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September 19, 2011

Life in Miniature: Guest Post by Al Olsen

My relationship with Al Olsen goes back a few years to when this was a very triathlon-centric blog, and “Spokane Al” began dropping into the comment section more and more frequently.

I started visiting his own blog, where he has the following bio: an early 60s year old human doing the best he can with what God gave him as he attempts the never ending odyssey of transforming his body into that of a triathlete and endurance athlete. On several of his posts, I found myself appreciating his perspective not just on triathlon, but also life in general.

He and I have also had several e-mail conversations on the subject of classic rock, which is a passion for both of us. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when the article he submitted came complete with a Beatles lyric. Check out his post below, and please weigh in with some comment feedback when you’re finished.

Life in Miniature     by Spokane Al

“Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head … ‘
- The Beatles, “A Day in the Life” (song after post)

Waking up in the morning and climbing out of bed, I feel my age and then some. The creakiness of my bones, along with the accumulated soreness from previous days’ training efforts, causes me to move as if I am in my eighties.

I slowly work my way downstairs, and if I am up to it, perform some abdominal exercises or a stretching routine and am feeling better and have knocked at least a decade or so off my body.

Breakfast comes and my morning fueling routine leaves mefeeling strongeryet again as I take a quick look at the headlines over my bowl of oatmeal.

Moving, puttering, taking care of tasks and talking with friends and neighbors helps to drop some more years from my body and mind. I am once again feeling alive and living with purpose. The warm summer sun is a welcome friend and later, as I enjoy a protein smoothie on my patio for lunch, with only the birds and some good reading material for company, I am appreciative and thankful for my great life and am looking forward to the evening workout.

I eat an early, light dinner in preparation for what is to come, and give myself plenty of time to bond with the bathroom facilities before heading out.

This evening’s workout is a speed work effort with members of my triathlon club. We meet at the coach’s house and walk and jog up the hill towards the track.

A couple of warm up laps followed by some technique efforts in the soft grass in the center of the track gets me feeling a bit better prepared to run.

This evening’s workout is 6-10 x 400 which means that it will hurt a bit.

I shuffle forward to the start with my gaggle of tri-buddies and soon we are off. We run like the wind, and although the speed of each of us is relative, it feels good to be pushing my pace on the smooth, flat track.

A short recovery jog between each effort helps at the beginning but as the intervals begin to pile up, the effort needed to continue and maintain the pace does as well.

Before long I have finished eight intervals and we are done, and we gather around, all glossy with sweat and good cheer, as we relive this workout and old races, and discuss upcoming events. We are all equals in this circle.

Afterwards, as we walk back to the coach’s house, lively conversations can be heard rising up through the warm summer night.

We once again gather in the coach’s front yard and he brings out a cold, frozen box of popsicles. As I enjoy that mixture of sugar, water, and artificial flavorings frozen on a stick, I am once again just a youngster, laughing and talking with friends, before responsibility steps back in and calls each of us.

As in most other days, I have completed another modified, sped up version of my circle of life. It will begin anew in the coming morning and it is good.

Thank you for visiting.

Read more from Spokane Al at his website www.spokaneal.blogspot.com.

The Beatles, "A Day in the Life" (click to play):

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JBK in CA 9/19/11, 10:04 AM  

For us who value the physical and mental benefits of running, this rendition of the circle of life speaks to our heart. Thank you Spokane Al for these soft words that remind us that each day is a gift.

Cherylrunner 9/19/11, 11:32 AM  

Loved your post Spokane Al and have added your blog to my blog list! Thank you for describing a beautiful day in the life of a runner who will always be young at heart (and physical age, too!)
Good choice for a guest blogger, Donald!

Andy 9/19/11, 3:24 PM  

Hi Spokane Al,

Nice post! I appreciate the quiet simplicity with which you have described an experience that is very relatable for many of us.

Nicely done! Oh, and good song choice : )

Peace and Love,


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