Living inside the dime


For those who know me well, and for those who are savvy enough to read between my lines, it is understood that I live my fitness life between the two sides of a dime. I exist in a chaos sandwich.
What some call I dime, I call a chaos sandwich...

What some call a dime, I call home. In the middle? Its not a site for kids...

The face of my dime is more western in nature; action in exchange for immediate gratification. Exercise which takes place with purpose, in whatever form, is often intense, present daily, and representative of a very specific value-set. This value-set perceives exercise as a vehicle which should enhance my quality of existence, and maximizes my now. To better understand this mind-set, one need only consider my friend Debbie who, at 57, just won a triathlon – again. Her physical contemporaries are 20 years younger. Her chronological contemporaries have prescriptions to be picked up. The face of this dime is etched with the silhouette of achievement. 

What I had wanted for the face of my dime...

What I had wanted for the face of my dime...

The tail of the dime faces east and represents lesser actions. These lesser actions are practiced for a less glorious now, but a more likely tomorrow. The tail of this dime is etched with the silhouette of physical thrift. This side of the dime recognizes that from doing a little less can come a little more. This value-set understands modest exercise has utility; serving to prolong life by not overdoing life. A car driven harder and more frequently will likely go to the junk yard sooner. To better understand this mind-set, one need consider my friend Benny, who walks, stretches, practices yoga, and does so in moderation. He is 62 and has not seen a doctor in 32 years.
The etching of my dimes tail...

What I suspect will be etched on my dime's tail...

What lies between the two sides of the dime, is the tight space where I lay in my bed of discomfort each night, crying myself to sleep in the emotional chaos of coveting both sides of the dime. In appreciating the aspects and value of each side, I have tried to negotiate between the two sides for several years now. The differences, as described above, can be thought of as comparable to those differences between eastern and western thought.

The view from inside my dime...

The view from inside my dime...

It occurs to me now, in this cathartic moment, I can just as easily suggest that the face of this dime represents my years up to age 50. The tail of the dime represents my years left to come, post-50, however many there may be. Perhaps that is why this narrow space where I live, between the two sides of the dime, has been so chaotic for me. I stand on the edge of 50, having lived as a young man – surrounded daily by life in a western world. As I prepare to step over the line of 50, imploring an increasingly eastern set of values inside, I am that much more confused, though at least I am aware.

Old bodybuilders... that aint right...

Old bodybuilders; that ain't right! Or perhaps it is...?

There is no real moral here, no point to be made for the reader, scarcely a lesson to be learned. Just the observation of a boy and his weights, hailing from the west – growing into a man and his walks and postures, attempting to settle his soul in the east, and trying to figure it all out.

I suppose if there could be one lesson learned here it is this; that either side of the coin is actually quite peaceful. It is in attempting to live between the two sides when chaos is created. But isn’t that one of the great lessons in life?

Wow, where was I and what might I have been doing the day that lesson was taught? Oh yes, I believe I was in the gym. Be well.

Perhpas, inmy case, its just a Gemini thing...

Perhaps, in my case, its just a Gemini thing...

3 responses

  1. Roy – Great observation and simile, comparing exercise styles to eastern vs western spirit. Personally, I prefer the western style, triathlon driven and all, but I am so looking forward to when slowing it down will be enough (as is my knee and shoulders). Can you compete and win in the eastern style? I think I miss the point. Being pre Title IX, having my fill of lugging my daughter, et al, to the ongoing sport events, the west now says it is OK for my turn. Or is that the eastern thinking? Still think it’s all selfish. Now I’m confused. It is chaos to live inbetween. So pick one, or both, and be content with the choice, as long as it includes lactic acid burn. And, yes, I share.

    • Debs:

      Yes, the chaos is self-inflected by the head (and often heart) divided between two sides. I say to myslef, “You can take the boy out of the gym but…….”

      There is definitely no right nor wrong, just rumination of such.

      Long live your burn. I bow down 🙂

  2. L O V E!

    I love heavy thoughts. I love writing from the soul, writing from trance, writing from the raw depths of tears..I love even though the person is in pain. I empathize ever so greatly. I do. Thanks for sharing. I live in this Western Society and have been aching for a change. I have briefly looked over Eastern Philosophy and their approach to Life. It appeals to me more. It sings to my soul. It just feels right. I still need to find Eastern philosophers and take them much more seriously. If you have some name or even know of books. Please suggest it my way love. 🙂

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