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Posts Tagged ‘image’

Hope

The morning air was a nearly perfect sixty-five degrees with only a slight breeze.  Ideal conditions to be out on the road. A day worth remembering. I hate I have lost so much of my sense of smell as I would love to capture the aroma of this early fall day in my memory bank as well.

I’m asking things of my body that it doesn’t like especially since it still has too much weight to be carrying around.   The body is fighting against itself and the mind, while the soul is just weary of it all.

Yet even amidst the turmoil within me I am struck by a moment of grand beauty.  In the middle of a pain concert raging in my feet, legs, back and lungs I stop for a moment to watch a squadron of maple leaves launch from their branch and be carried along on a gentle current.  Watching as they spiral down in the morning sunlight. Twirling and twisting in a death dance celebration of their short life.  The sun spotlighting them, highlighting their performance.

For that brief moment time seemed to stop and allow me to take it in.  The sound of the leaves rustling on the trees, the feel of sun on my skin,  the breeze gently caressing my face.  A moment of pure beauty in the midst of an internal storm.  A reminder that no matter how out of control things seem to get, there is hope because there is beauty.  Because there is beauty I know there is love.
Because there is love… I have hope.

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My story would begin in darkness though not total darkness but not romantic moonlit darkness either.   It would be more the darkness that accompanies a storm.   The kind that diffuses the the light and casts strange shadows across the land.  The kind that causes the street lamps to come on at mid-day.
I stand at the gate looking out at the road that lies before me, uncertain which direction to go from here.  Do I open the gate and step through?   Or do I run back  to the porch and ride out the storm in the relative comfort of  the crumbling structure I am  seeking to escape?   Do I stay until the bitter end?
I stand at the gate and look back.  Indecision has me paralyzed and the storm is increasing in intensity.   I feel the  wind at my back and it causes me to shiver.  I adjust my collar and huddle down to make myself a smaller target for the chill breeze and once again turn to look at the road before me just a step beyond the gate.
I stand at the gate and my eyes search for any sign of direction.   Off in the distance I see rays of sunlight that quickly retreat into shadow as I watch, teasing me with hope that is transient and elusive.    I’m too old to go chasing after “maybes” and “what-ifs.”  I need a sure thing.  Yet I realize how unreasonable and unrealistic that standard is.  There are no “sure things” and to make that a requirement will only keep me paralyzed with indecision.
I stand at the gate…

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Ok, with the weather and the time change… neither the Orange Sherbet nor the Lemon-Lime have been able to ride here lately.  So… I found out my company will  reimburse half of the monthly fees for health club/YMCA membership.  The Y has “pay-the-day” joining fee this month so I joined for a dollar today.   Now I hope I have a job long enough for this to matter.

*to bring everyone up to speed.  The Orange and Lemon-Lime Sherbet are my persona on a Bike.  I wear either a day-glo Orange or a day-glo Lemon-Lime shirt when I ride.

Day 1:

Alrighty then… Upon arriving I realize I am out of my league right out of the gate.  I keep telling myself, “Don’t compare yourself to anyone, don’t compare yourself to anyone,” but it is humbling when the Geriatrics are putting me to shame.

Ok so this is how it went down.  I thought I had prepared, bag, change of clothes, towels, clean underwear (the non-holie ones),  shampoo, shower shoes, work out shorts, bottle of water … am I forgetting anything?  Lock, need a lock… I know,  I’ll use one from work. (mistake #1) It did not fit… so after 20 minutes of tossing my work van I found a short, small diameter shanked lock.  Most of my exercise so far was just walking back and forth from the parking lot to locker-room.

Thirty minutes after I arrive, I wander out into the hall.  Picture this.. an old, gray-haired, white Fat Albert (just not as cool) with a pony-tail wandering the halls with an, “uh-huh, yep, that’s right it’s my first time here, yep, uh-huh” look on my face.  My inner self was screaming, “Don’t draw attention to yourself!”  Try to blend in… act nonchalant.   One pass through the exercise area doing a little recon along the way.  Now the brain is starting to have second thoughts.  As I look around it is going, “What the heck is T-h-a-t?  What does that do?  How does that work? And finally, “What is this contraptio… oh, I see… it’s a scale.”

Ok I need to know what my baseline is so I’ll start here.

I step up… “Nothing”

Ok, don’t panic.  There, there’s the on button.  Step off and let it “zero.”

Step up… and…this time it tells me a secret, a very weighty, burdensome secret.

I look up and let out a loud, deep, sigh and  that’s when I notice it.   It may motivate some but it’s the last thing I want or need right now: mirrors.  They’re freaking E-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!  I’m still not sure how I feel about that image looking back at me.  I try to avoid the guy looking back at me in the mirror, maybe if I ignore him he’ll go away?!

So, baby steps… that’s how I’ll start, baby steps.

In order to avoid the guy in the mirror I skip stretching and loosening up. (mistake #2)  Find something that looks familiar and climb aboard.  Recumbent bikes have come a long way from what I used to know.  I try to look like I know what I’m doing while figuring out how this one works on the fly.  I finally settle in to a routine and the best I can figure I did around 6.5 miles in 30 min.

I’m sweating and sore from not exercising since the time change.  So I call it an evening and head to the sauna.

You know… they are a lot hotter than I remember them also.

So we come to the end of Day 1.

“Baby steps”… that is a massive accomplishment for me.

I leave with a sense of satisfaction.

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