Saturday, May 23, 2009

sharks, sneakers, and winding the watch

Kristina and her friend Logan flew out of JFK last week for 12 hours in London then 2 months in South Africa. Playing their part in the big dig of a new discovery. Very cool. A quick phone call to report safety and happiness. They’re staying on the coast, near the Great White Shark capital of the world. And snakes. There are snakes there. Funny about the kind of things that for 38 years I thought would be pretty cool to tromp right down in the middle of, yet suddenly give serious pause when it’s your little girl out there exploring. She’s a pretty smart cookie, though, Kristina is. With a great eye for what’s going on in the world around her. Back here in the States, Fiona is also having a great couple of weeks: the Solebury Red Hots are 7 and 1, and seriously kicking softball booty. It’s good to be 10 and knee-deep in a winning season.

Busy month here. Much doings. But all that aside, two things I found myself thinking about this morning. In 1995, when I got out of the army, I took off my watch and told myself I would never wear one of those again, and I threw out my running shoes and told myself I would never run again. The watch was just a cheap black plastic digital thingy, picked up at a PX somewhere, permanently strapped to my left wrist through both Somalia and Haiti. You kind of need a watch in the army, no getting around that. But afterward…well, does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care? Right. September 1995, goodbye watch.

As for the running, I never liked running. In fact, I hate it. Does nothing for me. Some people thrive on it, burn on it, live for it. I was never that person. I ran in the army because I had to. And I was a small, skinny guy back then, with long legs, so running was never a problem. I was fast, and could go forever. If I needed to. And that’s the key right there: if I needed to. As of September 1995, I no longer needed to, and I stopped that shit right quick.

So, thirteen years later, December 2008, I get my first physical in a long, long time. My doctor is Terry Shlimbaum in Lambertville, NJ, a great physician in the classic family doc mold, and an old family friend (when I was a kid he was a resident with my mother, and he and his wife babysat young C.W.B. a few times, way back in the day). So this past December, sitting in his exam room, Terry adjusts his brown glasses and smiles and allows how perhaps C.W.B. could lose a few pounds. And, well, maybe we ought to talk about that cholesterol level. Long story short: I’m old.

So, front of January I tried to cut down on the spinach dip and I joined the gym down the street, showing up a few days a week at the opening bell of 5:30 am. Four months later, fifteen pounds. Sweet. Very happy about that. I’ll never have that 1995 body again, but it’s nice to at least fit in my clothes. And yeah, it involves running. And I still hate it. Only way I can do it is on the treadmill with both i-pod working and the TV on. Full distraction. And as for the watch? That’s back, too. Something nice happened recently, and me and Bren went and picked up a Movado for my left wrist. Nothing flashy, but nice. I like it. I’m still not really sure what time it is, and I’m still not sure I care, but I like it.