Sleepwalking to the Gym

The gym I go to is only four blocks away from my home.


Those four blocks can be an obstacle to overcome on some mornings, on others, like today, they help me wake up.

It is dark at 6:00 a.m. The robins are singing, the crescent moon glows through wisps of clouds, the sweet smell of blooming plum trees in the air. The darkness plays tricks on my mind, is this a dream? I’m I really still asleep in my bed at home?

Every step I take, down stairs, around corners, across streets, my caffeine-free state slowly comes to terms that we are getting closer to the gym. The glow of the fluorescent sign is coming clearer. Closer yet, the gym is the only storefront glowing on the entire block, in the entire neighborhood, a beckon for those of us who need a bit of exercise to start the day.

I decide it is a treadmill morning and not an elliptical morning. My workout decisions are usually made on the fly. Supposedly, I’m listening to my body, but sometimes my mind tells me I’m weaker than I really am. Will I do weights or just some stretches? I’m too late for the morning circuit training class. The one I wish I could wake up for, but it is just early enough…

Today, my mind tells me to do a run, walk, hill climb for 15 minutes. I’m coming off a week long cold, so I don’t want to “over do it.” Sometimes short workouts feel as good as a long workout. Lately, I have been lovely a 30-45 minute workout – or shall I say visit to the gym. Sometimes the time goes by quickly and others go by slowly.

Walking back home, I see the crows flying in from their overnight stay at their rookery, for another day of searching for food. The rising sun reflects a pinkish-orange glow on low lying clouds. Joining the robins are chickadees, gold finch, juncos and pine siskens. As I near my house I can here the sweet jingling of my cat’s bell, welcoming me back home and asking for breakfast.

I am finally awake, as I sit on my porch, cooling off from my workout and taking the first sip of coffee.

Ode to Coffee

Coffee in a.m.

Before the sun rises,
just a glow on the horizon
Morning dew covers
my neighbors roofs.

My mind is fresh
after yoga stretches,
a few sun salutations.
I feed one cat,
while the other
wants out
so he can sit
under the rhody bush,
to stalk birds.

Finally, it is time,
for the most important
morning ritual.
Without it I find
no meaning in life.

Beans from exotic places,
Ethiopia, Sumatra, Guatemala,
I have never been.

I grind them,
scoop them,
pour hot water over them.

Into my mug,
hand crafted no less,
the black liquid mingles.

The first sip,
awakens my senses,
I taste the earth
from where the beans grew.

I visualize green hills,
warm breezes,
flowering trees,
birds singing.

I reach ecstasy,
As the caffeine
courses through
my bloodstream.

Oh joy! oh joy!

The sun finally rises,
shedding light on
a glorious day.

Thanks be
                 to the highest
                                        for this morning cup of joe.