A small older man with a small dog used to sit on this bench, or the other one directly across the trail from it. He would greet people and wish them well. The first few times I saw him, he was smoking. The smell was strong, and while I wanted to feel differently, I wondered how the smoke could be so intensely strong and displeasing. I was thinking “Well, my day would be better if you weren’t smoking it up.” I would give him my best effort at a smile, but the irony! The irritation was probably evident in my body language.
In the spring and summer I would see him often, almost every time I rode by. Then after a while, he wasn’t smoking anymore, at least not when I saw him, and I found it easier to respond to him the way I wanted to. His hands now only held a leash, he would shoot the empty hand up, his arm high and straight in the air, all five fingers planked tightly together as though there was nothing in the world that he could possibly want more than to have the teacher call on him. And, as he did this he would shout “Hello. Have a glorious day.” projecting strong sincere energy in high fidelity and sometimes saying even more.
I started looking forward to seeing him. I was even thinking of stopping to talk to him. I’m usually eager to strike up a conversation with anyone who looks open, but I do this less in a world of masked and unmasked people than I did before.
I haven’t seen him in a long while. As the temperatures dropped, I hoped it was the cold that kept him away, but there have been pretty days that were warm enough over the winter. Of course, it could be that he’s just there at a different time from me now.
As time passes, I fear it could be lung cancer that caused him to stop smoking, or Covid that has kept him away, or some other awful permanent or terminal thing. I miss him and his uncommon exuberance. I hope he’s okay. I hope he’s better than okay. I hope he’s having a GLORIOUS DAY! I hope I get to talk to him some day, to learn his story, to wish him well.
The Training Tuesday Part
As for the training part of the week, a lot of my rides had glorious moments. This week had fewer. It was on the cold side, and I was feeling pretty punk. I donated blood, but that was after the riding and wasn’t responsible for all of my low energy.
According to the Red Cross, I still don’t have Covid antibodies. No surprise, but being higher on the risk side, and lower on the vaccine priority side, it would be welcome to learn I’d had that magical case that was so mild I didn’t know it happened until the antibodies showed up.
I did some of my riding indoors on the recumbent. That keeps me going. I don’t get the leg pain from not riding and it fills some of the exercise endorphin drop that happens when my exercise levels decrease. Still, I don’t count that in my weekly mileage. This week I’m going to be happy with considering it part of my training though. I can ride outdoors in the more miserable weather conditions once I’m filming for the project.
Until next time, here’s hoping you find it easy to feel the glory in your days.