DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE

I find this title fitting for July’s journal. We are now halfway through the 2014 year. A sort of half folded piece of paper, either to cover up the left side, or, to best reveal the front side that now is ready for show. This is a good week where I like to cut things back in half. Rest a bit. Donate blood at the Community Blood Center of Carolinas on a 90 degree day. Yeah, this is a good time to split me in two and examine.

Quick hits first: the main happenings for June was that I finished off the Master’s Runner Study being conducted by Garrett Bullock of Queens University Exercise Science lab. When the study began 6 weeks ago, we had a VO2 Max test in which I scored a value of 60.5. I was then instructed to run 40 miles a week. Didn’t matter HOW, just hit that number. Was challenging at first as I continued with my bike/swims, but found a rhythm and protocol to stick to. My first treadmill 5K time trial was 2 weeks ago with a time of 17:56. You were able to warm-up, race 1 mile, then “get masked” for 1 mile, then finish. Hopping off, breathing for the gas exchange capture, hop off, re-hop on, etc. was challenging, but which gave me a feel of the actual test to be finalized 2 weeks later. Our body composition was taken after this first test and I measured skin fold at 2.5%. I was then placed in the control mileage group which meant 2 more weeks of 40 miles documented running. Running 5x a week during the summer is rough for me as I usually drop frequency to 3-4x a week to get into more of a triathlon related program through September. And now with the heat AND humidity hitting dew points around 70 each early morning, drench me in sweat yo! Welcome summer. I love the longer days as it’s easier to get up at 5am even though Gina and I are both passed out by 9pm each evening just as the sun sets.

So last week was my final test and I did the same thing that morning – bike/UBE, then a quick swim. Showed up in the afternoon for the test and this time, ran 17:20!! I pushed it though hard. Staring at the dashboard, playing songs on the Mental MCpod, adjusting the speed to HURT level. Oh yeah. Was fun. The results of the study won’t be finished until end of year, but I appreciated Garrett asking us involved to be a participants. Informative indeed and a nice jump start to the rest of the year. Good to see fellow Master’s runners also busting up on the younger guys on the testing too! Now I rotate shoes, break things down, and force a change of pace – for a week. Half-time.

It’s been an interesting year so far. I’ve had a chance to see, feel, hurt, hate, love, diagnose, choose, and finally learn to declare my status. Why is it so often I have to conform to other’s choice NOT to conform? Plainly, follow rules others opt NOT to chose, probably because they KNOW you will do the right thing and screw yourself over. I have a game I’d like to play – - let’s try and switch that around no? Subtle I play. I grew up in Brooklyn and it doesn’t mean I change that cause I live in Charlotte. Never has. Though I rarely displayed such character in public, it has and still fuels me within. Welcome to my inner ”struggle”. Ah, if you could see what I see each morning in the mirror. Feel it too. After years, you know the drill to where there is no feeling. Innervating. BE Self-Actualized.

Ok, so you lose a few here, a few there. Gain one, maybe two. People will hate, people will hurt. Who you gonna love? Trust? A handful is all you really NEED. You embrace that and march forward. How the battle is fought is up to you. If you choose to fight. The MC playlists help construct your mind – allow the body the build it’s strength. Maintain it. Sick. But true. Compile them. Build your “army”. I have mine.

Life is an everyday fight no? Everyone has a sort of independence right? Even if there are “rules” to abide with, correct? Look around you. No really, LOOK around you – Matrix style. Except I took the Red, Blue, AND the White pills. Boom.

Declare yours.

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