Archive for October, 2011

I am small and weak

October 4, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday, I actually went to failure on both the back squat (at 100#) and the bench press (at 70#). By this I mean I actually collapsed under the bar during the last round of squats. (Hooray for those safety bar thingamajigs!)

  • The curious thing about the experience is that I wasn’t at all in pain and was taken entirely by surprise. I did rep #4 without incident, and then rep #5 completely took me down. I was just on the floor with no forewarning whatsoever. This happened to me once before when I was trying out Crossfit. There’s a threshold where adding just 5 more pounds to the squat load painlessly but inexorably forces me to the ground. I’m thinking it’s not muscle failure (there’s no real discomfort), but a function of neurological adaptation (or lack thereof).

  • Also, I somehow managed to accomplish all this collapsing so quietly that NOBODY noticed, not even the guy in front of the mirror FIVE FEET AWAY. Come on, guys. Throw me a bone here.

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    October 4, 2011 2 comments


  • I’m solving that old equation: Exactly
    How to undo
    The geometry that holds us

  • The diagram takes
    A cunning shape
    Sharp to the touch,
    and precarious:
    A cat’s cradle tangled
    A jangling mobile hanged
    On a steel wire net

  • It’s an acrobatic trick,
    Disarming this love
    Trip one wire, and the shock
    Will set the rest to humming
    Vibrating our small constellation till it shatters

  • Holding my breath
    I clip at your heartstrings
    Hoping this whole thing doesn’t shake apart
    If I’m subtle enough
    To slip the knots
    You may never notice me let go

  • Even now I can feel us
    Casting off the vestigial
    and essential
    And without forethought
    All the while attempting
    A casual disregard
    for regret

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    October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

    Life used to be a death sentence. Just ask any fifteen-year-old. They can’t imagine being thirty – they just don’t have the life experience. But now that I’m thirty-four-point-seven-five, I find I can’t really remember what it’s like to be fifteen. I’ve got notebooks, old diaries in which I sporadically penned (penned! with a ballpoint!) entries about the usual politics of adolescence, AP exams, glee club practice, dieting, awful sitcoms – those were the days of my life.

  • Take a giant step back, and it’s pretty much the same these days. Do the politics of humanity ever really change? I remember reading Douglas Coupland’s “Life After God,” in which the characters were all preoccupied with the bomb; that was how the end was going to come for them. My generation doesn’t concern itself with nukes (although they’re still very much out there), but with plagues and zombies. The images in Alan Weisman’s “The World without Us” are alternately heartbreaking and comforting. They always feel compelling and somehow right. It’s probably human nature to feel like we’re on the cusp of the end times. (Also, maybe I should stop reading books about plagues and zombies.) Like a fifteen-year-old, I have trouble imagining the future 10 or 20 years down the line. The center will not hold, or it will not hold steady. Empires do fall, yes, and history repeats itself. But how quickly? Would I have time to build a family, grow old, have grandchildren? The economic climate makes it increasingly unlikely that I could ever provide even the basic needs of food and shelter to anyone.

  • But, still. Whether the world ends with a bang or a whimper, tomorrow will be another day. So maybe I should get on with my life.

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