Monday, September 24, 2012

Magic Morning Runs

Most people enjoy a sunrise looking through the comfort of home window, pleasantly surprised they caught it. Or suffer it's beauty driving to or being at some sort of work, cursing their early rise. Few truly enjoy it based on their own rules. I was able to do so today, like I do many days a year, with running. 

When I walked out the door an hour before sunrise, the stars still bright. The sky not totally dark, it is morning twilight after all. It holds a purple blue like technicolor like a hue added to a old black and white movie. I heard insects chirping and clicking but this time of night the noises are not scary. That time has long past on the clock. This is life waking up. Getting at it. Like me. 

The loudest noise is the main street a quarter mile away and hidden behind rows of houses. Parallax, reverberation and echo make four cars sound like faraway patter of tire on road. Neighbors yards have dew drops on them, from sprinklers or Mother nature. Mostly sprinklers. The streetlamps shine on them making the yards glow with a light better than the ceiling light in your family room. These glittering lights don't want you to stare, they want you get on your way. 

There always seems to be the same cloying smell when I run through certain areas. I think its vegetation giving off a scent that is much different than the middle of the day, baking in the heat or smothered by rain. Its a natural musk that I can never place, don't really want to, but I know when I smell it, I am doing something special for myself. Being out here alone. Looking for something in me. Building something in my life that will lead me to another great adventure. 

The level of blue sky increases, the yellows and pinks and red do to. I'm lucky, from where I am, sun rises over a mountain range. One I have been to the top of and looked down at my domain. When the orb does crest, for just a moment, it outlines a ridge line many people wonder if they could find time to get to and a few people can say they have been on. But its still not daylight yet. 

The sun is up but the ground is still covered in shadows. The chill, what there was, still seeking dominance for a few minutes longer. It seems to get colder in the shadows before they are overtaken by the light of the new day. The sun almost caught me. But I reach my front door just as the rays creep up my yard. Like a game of grade school tag, I have run back to home base. Safe. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Videoes make you stupid idiots with no clue about life. So, there!

I interact with a younger guy, he's 21, I'll call him 'John'. Good person for the most part. Naive, maybe a bit innocent.  Something interesting happened this week that has made me think about just where I see men from his generation going. 

John is not much of a fitness guy. Has a membership to a big box gym. Plays some team sports like football and basketball with his pals. Own the Insanity DVD series but never finished it. But he is not nor ever been on a long term fitness program with a defined goal.  He really wants to do a Tough Mudder or obstacle race and to get ready he would do 10 push ups every time he swore in front of me. I thought about this for a moment and then said sure, but its 10 burpees instead. He gulped hard, but agreed. By the end of us being together he owed me 30 and said he would do them by the end of the day. He didn't do them. At least he was honest. I can work with honest. 

Now I didn't curse, but I did something I felt I could do again better and when I was going back over it, John says I owe him 10 burpees. Now this is nowhere near our deal together. I did tell him I had already done exactly 90 burpees that morning but in order to motivate him to do his 30 from before I did 10 right in front of him. 

His response, "You didn't jump high enough." I just laughed. I said those were good burpees. He seemed to think I wasn't using good form. I said, "Did you expect me to do 2 push ups, a box jump and then hand clap?" 

All of Johns real world experience with burpees comes from watching videos, not doing them himself. Of course if you watch a few minutes of Insanity, you would logically think all extreme athletes train like that every day. It's no different than the people who base their perception of all Ironman athletes based on NBC's Kona coverage show each December. I have friends that weigh over 260 lbs that have finished Ironmans. The reality is so much different than the hype. 

So I simply told John to be sure to do his 30 burpees with the exact form he is convicting me of not using. I related to him if he wants to find his stride in burpees than do 300 burpees tonight instead of 30. Doing is the only way to know what is right. And maybe my form is poor, I don't give a crap. I did 100 of 'MY' burpees, (which I think are fine) as opposed to someone who didn't do any at all but felt compelled to critique mine. Isn't that just like life today?

So here is my 'crotchety old man rant'. These freaking kids have no clue about real life when all they do is live through web video and PlayStation games. Some of these kids think they are bad ass mother effers and know all there is about combat because they grew up on Call of Duty and Hollywood movies. Young men have told me they were going to join the Marines but it wasn't 'as cool' as Modern Warfare. I can't make this stuff up! Some of them want to criticize the reality of exercise because all they know is what they got from the production value of a DVD or freak ability of a viral video. In their mind there is no difference between an Obstacle Course Racer and a Ninja Warrior athlete. Must be one to be the other. Its insane. Gyms are for maxing your bench press, the only number that matters. Running is stupid.  Guys my age grew up on Playboys and Penthouse forums when we could steal them. Now a smartphone streams 24/7 and young men think sexual acts have to be a marathon of ten positions and of course the woman has to have fake boobs, no body hair or an ounce of fat or she is a pig. Because thats what porn (ie. video) has done to our society rather than actually learning to have a real relationship with someone. Good grief. Ladies I honestly and sincerely feel sorry for some of the utter unrealistic nonsense young men are developing today.  

So today I will run my miles, do my burpee, (only a few weeks left of the 100 day burpee challenge), swing my ax, put on my 40 pound ruck, do some bear crawls with it, some low crawls with it. Probably, hopefully, get some mud on it and myself. My only hydration warm water from a tube. Then when I am thoroughly wrung out, stink to high heaven, light headed, bruised, probably some grass stains, and sweating my ass off, I will come home and dream about doing it again tomorrow. John....John probably will sit in front of his flat screen, drinking Code Red Mountain Dew, playing the new Call of Duty expansion pack, resetting his last mission ten times because he didn't get the perfect kill shot or wants a faster finish time using cheat codes.