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Every ten steps

Saturday 6/24/23

I didn't do a great job in the Monument today. In fact, I had a rather poor showing. I wanted to do ten circuits, and I didn't get close. I did five circuits instead, and it was a struggle. The humidity was at 88%. Nor did I even do well on those five circuits.

For a "normal" person it was good, but it wasn't what I was looking for from myself. I was so wet. My shorts, just sweat streaming off them down my legs. I wish I could change at the bottom and have some dry clothes to keep going. It is so gross pretty early on in humidity like that. The sweat you're carrying in your clothes. You can see it on top of your shorts. It's foaming in some cases. I was well lathered after having just walked the mile and a half over there. So, I wanted to run 40,000 stairs last week and then hit a number in the Monument today, and I ended up going one for two.

There is also a goodly amount of traffic in the Monument. You get that in summer, but with the hours--and they keep changing--being what they are, I don't have the days that used to seem much more plentiful when I practically had the Monument to myself.

I'll try and do better tomorrow, even if it's just five circuits again. Have a better rhythm, try to struggle less with my wind. Develop good habits, get better at the consistent regimentation of it all, then repeat, and build.

A friend called me after, and he said that he got up at half past five this morning because it was all about turning that leaf over and becoming a workout guy. He tried to work out and couldn't do it. "And I went to bed at like eight o'clock last night." Then he said, "Tomorrow," and I gave him some helpful advice by saying I just didn't think he had it in him. Relax. It was a joke.

But realistically speaking, it's not a hell of a lot of fun, is it? Busting your ass and trying to get your breath and pushing through what you can push through. He needs to do better in his way, and I need to do better in mine. The weather is going to be worse for this tomorrow, but I need to get it together. Really what's happened is my conditioning is pretty good and close to where it should be, but my Monument game isn't where it should be. The first part is a result, obviously, of running stairs every day; the second part is a result of not running Monument stairs as much. It's that simple. But I never like to be less than what I have been in anything I do. I'm supposed to be getting better all the time at everything. That's the Zulu way. When the Monument shut down for three years, and I adapted by finding other stairs, my Monument skills backslid some. I'll get them back. I feel stronger than ever. I just have high standards for myself and I'm frustrated with how today went. I realize that very few people would be down on themselves about having done five Monument circuits. But that's not really the point.

This was kind of funny, though. There was a line of us waiting for the door to be unlocked so we could go in when the Monument opened at 11. I was first in line, which I try to be so I don't get stuck behind a throng of tourists. There was this big guy in line with his family. One of his little girls asked him how many breaks they could take on the way up, and he said as many as they needed. (True!) Then his other little girl--they were both kind of at that wiseass age--says to him, "You're probably going to need a break every ten stairs!"

This poor guy with the friendly fire from his own kids. There was a sign on the other side of the fence that has all of these disclaimers and warnings. Like you shouldn't climb if you have heart issues, that kind of thing. (There's a medical kit--presumably to get your heart beating again--at the top and the bottom.) And the guy says, "See that sign? It says this is a no judgment zone. On the other side of it, you just can't see it from here. No judgment zone." The whole thing was cute. Later on he was still at the top--so it's not like he didn't make it--and he saw me and said, "Third time's a charm, huh?"

I've been working on a letter to send to someone. I'm fond of them, though they've not been straight with me. By no means a bad person. But they might be going into this record, swept up in something bigger involving a press of mine that has treated me poorly--shockingly so. As would be revealed in these pages, and will be revealed unless the thing isn't fixed.

I like this person, which is why I want to let them know where things stand and what is going to happen, and what doesn't have to happen, if the matter is redressed and there's a satisfactory solution. This would be a very thorough and wide-ranging Everything wrong with publishing post, and would include someone who previously sent me unsolicited corrections regarding those variety of posts, an act at variance with this public persona that they have cultivated as if they have an extreme need to be perceived that way.

I've been anguishing over this for many months. It's not what I want to do, but my loyalty is to my work. This person is not the most guilty party here, but they have a hand, despite what I know they would say and have said, which is not believable, and which the court of public opinion wouldn't buy either. I want a solution instead of what will be a rigorous, definitive outing that will stick and follow. But I'm at the end of my tether. My regard for this individual is partially why I'm taking this course of full disclosure of the chain of events that would unfurl.

I spent the morning working on "Attic Cantata" and have also gone over the prospective table of contents--in terms of content, not so much running order--of The Solution to the World's Problems: Surprising Tales of Relentless Joy. It's going to be like thirty stories--or more. You don't see books like that. Another way it's different. But this book has a purpose and it's an important purpose. You're trying to offer a form of what the title says, and some guidance, direction, and examples; so with this one, you can't have too much. Meanwhile, this story is really getting there.


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