Naked Hill

 The sun was setting. Mosquitoes were in phalanx size units. Lethargy had set in for the evening. Glitter covered my body because my two year old daughter was wearing a shirt with the sparkly material. Thus everyone in the house is covered in glitter, the dogs, the cat, my wife. This was the perfect time to work out. Lifting the awkward sandbag onto my shoulder I walk to the bottom of a lazily slopping hill. Stopping at a rock pile to grab a handful of pebbles. Fifteen to be exact. At the bottom of the hill I pile the small stones. One mound will be the repetitions I have done. The other mound will be the repetitions I have left. 15 to zero so far. The ice cold water bottle placed next to the dreadful green sandbag. The buzzing in the air is informing me that a battalion of mosquitoes were readying an assault. Time to move.

   First sprint up the hill. Who thought this was a good idea? In the distance I can see my wife with a ball of silver light running before her. Keep running. Panting, sweat pouring down my face. Get to the half way point and turn around. All down hill and there is my wife again with my sparkly daughter. Pass them with a smile and stride down to the sandbag. Eight back squats and eight sit ups. One repetition complete. Move a rock over to the complete pile. 14 to 1. The odds are looking up. OK that was not so bad. A 30 second break as I watch my daughter make her way to my starting point. My wife is holding our three month old son. Woops time to go.

 Sprinting up the hill a second time was not that bad. Warmed up. Get to that half way point and turn around. Look, my daughter tried to follow me up the hill. She tries so hard to do what I do sometimes. It is impressive. She is nothing but giggles as she chases me. I am sweating and wondering why I am torturing myself. But to her it is a beautiful evening to play games. By the time I finished my second set of squats and sit-ups she had made her way to me. The stones are set to 13 to 2. Making progress and I sprint up the hill for my third rep as my wife watches over all of us.

 This third sprint is starting to slow down. Those squats just ruin your legs for any kind of running. Running back down the hill I see my little angel playing in the dirt by the sandbag. Nope that is not dirt. She has scattered all my stones. Damn. Well at least it was only two reps. Finish up the exercises and reset the stones while my daughter is distracted by some piles of grass. 12 to 3.

 Sprinting up the hill seemed to attract the attention of the local insect militia in force. But I need to keep moving. As punishment for my slowing down I add another ten yards to my sprint. It seems that even the run back down hill is starting to slow down. By the time I get to the sandbag the blood suckers have regrouped. On my back for the sit-ups it is hard to see the sky through the winged leeches. OK ,11 to 4. Easy day every day.

 I was hoping this workout would go quicker.. That this would not take all night. Stepping up my speed, and widening my stride seemed to help my mood. Is that my daughter at the sandbag again? She is playing with my stones. Wait, how many reps have I done? Why wont she leave them alone? Her giggle answers none of my questions. Anger is slowly building up in me. This is hard. Does she not understand that? She pushes all the stones around in different patterns and smiles at me. How can I be mad at that? This little imp is pleased with herself. Sparkly legs wobbly get up and walk towards Mommy. Despite the evil hum of devil vermin she insists that Mommy take all of her clothes and diaper off. With that task done, my two year old daughter stumble runs up the hill, bare buns blazing white in the fading light, leading my wonderful wife and son into the distance. I stare at the ground. Look at the stones. Then at my family. Again my daughter has taught me a lesson. She has taught me so many of these lessons. This flash, my family silhouetted against the sky and life is what is important. The stones do not matter. The hill does not matter. The bugs do not matter. Clothes do not matter. All that matters in life are a these few simple things. A giggle is the most useful thing you can ever have and do. It is vital to have someone who cares in your life, that will help you get naked and not laugh. It does not matter how much you have left or how much you have done or how big the bugs are. Just do them and do not stop. The most crucial is that you consistently be there for the people you care about. No matter how big or small you are just being there is sometimes the most important thing that helps out.  

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Motivation

The Force is strong.

The Force is strong with this one.

Sometimes you need that push. That little shove to get you to move to the next level. There are times where you are mentally spent. When the sun is hiding from the moon and you are covered in filth. At these times you have to pull your memories. The memories of the good times. The memories of the bad times. You have to remember why you get up everyday. You have to use your memories.

I was working out late one Monday night. Using a 73 pound sandbag doing Turkish Get Ups in my basement. The floor a rough indoor/outdoor carpeting. The TV is playing some sort of sitcom my wife is watching. The three month old son is quietly making due with a bottle, while my two year old daughter is running around pulling couch cushions off of the furniture. It took me a while to realize what my daughter was doing. Between grunts, sweating and gasps I was playing a game with my daughter. At least she thought it was a game. I was working out. Every time I would lay on my back to start another repetition of this ancient grueling exercise the cute little gremlin would run from her perch on the couch and slap the sandbag.

But this game does not end there. Soon my tiny mischief maker is doing laps around me when my shoulders hit the ground. She is laughing the whole time. A tiny little body that resonates with a giggle that could fill the Superdome. Each step up is an effort. Each step down brings me closer to exhaustion. My stomach feels as if it will empty everything it may have every consumed. As I lay down in what I hope to be the last time, twinkling eyes stare into my heart. With a short gesture my daughter points at the ground and she says ‘Again’.