Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let Them Listen To Cake

A couple months ago I was in the car alone, early on a clear, cold Sunday morning. It was the third or fourth week of a strange new routine I’d adopted on the weekends. I got it in my head that every Saturday and Sunday I would fling myself out of bed uncharacteristically and (for me) unnaturally early, and proceed immediately to the gym where I’d engage in a grueling forty minute session on the Stair Mill. To fully appreciate this, understand that everything is a grueling act for me prior to 9:30 AM. An intense cardio regime at 7:00 or 7:30 is borderline masochism for those of us who are early-morning challenged.

It’s hard to say exactly what inspired this madness but it had something to do with the drab, dreary winter weather that makes me want to hibernate until spring. The onset of cooler temperatures is refreshing at first, but after about a month I just want to stay inside, eat, read, sleep – anything that keeps me where it’s warm and my pulse stays comfortably south of the aerobic zone. Possibly this is some primitive survival instinct to build and store body fat for the winter. Yeah. We’ll go with that.

I must have felt the need to rebel against this climate induced impulse towards sloth and torpor. And the weekend, up at the crack o' dawn, Stair Mill campaign was one of the ways this rebellion took shape. All in all it has been a rewarding undertaking. After the initial torturous shock wears off, it’s pleasantly invigorating.

This one particular Sunday morning was exceptionally bright and crisp, and my post-workout aura of well-being was intense. In that state my connection to material, day-to-day concerns tends to get a little flimsy and my thoughts drift to loftier ideals, a more elevated perspective. Endorphins are our friends.

The radio was cranked and my mind was on a familiar theme; something about the comedy and futility of our efforts, the transience and insubstantiality of the things we expend so much energy and endure so much stress to acquire, how acquiring them never really satisfies, how getting what you want only makes you want something else, the dog-chasing-its tail quality that so characterizes that which passes for normal, accepted, even encouraged behavior. I was thinking on these things, not exempting myself from this unflattering assessment, and this catchy tune comes on. My attention shifted to the music just in time to take in the following lyrics:

Every shiny toy
That at first brings you joy
Will always start to croy and annoy

Every camera every phone
All the music that you own
Won't change the fact you're all alone (All alone! )

Every piece of land
every city that you plan
will crumble into tiny grains of sand

Every thing you find that at first gives you shine
always turns into the same old crime (Same old crime! )

What timing! Imagine my surprise to hear this veritable Buddhist Sutra being channeled through a pop radio station.

Just a small but momentous event that, pure coincidence or not, had an air of Synchronicity, and turned a fine morning into an even better one. Oh, and the song wasn’t half bad either.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Cake:


Anonymous said...

While on a musical note...
I feel as though Sting should be singing this 'Sick of You' not Cake??
...and on this health/weight/exercise thing: I go walking for about an hour and a half every day; I still weigh the same as I have for years (~100Kg – the doc. tells me I'm 30Kg over weight – Ha, ha!) even though I have modified my food intake (smaller meals). But I have a good tan though!
ps I've got heavy bones

covkid said...

Wow Ben me and you must be twins that is exactly my routine at the weekend,and thinking of all those shiny things i have no need of.Only difference being the radio in my car does'nt work....oh well!

Parallel lives maybe?
Great stuff Ben thanks.

Ben There said...

Tony -

Sting is an incredible talent. I'm definitely a fan. On the health/workout thing...I've never had a problem weighing too much, just always felt like I needed to weigh more. I think that comes from always playing sports where everyone had at least 25 pounds on me (or alot more!). I lift weights 4 times a week but the early morning cardio is a real test of will power for me. But I like testing my will power. Glad to hear you're getting adequate vitamin D with those daily walks!

Hi covkid -

Are you one of those crazy people who actually ENJOY exerting yourself before 10:00 AM? If so, I'm jealous! Thanks for stopping by...

Gregg said...

may i recommend another cake tune:

Ben There said...

Gregg -

"We are building a religion...We are building it bigger."

Very nice, thanks for the recommendation.