Turning back the clock

The sun peeks through the crack of the valley. Beams jog across the ripples of the waking Hudson.

Left…left…left…right. Right, left batters against the senses and demands a pace. Steady, constant and together.

Sweat and tears swim side by side, stroke for stroke. One cooling the body. The other calming the soul.

Time doesn’t stand still, but the mind sets a marker. Don’t forget this place. Don’t forget this moment. Nobody else notices it. Nobody else has this moment.

The beauty of God’s creation backdrops the violent breaking of the individual, pledged to a lifetime of service.

It’s been twenty years since those tears and sweat mingled. It’s been twenty years, and the marker is still there. That moment still lingers. It’s been twenty years since the grace of dawn kissed the discipline of a platoon of 18 years olds in formation. Step for step. Together.

I don’t know if they still say it or not, but in the late nineties at the United States Military Academy at West Point, it was oft-repeated:

We do more here before 9 am then most people do all day.

It was true then, and I don’t have any doubt that it still holds true today.

nikeswall1For that very reason, I groaned out of bed at 5:50 this morning. No snooze. No excuses. I put on my black Nikes and chose a playlist and thanked God for the strength to hurt just a little. 2.57 miles of determination to get better.

Today was about turning back the clock. Today was about settling an old score. Today was about a goal.

I wanted another marker. This time it was cobblestone with towering eucalyptus. Last time it was granite and the Hudson. I wanted to feel “left…left…left, right, right, left” again. I wanted to do more before 9 am than most do all day.

Before the bakers in Portugal have even stirred, I lit out downhill first, then uphill, for a long time.

Today wasn’t about leisure. It was about raging against the dying of the light. It was about not going quietly into that good night.

It was about a discipline that was starting to wane, to slip with age. It was about fighting and scratching and buffeting this body and putting it into subjection.

And, on I ran, thanking God for legs that felt like anchors and for lungs that sputtered like an old Model T, and I told myself that was about a beginning and not an ending. nikes

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  • William Harper

    I can so relate, my brother! I think I am getting tired just reading your post, think I will go take a nap…

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      Too funny. Are you sure you’re reading the same post? HA!

  • http://cbcpm.net Nina

    Ok…I said I’d be the first to congratulate you……so consider yourself congratulated.

    Yes, I feel lazy.
    Yes, I want to tell you to stop bragging.
    Yes, I wish I could get as determined as you.
    Yes, you’re my hero….always have been.

    I love you…
    Nina recently posted..Turning back the clockMy Profile

  • http://www.thedomesticfringe.com the domestic fringe

    I admire your discipline.

    In the mid to late 90’s, I frequented football and hockey games at West Point. Sometimes, it’s such a small world.

    Last night I was dozing on the couch, when my son looked out the window. It stopped raining and he said, “Let’s go for a walk!” It was the last thing I wanted to do, but we headed out. Believe me, I was praying God would move mountains. All I wanted was flat land to walk on.
    the domestic fringe recently posted..A Pedicure or Ghetto CureMy Profile

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      Small world, indeed. I was there from ’93 to ’97 at every home football there was and most of the hockey games. The post yesterday helped me be accountable on some small level. Tomorrow’s coming too, though. I read somewhere that if you do something for 40 days straight then it becomes habit forming. That’s at least one goal. Thanks for the comment.

  • Mimi

    I would love to be able to do a morning run. But I don’t think there is any part of my body that dosent hurt when I roll out of bed every day! Keep running for me! I love you.

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      I love you too, Mimi. Maybe you and Nina can go together in July!

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