I have learned something that hasn’t deteriorated in value over the years: After sinking back for an untimed nap on any Saturday afternoon, I find that I am renewed with a vigor that restores my appetite for life. The next best option to restart your day takes a bit more bravado: a -30-degree ice bath. Inconvenience makes this tactic exclusive.
Either way, don’t expect an applause for this act since its nature is solitary. You’ll have to be at peace with your own decision absent of any external validation.
After a deep nap, your mind is ready for a challenge. Sitting down to wrestle with words is one option. The other is to enter your garage and go to battle with the iron. I chose the latter. Charlie, my wife, who’d also risen from mid-day slumber, was just as animated to do the same.
I realize that weightlifting can seem menial to many. But, it’s like a French Omelet that delivers a delightful experience with only the essentials. Because it is routine, it’s also the reason why it’s beautiful.
My arrival into the weight room is typically buffered by cocktail hour. On this evening, Charlie joins me. A snow cone flavored pre-workout drink packing 225mg of caffeine sends us into another world. My aroused posture made me think I thought it was appropriate to retweet Haruki Murakami’s tweet that said, “The fact is that they always go after you weakest point – the wolves chase down the weakest sheep in the herd.”
Exercise heightened the appetite so before we finish our last set, we discuss what we want for dinner. The consensus was that we stay in for the night and cook dinner ourselves. I suggested we pair supper with a movie, but she giggled at that. “You always fall asleep in like 20 minutes.” I disagree every time she says this, but the evidence proves otherwise.
We stepped out to the street that was officially named Snapdragon where our old red car was parked. This faithful sedan has been with us from the beginning. We want a new car, but how can we give up the cherry bomb? She’s so faithful and forgiving. In fact, my first time behind her wheel, I nearly ripped off her driver’s side rear-view mirror. She hasn’t acted retaliated once.
The random check engine light that signals is analogous to a head full of gray hair – she’s getting old and signs are showing it. Charlie and I both know the end is coming near, but we’re holding on as long as we can.
A car ride north of seven minutes is long enough to think about things. We choose to drive past several markets to shop at our preferred grocer so this trip was about eleven minutes – we caught a lot of red lights. We didn’t speak much with words on this short journey, which in my mind is always pleasant. But, we did communicate. It’s feeling that escapes any words, that moment when your lover reaches over and takes your hand. It’s like a silent commitment that whispers, “I”m with you.”
What more can a human ask for?
Then, her fingers made their way down to my calluses. She rubbed them awkwardly and then asked, “How did you get these?”
I hadn’t ever thought about the calluses on my hands, so to get asked such an obvious question threw me off. My knee jerk reaction was a noise . . . “UMMMM.”
And then I realized that my calluses were formed over hours, weeks, months and years of lifting weights. The intelligence of my hands formed a protective mechanism against any further tears. Of course, the paradox here is that the pain prevents the pain.
I can’t quite remember if my response was that pithy, and that’s why I suppose I write more than I talk. I’ve had several days to think about my calluses and I’ve learned another aspect from such an obvious question and it’s this: We all have calluses.
They may not be literal, but maybe you’ve been through a series of destructive relationships. Or perhaps you’ve wrestled through several financial hardships.
If channeled in such a way, these wounds can actually prevent us from bleeding out. Rather than ripping us right open, we can see these challenging times forming an emotional callus.
Consider this definition: A callus is a toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation.
Life has a way of bending us into a state of resilience if we simply allow the pain to turn into calluses instead of nail-in-the-coffin moments.
Making dinner always takes longer than opting to dine out. But perhaps the slowness of making our own food is the full blown magic we are so blind to. Hank, our blind dog, quietly begged while we ate. On this night, he didn’t score.
We ended up watching a movie on Netflix after we finished dinner. I have no idea recollection of it. I must have fallen asleep. Again.
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