Saturday, April 13, 2013

Running with my coach

He did it f*(&n again.  He didn't get up in the morning to go for a jog.  Did I mention it was "again"?  I was really irritated last time because I woke up, and he didn't for our run.  And then - I couldn't go back to sleep.

Ok - I can't get too mad at him because I left my phone in the car too.  Thus, I didn't hear my alarm.  My phone is becoming the new sports utility tool, quickly surpassing the functionality of the Swiss army knife.  What would I do without?

And because I didn't have my phone, I slept in too.  See:this time I can't be too mad at him.

I knew this would happen again too.  At some point, you realize that people are a product of habit.  And you learn to expect that they will disappoint you. 

I asked a friend - what should I do if he flakes out again on the morning run. 

He said, "You go to his house and get him.  He lives in the same city, right?"

"Right.  But, it's for his benefit.  Not mine."

"Well - that's why the best personal trainers get paid the big bucks.  They come to you."

I thought to myself, I'm not the best personal trainer, nor do I want to be.

But I wanted my run.  I have to lose 5 pounds of fat.  I drove my Z3 down north, north through the nice streets and the barillos.  I parked it near his house.  I knocked on the door.  His parents saw me.  They greeted me. 

I told them, "I came for your son.  He has to come for his run."

His father said, "I see.  I'll go wake him up."

My coach came out wearing basketball shorts.  I told him, "Get ready.  We're going for a run."

"Ok," he said.  "Let me take a shower first."

We went for our usual cross country run of a few miles, mostly uphill, outside of the city.  I didn't really feel like running either.  But it was something that I had to do.  And that was what I was explaining to my coach.  "Motivation is way overrated.  It doesn't help you when you need to do something but you have to do it.  You just do it."

I was proud of him though because he said something after our run.  He said, "You know, it was getting hard for me psychologically."

"What do you mean?"

"When it gets hard I kept looking at the ground.  And my head tells me I'm going to die."

And that's when I had some compassion.  It's been a number of years since I felt that way.  So, I knew he was really pushing himself harder than even I was.  I said, "You know.  Don't tell yourself you'll finish.  Just tell yourself, go one more step.  And keep telling yourself - it's just another step."

He said, "I did."

I said, "And it works."  That's when I realized the Korean proverb, even a journey of a 1000 li starts with a step.

Afterwards, we went to the Farmer's Market, and we sampled the fresh and bright fruits.  They were so brilliant in color, they reminded me of large gems.  There were ruby strawberries, amber oranges, garnet blood oranges, and sapphire blueberries.  Everything tasted so sweet, especially after our run.

We were an odd couple, and two guys usually don't go together to the farmer's market to buy fresh fruits.  But - there's a huge problem in this country - fresh fruits and vegetables have been relegated to the elite because of their price.  Most guys eat terrible fries and greasy burgers - which both are subsidized in some form by the US government - aka our tax money.   So, that's why two guys don't usually go to the farmer's market.

After, we went and drove to Rosemead - the new Chinatown of the Los Angeles area.  We ate Uigher food, food from the very far West of China - where the old Turks lived.  We had lamb skewers that were spicy.  Lamb soup with hand made pasta and hand cut noodles.  We talked about this and that and that and this and the day just passed.

I told him, "This is good.  This is the first time you ran three times in a week." 

I guess, I am a well paid personal trainer, even though he's formally my boxing coach.  I get paid back with rich experiences.  Nothing quite beats a day of running up hills, eating fresh fruits at the farmer's market, and ending it with Turkish-Chinese food. 

Now, I'm ending the night blogging, drinking tea, and reading an awesome book on journalism.  It's made think: Where should I go next to get some more perspective?  After all, that's what living life is about: getting more perspective.

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