Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

I’m Working On It


The Japanese call it “kaizen”. A few years ago YHC witnessed two scientists verbally duking it out. The topic was Intelligent Design. Exasperated, and noting his opponent was dressed in a clerical collar, one of the scientists exclaimed, “You’re supposed to be an Episcopal priest. Do you even believe in God?” The priest’s/scientist’s reply was: “I’m working on it.” That has been YHC’s mantra since.

Someone assured YHC early on when he started F3 that the workouts don’t get any easier. On the surface that sounds like a deterrent, but it’s not. Pavarotti often encourages YHC to reflect, “Why are you doing this? What is your goal?” It’s not for life to get easier. It’s not to finish first. It’s not to be satisfied. It’s to get better. Kaizen.

Unless YHC missed someone, this morning was a solo post at Sunday Funday. While normally YHC gets to learn all sorts of stuff from Pax mumble chatter, today there was only self-reflection: a 6ish-mile, sweaty, bloody (only one fall) opportunity to social-distance and think about what YHC is working on.

The bridge to start the Buttermilk Trail introduced the topic, inspired by pavement graffiti: “BLM”, “F*** 12”, etc. YHC has a lot of work to do in this arena. Lately that work has involved attending town halls, completing a short course about bias, talking with family (learned why a White person wearing dreadlocks can be hurtful), practicing mindful meditation/breathing (thank you, Lab Rat), developing research to investigate bias in YHC’s profession, reading (should finish The Hate U Give today), engaging in new experiences (downloaded 2Pac’s Greatest Hits), reflecting on YHC’s own behavior/assumptions/microaggressions (enlightening and horrifying), and listening. How profound is it that a group of people feels so oppressed, so mistreated, so demoralized, and so exhausted, that the vanguard phrase is something so incredibly basic that it should go without saying – “Black lives matter”? But clearly it doesn’t go without saying.

The weather this morning was deceitfully humid. Well before Buttermilk transitioned to the Potterfield Bridge YHC’s clothes were soaked, which just makes everything feel heavier. Nonetheless, with no good excuse to pause, and conjuring up an imaginary TYA by his side, YHC proceeded past Tredegar and onto Northbank Trail, at this point starting to count the distance markers. At marker NB8, a root jumped up, grabbed a foot, and threw YHC to the ground. YHC walked between NB8 and NB9, something he has rarely done. Rare, because usually there is someone in front or just behind to keep cadence, to give encouragement, and to keep YHC moving on.

And if the distance between runners gets too great, the leaders circle back for the Six. This F3 tradition is one of my favorites. Laying on the ground at NB8, aware of his striking lack of motivation, YHC discovered the learning for today: We need to circle back for the Six.

Let’s keep working on it.


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  1. Awesome BB Helix, after a year in F3, I humbly realize this is the beginning of an awesome journey in self fitness, fellowship and faith.