Back On The Treadmill (Dec. 6, 2021)...

Since I can't get to the island, and gotta stick around home, I might as well make the best use of my time while I have it, so I am jumping back into the intense nutrition-fitness program I made for myself in the early part of this year. It will be somewhat modified as I no longer have my universal gym, as well as my rowing machine, but I'll figure out how to hit my whole body with resistance, and slam down some cardio. Whether a lot, or a little, I'll get some shit done.

I was just on the treadmill for the first time since whenever ago. I wasn't on it for very long, but jeez, maaan, did it ever kick the livin' crap outta my heart rate and lungs. I got off the thing, and this just fell outta my face was...

"Holy shitballs!!"

Then I quickly swiped at my jar of water, only to splash it on my face instead of drink it into my mouth.

"Uh...that isn't good..."

OK, this tells me that doin' this fitness thing is a good call, because after crushing it this year, I haven't done a lick of exercise since those overnight swims in mid-August. I mean, yeah, I shoot ball whenever I can, and I was hiking down and up Blue Mountain without realizing it, but all that's just screwin' around. What I mean is...

"Dig the fuck in!"

Oh, on a side-note, of inspirational proportions...

An old high school bro just laid the smackdown at a bodybuilding competition in Alberta this past weekend. (Dec. 3-5) Mark (Stephenson) is a gawd damned animal. He was a part of something I wrote about the Royal Canadian Legion back in June because of his military days, but now he is firefighter. You know, one of those lifetime of service to others kinda guys.

Also... He's a total savage! On the side from saving people's lives and homes, he does competitive bodybuilding, and you should see the shit he just laid down a couple days ago.

"Hot Damn!!"

(Hey Mark, you're a hard act to follow, you smackdown layin' mutherfucker, you!!)

He posted somethin' about doin' alright for forty eight years old.

Yeah, totally freakin' crushing it!!

I loved seein' that. The depth and layers of discipline to do that is totally impressive.

Anyhow, back to my lame-ass on the chintziest-ever treadmill session...

Here's that famous feeling for myself, the one where my lungs feel like they're full of cement. Since I got leveled with that super gnarly five week cough from mid-December 2019 to mid-January 2020, I swear my lungs are running now running at less than half capacity to what I'd been accustomed to forever. I can't breathe nearly as deep or efficiently as I'm used to anymore. It's a suffocating feeling, but that doesn't matter because I know I can overcome that discomfort.

You see, the good thing is, I have the knowledge that I gained during those swims engrained into me. On the second night, when I was super beat up from the night before, I still swam hard for three hours straight. I totally went for it. (I had much more in me, but I lost my vision, and had to deal with all of that.) Those three hours were way more than I've done before, and they're also much more than I'll need to swim in any triathlon I do. That gives me the functional knowledge of knowing I can physically pull through. As for...

Mentally - Physically - Emotionally...

I stared down the depth of my courage in the face of the elements trying to kill me. There was no help coming. It was up to me, or it was my ass.

I was broken in every way, and forced into the deepest, darkest, unknown place within myself.

I found a way. I persevered!

This was critical information for me, and I knew it at the time. Despite being emotionally broken in half with that vision of Michelle hooked up to machines in the hospital, while freezing cold, and blindly crying myself into convulsions, I was still instinctively processing functional information.

Being able to process what my body is physically doing never turns off. Regardless of the situation I am in, that is the automatic computer in my brain that's always running. It does this stuff with physical information that is really quite fascinating to me.

2007 Nelson, BC triathlon... | Photo by Phil Best

I know my body's been broken for over 28 years now, which all began when I was 19, but I remember not hurting (in images) in context of the kid I was to the person I became.

"There's no way that kid would ever comprehend what he would come to learn about the intricacies of the human body through pain touching every little part of it."

Pain is fuckin' fascinating, but what we're capable of doing through pain, maaan, that's next level fascination.

I just hate hurting, but is it ever cool what you can learn from it if you have the courage to bust your pain up in the mouth as it's trying to do the same to you.

"Full-tilt slugfest!!"

From what I have learned about myself through the things I have dragged my shitty body through for so many years...

I'm not OK with impossible!!

My belief in my own potential is so far beyond the comprehension of my past self, that 19 year old kid. Even now, whenever people say all the nice things they do about whatever my supposed ass-whuppery is, the thought will always go through my mind of...

"If you thought that was bad-ass, 'magine what I'd be doing if I had a functioning body!"

That, "if only," thought kills me every day at some point. Every single day! It's a fuckin' persistent lil' bastard too. Gnawing away at me, and gnawing away at me. But, I am where I am, and somehow, despite everything, I keep figuring out that my potential is further than I knew it to be.

That's why I always feel like a failure...because of my unwavering belief in that potential within, and that I am not OK with impossible. Whenever people are blown' away with what I do, I just see failure because I know I have more in me.

Putting on my timing chip at the 2007 Nelson, BC triathlon... | Photo by Phil Best

I've pulled myself through some gnarly shit, under horrific conditions, and it has somehow left lots of people inspired. It's actually pretty trippy, but I keep at it. I do go mentally crazy a lot because I put so much pressure on myself that I inevitably crack. That's a real thing. I'm not making it up.

That whole thing of impossible not being OK, and this unwavering belief in my potential, of which I constantly redefine??

That's only possible because of the pressure I put on myself to pull this shit off. And the more I up the ante, the more it doesn't mean anything, because I know I have more in me.

"If I survive, I have more!"

I admit, that's not necessarily the brightest way to go about things, but I'm goin' right to the bitter end. I'll never stop looking for what the depth of my potential means. I know how that is defined will evolve over time, but the pursuit will never change.

And with that, I gotta get back on the treadmill for another go-around.

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