Carpe Aestas: Seize the Summer. From June 21 to September 21, 2013, I am going to do my best to try to suck the marrow out of this season. Too many summers have gone by the wayside, wasted on work and mindless living. My goal this summer is to catalog these days and ensure that I don’t lose focus on enJOYment as the drearydoms of normal life set in (as they often do).
The second week of summer was exhausting. It was filled with numerous little changes to old practices.
After work on Friday, I played tennis for the first time with the used Babolat Aero Pro racket I purchased on Ebay. This was the first non-Prince racket I have owned in the 30 years I have been playing tennis. It was also the first time that I splurged on having a racket strung with gut, rather than nylon.
The racket played very well. My backhand was solid , strong, controlled and beautiful. I couldn’t quite get my serve down with this new racket, so for one game in which I had to win my serve, I switched back to my next newest racket, a Prince that my wife bought me 20 years ago.
Seeing how well my backhand played with the racket, I FINALLY put a few things together and realized that the forehand problems I have been having over the past few years have been because I have lost strength, not skill. Damn old creeped in where I wasn’t watching; which reminds me, my bifocals should be ready for pick up any day now.
Saturday marked 19 weeks until the Santa Barbara Marathon and time for me to reintroduce my body to the concept of training. I decided to ease into conditioning by participating in the Color Run. That’s a blog post all unto itself. Suffice to say it was a fun event, even if it left me looking a bit green.
I planned on doing a few slow miles on Sunday, so I took Tango The Dog with me. He is part chihuahua and part Italian greyhound. He’s little and fat, but he does love to run. We ran/walked just short of 5 miles before he refused to run anymore. We walked another five miles home. Poor Boy-Dog was exhausted when we finally made it home. He laid on the tile floor near his water bowl and just rested for day. You could tell he was exhausted because he laid around more intensely than he normally does.
One of the nice things about running is that one gets to see things that one would normally miss just driving by. For example, I came across this flower in our neighborhood. It’s one of those beautiful things that are there for the slow to see and the fast to miss.
A few weeks ago, while attending the opening of a new rib joint, the Child won tickets to the premier of The Lone Ranger. On Monday night, she took me to see the film with her. The best way to describe the movie would be to say that it starred Johnny Depp as Tonto, some guy as the Lone Ranger. One really had to suspend disbelief in the last 20 minutes of the movie, unlike the first 2 hours where one only had to mildly suspend disbelief. It was fun, but not for the squeemish.
Afterwards, the child and I stopped into Starbucks and I caught a series of pictures of her being a teenager. I looked at her and was just amazed by how cleaver, funny and beautiful my baby is.
On Tuesday, I ordered by birthday cake. from Beverly’s Best, the bakery feature on the TLC show, “The Bakery Bunch”. Laura had our wedding cake made there 20 years ago and it has been our source for birthday nutrition ever since. I had to work with them on the design of the cake as my original concept was not going to work. More info in the weeks to follow.
The forehand strength problems as well as marathon preparation lead me to change my gym membership. The girls have been going to Crunch, a small chain that moved in about a quarter-mile down the street. I finally decided to relinquish my 20 year relationship with 24-Hour Fitness. When I was working on my MBA, I took a class in Real Estate Market Analysis. The strongest memory of that class was a lesson on how people tend to avoid crossing train tracks or freeway on-ramps in order to go food shopping. They will drive twice as far in the opposite direction to avoid those traffic jams. I accepted that fact to be true back then and have since realized that as I have gotten older, I have been less willing to hop in the car and cross the busy Imperial Highway just to go work out.
The Fourth of July started peacefully in my skychair watching the sun come up over my garden. Our local laws have changed this year, allowing for fireworks between the hours of 10am and 10pm. All week I had the urge to drive to Nevada just to buy “Good Fireworks”, you know, the ones that filled the Emergency Room I used to volunteer back when I was a teen. The day was spent with neighbors and friends. Then of course, we lit fireworks.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the ritual of setting off fireworks. Is it supposed to be a reminder of the rocket’s red glare? A reminder that we as a people are free as the result of the battles of our forefathers? Ironically, by local ordinance, we are allowed to light fireworks from 10am to 10pm? Is there is some kind of mixed message here? What does it say that over 90% of our fireworks are made it China? With due reference to concepts presented in George Samuel Clason’s, The Richest Man in Bablyon, freedom is a lot like money; if you don’t learn how to manage and care for it, it will flow through your hands like water through a sieve.
We are 14 full days into summer. Carpe the fricken Diem peoples. How are you going to suck the marrow out of this season?