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Archive for December 20th, 2015

Yesterday, I started jogging again.  Today was day two.  As of yesterday, I am a “runner” again…  Like most things / types of activity, you can only “be” it if you “do” it.  In this case, in my case, running – or more precisely very slow jogging – which I call “slogging”.  (Not very original, I know.)  I am not timing myself yet.  I am counting the laps (around the schoolyard across the street from where I live) with my little “clicker” and my “Fitbit” says it’s about 5 miles.  I reckon it’s closer to 3 miles, but whatever, I’m back in my shoes and beatin’ feet!
I started one of my hundreds of diets back in July and lost 35 pounds by the end of August.  As of today, I am still down 20 of those.   And so the beat goes on…  I joined the “YMCA” back in September, but injured my left knee pretending to play basketball.  And by “pretend”, I mean literally pretending: I was playing by myself, missed a shot and was challenging for a rebound under the basket.  When I landed, my knee gave out (quite painfully) and I had to limp to the locker room to get my stuff and go home.  My knee cap swoll-up the size of a grapefruit and I couldn’t extend my leg straight for about a week.  The pain has mostly (now) gone but I’m still not able to push off of that leg the way I used to.  But I have been walking 40 to 60 minutes each day and I’ve now been able to begin jogging – slow but steady.
So, I am a runner again.  One day at a time.  One step at a time.  And today is day two.
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On This Day In:
2014 Changing Frequently
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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Travels With Charley – In Search Of America – book review
Today’s review is for one of John Steinbeck’s later works, “Travels With Charley” (1962©).  The book is a “supposedly” non-fiction relating of a road trip Steinbeck made around the continental United States (about 10,000 miles).  Roughly, the trip is from his home in New York, up to Maine, across the northern states to Seattle, down through California, back east to New Orleans (via Texas), then up the Eastern seaboard back to his home.  Steinbeck says the trip is to allow him to get back in touch with the common American whom Steinbeck feels he based much of his writing on.  Having lost “touch” with his roots, Steinbeck seeks to rediscover America by seeing it again with his own eyes.  Steinbeck makes the trip in a truck with a custom built camper shell.  The truck is named “Rocinante” –  for the horse ridden by Don Quixote.
Although quite a number of books touch me (as a reader), there are relatively few which seem to strike an internal chord.  I am not a musician, so forgive me if I am misusing the term “chord”, but it is more than a single note.   It is a combination of notes which creates their own harmony.  This book is one of those few for me.  It is hard for me to adequately put into words the effect this book had except to say I consistently felt Steinbeck was writing it just to let me know I am not alone in how I feel about certain things.  From his description of his perpetual wanderlust, to his affection for his pet dog (Charley), to his observations about America – its history and its people – its cities and our civilization – I just felt a powerful bond of kinship with Steinbeck.
In the martial arts, it is frequently said that when the student is ready, the teacher will find him.  I think it ironic for me to “discover” this work as I turn sixty (“ish”) and that I feel its call to me to continue chasing my own windmills.  “On, Rocinante!!”  I cannot promise you this book will touch you as powerfully as it did me, but my final recommendation is Highly Recommended Book / Reading.
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On This Day In:
2014 Changing Frequently
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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