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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Force Goes Into The Flow

I got up 40 minutes earlier than normal this morning. 4:50 AM to be exact. The goal was to get in at least 10-15 minutes of jogging. I think it's been something like 6 months since I regularly jogged (and, frighteningly, about 18 months since I've lifted weights - yikes)

I must have been inspired by Shupe's postings about jogging -- similar, I guess to the way that peeking in on other writer's blogs helped get me in the mood -- but I also want to ensure that I'm in good health and able to play sports and do other fun physical activites once Alexander gets older.

Last night while working in the back yard, I came to the conclusion that I should pick two days a week (see, not trying to push it too hard - sleep, after all, is part of living healthy) where I get up perhaps an hour early and do one of two things: go jogging or write. Original plan was something like go joggin on Tuesday morning, get up early and write on Thursday morning. Today was a test to see if I could actually do it. I think I passed. (Not all that difficult; when I was going gung-ho on my novel Morning Son I got up an hour earlier 5 days a week and worked on the novel before getting ready for work - of course, that was before Alexander came along and I hadn't tried something like this since)

Fran suggested that I just use the treadmill in our basement, that it wouldn't make all that much noise, but I wanted to be out there, enjoying the scenery. I'm certainly glad that I did. Our neighbourhood is beautiful and very peaceful that early in the morning. I jogged a path similar to the one that Fran and I often walk (now with Alexander in the stroller) - down West 2nd, zip over to Upper James for a short stint, cross through a small park, then run along the escarpment and up West 5th. Fifteen minutes of running left me about a ten minute walk from my house, which was a perfect warm-down. The traffic on Upper James and West 5th was still pretty quiet, and I mostly had the sound of the wind through the tree leaves, a chorus of birds chirping, a bunch of neighbourhood cats (most of which I'd never noticed before) quietly prowling around, often pausing to keep their eyes on me as I passed.

It was a perfect morning -- a good invigorating way to wake my body up, and during the run I was able to sort out some writing ideas and concepts. The experience was so positive that it makes me want to try for a third day in the regimen -- perhaps doing some weights on the third day. I estimate that I was able to run about 2 K. When I was running often, I could do about 5 K in 35-40 minutes, but I know that I'm just getting back into it and am running at a slower pace than before. Perhaps in time I'll be able to increase my run time and pace and put in a nice 5 K in the morning.

Now, I have been doing more writing lately, trying to get some writing in on the GO train ride home (of course, Christina and Dawn-Marie on the 4:30 PM train are often fun distractions when doing their "team" crossword puzzles that you can't help but want to participate in -- I also hate it when the conversation between them and Mark, Dave or Barb and sometimes the ever popular Richard Black, gets interesting and fun, because that too takes away from my writing -- but I can't help sitting in the area they're in -- it's too damn fun. Let's just hope that it doesn't drive me into the same situation the main character in my story Distractions finds himself in....), but I'm certain that my new sound-body/sound-mind plan will help push a few more of those "back burner" writing projects to the forefront.

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