Sunday, April 20, 2008


Some folks can't go for a run without a walkman (do they still exist?) or an I-pod plugged into their ears to distract them. Maybe the same folks find it unpleasant to paint a house or a room in a house. I dunno, for me certain activities allow a rhythm to develop that's meditative and therapuetic. Running, and painting are two that come to mind. Noise (ie music) just disrupts the rhythm and impedes my ability to find that relaxation/destress zone where thoughts turn into solutions and anxiety becomes peace.

I suspect for my wife, swimming is like that. I can swim some distance but don't have her competitive swim background.For me it's more like I'm surviving than thriving in the pool. She can get in after years out of the pool and (seemingly) effortlessly churn out a 1000-2000 yds. For me, it's not an activity that I've been able to get into the "zone" in -- maybe I'll get there with more training/experience.

Certainly the first time Vern Treat and I headed out Galvin road on our first freshman 5 mile X-country training run we weren't in the "zone." It was hot for Western Washington. It was Indian Summer and in the 90's. We were in pain. We were in the "survival zone." Funny though, just months later that same run was a light training run, barely more than a warmup.

I've had to find the zone in ways other than running or surfing since I've had a back surgery. Running is out of the question. Walking a sufficient distance to get in the zone remains beyond limits of my recovery thus far. It will come with time. In the meantime, I've had to find ways to add movement back to my life -- any movement.

Recently I've started getting into the pool a couple days a week. My swims are up to ~15 minutes now but that's not relaxing for me. That's work. Even after my Aircrew Candidate DWST (Deep Water Survival Training) experience in Pensacola I'm still not an in the "zone" swimmer.

I've returned to regular shooting and reloading as part of my recovery from back surgery. I've learned how necessary movement is to life. It's necessary to find activities that are within the limits of my ability to move. These activities require the total concentration and the rhythms so helpful in de-stressing.

This weekend, in several short sittings, I reloaded several hundred rounds of Colt 45. With each pull of the handle, with each case and bullet fed into the press, with each "feel" of a primer seating in a case and the click/clack of the powder measure rising and falling, tax day faded further behind me

Rhythms. Cheaper than therapy.

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