Cycling: sleep. Blessed sleep.

I made an executive decision this morning sleep in.

I had to do it. I even wrote in my Wednesday food journal “TIRED”. I increased my food intake but could not find the energy all day. So I went to bed before 11 and didn’t set the alarm. I managed to sleep until 6:45am when the need to pee pushed me out of bed. But I ignored the dogs and went back to sleep until 8:30, at which point I arose mostly rested. Yes, it meant that I was only able to squeeze in a 40 minute HIIT session, but I needed to sleep more than I needed to blast my legs. And it was good that I did – I had a solid session on the bike and was able to find a way to power my legs from higher up the leg, at my gluteus maximus. This is new for me, since I’ve only had an ass for about a year.

I sort of played hookey again today. I dropped in on a client’s house to measure a custom cabinet and had to beg off a pizza party. I love pizza. Pizza is like sex, there’s no such thing as bad pizza. Even when pizza is really, really crummy: cold, greasy, and something you’d be horrified caught with – it’s still pretty good. My client is having his house remodeled and his estate manager brought in a dozen pizzas for the construction crew foreman’s birthday. I really wanted some of the pizza. Free, eat-as-much-as-you-can pizza is like sampler night at the Bunny Ranch. So I left, politely begging off, and suddenly ravenous. Ran off to The Grove and grabbed a claim ticket for an iPhone. Then ran to the Farmer’s Market and roamed the food vendors looking for something healthy while listening to the ever more stupendous Tri Talk podcast. It helped to stay focused on eating right, thinking about triathlon and why I’m not eating pizza. You’d think in a Farmer’s Market I’d have an easy time finding fresh produce to eat. Nope. Fried food, grease bombs, diners, cheese monsters, and fat, fat, fat are all that’s for sale. I made do with steamed veggies, chicken, and white rice from a Chinese food stall that really liked my mustache. How sad that in a place named after a produce wonderland a guy can’t find a balanced meal. I went to the bookstore after and picked up The Triathlete’s Training Bible by Joe Friel, widely considered the best book on the sport, and The Paleo Diet for Athletes, by Friel and Loren Cordain. Tri Talk references the Paleo Diet, and Iron Monica had some great success with it so I felt it was time to give it a read and see what made sense. I’m not overriding my nutritionist’s knowledge, I’m just supplementing my own nutritional data.

Then I ducked into the Apple Store to buy my iPhone and ran into a showing of Hancock. The script for that movie kicked around Hollywood for years on the “best scripts not produced” list under the title, “Tonight, He Comes”. I never read the draft that made the list, but the movie that it spawned actually unspooled like a good writing sample that didn’t work on screen. All of the turns were obvious and the beats were telegraphed. Peter Berg is a solid director, so I can only imagine that it was a myopic view of the script. There is no Big Twist if you’ve seen any movie in the last ten years and are even a little savvy about marketing campaigns. To cut to the chase – you don’t have a huge star like Charlize Theron in your movie and only plug Will Smith and Jason Bateman in the trailers and publicity. Obviously the scenes with the African Goddess reveal too much of the plot, therefore it’s no surprise when you discover the twist and then no shock as it unfurls. The gags are fine but they run old quickly and worthwhile character development is lost to montages. When the end credits rolled every name of every person attached to that script over the years popped up as producer, which was a sad post mortem to what was probably a stellar spec turned into something else entirely.

This is my other life, the one I wanted since I was 9 and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil blew my mind wide open. The more finish lines I cross and the more achievements I get that are done under my own power puts my screenwriting pursuits into much sharper focus. Sometimes it feels as though the dream is dying, but that’s too maudlin and doesn’t quite describe what’s happening. I am motivated to write, and there are stories I want to tell. It’s just that when I tap the screenwriting lever nothing happens. When I tap the triathlon lever I get a treat. Sometimes big, sometimes small, but always a treat. That is intoxicating, as B.F. Skinner fans well know. How this plays out is more fodder for the blog. Right now it’s time to walk the dogs and listen to Creative Screenwriting’s screenwriter interviews or more episodes of Tri Talk. Tonight I’ll let the iPod wheel decide my fate.

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One response to “Cycling: sleep. Blessed sleep.

  1. “I had a solid session on the bike and was able to find a way to power my legs from higher up the leg, at my gluteus maximus.”

    Genetic note: the infamous Paulin flat ass resulting in Steinway calves is something I’ve lived with all my life. Big, strong calves are a result of overcompensating for a weak butt. And the overcompensating into my calves probably effected my knees negatively. Developing the gluteus (and on the opposite side, the inner abs) is fundamental to simple life tasks like standing up from a sitting position and walking up and down stairs. Ahhhhh, body architecture! It’s amazing we manage to stand erect sometimes. (Don’t go there!)

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