Winter Training

I stepped on and grabbed the cross-trainer’s arms, something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. My brain fogged. Linkin Park blared from the nearby speaker, drowning out the beeps of the cross-trainer as my befuddled mind stuttered. Probably my oldest possession those speakers, one of the first things I bought for myself, they had etched many engrams into my teenage mind as I discovered metal, this tune among them. 

I snapped back as realisation dawned; it was the arms that felt wrong. The strange sensation was the layer of verglas that coated the metal plates beneath my palms, I sluffed it off as I began my warmup. Imagining the clouds billowing from my nostrils into the frigid winter air. Training this evening would be even colder than last night and that had been -2C. 

I stomped away to build an inner fire, billowing mist like a steam powered golem. 

My wandering mind flicking back to the news’ earlier talk of changing interest rates and the article I had been reading on Valery Zaluzhny, commander of Ukraine’s military. The topics meshing like gears in my mind, the teeth of financial assets and military strategy seamlessly melding in my subconscious. 

The thoughts rattled around as I completed my warmup and moved to the circuit board. The wooden holds feeling cold and slippery under my fingers as I worked my way around the first lap of the circuit. Gradually, as the laps built, the warmth of my fingers formed hot spots on the stubbornly frigid blocks. The familiar chords of “Numb” hitting my ears, it was a good allegory for the state of my toes that were still battling the icy chill. The cold sucking vampirically on the heat I’d managed to kindle thus far. 

Jesse on the circuit board..

Around and around, I went, feeling the pump gradually build. Like a hostile invasion of my forearms, pegged back but not totally repulsed by the restorative hand flicks that emptied the depleted blood from my swollen muscles. It was encouraging to feel how much I recovered with each flick and split second of rest that my arm enjoyed between leaving one hold and grasping the next. It hadn’t always been like this. Not so long ago my arms wouldn’t have recovered so readily, and I would have been unable to stave off the invading lactic acid.  

Then my subconscious delivered the link, investment. Firstly, in the conventional sense but also in the general’s decisions on when and where to apply his resources. And finally, to me, listening to music through those speakers as I trained. 

Every move I made was an investment. 

A down-payment on future dreams. 

I pay it gladly. 

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