Archive for the 'Physical Fitness' Category

Running Outside, No Fear for Ass Cheek

One time at 5 in the morning, I stepped in a hole and broke my right ankle.  I was out for a jog in suburban Washington DC.  It was still dark (why I didn’t see the hole).  There were no lights on at any house.  Northern Virginia slept.   I was two miles from home.  No cell.  Broken ankle.  Out of luck.  I hopped all the way back on my left leg.  Oh, the pain! Hopping!  By the time I got home my left ass cheek (the hopping cheek) hurt far worse than my ankle.

Swollen Lower Sections

My left ass, in fact, was swollen to twice it’s normal size.  I looked in the mirror and screamed (the swelling made me look like a bicyclist in The Triplets of Belleville), “I will never be the same!”

And, that was that, I lost my running nerve. After I healed, I decided to smoke cigarettes instead. This happened 11 years ago.

Since then, I’ve not exercised that much.  Usually I’ll hit the gym for a month or two, get on the treadmill (I like to run) and eventually get bored from going no place, tortured by knowing exactly how long I’ve run and how far I have to go (electronic treadmill dashboard), and I’ll stop and go to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard.  (Pronounced Blizzzzzz-zaaaard with lots of exclamation points (!!!!)).  I’ve often thought about running outdoors again to break up the monotony, but am afraid because of the ass injury I suffered all those years ago (If I had been any farther from home, my ass might have exploded and I might have died).

Jocky Man Losing Races, Happily

This year has been different, however.  I moved to Mankato.  I have a great schedule.  And I seriously want to run.  Through the winter, I ran at the Y.  But now, as the ice leaves the trails, I’m starting to really hit it.  People love to complain about cell phones, but because I have one, I no longer fear broken bones and ass swellage.  There are beautiful trails in Mankato.  I can fun for miles and miles through fields and bluffs.

I might like running in the city best, though.  This morning out running Calhoun and Harriet in Minneapolis, I started qualifying why urban running is so fantastic.

Pretty Lake

First, the lakes are beautiful. That’s true.  Second, Minneapolis has great infrastructure, too (trails all over the place that link and link and link, so you could really run the whole day without covering the same ground).  Third, there are soooo many freaking people running here.  I saw like a thousand this morning.  This is what I love best: people watching.  And, people defeating.

It’s really fun to catch and pass people on the running trail.  Generally the people I pass are far older than me and are also in better shape than me, but because I’m naturally sort of fast and middle-aged instead of ancient, I can beat them!  Take that grandma.

Equally fun is to be passed.  I really enjoy seeing good athletes at work.  It’s sort of moving to see a couple of twenty-something women who can run, literally, twice as fast as I can. It’s less fun to be passed by young men, because that just seems too obvious somehow. When the women pass me, I’ll generally speed up and try to stick with them for awhile, but I can’t even come close and I’m just psyched to see people who are completely good at what they’re doing.

And, this morning I ran seven miles without really noticing.  I passed the old folks.  Real runners in their prime passed the hell out of me.  Wind blew waves on the lakes.  Dogs chased sticks in nearby parks.  The sun shone.  And, I didn’t break an ankle or blow out my left ass cheek.  Beautiful.


First Car, part I

My first car was a neon green Ford Fiesta, 1979.  It went from zero to 30 in one second.  It had a hard time exceeding 40, however, except on steep declines.  The car was very light.  It couldn’t have weighed more than 140 lbs, which is the average weight of great dane.  My friends would pick up my neon green Ford Fiesta, 1979, and turn it sideways in its parking slot up at the school.  They’d place the back bumper inches from the car to the right and the front bumper inches from the car to the left.  I’d walk into the parking lot, swear, and sit down next to the bicycle rack (thinking I should’ve ridden my bike).  I’d wait until one of the cars left, which would give me enough space to turn and pull out, because the Ford Fiesta, 1979, could turn on a dime.  If the owner of the car on the right showed up first, I would get yelled at, because they would have to use the passenger side door to get in, as my turned car blocked access to the driver’s side door.

Here’s a video of a neon green Ford Fiesta, 1979, doing poorly in a rear-collision test.

It’s my first day of the semester today.


Filming the Baron

Yesterday, Steph and I played small rolls in a film about the incredible pro wrestler, Baron von Raschke!   Yes, I am quite serious.  As the project gets closer to fruition, I’ll put out more links (lots of excellent Minneapolis people working on the thing).

I played a flamboyant German waiter who was once beaten up by Mad Dog Vachon (partially fictionalized situation — there were no German waiters at Mancini’s).

Me as German waiter, surrounded by pro wrestlers. (Patrick Pierson Photos)

The Real Mad Dog!

The scene was a wild one.  The filmmakers were allowed to use Mancini’s in St. Paul (where wrestlers hung-out in the 1970s).  The Baron recalled a time when a waiter (played by me) upset Mad Dog.  In the film, the whole place erupts into a delirious brawl, half staged and half real.  This is why Steph was brought in.  She is, of course, a giant woman capable of holding her own in a restaurant brawl!  There were excellent, current Minnesota wrestlers throwing down, breaking tables, plates, trays, etc.  Steph was thrown around by them and also fought heartily with a couple of fantastic fighting women.  This picture by Patrick Pierson shows the women raging against each other!

Look at Steph's exploding hair!

We had such an excellent, excellent time.  We can’t wait to see how the whole project turns out.  For today, both of us are terribly sore, as if the Baron himself had given us the claw!

Blizzard, indeed.

Little bus stop bench on the prairie, buried.

Getting quite white

Snowstorm gamer boys.

Ninja Nerd

While I find this hat to be seriously embarrassing, I have to say, walking up that big Mankato hill, puff snow falling around me, cold wind blowing, I felt intelligent and responsible for having purchased the thing.

I will scale your frozen gutter pipe.

I have been stretching all morning in order to kick higher and with greater fluidity, even while wearing tight, tight under armor.

Birthday Day

Last year, today, Dad took me and a crew of friends out for dinner.  We had a lot of wine and listened to a couple of guys who looked like the Fleetwood Mac guys sing songs about love and flowers and dark nights and bright stars and lemon trees and jet planes and fast cars and brown eyes.  Outside the restaurant, someone drove close enough to my car that their passenger-side mirror cracked and broke my driver-side mirror (at least, I assume that’s what happened).  The skeleton of the mirror was unharmed.  While the plastic shattered, the metal held tight.  And, oddly, the mirror’s glass, though it fell from three feet up to the pavement, did not break.  It lay on the street next to the car.  Wires that heat the glass to keep it defrosted dangled from the skeleton.  I wasn’t sure what to do.

In 1969 Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  Woodstock happened in 1969.  Sesame Street aired for the first time in November.  I was born in October.  Dad was in New York.  Mom was rushed to Dubuque, Iowa.  I was born in the morning.  Dad arrived in the afternoon.  On the plane, flying between New York and the midwest, Dad told the fellow next to him that he was going to see his newborn son.  The man told Dad that someone had stolen his London Fog raincoat.  Nixon was the president.  Jimi Hendrix was still alive.  I imagine shirtless long hairs, high, smiling, riding bareback on white horses.  My Uncle Steve does tile work in Sullivan County, New York.  Woodstock wasn’t in Woodstock.

Dad bought some packing tape and he reconnected the wires and taped that glass back to the skeleton and the heat worked to keep the mirror defrosted and the glass worked like any mirror would… I could see what was behind me in it.  I still can.  It still works.  It’s still taped.  It doesn’t take much, although I have had to replace some pieces (the messiness is my handiwork — I need to learn to work with my hands).

Bar time.

I awaken to screaming.  A man in the small space next to my building.  He screams, “Yeah!” sustained, again and again.  After several minutes, his cadence is broken by another thought.  He screams, “Cops!”  Red lights flash in the back lot.  Night fills with wailing sirens, police racing to assist.  A block away, a chorus of young people “woo” from their centers, from their depths, apparently mimicking the sound of the sirens.  Soon everyone is arrested.  Young people cry loudly.  Then quiet.  I lay awake.  Wind in the walnut tree.

I hear "wooing"

I am…

Geoff Herbach. I am the author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, among a bunch of other stuff. When I'm not writing, I teach writing at Minnesota State, Mankato.

Stupid Fast

Nothing Special

I’m With Stupid

Fat Boy (Gabe Johnson Takes Over)

PowderKeg Stage

My Bizzle

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