Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Simple Times And The Night

I have always thought that the night has come on very fast. That the day is just this thing  out there in which you try to squeeze everything in really tight and really fast and you try to do all that you need to do, get it in, all of the important stuff.

And then all of a sudden it comes on, the night. And when you are young, it is an exciting time, but as you grow older, the night is just it, the end of the day.

Strange how it changes as the years go on. When I worked at one University, and I was in my twenties , I used to walk across campus very late at night, with my faithful companion, Dutch. He was easily my best friend. And although I had a girlfriend at the time, she had already graduated and I was coaching and it took me so very long to graduate. And Dutch was a Black Labrador and one of the very best of all time.  He had quite a personality and he loved me for sure. I loved him also.

So we would walk across campus. It must have been midnight, back when sleep was not much of a priority at all.  To go on three or four hours of sleep at that age was no big deal. And Dutch would be off of the leash and he would start sniffing stuff and I would keep walking. And he would let me get ahead for awhile and then I would say his name and he would sprint full speed to me. It was all part of the game. And then we would get the the football field house.

We would go into the bathroom, and I would get Dutch some water in a small bowl and then we would go into the weight room. I had the whole place to myself. And Dutch would lie in the corner and watch my every  move. I would lift weights and look in the mirror and flex, and man it was so much fun.

And during this hour or so of me lifting, between sets I would call Dutch over to me and talk baby talk to him and pet him and talk out all of my problems with him. I would do set after set and then I'd eventually finish and we would head back, head back the same way that we came, through the campus.

 I was in charge of the maintenance of the  fields, both practice and game fields. So Dutch and I would stop and water the fields. I would put in the sprinkler heads (they were not automatic) and we would stay another thirty minutes or so, and Dutch would stick his head into the small puddle created by the sprinkler, right at the base. And I would laugh, I would laugh out loud, and then sometimes, a few ducks would come and land and Dutch would chase them and come so close to catching them.

It was summer then, a very good time, and I was very, very young. Coaching, barely sleeping, writing some, but learning and learning. No internet, just books and experimenting. All learning took place at the squat rack or on the field. I would not change that for all the money in the world. That is the true way to learn, I think.

But you really didn't know that when you were doing these things, in the formative years, that it was special or that you would look back on those days and say ,man, it was so great. You just did things.

And now you look back on it with melancholy and a slight more sadness than even that and a yearning for those simple times. Because you forget the problems of the lack of funds and the wondering of where life would lead you. It is fun though, to push any problems away that you know where around back then into the back of your mind and just remember you and Dutch, walking across campus at midnight.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.