Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Crucible Workout # 3

"The Crucible is not a fixed place, it is a philosophy"
C.J. Ong, Jr. - Co-founder of The Crucible with Dr. Clar Baldus

8 am
1524 Hollywood Blvd. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA (Near the junglegyms)

Each individual who chooses to attend must bring ONE fitness tool to share. We will bring an assortment of tools as well. The workout is outside. Plan accordingly.

No phee, no phrills, no phretting. Just phitness.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Neighbor Jim, Part Two

There are times that my efforts here at The Crucible are part of a personal ecology of sorts, getting rid of the garbage and making sure what I have is keept clean and viable. I work on protecting my personal ecology in a manner learned through coming to better understand the The Buddhist Middle Way and make it a part of my practice, in The Middle Way being that one has boundaries yet remains without boundaries.

After talking with my neighbor Jim this morning about getting his legs stronger I knew I could do better than his idea of tying a rope to a cinderblock and dragging it up and down the driveway. From what I have learned over the past few years building our project, The Crucible I knew Jim needed a drag tire.

Some of you may have noticed from past pictures that Jim is missing his left arm and wears a prothethis. When Jim comes down to join The Crucible Crew when we workout he usually gets on of the ladies present to help him secure the belt. (Jim's 84 but at heart he's a young man, if you know what I mean)

So I knew that if Jim was to use the tire it had to be of an appropriate weight for him as well as being easy to get in and out of to drag.

Last year my friend and not often enough riding partner Jeff S. called and told me he was getting new tires for his Subaru and asked if I would like the old low profile tires for a project. Much to my Iron Maiden's dismay I said yes.

So I assembled my kit:

(1) 3/8 inch x 4 inch threaded eyebolt
(2) 3/8 inch zinc flat washers
(1) 3/8 inch split ring lockwasher
(1) 3/8 inch coarse thread nut (for double nutting purposes)
A length of pool noodle
1/2 inch manila rope
Duct Tape
(1) Tire, low profile, weight 18 pounds

(Disinterested Gordon Setter optional. Mileage may vary.)

After drilling a 3/8 inch hole through the tire I secured it in place, using a flatwasher and nut as shown on the top and then using a flatwasher, split lock washer and second nut on the backside. I then secured a length of manila rope in a loop using bowline knots to connect the rope to the eyebolt.
Next I centered the piece of pool noodle on the loop of manila rope and then wrapped it with duct tape. The next stop was Jim's house to see if he was home. Which he was...

In 2004 Clar was in Israel for business and one evening I called Clar's Mom, Christine, to see how she was doing. As we visited she told me of how she had counted all the donated canned goods at the Lord's Cupboard, a food pantry in the town where she lived. She talked of having time to "neighbor" as she counted the canned goods with the other volunteers and I have come to realize what a wonderful word it is to "neighbor", be it at the track or in the driveway with a new drag tire.

To neighbor, such a simple way to find fitness...

Find your crucible!

My neighbor Jim

Our neighbor Jim, age 84, gladly accepts a little help hooking up with a couple of friends at one of our open workouts at The Crucible last fall.

I went out for a walk this morning with Brodie and Lennox. At the end of our street is a baseball field and running track where we have held some of our workouts for The Crucible Series.

As we came across the street we saw our neighbor Jim. Jim is a widower, his wife passed away over 10 years ago and from our conversations I think that from time to time Jim is lonely.

I understand being lonely. It sucks.

I recently I have come to realize that from time to time my feelings of being lonely and depressed are from harboring hate and resentment. From time to time I ask my Iron Maiden if I have a right to feel used and resentful over the events in my life since 2003 and she'll say "well, I guess so" but she doesn't encourage me to do so.

However I feel I have encouraged me to do so.

But it doesn't mean I have to encourage me to do so and thereby hold onto it.

So the guys and I walked through the gate and past the sign that says No Dog Walking next to the gate to say good morning to Jim. Lennox always comes unglued when he sees Jim and Brodie simply sidles up and gets petted. They like Jim, to them he's good people. I agree.

It's been icy here in Iowa but the last few days have been sunny and spring potential awaits. Jim told me he's back to walking 20 to 30 minutes outside a couple of times a day and that he's glad he doesn't have to go to the mall to walk inside. I told him his plan sounded good. He told me he's been hearing the sledgehammer hitting the tire and he was glad to see people outside last weekend. He told me when it gets a little warmer he'll come down and visit and drag a tire.

Then he asked me if he could drag a tire in his driveway to get stronger legs. I said sure and told him I have some low profile tires that weigh 20 pounds and I'd make him a tire to drag. He got excited and said he thought it would help.

Now I'm no Mother Teresa but for some reason this quote of hers comes to mind so I'm going to use it... "If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one , I will."

So this afternoon I'll stop at the hardware store for an eyebolt and make Jim a drag tire this afternoon.

That's "crucible style". And for me living "crucible style" feels a lot less lonely and a lot less angry.