Doc sends his regards from South Dakota. He took his youngest there for dog sledding. He's reading Thoreau and sends me a handwritten note:
The most gratifying work is that produced of your own hands. Four days of wood cutting, snow removal and leaf burning is infintely more gratifying than putting LA's crooks through the revolving doors of State's criminal justice system. What an elaborate joke. What gratifies me the most pays the least, heck it doesn't pay me a dime and herein lies life's mystery. If I live well, correctly, in the country, I'll never have to work for strangers again.
I have yet to see the beloved country but I hope to this year. By the time I'm ready, the snow will be gone, but with any luck so will be 20 pounds of my own fat. I am determined, once again, to lift the heavy weight and fall back into my body again.
For most of my life I've been extra athletic, but in a way that seemed oxymoronic to me. I was of medium height and slim with broad shoulders. I always thought I should have more of a gymnast's body, instead I had a cyclist's body - not quite enough meat on the chest and arms for my druthers. Still, I had extraordinary stamina, could play all day and eat without end. At my top conditioning I rode about 50 miles a week on my bike and got in about five hours a day of beach volleyball over the weekend. That condition was something I purposefully persued, reducing my life to simplicities.
There have been two times after my 30th birthday when I purposefully persued fitness and one time, two years ago when I figured I could just diet my way into health. I know myself too well now. I have to hit the dusty trail and feel the pain. So it's on.
I'm going to get up tomorrow at 6am and run. No matter what. My reading list is going to get shorter and I'm going to develop my symphonic vocab. I'm done talking and expecting so much from talking.