Life in Shadow

Death is part of life, right? People live, people die, and those of us left behind mourn their passing and celebrate their life.

But when it happens to young people in their physical prime suddenly dying and then another who is healthy and well-adjusted choosing to take his own life – yeah, hard to be in a celebrate-life kind of mood.

I am not going to be talking about death today, though, although it is overshadowing everything else in my life and times right now.

It took me 8 minutes to drive home from the gym this morning. At 6:45-ish in the morning, it take 8 minutes to get from my usual parking spot to my driveway and waiting for my garage door to open.

Before that little bucket of time, I ran through a staple peripheral heart action (PHA) (also known as “huffy puffy”) List. My 2019 plans for practice on my own days is primarily composed of working at these older routines. The huffy-puffy series if composed of a lot of basic things: squats, lunges, hamstring curls, chest presses, dumbbell rows, etc., etc., etc. Such things never go out of style and my ability to get through a List with better form and technique is an infinite process. I can always train myself to lift weightier weights, but learning to do so properly and without injury takes a lot of practice and discipline.

Since I have to practice to maintain my overall health as well as my mental and emotional balance and resilience, I am working at focusing on my focus. It is definitely a work-in-progress.

This morning, for the first time in too long to contemplate, I left the gym with sweat-soaked hair and sweaty clothes as if I had been in a hot yoga class. It was gratifying, to have that result when I was not really thinking about anything other than what my body and joints are doing while I am going through each item on the List. Am I rib tucking (abs tight)? Am I squeezing my glutes? Where are my knees? Is my butt back when it’s supposed to be back? Am I breathing?

I have a head full of cues that go on autoplay. Not that I am listening that closely, or I would not be putting forth this fresh burst of 2019 energy into perfecting all the squats and lunges and chest presses and everything else. I am not going at typical “huffy puffy” pacing nor am I using weights or the weights I am capable of using to burn more calories. But whatever I am doing, the work is working. Most important to me: I feel better about my efforts. I feel better about my who-I-am.

At the end of dreary, dark days, that is a priceless feeling. Unfortunately all too fleeting at this point in my life.

Tomorrow I’m picking up a new friend and taking her for a medical procedure. Hopefully it resolves the potential for life-altering consequences. It is my privilege to be her transportation and support her in this small way.

I don’t do social media much, and as of tonight, I do not do social media at all. The small windows of time I allotted to Facebook were more spent with a lifestyle group run by my physician. I do not feel any gaps in life or as if I am missing out. In my life, I have plenty of screen time with work and news sites I follow. What I do not have enough of is time with other people I admire, respect, or want to know better to see who we might be to one another if given the space to grow a genuine friendship.

Those relationships bring the risks of shadows and darkness. For the richness that comes from those relationships, I can live in shadow while waiting for the full force of sunshine to return

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