Day 12 – TMH

dude.jpgFeelin’ good overall. I’m noticeably stronger than I was.

Hunger is a constant companion these days, and I don’t seem to mind it. I wake up hungry, go to bed hungry, walk around hungry. But considering that hunger went away completely when I was fatter, that’s a good thing. And by “went away,” I mean I somehow lost the ability to tell when I was hungry. What might have been hunger came across as weird weakness, which was scary. Meaning at times it seems like I was training myself to be afraid of being hungry.

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Nation of Screams

bear-scream.jpgJust thinking about the talking heads on TV. You’ve got the sniggering, smirking auto-back-patters who are in love with their own political brilliance, and then the freakish ultracon ragers like Bill O’Reilly and his recent clones. Plus a news media that leaps into the fray only to blindly go along and parrot the words of both.

I was thinking about it, as I often do, in a visual metaphor.

Say you’ve got this nice, safe beach, a place you’ve been a thousand times before, and you know it’s completely safe. Ten-year-old you and your friends enter the water how? In a screaming, laughing, splashing blind rush.

But then say there’s this rocky thicket, a place you’ve never been before, with irregular jagged rocks sticking up out of the ground, thorny brambles scattered here and there, visible pits in the ground and musky, beastly whiffs on the breeze.

How do you go in there?

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Vesuvius on Xanax

vesuvius.jpgI was thinking about The Matrix movies this morning. The whole mystical woo-hoo surrounding them annoyed me, because I wanted only special effects and explosions. Hey, sue me, I’m a guy.

But The Matrix came to mind because I was mainly thinking about the … deepness … of us. The unseen part. The motive force.

Okay, stop right there. Whatever you’re thinking – spirituality, or oversouls, or thetans or whatever – that’s absolutely not what I’m thinking.

I’m considering us in a totally non-mystical way, thinking about all the stuff we could be doing but aren’t. The capacities we have but don’t display. The full range of our personal capabilities which most of us never explore.

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Day 6 – TMH: Gym People

thundra.jpgHaving been out of the gym for a while, I’d forgotten about these people:

The Coveters: Those people who seem to want to control whatever piece of equipment they’re working at, even if they’re not on it at the moment. Like slow golfers who don’t want anyone else to play through.

The Campers: Those who do a set and then sit on the equipment to rest, preventing others from using it, but who never notice people waiting. (One guy today had a THERMOS with him. He sat on one of the machines and poured himself a cup of coffee.)

The Cocooners: The people who wear earplugs and carry music boxes with them everywhere, so that if you wanted to share a moment of camaraderie in the gym, a funny comment or a word of encouragement, they can’t hear you.

The Compulsive Wipers: The people who insist on thoroughly wiping down each piece of equipment before and after they use it, generally making you feel guilty because you’re not doing the same, and thus potentially infecting them with all your horrible diseases.

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Day 5 – Too Much Hank: Progress?

I’m purposely not weighing myself for a couple of weeks. If there’s progress, I want it to be dramatic progress. If there’s no progress … um.

But today when I went to the gym, two things happened. One, when I lifted my feet one at a time to tie my shoes, it was slightly — but noticeably! — easier. I felt a teeny bit more flexible.

Then when I went upstairs to the indoor track, I bounced up the stairs. Up until just 2 or 3 years ago, I always took stairs two at a time, but these days I just trudge, one at a time. Today I bounced. It wasn’t much of a bounce, but it was a definite bounce.

Later, I was sitting in a deep chair that I almost dread getting up from, just because it’s such an effort. But today I got up from that chair easily. Hmm.

All this might be boring as hell to everybody else. But to me it’s exciting.

Something is definitely happening.

Honoring the Sense of Loss

ranger.jpgI looked at my calendar today and noticed an anniversary coming up next Tuesday. January 29, 1998 – ten years to the day Ranger died.

Ranger the Valiant Warrior, my German shepherd pal of 12 years and a bit. Puppy who slept on my bed, big bony boy who played fetch and tug and chase, magnificent friend whose companionship I wore like a second skin for more than a decade. He rode with me in my truck, went on hikes with me, waited avidly outside whatever building I was inside, left the house and came into town looking for me whenever I was away too long.

Ten years gone.

I’m over it. Sure. The misty eyes brought about by noticing that date on the calendar are just silly. I mean, who pines over a DOG??

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ledger.jpgFred Thompson out — good. I think.

Heath Ledger dead? — Bad.

I’m hoping this was an accidental overdose rather than a suicide. I liked the kid. I thought he was a pretty good actor. I loved “A Knight’s Tale.” And just when he’s breaking new career ground as The Joker in the upcoming Batman movie, he’s gone.



Day 4 – Too Much Hank: Invincible Spring


Whew! Sure was a lot of gravity last night. I think it may have gusted up to 1.5 Gs or so.

I felt heavy, anyway. Coming out of my newspaper office last night, I noticed how tired I was, and how “compressed” I felt. For a moment as I thought about it, it really did feel like I was carrying a 45-pound backpack.

Yet I woke up this morning thinking how good I felt.

Which is a topic all its own: I should tell you I have this weird ability to maintain tension even when I’m sleeping. I developed it over the course of years, I think mainly because I read in bed at night. When I was younger, I’d fall asleep and drop the book, but over the years this came to happen less and less, until finally I’d wake up hours later still holding the book in position for reading. My subconscious had learned gradually to hold the book in place without dropping it. The ability generalized to my whole body eventually, so that if I went to bed clenched up from the day, I’d maintain the tension all night long and wake up the same way.

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Day 3 – Too Much Hank

care-bear.jpgThis was a good day. Ate light, had a really good workout at the gym, and then got to visit with my good friend Carl Buell, the world-class wildlife illustrator and all-around great guy. 

Argh. It’s like I’ve been zapped by Care Bears.

I do feel indefinably lighter, though.

I have these sayings I make up, stuff I call “Wise Old Sayings I Just Made Up” — which I sometimes refer to by the clumsy acronym WOSIJMU.

I’ve been wrestling with one about the subject of getting back into the gym after an absence of months or years. The beta version goes:

In 3 days you’ll be stronger.

In 3 weeks you’ll feel better.

In 3 months you’ll be changed forever.

It’s meant to encourage people to get back into the gym.

Are you encouraged?