:: Life on Planet Dan-E ::

Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 ::

:: Getting Old ::
During my time off, one of the things I did to kill time was to go running again. (I used to run pretty regularly a couple of years ago but having a girlfriend and job that sucks the life out of you tends to kill your energy.) Naturally, my first time out was awful. I barely made it out to the track before my calves were burning.

At least I was playing tennis somewhat regularly so it got better quickly. I was never a great distance runner anyway so whatever I lack in time and distance I make up with intensity by doing stair climbs. It's more of a plyometric workout than aerobic but exercise is exercise. There aren't any of those long, steep climbs you'd see in a football stadium, just some rickety wooden bleachers. Still, it serves its purpose and after about a week, I was back to my old pace.

Last Sunday, after a couple of sets, I notice two guys walk over to the bleachers next to mine and started their own workout. It wasn't much different; a few sets of running up one step at a time followed by a few sets two at a time, though at a somewhat faster pace. It's what they did next that caught my eye. They started hopping up the steps like a couple of rabbits. Then they did the hop one leg at a time. Hmm. Never tried that. Looks easy enough. No problem. I'll match them step for step.

Three problems with that line of thinking:

1. I've never hopped up the bleachers, never mind the one leg thing.
2. These guys were about fifty pounds lighter than me. At least.
3. They were also at least ten years younger.

(Also, keep in mind that I don't know who the hell they are and they couldn't care less who I was, yet I'm here thinking, "I'll take these guys down.)

I start with the two-legged hops. This isn't so hard. I played volleyball before. I have thick legs. After the fourth one however, I start to struggle. It's okay, just a couple more. Done. Oh wait, I have to do the one legged thing now. Crap. I start with my right leg. Then switch to my left leg. It's my weaker side so my entire thought process was "don't break your ankle. Dumbass." I start mentally playing Alice in Chains' "Rooster" to pump me up.

Ain't found a way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Seems every path leads me to nowhere...

... Yeah they come to snuff the rooster
Yeah here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no, you know he ain't gonna die

I manage to finish up without hurting myself and try to take some pride in knowing I can keep with some lanky kids. It's then I look over see that they're doing the whole thing again. Dammit. I can’t leave now. I take some deep breaths, stretch my quads, and do the whole thing over again. Oh gawd this sucks. My mental iTunes still has "Rooster" on repeat, though now the second verse is starting to resonate more.

Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh God please won't you help me make it through

My legs are burning. My lower back is starting to hurt. But I keep at it. Pain is good, I start telling myself. Use it. Pain means you're alive. Feeling pain is better than feeling nothing. USE IT. Don't *think* you can do this, *know* you can do this. There's a difference between knowing the path, and taking the path... wait a sec, when the FUCK did I starting talking like Morpheus? Great little pep talk Obi-Wan. Now can we just get this shit over with?!

I'm doing the last of my sets and I see the guys taking a breather, with one of them bent over sucking wind. That's right buddy. Eat it. I complete my last climb and I decide to take a few cool-down sets. I finally see the guys walk away. Oh yeah. Still here bitches. I rule. Immediately after, the fatigue finally hits me and I prop myself up on the fence because my legs feel like someone beat them with mallets. Holy crap that sucked. What the hell was I thinking? After a few minutes of heavy breathing, stretching and making sure I don't need a stretcher I slowly jog home.

I stretch a little more, chug two glasses of water, take a long hot shower, and I feel a lot better. Pretty good actually. My legs are a little tender but they're fine. Of course, the next morning when I wake up, I had trouble actually getting up because my calves and quads were SORE. Good thing it was slow that night at work because running around in that condition would have really sucked.

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 3:38 PM [+] :: | 0 comments

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