty-seventh time in four days.

Back in SF, I really gotta pee. I also need to refill the tank. The head in the Allsup station is occupied. I drive next door to the Albertsons lot, open both doors and sit watering the asphalt with urine. I don't care.

I negotiate a reduction in rate and get a free day from Hertz. The driver takes me back to the train station asking along the way if there is a 'needle' in Seattle and about the weather. Poor kid.

I have an hour before the return to Albuquerque. I shop for a gift for Junior where I almost buy a $95 cowboy shirt. At 1615 the train rolls South. We get stopped about half-way because the Northbound train is barreling down on us from the other direction. There is only one track so we get the hell out of the way, losing twenty valuable minutes as a result of the near miss.

Ninety minutes later we hit Albuquerque and I scramble for some food. I find the pizza joint where I had a coffee four days prior and order a personal cheese pizza for five bucks. As I sit and sip another coffee I Google the schedule for the free airport shuttle. Leaves in four minutes. I tell the gal to pull the pizza from the over, put it in a box and give it to me. She does as instructed and I run across the street and catch the shuttle as it is pulling out. The driver looks at the pizza box and says nothing, torn, I guess, between enforcing the rules and wanting a slice.

I am at the SunPort with one hour before flight. They tell me that despite my card proving an electronic device in my chest that is highly sensitive to magnetic fields, I have to get scanned like everybody else. AH, NO I DON'T. He calls super, super looks at card and pats me down. I have escaped potential disaster (once again).

I hurry to gate wiping mozzarella from chin.

Winds are gusting out of the West. One bumpy flight. We land in Phoenix. Time to start the last leg strategy. I will have to sprint to catch the last light rail run to the ferry terminal. Or should I cab it, spend the $20 and be sure?

The flight is delayed.

I moan thinking of another night at the Jet and the $60 of double-dip pain.

We make it up in the air and arrive at Sea-Tac five minutes early. I still sprint to the train, deciding at the last minute to buy a ticket as insurance. They do not check tickets on the last run, normally.

The train stops half-way after informing us that this is the final stop and we can take a bus into Seattle should we desire. SHOULD WE DESIRE?

It is 1315 and the last ferry of the night leaves at 1335. I call Yellow. GET SOMEBODY HERE QUICK.

He is and we make it to the waterfront with a minute to spare. The cabbie is the beneficiary of the largest tip my cheap ass has squandered in the last, maybe five years. He gets ten bucks for running a red light to get me to the pier on-time.

I catch the boat.

Walk off with full backpack and trudge the two miles to RGs where my truck is waiting.

I drive home.

It is a little after two and I am bushwhacked. It has been a long day.

I watch two episodes of 24, Season Four, right where I left off, five days prior.

I am not ashamed at all.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 5.138 Taos & Out

New Mexico is a wrap. Ended the quick-turn trip with a visit to Taos, about 70 miles NE of Santa Fe. Searched and found a road to the Taos Ski Valley just North of town on route 150. About 16 miles of winding mountain road on tarmac in dire need of resurfacing. Along the way had a video first as a pair of big-horn sheep were in the middle of the road drinking from a pothole. I drove slowly right up to them, stopped and grabbed my iPhone to augment the video. They are seen to the left, not terribly aggravated by the Seattle RCV paparazzi.

Total running time of the up and back was right at one hour, and as I had to scramble back to Santa Fe, return the rental car (none the worse for wear despite almost 600 miles), catch the train to Albuquerque, then the bus to SunPort, I didn't have a chance to peak at the footage. Same with yesterdays successful summit of Hyde Park.

And that puts an official wrap on the trip. Despite the inclemencies on Friday & Saturday, yesterday's 100 miler, plus two beautiful hillclimbs, with a little luck (and a lot of hard work) all should return the meager investment with some juice on the side.

I brought all this home for under $800.

Ready to board in ABQ.

See ya tomorrow with some video.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day 5.137 In the Books


I think this one is gonna be a keeper. From the download samples that I briefly reviewed, the video, image stabilization, color, contrast, location and talent will all combine for a nice little 4 hour, 100 miler.

Thank you Santa Fe for a beautiful day. Under blue skies cleansed by yesterday's showers and hail, the 30th annual Santa Fe Century is, as they say, in the can and in the books.

I am heading back out as the B camera downloads to shoot the Hyde Park Hillclimb. This will be my third attempt.

Hoping the third time is as charming as this morning.

And where ever you might be Cindy, happy 40th anniversary.