Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#414: Warm Thoughts on a Frigid Morning

Lord, but it's cold out this morning. 24° when I turned on the defrosters in the Honda at 4:45. My little girl is 12 years old now, but she still fires up like a dream. The stars were breathtaking, or maybe it was the temperature that stopped my heart for just a second.

I spent years as an evening person. Show business and all. Many times my friend Noah and I watched the sun come up as we wandered the streets of Manhattan after a long night of music, billiards, beers, and smoke. Now, my bed time is much earlier, but the payoff is these pre-dawn hours to reflect on yesterday, plan today, and enjoy the peaceful breathing of Mrs P, Kizzie, or the pack, depending on who's sleeping where.

Yesterday was not a bad one. I got to work early, then enjoyed my regular running date with my friend, Christy. It really helps having a partner to run with. I can talk myself out of almost any other workout, but knowing that my friend is going to be there, counting on me... it makes my Tuesday run one that I really look forward to. We did four fairly quick miles on the Legacy Trail. "Too cold to dawdle," is my mantra this time of year. Once my own workout was done, I met with a client and we had an hour in the gymnasium doing indoor laps, banging the medicine ball around, and learning some fundamental kettlebell skills. By the time I got home, I was ready to pass out.

I wake with a start. Pitch black. Kizzie purring softly beside me. What time is it? 7:30!!! Oh no! I was supposed to open the gym at 5:15! Why didn't anybody call? My phone! It's charging in the den! I didn't hear Coach Melissa's call. She probably had to get up and drive to the Y in the dark to open up. Damn. Pull on some pants. Shoes? Where? Damn. Go find my phone. Call Coach. Where's Mrs P? The lights are on in the den. The dogs are awake. Mrs P is watching Netflix. "What are you doing up? Why didn't you wake me?" A light blinks on in my head. I lean against the wall, panic subsiding. "It's not morning, is it?" My wife smiles the tender smile of a woman who knows that she's in love with an idiot and she's come to accept the fact. "No, honey. It's Tuesday night. You were so tired, I let you sleep. There's tuna on the stove." I skip the casserole, pour a bowl of cereal, watch half an episode of Lie to Me, and go back to bed.

I have a long day planned today. After my morning shift, I'll take a water aerobics class, then find a quiet corner to swing the kettlebell for a while. I have an idea that I may start my group exercise career teaching water fitness, so I'm trying to observe and pick the brains of the more experienced teachers so I'll be ready if the opportunity comes. I'll see the shrink this afternoon, then for the rest of the day and evening, I'll do intake interviews for the January LIVESTRONG at the YMCA class.

I'm eager to see the Psychiatrist, too. We're tapering in a new medication, and so far, it isn't making much of a difference. Still edgy. Still irritable. Still angry at nothing and everything. The only thing I'm noticing is that I've gained about 5 pounds since starting it. That's not OK. I hope we can get the meds and my brain stabilized soon, so I can figure out what other changes I need to make to keep my girlish figure intact. My goal for the winter is to drop some pounds so I'm ready for the spring racing season. I'm moving in exactly the wrong direction, but like Cool Hand Luke, I got to get my mind right or the rest of my wellness is going to come apart. First things first.

I've been writing this in the gym, which is against the rules, but the Y is pretty low maintenance in the early morning hours. Keep the coffee hot and the non-members out of the locker room. Men come in to use the bathroom and warm their hands for a bit in the wee hours. When there are kids around, I have zero tolerance for such goings on, but at this hour and at these temps I don't have the heart to run them off without a little bit of hospitality. You never know when an angel is going to wander in looking for a cup of coffee. Christmas is not the time for "no room at the inn."


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