I recall a workout during my peak competitive years in which the plan was to do a track session of 8 X 400M at a pace of 60-63 seconds each. I was sharpening for a track race in which my goal was to set a 5K PR. That goal was accomplished during a midnight run with 25 other competitors in an All-Comers meet. I felt razor sharp.
If we’re smart and lucky, we have those moments in our career when we feel razor sharp. But typically, they’re few and far between. It’s difficult to reach peak fitness and keep it there. It’s a temporary state unfortunately.
More typically, we lump along trying to find moments of that razor sharp feeling during the daily grind. We might be innocently trotting along at nine-minute pace and suddenly feel the world slide into place. We pick up the pace, dropping down to 8:00 per mile, then 7:00. It’s inexplicable really, why our bodies sometimes just line up with the carbon of being.
A few years back, when I wasn’t competing that much due to caregiving responsibilities for both my late wife and father, it was all I could do just to keep life in order, much less make much room for high-level fitness. There were guilt factors involved in all this. It’s hard to train toward peak fitness when the ones you love are suffering from illness or disability.
Still, I rode like a madman one of those summers and my weight dropped all the way down to 163 lbs. Some people complimented my lean state while others asked if I wassick. With my shaved bald head and hyper-lean frame, perhaps I looked like a chemo patient? Maybe so.
That’s how it is with so many things in this world. We keep up appearances for what we think will impress others and in the very same moment, people are thinking the exact opposite. It’s no wonder some of us self-medicate at some point. The only way to deal with the emotional detritus is to numb it down like novocaine under our teeth.
While going through all the bathroom detritus this morning, I found a couple bottles of Hydrocodone that had I never used up during recovery from surgery. I’m sure those have a market somewhere, but who wants to explore that? I’m going to bring them to the medicine deposit drop off so someone can dispose of them properly.
These dramas over what to keep and what to remove from our lives compete for attention in our heads. Life becomes a clutter of options and opinions about what you choose to believe. In the midst of all that, we succumb to our appetites for even more stuff and things and food. We collect shit we don’t need, and at times can hardly remember what we really value.
All this came to mind when I cleaned out the bathroom shelf where the daily necessities and occasional emergency needs are kept. I recently subscribed to the online razor delivery service with Harry’s. So I have what I need now to shave my face. But damned if I didn’t have a box full of alternatives in the bathroom cabinet.
I know how they got there. During those years of caregiving I often had difficulty keeping up with my own needs. That meant I’d show up at the store looking for things like razors. I’d stare at the racks and try to figure out if I had a Schick or Gillette handle back home. The packs of razors were $12 or something and I didn’t want to buy the wrong kind for the handle. So I wound up buying a handle.
This happened several times over. My thinking wasn’t exactly thinking razor sharp in those moments. Then I’d get home to find out that the handle I bought was a newer model than the last, or had a different configuration than the blades I already had. Finally Schick came out with models that looked and worked exactly like the permanent-style handles they sold, but were disposable.
The American Way
I know. It’s so stupid. But it’s the American Way when you think about it. Unplanned obsolescence is the way many businesses sell us more shit. It also happens with running shoes and bikes, swim goggles and wetsuits. We wind up getting more than we need almost by accident. It’s one of the tarsnakes of existence.
It’s hard to stay razor sharp edge on all this. It’s hard to be so organized you don’t wind up with doubles or triples of everything when it comes to sunglasses and other equipment. I even own a huge set of Oakley Razor sunglasses and earpieces but have no centerpiece that holds them together because they all broke years ago. They were given to me by my brother-in-law and are so Retro Cool they’d be fun to wear.
But where do you find a 1980s-era Oakley Razor lens holder? I looked online with no success. Do those still exist on the aftermarket? Would appreciate knowing if anyone can tell me. It would be fun to look and think Razor sharp this summer.