With Arms Outstretched

Pic of the day:  La Perspective (View through the Trees in the Park of Pierre Crozat) by Antoine Watteau


O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.

William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I Act V scene ii


With arms outstretched I reach for the ceiling and yawn loudly with a bit of rasp and growl.  Sitting up after stretching towards the sky, I lean forward and reach for the ground, palms down and back arched, slowly moving my shoulders forward and back in a swimming motion.  I arch my head up and look at the ceiling as best I can while in that position, with a snarl on my face.  My lower back is tight, as it always is after sitting for extended periods of time.

When getting up out of the chair, my lower back remains bent in an unnatural position for a few steps.  I have to lean forward and stick my ass out in order to move, and it takes an effort of will to stand up straight and untangle the knot in my back.  I smile at this.  Doesn’t bother me overmuch.  I’m in my 40’s, I’m supposed to be a little stiff and beat after working and living the way I do.  A man who doesn’t have some kind of issues like that at my age simply hasn’t worked all that hard.

And that’s what gets the smile out of me.

The smile turns almost immediately back into a grimace as the pain that was sitting quietly and patiently in my hamstrings and hips decides now is the perfect time to jump up and grab my attention.  In response to this I release a little bit of pain barking “sonofoabitch” and twisting hard to the left while lifting my right knee straight up, then twisting the other way and lifting the other knee.  I do each a few times.  The movement seems to relieve the pain enough to not have it be a bother.

I throw a few punches at the air, as if to declare my intent to fight the pain.  In actuality I do it to get the blood flowing.  Movement keeps the pain at bay.  If I sat still I’d be a damn mess, and I have no idea how people do it.    I couldn’t sit around all day.  Chairs cause pain.  Sitting isn’t something humans were meant to do for extended periods of time.

Other things hurt too, not just sitting.  Running kills my hamstrings, beats my feet, slams my calves.  But that pain I don’t mind so much.  I put that pain there on purpose, and it’s fun to be honest.  Not the pain, but everything else around it.  And since that pain comes with all the good stuff that running brings, I’ve grown accustomed to it, it’s a small inconvenience.

Sitting brings me nothing, so that pain seems larger, and is to be avoided.  Running brings me joy, so that pain seems smaller, and is tolerable.

It’s all a matter of what you’re willing to live with and why.  Why is always the most important question.

Time to put on the old beat up run shoes and get ready to run.  The thought of running cuts through the pain, dissipates it.  The shoes have probably seen over 1000 miles, the feet over 10,000 miles, how many exactly I don’t know, or care.  It’s just a number.  The road kills most of the pain, which makes the number of miles on it matter not at all.  The road is all that matters, and I’m headed for it.

Happiness  is out there on that road.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.