Saturday, December 31, 2016


A cat on the lap
is worth two in the bush,
and one on the bed
is worth three in the head.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Walking to Africa

We walked to Africa. Details later.

First, I loaded the truck and headed for DSU. It was Thursday so I planned a double dip. If you know me very well, you know that for me, too much is never enough. Next spring I am scheming on some triple dips.

At the pool, I kept things simple, a straight 4,000 meter swim. The pool is still set up for long course. Cagri, The Mad Swimming Scientist, said it will stay that way until January 10. I averaged 1:58. Then I went to the kids'.

I decided  to take a walk and was out on the road when I heard, "Poppy." It was my grandson, Zane, and he and the moose-sized dog, Lucky, were hunting a skunk in the weeds in front of the house and it smelled like it. I didn't ask any questions, but Zane told me there was a skunk in a cage in there and it sprayed Lucky three times. I just kept walking.

Zane and Lucky went with me. When we got way down the road, past the airport, Caitlin texted. 

"Are you with Zane?"


"Where are you?"

"We are walking to Africa."

"How far is that?"

"16,000 miles."

"I thought 10,000."

We turned around and headed back. When we started getting close to home, Caitlin came walking up the road to meet us. "Zane, tell her we went all the way to Africa and saw zebras and lions and giraffes."

She didn't believe us. 

Then I waded into the weeds where Zane and Lucky were skunk hunting and found a skunk in a live trap. Go figure. After that we went to the ditch and threw rocks.

I went to Masters and got there early so I could get in the pool ahead of the others and do extra distance. The team training there ahead of us was late getting out so despite arriving early, I didn't get any extra distance. I/we swam

700 warm up
8 X 200 r :30 1-4 pull/paddles, 5-8 paddles only
Tabitha and I did an extra one (swim) while Ricky finished up.
100 cool down
total: 2,600 + 4,000 = 6,600 for the day.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stopping by Pond on Autumn Day

Whose ponds these are I think I know.
His house is in Itta Bena though;
He will not spy me stopping here
To swim his catfish pond with cheer.

My training partner thinks it queer
To stop without a swim pool near
Between the ponds and soil of loam
Where only racoons come to roam.

He gives his phone a frown and look
As if to say I am mistook
The only other sights to see 
Are flights of ducks above the trees.

The ponds are pretty, dark and deep,
But I have training plans to keep,
And miles to swim before I sleep,
And miles to swim before I sleep.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beating Sam

child plays gun-fighter
boy hunts squirrels, dove, and deer
man lounges with cats

alone in a pool
the swimmer strokes water's chill
he works for his soul

on our drive to church
we look at the pasture's prize
we gaze at God's flock

Monday, December 26, 2016

12/19 - 12/25

Another dismal week but tis the season to be jolly. Actually, it was a joy filled week; only the training was dismal. This is the training cycle that saw me reach new numbers in my weight, not run for another seven days, and feel so lazy I ought to have invented sloth. Sigh.

Monday started the week with record weight lifting. My top three sets on the bench press were:

1 X 170
1 X 175
1 X 170 

This puts my 85% number at 150.

Tuesday was a pretty big train day with another double dip at DSU. I already wrote about this on December 21st in the post titled, "DSU Times Two." I totaled 7,200 meters. I also got to see Smu and the grandkids. Zane gave me a present. He put it in a Moon Pie box and wrapped it himself using duct tape. It was one of those match box cars. I will keep it forever. 

Wednesday I did more weights focusing on biceps and shoulders. I can't make my shoulders get sore. Odd. I have tried everything. Only once have they ever been sore and that was when I was working on overhead squats. It doesn't matter what weight I use, how many exercises I do, or how many sets I add. I have only two muscles that I can routinely make sore: my pecs and my traps. These are also the only muscles that grow. I can look at a barbell and my pecs will get a little tighter and larger. Kind of like eating. I can look at some kinds of food and gain weight in the belly. But my biceps and shoulders just don't get sore. Neither do they grow or get much stronger. Strength and conditioning is what I am after not size, but I would like to fill my shoulders out a little. My experience has taught me that those two things, strength and conditioning, go hand in hand with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). But I can't make them sore. Go figure.

Thursday I was back at DSU. I wanted another double dip but they didn't open at noon. We had Masters, though, and I swam

3 X 400 (7:23; 7:19; and 6:54)
100 easy
8 X 50 @2:00
total: 2,400

Friday I did more lifting and Saturday I also lifted some. 

For the week, I

ran - 0
lifted weights four times
swam 9,600 meters.

For the year, I am now at 853,250 meters (539 miles). This is getting pretty close to my all-time record of 873,842, but I don't think I can break it because I have only one more week in the year. That's OK because it has been a good swimming year without the total breaks that I often get this time of year. With Christmas and New Year's being on Sunday, we have continued to have Masters during these holiday weeks.

Christmas morning I weighed a whopping 177 pounds. I can't breathe well at this weight, I look terrible, and I am miserable. God help me get it turned around.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Me 'n Poot Ride with Some Bad Boys

For my 700th post, I did a little review on how this blog has expanded. I mentioned that I have not written any fiction lately and needed to return to my Poot series. That prompted Shawn C. Turner to ask if Poot was fiction. In my Poot stories, I sometimes use my imagination to fill in the details that my memory has lost. It's the English teacher in me who has trouble not practicing what I steadily preach to my students: detail, detail, detail. Well, I am about to break my own advice and tell you a 100% true Poot story. The details be danged, here it is.

I am not sure what year it was but my best guess was 1972. This guess is based on who we were with. By 1974, Poot and I were mostly terrorizing Carroll County, just the two of us. It could have been '73 or even '71, but I think it was 72. I don't remember how this group got together, and I don't even remember who one of us was. Bubba Golden was driving and we were in an old, old car, maybe a 1950s something, old even for that day. Mac Carr was in the passenger's front, me 'n Poot were in the back, and for the life of me I know there was someone else back there but I don't remember who.

We were riding around Greenwood, on a Friday night I think, summertime, and we had bottle rockets. Five teenage boys on a summer's night with a full tank of gas and bottle rockets. What could possibly go wrong?

I remember we had a Coke bottle and Mac was using the bottle to put the bottle rockets in and he was shooting stop signs while we randomly roamed the roads. Then we fell in behind a car load of girls. We were on Popular Street headed north and stopped behind them at the intersection of Popular and East Jeff Davis. By the way, even if you have never been to Greenwood, you might know this intersection. The Help ends here when Abileen turns left onto Jeff Davis at this same four-way stop. The girls turned right, however, giving Mac a nice target for a bottle rocket. Probably he couldn't reproduce his shot if he had a year to practice, but that night the rocket went straight into the open passenger's window and although I don't remember the sound of the explosion, the sight of the interior of that car lighting up is still vivid in my mind.

Kathleen Saffold spilled out of the rear passenger's window and proceeded to dog cuss us at what seemed like the speed of light. I don't fault her for it. Her anger was justified, righteous even. But I did not know that girls our age knew those words, and I had never heard them coming out of the mouth of a female. It was a different age. Later, I got a date with Kathleen. In fact I dated her much of 1973 and 1974, maybe some of '72, but none of us got a date that night.

What we did do was drive over the Tallahatchie Bridge where Billy Joe McCallister took his jump and turn right onto what is now known as County Road 150. Again, if you have seen The Help, this road shows up as part of the drive Hilly makes when she is en route to confront Skeeter about her book. But then as now County Road 150 is a simple gravel road that dead ends at what we called The Trestle, a train bridge over the Yalabusha River. One way in and one way out, a testament to our intelligence when you consider what we did next.

What happened next was somebody fired another bottle rocket. According to my memory, it wasn't planned and I don't even know which one of us did it. Mac may have done it but he was on the wrong side because the houses were to our left. At that time, there were still a few people living in what we called shotgun houses on that road. The ones Poot and I didn't burn down were later moved to Tallahatchie Flats, and if you aren't from around here you can Google that and see pictures. One of those houses is the one we shot that night with a bottle rocket.

Whoever fired it off had a good aim because it hit the front porch and exploded with what sounded like an atomic bomb. Bubba floored the weak-engined car while we all laughed hysterically. We were having ourselves a night. We bombed a car load of girls and now a house. We went to The Trestle and parked there and got out and smoked cigarettes in the hot summer air and laughed some more. For whatever reason, we were not drinking beer that night. Despite living neck deep in sin, I firmly believe that was Providential and may have saved our lives because if we had said the wrong thing-- and alcohol helps you say and do the wrong things-- we very likely would have been killed.

When we felt it was safe, we headed back out but Bubba drove slowly with the headlights off so we could sneak out without being seen. Remember, we were smart enough to shoot the house going in not going out. Bubba lost his nerve driving in the dark, however, and just as we were almost to the house we had shot, he turned the headlights on and not a moment too soon. The road was covered over with firewood. Bubba hit the brakes hard, and we slid to a stop about two feet short of the wood pile. A black man with a rifle rose out of the ditch and said, "Get out of the car."

We climbed out, hands up, and faced an irate man pointing what looked like a .22 at our heads. He wanted us in the car's headlights so he could see us. He looked about thirty-five, wore a white T-shirt, and was as pissed as Kathleen Saffold, more so. He kept saying he was sick of this and that we did the same thing just last night. We tried to tell him and were not lying when we said we had never done this before. We weren't the only teenage boys in Greenwood who did stupid stuff, but we got credit for it all that night.

I stared at his mouth. His lips were tight. His jaw muscles flexed while his teeth clinched. His eyes were filled with hatred, and while he kept saying he ought to make us pay, I heard the gentle waters of the Tallahatchie trickling over a log. He had ears too, and I thought how easy it would be for him to sink our bodies in the river only fifty yards away where we would likely never be found. 

When he said, "Clear the road," we worked like it was a job and the boss was watching. After neatly re-stacking his firewood, he told us to get out of there and never come back. I really think the only reason he didn't kill us was the boy. When he got out of the ditch, a little boy, maybe nine years old, got out with him, his son I suppose. I believe he didn't want to murder us in front of the kid.

We drove to town and stopped at Jitney Jr on Park Avenue where there were always some kids hanging out. Bubba and the others were telling everybody what had happened, but I was quiet. I really wanted to go home. The one thing I always wanted when I got in a tight spot was to be in my bed at 422 West Harding. For most of my life, I have felt unsafe. My bed at 422 was the only place I ever felt safe. Now after forty-five years, I have not been back on that road at night. I sometimes run the road in the daylight. I drive by often with the sun up. But neither God nor demon has caught me out there in the dark. On Money Road, or Wade Road, yes, but that road, no.

I learned one lesson from that experience. People don't like to be shot with bottle rockets. This is another testament to our, my, intelligence. I had to learn that.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Child, Boy, Man

child plays in backyard
boy rambles on bicycle
man runs for five days

child plays the baseball
boys drinks and smokes and goes wild
man comes to Jesus

child is a cowboy
boy hunts in dark woods and dreams
man teaches, preaches

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

DSU Times Two

I did it again. I pulled off another double dip. Tuesday morning, I packed my truck with clothes, towels, swimming gear, and snacks then headed for DSU, the home of the Fighting Okra. I arrived a little late for the 12:00 to 2:00 opening and got into the water around 12:20. I started with a straight swim because I wanted to work those aerobic enzymes. Besides, Masters practice is always filled with fast 50s. This swim came on the heals of a big back yard weight session on Monday, so muscles were sore and tight. I like it like that, and I seem to swim well the day after lifting hard. Go figure.

My initial set was 3,600 meters straight in 1:10:03 (1:56). My usual pace for this type of swim is around 2:02 or slower even. I was helped by having other people in the pool, one guy near my speed. Every time we passed-- he going one way and I the other-- I marked the spot and then tried to see if I could add some distance between us when we passed again. This helped me push it a little harder than I would have if I had been alone.

My second and only other set was 800 with small paddles. Although there was still some time left, I tapped out after the paddle set knowing I would be swimming again. Total: 4,400 meters. For lunch, I had a protein shake and a sweet potato which I ate whole, skin and all. It is time to declare war on the belly. 

After swimming, I went to see Smu and the grandchildren. I left with hugs, a jug of candy corn, and a big box of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. My son-in-law has a cookie route. Did I mention I've declared war on the belly? War is hell.

At Masters, I swam

8 X 150 small paddles, breathing 5, 7, 9 by 50s 
200 cool down
total: 2,800 meters = 7,200 for the day.

After the night swim, I had another whey protein shake, another sweet potato and an apple. I made it all the way back to Greenwood without touching the candy corn. Don't say you don't believe in miracles.

Now for a word about breathing sets. I hate them. A lot. I hate them a whole lot. One of the reasons for having a coach is they make you do things you would not do on your own, and normally I follow instructions without complaint. I complained last night.

There are several reason given for doing breathing patterns. One reason is that it teaches your body to perform in oxygen dept. I have read a lot, and the science allegedly does not back up that reason. I say "allegedly" because I have not read the primary studies but have only read synopses done by other people. I take their word for it but understand they may be wrong. It is like those training masks that some MMA fighters use. The theory is that by restricting airflow, your muscles are forced to work harder in the absence of enough oxygen. That is logical and appealing to my mind. But from what I have read, the science doesn't back up the benefits of those training masks either. Still I am tempted to purchase one.

Another reason given for breathing sets is it helps you focus on your stroke. That also is logical and although I know of no studies on that, I am confident that none are needed. My problem with breathing sets is they hurt and they are potentially dangerous. Let's look at my first problem: they hurt. Most people don't like pain and I fall in with most people on that one. But remember, one reason for having a coach is he or she makes you do what you would not do on your own. I don't mind some pain if there is a good purpose behind it, i.e., a payoff. For example, hard 400s hurt, but there is a big payoff; they really boost your fitness and they do it fast. I question, however, if there is any balance between benefit and pain on these breathing sets.

As far as danger goes, it is real, and I have experienced it. Once, I almost blacked out after a flip turn doing a nine breath pattern. I am not exaggerating, and it scared the holy doo doo out of me. That's when I began to cheat on these sets. I take two breaths coming off the wall on seven and up patterns, and on nine patterns I take two breaths after each nine. It goes like this: nine strokes, breathe breathe, nine strokes, breathe breathe. It is still difficult but I never get into trouble. If I were to black out and sink to the bottom, I could be down there a couple of minutes before anyone noticed. That is long enough to die. It ain't worth it. Not now, not never, and I don't mean ever.

Well that is my rant for the day. I hope you enjoyed it. I did.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

12/5 = 12/11

It was me most worstest training cycle of the year. Monday I stayed with Mom most of the day and when I got home I was just lazy from sitting around so I did more sitting around and watched some worthless television. 

Tuesday, MDCC's English Department held its Christmas party at Emily Riser's house so I ate too much, sat too much, and talked too much (a common failing of mine). In the afternoon, I dragged myself to the back yard to lift some weights. My bench press session went like this:

15 X 100
8 X 120
6 X 140
4 X 150 
2 X 160
1 X 165
1 X 170 (new record)
1 X 171 (new record)
3 X 160 (new record)
4 X 155 (new record)
5 X 150 (new record)

I reached some new levels for my bench strength. I have long noticed a correlation between it and my 50 meter times. Stronger = faster. I am not sure how this strength relates to endurance swimming, but I theorize that it at least helps lay a base of exercise capacity and muscle toughness. By "toughness" I mean a resistance to muscle fiber breakdown which is helpful in being able to train big one day and follow up with more good training the next day.

Wednesday I stayed with Mom and did nothing physical. Thursday, however, I drove over to DSU at lunch time and swam

3,000 1:00:47
10 X 50 @1:15
8 X 150 @3:09 with small paddles
400 easy 8:11
total: 5,100 meters.

Friday I went back to the water treadmill and simply swam 3,100 straight in 1:01:23. I stopped to get out and use the restroom, but I picked up my bag at the end of my lane, a sure sign that I lacked to motivation to come back out. I lacked the motivation to come back out. We were scheduled to eat with Gerald and Debbie that night, and I didn't want to tire myself too much and be bad company.

Saturday I lifted more weight and did some mowing. I focused on reps and worked the entire upper body. The bench session went like

22 X 100
13 X 120
10 X 130 paused
then three sets of incline dumbbell bench presses (30, 35, 40).

That night we had another eat out and Sunday we had our Christmas eating at church. Notice all this eating? My belly is so big right now that I can hardly breathe. 

For the week, I 

ran - nothing
lifted weights - two sessions
swam - 8,200 meters.

Tis the season to be jolly.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Long Surprise

The Mad Swimming Scientist cancelled all our Masters practices this week. Oddly, I didn't come unhinged. Slowly, I am learning that my off season is a needed break both my body and mind benefits from in order to refresh for the big Chicot buildup. Still, I like to swim, I want to swim, and I need to swim. Some. Don't force me into total hibernation.

So I drove over to DSU Thursday for the noon opening. The parking lot was bare and the lights inside were off. I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and then walked to the door to look for signage when Ronnie, the main man, drove up. Ronnie Mayers runs the whole shootin' match at the natatorium. He opened up and said, "Swim away." I did.

To my shock, awe, and amazement, the pool was set up for long course. I love long course and feel it is much better for endurance work. Normally the pool is short course all winter. But they had some sort of swim meet (one of the reasons we lost our Masters sessions) and they switched over to 50 meters. I swam

3,000 straight 1:00:47
10 X 50 @1:15 (85%)
8 X 150 @3:09 small paddles
400 easy 4:11
total: 5,100

It was good. It was real. It was real good. 

I hope to do it again today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Chicot lies dormant
like a sleeping giant she rests
but will rise again

my lover lies still
her long limbs rest and she sighs
waiting my return

green water flows over
arms, shoulders, chest, legs and feet
only the strong lasts

Monday, December 12, 2016

12/5 - 12/11

It was a non-training week that saw my weight go through the roof and made me believe I am dying. I don't want to sound dramatic or overstate things, but my body has been giving me numerous signals that it can't survive the hours on end on my backside and the steady barrage of unhealthy food and too much of that. Finals week is always brutal and combine that with the holidays and all the eating that forces on us and my belly has ballooned and my breathing is difficult to the point of fear.  Students and co-workers have been asking me if I am breathing hard. I always say no and try to play it off. I tell myself I just have to get it together, that fitness and health will come back.

Enough whining.

What I did do last week was run once for 2.01 miles Tuesday. I also lifted weights that day and did 1 X 165 on the bench. I did nothing Monday or Wednesday. Thursday I enjoyed the double dip swim that I already wrote about. That was my only water work for the week. I lifted weights on Friday and pumped more iron Saturday. That was it. That was all. Now I am off work. 


Pardon my frustration.

I'll write something positive later.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

700th Post

This is my first ever milestone post. I did not do it for the 100th or 200th or 300th post. Nor did I do it for numbers 400, 500, or 600. But for my 700th post, I am taking the time to reflect on this blog, what I have done, what I am likely to do, and a bit about why I do it.

I began this experiment on July 21st, 2012. My first post was titled "HOD Training" (Heart 'O Dixie) and recounted a massive training session Randy Beets and I did in preparation for this state's biggest and best triathlon. We swam Twin Rivers pool and rode our bicycles to Phillip where we had lunch and then rode back. After the ride back, we ran four miles. That post pretty much set the tone for the blog: primarily this was, is, and will remain an athletic journal, a place for me to record my training, reflect on my performances, and dream of new athletic adventures.

Over the years, however, EndangeredSwimmer has slowly but surely expanded in scope and purpose. The description currently found in the header on the home page has not always been there. It states that the besides being an athletic journal, this blog is a repository of an occasional essay, and even more occasionally, a piece of fiction. Speaking of fiction, I have not written any of that lately. I need to return to my Poot series. That is one of my goals over the Christmas Break.

Of late EndangeredSwimmer has once more expanded in scope. The past few months have seen me putting up some of my poetry. That surprised me because I never fancied myself a poet. Maybe I still am less than a real poet, but I am composing both free verse and haikus. In large measure, this new emphasis on an old art has been inspired by one of my students, Samuel Lott. Sam, a real poet, is bold enough to inform me that my haikus are no good. I am grateful for his honest feedback, but really I don't care. They are my poems and as mine, I love them like I do my children, my grandchildren, and my cats. They are mine and I embrace them, hug then, hold them. They represent my thought, my feelings, and like pictures of my babies, they are beautiful.

All of that brings me to motivation. I am both surprised and flattered when someone reads my posts. But if no one ever read, I would still write because I love writing and EndangeredSwimmer gives me a reason, a place, and a purpose to compose sentences and paragraphs that mean something to me. At work, we once had a president that everyone agreed loved to hear himself talk. Well, I admit it: I love to hear myself write. I am now old enough to know that if there is something we love to do, God had blessed us with that and the least we can do is thank Him by enjoying the passion He has placed in our life. 

And that brings me to something else: swimming. July 21, 2012, was only a little more than a month removed from the first Chicot Challenge. I wanted to document, preserve, and promote my open water efforts which have providentially been in service of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. That first Challenge raised funds for the American Diabetes Association. After the swim, Mary Fortune of the DFM contacted me and asked me to consider them if I ever did anything like that again. Frankly, I was flattered then and remain so today that anyone would want my services. I hooked my efforts to their cause and have remained with them since. I only wish more people would contact me and ask me to swim for them. I was in my fifties when I accidentally (providentially that is) slid into marathon swimming. It is a gift I didn't know I had. I have squandered one gift so I know what that is like. By the grace of God, I will not squander this one.

So I swim and I write and one day I will die. When I pass, I hope my son keeps this blog alive as a way to honor me and to document his own journey.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Rare Double Dip

Thursday I did a rare double dip unlike any I have done before. A few weeks back, I did a Twin Rivers-- cold and short-- and a Masters double. The totals weren't that impressive, but I had fun. Sometimes in the spring when ramping up for the Chicot Challenge I will do a pond/Masters double. But since this is my off season, I typically don't swim too much this time of year. I woke Thursday morning, however, off work and hungry to be active. Then I remembered something the Mad Swimming Scientist suggested to me last whenever: swim at noon and then come to Masters. So I did.

At noon, I swam

1,650 warm up
25 X 100 @2:00 (1:24 - 1:32)
650 small paddles
total: 4,800 yards.

I went to my daughter's and saw my grandchildren then went back for more swimming. For the second session, I swam

700 warm up
400 (last 25 of each 100 fast; 6:12)
400 (2nd 50 of each 100 fast)
50 easy
400 (last 75 of each 100 fast; 6:05)
16 X 50 @1:30 decline 1 - 4 (1st set: 41, 40, 39, 38; best 37 on last 50)
total: 2,950
total for day: 7,750 yards = 7,083 meters.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Haikus of the Pond

he spends hours alone
fish, bird, turtles are his friends,
water is his home

ducks and geese fly high
rows of fish ponds pull them down,
swimmers pushes them up

hunters down a duck
a dog retrieves the fallen
swimmer enters pond

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

We Talked

He was wearing those old grey sweats, a T-shirt, and his running shoes just like he was the day he left us. I didn't know if I could hug him or not but when I did, I felt something like flesh and bones hugging me back. Surprisingly, I wasn't overly emotional as we each took a seat at a small table near the wall of Steven's BBQ.

I had hoped for such a meeting for years and now here we were sitting together and looking one another in the eye. I had no idea how long he could stay so I didn't want to waste time or words.

"You don't look any younger," I mentioned, attempting to start some talk while I put sweetener and cream in my coffee. He was still taking his black. 

"I get younger every day," he responded. "One day younger every day. It goes the other way. I don't know when it will end. It doesn't matter. I can run again now, not fast, but I shuffle often."

"Do you get to keep up with what is happening here?"

"I get a peak from time to time. Just a peak."

"Then you know we are taking good care of Mom?"

"I know."

"Then we can talk about the important stuff?"


The waitress came to our table and I ordered three eggs over medium, grits, and toast. Dad didn't order, and I didn't question his decision.

"So you know the score?"

"Just that we won."

"It was 55 to 20. I wasn't even going to watch a month ago."

"Why not?"

"I thought they'd beat us by 70. And I think they would have. Then."

"What happened?"

"Injuries to them. A big win for us. A & M was ranked number five in the nation and we beat them. That made me think, maybe we have a chance. Then Ole Miss lost their quarterback, and I thought I'd watch a few plays."

"What made you think they were that much better?"

"Their passing game. They could score and score fast. They had Alabama by 24 just before half. But they faded in the third and fourth quarters. That's been their pattern all year. They have the talent but lack depth."

"So what was our record?"

"We finished 5 and 7 with wins over A & M and Ole Miss. Not a great year, but a couple of big victories. Another reason I thought we had no chance against Ole Miss is our secondary. We have been a train wreck there all year. Everybody and I mean everybody has lit up our defense. We haven't been that bad against the run, but anyone could pass on us."

"So how did it play out?"

"We have a quarterback. Nick Fitzgerald is a sophomore and he's already broken one of Dak's records."

"Which one?"

"Single season rushing record. He's big, he can throw, and he can run like a deer. We wore out the Ole Miss defense and in the second half could pretty much run wild."

"What about next year?"

"I don't know. We need some help on the defense, especially in the secondary. Funny thing, even in the Egg Bowl, our defensive backs made some plays. That was a surprise. That was great. I cried at the end of the game."

My eyes grew moist again just thinking about how I felt then and how I wanted to tell him about it when I first experienced it. 

Then I heard a noise. Jeff was getting off the bed. No! I rolled over and closed my eyes. We haven't talked about 2014 or Dak. 

But it was too late. 

He was gone.

Monday, December 5, 2016

11/28 - 12/4

I'm so fat I can barely train, and I am gaining weight every day. I did do some running last week before my adipose tissue shut me down. Monday it was raining and cold so I went to Twin Rivers where I did some weight lifting and ran 2.7 miles on the dreadmill. Tuesday I was determined to bust out a big one and get my weight back under control so I ran 8.76 miles. Unfortunately, I woke up the next day heavier than the day before despite being temperate with the food. 

Wednesday, I ran another 3.42 miles but I had to shut it down because my weight was causing knee pain. I think it is Gerald Johnson's fault, but I haven't figured out how. I lifted weights and tired not to eat too much but woke the next day heavier.

Thursday, I took off from running so my knees could get better. I traveled to DSU and swam 

850 breathing 3, 5, 7, choice by 50s
150 easy
16 X 50 @1:30 descending by sets of four. I did 44, 41, 39, 37 - 35
2 X 400 small paddles
100 easy
200 easy
total: 3,850 yards = 3,518 meters.

Friday, I determined to get things right. I left the house planning on running 16 miles, but because of being so overweight, I had to call it off at 8.01 miles of running and 2.95 miles of walking. I only ate twice yet I was heavier Saturday morning.

Sunday morning I was heavier. I only ate twice  that day.

This morning I am the heaviest I have been in years!!!!!

Darn it Gerald Johnson!!!!!

Please pray for me because I am not in a good way right now. I am beginning to believe something is seriously wrong with my body. I have lived in this body for 60 years so I kind of know it. It is not responding the way it always has.