There are days when you roll through everything. Things go well enough that they seem to have gotten finished. Bills get paid. Work gets done. There might even be some inspired behavior between all those practicalities. We all have our crosses to bear. So to speak.
Yesterday was not one of those “roll through it” days. I muddied up a commissioned painting by overworking parts of it. That can happen easily. All it takes is a touch of the wrong color and it seems to spread like blood on a crime scene floor. The damage is done before you even notice it. That means going back to the drawing board. Literally.
All can be repaired. Every artist and writer knows the dangers of the process. A sloppy paragraph needs editing. Lord knows I’ve committed that crime here. Then there are those glitches where technology steps in and repeats a paragraph when you’re not looking, or makes an autocorrect that turns the word “turn” into “turd” for some reason known only to the universe. It’s the product of insane autologic. Yet we honestly know that a million monkeys typing on a million computers will still not produce a novel. That’s just not how it works. The mind of the universe employs the random reality of free will. Every watercolorist knows that process well. But words and twelve mile runs are different. We learn how to make corrections on the run. Intentionally.
But it does not always go as planned. Yesterday was a hopskotch from one process to the next. Painting. Writing. Meeting with client. More writing. Then at four o’clock I went to the gym to get in a pool and weight workout.
Only I was sleepy. Basically, I’d skipped lunch to save on time. By late in the day my energy levels dropped. A week ago that sensation got so bad (on another skipped lunch day) that I slept in the car for half an hour before going into the gym. It’s a strange yet wonderful sensation to ease the car seat back in a dark parking lot and doze off while rain putters on the windshield. Then, like Lazarus wrapped in skin tight Under Armour, you rise to head inside. The Walking Dead.
It wasn’t that bad yesterday, but to get my body warmed up, clean and awake, I took a shower before heading into the pool. The lanes were all open when I walked past the big windows overlooking the pool. No hurry. Or so I assumed.
By the time I sat down by the big whirlpool to let the water beat on my flighty Achilles tendons, one swimmer had occupied a lane. Then I looked up again, and there was one more lane taken in the pool. So I put on my Nike sandals and klopped over to the spot where I’d set my pool float down to indicate my chosen lane.
At that moment a longtime friend and fellow triathlete walked in. He pointed to the other end of the pool. “It looks like someone’s already got your lane,” he said. And sure enough, a gal at the far end slid into the pool.
My buddy’s a good swimmer and triathlete. He looked ready to go. I was not about to bicker over the open lane with him. And truth be told, I just wasn’t in the mood to share that lane, especially at the edge of the pool.
“All good,” I told him, waving my hand toward the gym. “I’m gonna go lift.”
The lifting went well. I just shut my mouth, turned on the focus and worked through every machine I on the floor. I even headed upstairs where the real weight nuts reside and the older equipment lurks. There I found a nice little torture device in which you extend your arms and use your abs to do vertical crunches. It felt good to curl those stomach muscles. Plus the motion resembled the position on a bike. I worked that machine thinking about the summer months, leaning over the handlebars for hours at a time. It takes a strong core, and we all have our crosses to bear. So to speak.
All this proves that when you’re having one of “those” days, it can pay to make it one of “these” days, and be flexible. One of the tarsnakes of training is that you can’t control every factor in your life. Often there’s a reason why things don’t go smoothly. My delay in getting into the pool indicated that I was not mentally ready for that workout. It turned out lifting felt like a resolution of sorts. Today I’m slightly sore and it wakes me up to the fact that there is work to do.
And miles to go before I sleep (again) in the parking lot.