Polar Day 9

Temperatures are below zero degrees Fahrenheit. They will stay that way for another 24 hours.  Snow on the ground and maybe a little more to come. It is snowing lightly now. The salt truck has been through my complex, but I don\’t know what that will do given the severe temperatures.

Goggins DNF — In so far as a workout at 11 pm precludes sleep, and since I was filled with endorphins, I grew confused as to why I am doing a Goggins. If lots of workouts were not going to tire me out so I can sleep, then why should I do them? At 2:30 am, being awake, I shut off the alarm. My body relaxed and I felt closer to sleep. When I woke up at 7 am, I did not immediately jump on the treadmill. I went to the coffee and the morning reflection and reading.  I noticed that Billy Yang did his Goggins with a zoom meeting of 150 people and Goggins himself. Doing it by yourself might cause you to wonder why. I am not Goggins. Still, working out all day does help me to get through this terrible polar vortex. There will be workouts today, but of the cross-training type. My knees are somewhat tired of the treadmill anyway.

Today, workouts will be mostly using elliptical, rower, ex-bike, and ski machines. I need to lift weights. I probably will walk on the treadmill some as well. 

I have an English Rhetoric zoom lecture today. I have been struggling with friction. There is friction between what I want to say about Plato\’s Allegory of the Cave and what the teacher seems to want to be said. She has given bullet points to address in our essay, but my interests would point in a different direction. However, this morning, I think I was able to piece together a point of view that would cover the bullet points and my opinions. Plato\’s allegory is about the spiritual journey to the knowledge of The Sun, and the enlightened person\’s responsibility to return to the world. 

Diagram of Plato\’s Cave:

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Polar Retreat Day 8 – Goggins 1

 It is 1degF outside and the temperatures are going down. It is snowing now. I went to the store this morning to stock up on groceries. Now what?

Maybe a Goggins 4x4x48. That is 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. If you are not an ultra runner, you might not have heard of David Goggins. He wrote an inspirational book and has many Youtube clips. That should see me through to Tuesday morning. The 4x4x48 sounds difficult. Yes, it is difficult. I don\’t know if I can do it. But at 11 am, I began with the first 4 miles. 

The 4x4x48 challenge is not guaranteed to me. But something to focus my mind on while I wait out the polar vortex. I will concede a little during the 3am workout, assuming I make it out of bed. I don\’t want to shake the building and make noise perhaps waking my neighbor. So I\’ll use the elliptical for that workout. 

Billy Yang and Goggins:

The weather:

Polar Retreat Day 7

 Today was too cold outside for running, even though it was sunny for half the day.  The sun was beautiful and it shone in the windows. But since it is clear now, it will be even colder tonight, tomorrow and Monday. It is a little windy too. Today\’s temperature was 40degF below normal. 

So I ran 13 miles on the treadmill. During this run, I listened to the Senate impeachment proceedings. Are you a Republican? Then face the fact that you are a Trump Republican. There is no other kind anymore. Maybe you are happy with that. 

I will probably walk some on the treadmill this evening, just because, bored. I watched a good deal of the Black Canyon ultras because they had a live feed all day. It was amazing to see so much coverage of a 62 mile race in the Arizona desert. The winners of this race get Golden Tickets to the Western States 100 mile race. 

I also bought myself a two hour Abraham broadcast. It was amazing how Abraham answered the questions I had for non-physical, my Inner Being. I\’ve been listening to Abraham for several years. I\’m realizing how this world is about vibration. I will probably listen to the broadcast again tomorrow since I\’ll be inside all day again. It might snow a little just to add to our predicament. 

I have an English paper to write. Books to read. Books to write. 

Polar Retreat Day 6

 It was colder and windier outside today. So I didn\’t go running outside. Instead, I used my elliptical, ski machine, rowing machine, and ex-bike, plus lifting weights. Some chores even got done. Tomorrow, I plan to run on the treadmill.

While working out, I listened to Trump\’s defense lawyers. If that was the only side of the matter I ever heard, I\’d believe that Trump was an angel. Good thing that I am currently a college rhetoric student so that I can judge the sophists of both sides of the argument. Both sides edit films and quote people out of context. One really needs to question the data of both sides.

Today is Friday. This weekend is to be below zero degrees Fahrenheit, plus maybe some snow Sunday or Monday. But then Tuesday the temperature start to climb to more reasonable highs, like +10 degreesF. 

Patience. Patience. I purchased an Abraham Hicks live broadcast for tomorrow afternoon. I have English writing to do. I\’ve been working on my own book. 

I appreciate that my heating works. I have food. I have books. I have the internet and electronic devices. I appreciate my exercise equipment. I appreciate Amazon for bringing stuff to my door. I appreciate my garage which is keeping my car from getting radically cold. I appreciate thought provoking English assignments. Overall, I am doing really well, even if slightly more confined than I want to be. This too shall pass.

Polar Retreat Day 5

 Day 5, Thursday, is today. I am writing this late in the evening of Thursday. We are expecting a big dip in temperatures for the next 4 days. Down into the cold valley we go, get some snow, and then slowly climb out. Be patient. Hold tight. 

Good thing I didn\’t try to drive to Houston today. There was ice on the roads and a huge accident around Fort Worth, one of my favorite places. 

Today, I ran 8.3 miles outside. I did laps around my complex. It was a little bit windy, so my face got a bit colder. This evening I walked 4 miles on the treadmill. I don\’t know if I\’ll go outside to run tomorrow. It is supposed to be colder and windier. 

Today, I went out for a late lunch with a friend. It is the first time I\’ve been out with anyone in months. We picked a very uncrowded restaurant. It was weird to sit and talk and eat without a mask. But it was tremendous to talk to someone for a long time.

My college English class is focused on Plato\’s cave. Interesting to answer deep questions I should\’ve answered 40 years ago. But when I went to college the first time, I was focused on getting an engineering degree and getting a job. I knew nothing about weightier questions like, \”What makes life worth living?\” or \”Who are you really?\” I had no answers. I just wanted to make money so I could move out of the alcoholic household I grew up in. Actually, I honor myself for taking care of myself. After I started my career, much of my life was focused on earning money so I could quit, and then do what I wanted with my life. 

So now, finally retired, I can think about who I really am. I have 30 more years of living available. I am in college and taking English composition and rhetoric. I am learning to write kick-ass essays. I am stuck in the house for a few more days, so I will be pondering Plato and symbolism and answering hard questions with essays. 

Polar Retreat Day 4

 I just watched the 13 minute video of Trump\’s mob storming the capitol on January 6. It is very disturbing but I suggest everyone watch it. I fully believe that Trump needs to be held accountable (ie punished) for his lies and instigation of violence. 

Yesterday\’s exercise: 60 minutes on elliptical, 35 minutes running really fast on the treadmill, 75 minutes walking uphill on the treadmill.

I attended my philosophy class via zoom last night. Then I watched my usual 2 podcasts related to ultra-running. Looking forward to the Black Canyon Ultra this weekend. It is to be live-streamed. Several big names going for golden tickets. 

This morning I noticed that the roads in the complex were mostly dry, though salt covered. It was 10degF and not too windy. So I ran laps around the complex for 8.4 miles. I am very happy with that. 

I wasn\’t able to get right to sleep last night so I did some reading. I still woke up at 7 though. 

I am pretty much at peace with the solitude. I wish it was a little warmer, or that no more snow was forecast, but otherwise, my life is sort of normal. Thinking, writing, reading, running. I am getting tired of the book \”Caste\” because there are only so many stories of whites brutalizing blacks that I am interested in reading. I did read an interesting proposal this morning which sort of explains Trump\’s working-class white mob. A moment of, \”Oh, that\’s why they follow him.\” But also, I should stop and reflect that had I been the wife of a Southern white in 1950, I probably would have stood around and watched lynchings, hoping no one noticed me. It is true that most of us would have supported Hitler had we been German. 

How do you step outside the mainstream, the mob, and stand for peace and equality? Well, I guess you pay the price of violence to your physical apparatus. 

Day by day, my older friends are texting out that they got the shot. I\’m happy for them. It is easy to become a tad bit annoyed knowing that I won\’t be eligible to get a shot for months. But then I remember to celebrate well being. I have incredible good health and well being. I celebrate that I am not in one of the sickly groups who go to the head of the line. I\’m 62 years old and I ran 8 miles at 11 minutes per mile in the bitter cold this morning. Celebrate. Drink another green tea.

Picture of a bare salty road in the complex:

Today\’s weather. 

Polar Retreat Day 3

 Still very cold until Tuesday, when 20degF will seem like a heatwave. Patience.

Exercise yesterday: 10 miles in 2 hours on the treadmill during the morning. In the evening, I rowed and ex-bikes and lifted weights. Yesterday on the treadmill, I was looking out the window. I watched the truck plow the roads and lay down salt. Our homeowner\’s association pays for that. It is a wonderful thing. 

I got some new English/ Rhetoric assignments yesterday. I\’m very happy with that because they are causing my brain to contemplate. I like writing essays. I have zoom philosophy this evening. 

Reading on in \”Caste\” I came to realize that Trump is a scared fake alpha male and Bieden is a true alpha male.  Trump\’s impeachment trial gets underway today. I will say, I never want that guy in office again. Yes, I think he should be held accountable for his actions on January 6. 

It really is tempting to drive south, like to Denton. Denton has a wonderful bike path along the Trinity which would be good for long-distance running. BUT, freezing rain in Oklahoma on the day I would want to drive down there. I wouldn\’t mind the cold so much if there wasn\’t snow all over the place. Patience. Segment intend. 

Polar Retreat Day 2

 According to Weather Underground, this polar retreat will last another week. Shoot! Accept the situation. Be patient, but recognize the frustration of cold and snow restricting movement. It is worse than a pandemic because going outside is difficult.

Exercise yesterday: an hour on the elliptical got things started. Then I dressed in many layers, put yak-traks on my shoes, and went outside for a 5.4 mile walk in a snow storm. I was warm enough and I\’m glad I did that. In the evening, I got on my indoor ski machine for 30 minutes and my ex-bike for 20 minutes and did my hip and core floor exercises. 

I worked on personal writing projects and English homework. 

I had ordered a book from Amazon that wasn\’t supposed to come until Tuesday. But it arrived yesterday. I was eager for the book because a friend recommended it and I needed something to focus on. The book is \”Caste\” by Isabel Wilkerson. It is a discussion of white supremacy in America. It is the fourth such book that I have read in the past 6 months or so. 

When I read these books, I am reminded of a difficult situation I had during the last two years of employment as an engineer. I was on a workgroup that had 5 other women engineers and two old white men. 4 of the 5 women were technically insufficient for the job. 2 of these women were white and 2 were black. I experienced frustration with all of them because I had spent my career gaining competence. I wanted to be equal to the white men I always worked with. I felt that these incompetent women engineers were making women, and me in particular, look bad in front of white men. 

One of these black women caused me additional grief because she was very beautiful with a large well-presented bosom, and the white boys would stare at it. I wanted her to be competent and less attractive so the men would respect her competence. I failed at coaching her on engineering. She didn\’t want my help. When reading white supremacy books, I\’ve always thought of this black woman engineer and my anger at her. Now, however, in this book \”Caste\”, I\’ve finished 100 pages, I felt like letting myself off the hook. I tried to help but got rebuffed, assuming because I am an uppity white lady. 

At this thought, I completed an Abraham Hicks meditation on relationships. I realized that what others think of me is not my business, and I allowed that saying to hit home with this particular relationship. Abraham would also say that my inner being is not looking in that direction and that\’s why I feel bad. I need to change the direction in which I am looking. I began to appreciate myself for all I did do and appreciate that black woman for all she had accomplished in her life. 

It is strange to me that a book on white supremacy would help me let myself off a hook, but also wonderful that Abraham would guide me in a productive vibrational direction. That is, I fixed the vibration so that energy can move forward. The fixing of vibration could be the most helpful thing that anyone should be doing for all relationships. 

Aside from my personal whiteness, I read these white supremacy books because I might learn something about Trump\’s base and the Republican party. What is the future of this group of people who believe lies? I am watching and trying to understand how anyone could believe what that group believes. 

This morning, it is cloudy but not snowing. It may snow a little later. There is hoar frost on the trees. It is still incredibly cold. I have zoom English at 1:30. I will run on the treadmill and eat lunch before then. More contemplation and exercise after that. I may be going crazy. We\’ll see.

Polar Retreat 2021 – Day 1

 For about 10 days, at least as far as I can see from the weather forecast, it will be very cold here, with intermittent snow. A couple of days ago, I thought maybe I would run down to Texas and skip this weather. But I would have had to drive 12 hours, and it looked like it was going to be cold and rainy on the Gulf Coast. So why do that?

Last night, I decided to put on my big girl pants and face my situation. An then it struck me. I could have a somewhat deeper retreat during this time. I can\’t go outside as much but that is the only real difference between all this snow and cold and regular February cold without the snow. Less driving around is a good idea, but the car still needs to be warmed up occasionally. 

Acceptance. Non-resistant thought. All my machines, like the heaters, internet, computer, and treadmill, work fine. I made a list of things I\’ve been putting off which can be done around the house. Acceptance. Stop pushing against the weather and enjoy things as they are. 

The retreat is something of an exercise in conscious awareness. That is, how am I feeling right now? What should I do about it? Stop and tap into that bigger consciousness that has been with me all my life. That bigger consciousness is what matters and it never leaves me. That said, I don\’t think this Polar Retreat will be a religiously focused retreat. I call it a retreat because I have to step back from the world, but maintain sanity.