Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pauses That Refresh

188 lbs.  Un fucking believable. If I was a cat, my tail would be swishing a mile a minute right now.

Making my way to an open Rotating Staircase of Death, I came across a woman in a harness attempting to run across the length of the gym while tied to another woman who was leaning back and dragging her feet (clearly, she did not want to follow her friend).  My first thought was that it was lucky that both women were about the same size or else it would have been Snoopy running like hell with Linus’s blanket in his mouth and Linus flying like a kite at the other end of the blanket.

I will paraphrase my Facebook update ((yes, I am that narcissistic and obsessed over this. Deal with it): Just because the extra 3 lbs. followed the body home from the gym (or wherever. It sure as hell wasn’t all you can eat buffet), my body cannot keep it. Either it goes overnight (for which there is precedent) or I will deploy the nuclear option and go grilled chicken, brown rice and broccoli, all of which have been purchased . Consider this Def Con 3. Def Con 4 involves a liquid diet.

As I did on Monday, I channeled my anger and frustration into my weight training today (even at 5:15 AM, the Grunt Brothers were all over the Juice Bar, which is the weight and cable set up that resembles monkey bars. Given the bulk, acne and generally obnoxious behavior observed, there was a reasonable suspicion of steroids , therefore  Juice Bar). I was able to increase weights on everything, including the Prone Leg Curl. (And I’ve figured out why it’s more difficult than Seated. With Prone, you’re lifting the weight up, so you’re battling gravity unlike Seated. All I know is, it’s a bitch. I’ve increased the amount on the stack, but it’s still a bitch).

Even though I’ve gone up on weights (and yeah, ha ha, weight under the belt, too), my legs are no longer trembling by the time I get to the end of my circuit (I go through legs, then upper body, then abdominals). Perhaps that’s an indicator that I’ve outgrown the machines.  Maybe I should throw a Paypal gadget on this blog to pay for more training sessions with Torquemada.  And a new wardrobe. And broccoli.  

Sox are leading the Forces of Darkness and the Bruins just took a 3 nothing lead on the Vancouver Cheap Shot Artists. (Bite me, Burrows)  It may end up as a good night to be a Boston fan. (It did indeed turn into a good night for Boston fans).

As mentioned, I got up at dark thirty this morning. While I’d prefer to be asleep for at least two more hours, I admit I love the stillness of the wee small hours. In a very crowded city, it’s a way to find some elbow room, even if it’s only for an hour.

I first moved to this area in 2002 and fell in love with the Topanga Canyon area. There is Topanga Canyon State Park with trails that will lead from Topanga Canyon over the Santa Monica Mountains to Sunset Boulevard, an 8 mile hike. (It’s not the Eagle Rock Loop Trail) Not having a ride waiting at the other end and being mindful of snakes, I set out early one Sunday morning on this trail to go as far as I could and still return (about halfway).  

It was early and misty. I was the only person on the trail and I enjoyed the soundtrack provided by nature including quiet. I detest winter, but I love the silence that comes with a snowfall. Sometimes, you need just that to reboot your soul. If you’re performing an activity in the middle of it where you can maintain a rhythm, there’s a meditative quality to it. I was walking at a steady rate so I had that going. A hawk soared past my head at one point and I could hear the air moving through its feathers. Since I was wearing a red sweatshirt, a hummingbird buzzed me.

The trail I was on hugged some steep cliffs and I couldn’t see around the corners. As I approached one especially sharp curve, I heard running coming from the other side. I moved to the side of the trail closest to the hill (I’m not a big fan of drop-offs, so I stayed away from the edge) and prepared to smile and wave at the runners coming around the corner.

Except that they weren’t runners.

As I came around the corner, I found myself face to face with three deer. I froze. They studied me for a couple of minutes, then scrambled up the embankment. Five minutes later, a group of bicyclists rode by and as I returned to my car, groups of chattering hikers started to hit the trail. The spell was completely broken, but I had witnessed something that they wouldn’t. You need to be silent for those moments.

For the moments when you’re pushing 248 lbs. on the leg press, you need AC/DC.

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