I weighed myself before a good four-mile run. I am 211 pounds. I understand why it is so hard to lose weight now. I eat when I’m bored, anxious or perhaps said. The last two days I’ve been asking myself the question, “what am I feeling” when I begin to feel hungry and I am finding more and more an emotion ease that coincides with and perhaps causes a feeling of hunger in me.

Rather than submitting, there may be other things to do. Who knows. I’ve been pretty steady at 211 for the last three months, occasionally dipping up or down but rarely far below that. I’d like to be at 209 by the end of the week and you’d better believe that I’ll weigh myself this upcoming Sunday.

Today’s run was peaceful. It was my new regular one up to the Amtrak bridge that crosses the Hudson. The air was mild and the smell of the river was pleasing. Life is blooming all around us now. It’s green again! The deep greens of June will soon be upon us and the heat will come and diminish them a bit, but it’s still nice while it happens. The run helped to calm me and to bring some stillness to my mind and my soul. I am still feeling it some nine hours later. I guess there’s something chemical about it all. And there’s something chemical about all of life from digestion, to sex to smiling and laughing. It’s how one controls–with is mind and soul–those chemicals that can make the difference.

I’ve been reading about the cult Scientology recently As a curiosity I’ve been learning more about it, for it holds NO practical or spiritual value. It is worthless, an utter fictitious creation of a mad man bent on manipulating people for money and more so for power. L. Ron Hubbard has been dead since before Mookie Wilson hit a slow roller between Bill Buckner’s leg and is thus irrelevant as a sentient person. Nevertheless, these days the public sees the very public face of his creation, a paranoid smirking jackass named Tom Cruise.

Cruise himself would not be such a problem if it weren’t for his voiceferous pronouncements against the well-meaning though admittedly imperfect science of psychiatry. To Cruise and fellow adherents of his religion, man is more than chemicals (which I am bound to agree) so therefore a science that seeks to solve his problems by dealing with his chemicals undermines him. Instead of addressing the very real needs of the soul, this brainwashing cult instead pushes the gobblygook (sp.) of past lives and birth memories and a crackpot theory of “engrams” in someone’s head. It is reasonable to expect and want more from life than the bare reductionism of science, but to embrace nonsense with no historical, scientific or rationally based inspection is dangerous. It is what has lead to the proliferation of fringe groups and cults since probably the beginning of time. Cults engender group thinking, extreme isolation and paranoia. (more…)

I used to love to run, but in recent years–as my waistline has grown–I have ceased to enjoy the feelings it gives me. I’m not sure why, either. I like to be alone with my thoughts, particularly when they are not the chaotic ones that are brought on my life’s stresses and a weird neurological disorder that I have which causes repetitive thoughts to cycle through my mind over and over again.

When I lived in Brooklyn I used to love running from my apartment on Bay Ridge Avenue down to the waterfront, where I would make a left towards the grand Verrazano Narrows Bridge which connects Staten Island to New York’s most cozy borough (I really miss that place). I loved the smell of the ocean water and the site of boats whipping by or giant tankers lumbering in and out of the harbor. Cars raced by at high speeds, but I, running maybe 6 mph, felt even more powerful during the four-mile run. It helped to calm my frustrations, my anxieties and put me at peace. One morning in mid-July 2004, awakened for several hours by panic attacks, I put on my beat up sneakers and headed for the massive gray bridge. Eastward dawn sunlight illuminated the water as I ran, and when I returned to my apartment, sweating and breathless, I was calm and dozed off for several hours in peace.

Now, running is harder. Despite purchasing an MP3 player (which I’ll discuss in another posting), running is hard still. I feel tired easily and I don’t get the same satisfaction I used to get from pounding the pavement. It’s depressing. I’m trying to think about it and figure out why that is. Have I become so serene I can’t run or is there a restlessness inside of me.

I used to be spotted during college breaks running down Kenwood Avenue in my hometown of Delmar, New York. I was a running fool. Six miles, four days a week, sometimes in 96 degree weather. I loved the feeling, sweat-soaked, drained of worry and fear, relaxed. Even running 100 miles on a treadmill during the fall term of 2000, I couldn’t capture that exhiliration.

I’m noticing things are changing, but I feel a confident insight into why and a feeling I can regain my elan again. I hope so. I’m putting on my sneakers in an hour–as soon as the rush hour traffic dies down–to run for an hour or so. My body deserves it, but my soul craves it even more.