Monday, January 28, 2013

my first entry, from three years ago. an ego retrospect.

I am not a fast runner.

I believe that work and physical activity is natural, and is a natural pleasure of being. the pleasure of physical motion, of movement in any form, is the soul’s expression of joy in the clay of our bodies. i am an average runner, maybe a little less than average. i grew up playing soccer, which was 80% running/ athletic endurance with perhaps 20% ball handling skills (charlotte soccer in the mid-eighties was not yet an elevated sport.). beyond that i ran a few miles each week, and that slowed until running was a false memory behind a cloud of cigarette smoke in my early thirties. three years later i’m an active runner, running 4-5 days at an average of 25 - 35 miles each week.

i shot dope and drank from waking to passing out daily for fifteen years. i traveled from detox to rehab as my primary forms of recreation and socialization. physical activity fell into the background, though my sense of belief in physicality did not. it was only replaced by narcotics and alcohol, synthetic endorphins. . . . the belief in the physical experience, the corporal experience, was merely subverted to a drug experience. otherwise i served tables in a large, formal dining room, which forced a certain amount of swift activity weekly. that is, when i was employed.

so is it possible to retrain the body to excel physically, of its own strength and endurance, and to drive the endorphin production back into a normal range? is it possible to literally out-run one’s active addiction?

I am not a fast runner. I run for love of motion. I run in love of my body, it’s ambitions and achievements, its potentials and its limits. I respect my potentials equal to my limits. I run in love of music I sometimes enjoy, trees and bird-formations I frequently pass, the psalm of foot-falls and breath and the work of the body all in synch and whole in form & function. . . . . I am not a fast runner, but I run my angers out. I run my joys out. and then I savor the rush after a five miler, an eight miler, a thirteen miler, an occasional eighteen miler. . . . I run not for numbers, but for the journey of the miles. I run through landscapes and hopescapes and mindscapes and memory-fields and mathematics and painters’ histories and their work. I run through bach and mingus and mahler and modest mouse. I run through French and English and german and sometimes I run through zen koans and zen silence and digeradoos. I run through traffic exhaust and the frozen moisture of my breath and the windchapped lips and the drenching salt-lines on my clothing and shorts. I run through holidays and mornings and afternoons and I run with my son, sometimes with my wife, but mostly alone. sometimes alone in a crowd however. . . . .

Christmas day—running gear and a book, murakami’s what I talk about when I talk about running. . . . . went running, as necessitated by goals and gifts, though a brutal rain in a miserable wind in otherwise mild day brought an edge to the experience. . . . somehow hardcore, running at night, in good new gear, against wind and rain storm, four miles deep in determination. then thai food for dinner on a well-earned appetite.

jan 4 2010


the winter has arrived in Wilmington, at least for a week. it is newly 2010 and my coldest run ever was yesterday, sunday, the day of my long run, with only 9 miles kicked out, but in a freezing air against a bitter Direct Wind that left me fearing frostbite on my face. just the other day I was mocking the cold gear at the local sporting goods store, especially the sports scarves, and there I was, on the far end of my loop, turning into the frozen tears of the unknown distance back home. so I just kept running, eastwood blurring then blinking and blurring again, as into mayfaire plaza I turned, thinking the road was windtunneling and running into the sun a few minutes may warm my face back up. but there the wind was again, like a scoffing demi-god, like a nemesis. and I ran. it was after all the only way to get home.

bitches and fugues.

running is a meditation painting music running cuisine. . . . . all connected. running connects the peripheral, the lost, the scattered. . . . . . paint fills in the maps legs discover. and legs will generate contour maps, will uncover internal and local networks simultaneously. . . . . really quite spectacular, even if quiet and private. . . . . of course, introspect is not always the case in a run. sometimes it is “good god how much longer do I have to run.” sometimes it is a pure mental blankness, sometimes static, sometimes colors, sometimes fugues of quietude or fugues of bach or fugues of odd memories that lap erratically against the back of the mind. . . the run is the vehicle of the mind’s transformative journey—a concentrated mental alchemy. legs and tired mind the lead of lab.

jan 10th. ran six miles and dreaded every step. I’ve hit a wall and it hurts to even pull a two mile lap. . . . . but of course, if I set up a two mile run, or a five mile run, come the last half-mile of the distance I am swift, effortless, deer-like. . . . but that ease only comes in the final blocks of the rounds: so a psychological block on physical exertion. . . . ? the cold weather is also defeating, even with my new cold gear.

jan 13th

Haiti was hit by a serious trauma last night. registering a full seven on the scale, the earthquake devasted the entire area of the capital. there is no way to count the deaths or to track the emerging corpses, but it is a start to say that all surrounding shanty-towns are rubble and many are but sloped graves now—children women men. . . . .

January 15th. a warmer day in upper 50’s and the beach was filled with runners, walkers, cyclists, and a few tourists. ran six miles following my eight mile run y’day and feel a bit spent. but the weave of other active bodies, their machines or lack thereof, their ipods and beer bellies and tights and brightly colored hats and the shimmer of sun on the seemingly new ocean and the intracoastal swaying in sailboat breezes beneath the bridges of Wrightsville beach and foot falls echo the miles approaching and receding and it is the final swoop of breath, almost warm but certainly January bitter on throat-lungs and the whole experience of running burns the diamond of the mind.

and I am not a fast runner, just a body moving ahead on both legs. . . . . I push my body, feeling air across cheeks and knees and hair falling heavier with sweat and I do not question the difference between jogging and running and I do not seek the approval of others, but I am enamored by the communal sense of the Public Run. . . . the public run. . . . while a bit bizarre, it occurs to us runners (many environmental and worried bout carbon footprints and now green races like the bi-lo marathon are more and more common) but we crawl into our vehicles and drive somewhere to run. we arrive and sweat and nod and stretch and drive back home to shower and sip hot cocoa or energy drinks but the irony is obvious to me: to drive to run. . . . . and speaking of green, now companies are putting out green shoes, meaning the soles (gels, insoles, inner shoe) are made of organic materials. this was, apparently, not at all the case before the new awareness. there are tons of various running shoes absorbing oil and milk and coffee grounds with diapers in every landfill of every populated area. . . . . . I had no idea. many donate shoes to causes and poor countries and even inner-city charities, and those are wonderful options, but still we drive to paved landscapes to pursue green activities in rogue-material shoes. . . . . and tech shirts and the little sweatshop hands that frequently make these clothes are a whole other issue. . . .

MVI. four miles with little man. . . .

a total of 63 miles this year as the eighteenth of January reached 63 degrees. . . . a wonderfully warm day with kyote and myself circling the neighborhood, Marley on the ipod (which hooks into a dual speaker system on the jogger stroller), pulling our strides long and easy on some “easy skanking” which ky enjoyed much. a run this saturday of 9.3 miles.

wednesday and January the twentieth and the southern sun bleaches the day into the pale-brick and graying asphault I love so much. . . . no run but a brisk jog-walk (powerwalk to the elite practitioners I suppose) with ky ‘round the block. . . . sometimes moving is enough.

Haiti experienced an aftershock today, eight days after the massive earthquake that has killed an estimated 200, 000 people, and once again brought the capital port-au-prince to its bony, dusty knees.

new iron and wine cd, as well as violent femmes original 1982 release on cd. both are enjoyable, runnable. . . . .