Two amazing and important events have happened within the bulge of this Arizona summer that will be instrumental to envisioning the overarching design and impact of this new paradigm of fitness. Firstly, I got the hell out of dodge and tripped in and out of Denver (been there one other time) on a buddy-pass stand-by mission accomplished to meet up with the Dry River Yacht Club where we played at the Underground Music Showcase. Great show, great event, greater city. And secondly, I just finished off my day by exercising in the middle of an electric storm, a typical southwest monsoonal clash of cloudbursts firing bolts over my head. Both of these, I believe, will have far-reaching pronouncements.
First off, and most obviously, the grass is much greener in Colorado than it ever will be in Arizona (in my lifetime) and a summertime introduction to its spacious terrain has caused excitement with the potential for outdoor fitness. Here is a state that prides itself on its wealth of outdoor activities and has a certain ethic and appreciation for its noble landscape. Mountain climbing and biking are unparalleled in this majestic garden of the gods (yeah, there’s one of those too) and the parks are incomparable for their natural display. Being in the midst of a bike-forward, park-friendly, activity heightened metropolitan culture, I was aroused with anticipation for the promise of an externalized world. One that we could interact and communicate with, feeling its joy as well as our own. Some cities are certainly better situated for getting out and experiencing the universe, but it’s always a matter of perspective.
Now when you return from Denver, where the high of 93 is bothersome to its inhabitants, and dive back into the swelter of 110’s with the barometer rising, you may find it difficult to accept, much less appreciate, the temper of an Arizona afternoon, especially when you’re cycling through it’s raging traffic jams, exhausted by the parade of unmotivated carnage. It can be grueling, but I rather enjoy traversing intersections and traveling along canal paths on my single-speed roadbike. It doesn’t seem to get me down. But while I’ve come to respect my deserted inheritance, my just deserts, for its unique geographical formations and singular climate currents, I can easily perceive Colorado as the muse for John Denver’s music. I almost feel a surge of song myself.
And yet this afternoon and evening spent training under the influence of an electromagnetic storm sent ripples to the core of this program. While coordinating a circuit in the Carminati schoolyard, a massive cloud swept over me, attended by rolling thunder and furious intentions. I thought to myself how interesting the triple threat of thunder, lightning, and rain. It occurred to me that there are three types of people along this order. There are Thunder Clouds; people who kick up dust and noise (revolutionaries for instance). There are Lightning Bolts; people who create energetic charges which originate the uproar and inspire us (artists). And there are Rainmakers; people who soften the impact of both and nourish the ground between them (healers or teachers). This was a very satisfying insight.
Later, as I rode to band practice, I witnessed the awesome illumination of the atmosphere, incited with the excitement of cloud to cloud charges. I marveled at the specter, unwittingly experiencing the progression through this tribunal of archetypes.
When our practice neared its end the rain came sudden and heavy. I negotiated my cello into the violinist’s car while I rode my bike home, a mile away. No sooner had I began pedaling but the rain ceased and the air seemed to catch itself, suspended like an inhalation. I made my way home, parked, and knelt in my backyard in the middle of an electric field. I breathed it in and consumed its portentous energy.
Slowly, the rain accumulated and escalated into a moderate downpour. I gathered my components and lifted weights for 45 minutes and imagined I was a lightning rod (because I was with a dumbbell in my hand). I’ve never felt so invigorated. This type of energetic event doesn’t show up every day, so I embraced it and am now even more convinced of the physical awakening that takes place in this sort of exposure. A primitive delight prevailed as I became transformed by the visceral elements and I literally felt like a tuning prong resonating with wider wavelengths, somehow humming with relaxed readiness.
I think I just laid my cornerstone. It’s time to pierce the sky.