Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of March 23rd - March 29th,  2001

Sit-Ups in the Snow

Columns Archive

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   While working on these wings to fly and learning about life on the road, a considerable part of this quest has been attempting to focus on the world as my oyster.
Hermes and Cadeuses

Hermes and winged Cadeuses

This Mercurial existence certainly has it's up side. Life is change, meeting new people and seeing new places. The scenery keeps shifting, and this country has some wonderful scenery. Right now I'm driving through the flatlands of Kansas. Although there's a slight roll to the landscape with a few leafless trees here and there, the overall pattern is wide open, with fields leading to more fields. A little while back a sign said, "One Kansas farmer feeds 101 people, plus you!"

   But the other side of Mercury is that all this is incredibly mental work. Mercury rules the mind, the nervous system, arms and hands.
Continental Divide at Monarch Pass

It also rules the lungs and air, and one's breathing. By the end of a long day of driving, one can definitely feel 'buzzed', as all your energy has gone into the mental circuits, being mindful of what's going on around you, making little adjustments to the steering wheel with your hands (in most cases), and periodically checking the map to see where you are, where you've been, and how far you have to go. But it's all done while sitting, and the body is not really getting a workout. In fact, it's going a little stagnate, with the circulation generally slowing down. That's one reason why they want you to take periodic breaks, so that you can get the blood moving again.

   One of the ways I've been dealing with this is to make sure that I get a half hour of exercise, together with a meditative discipline every day, to help offset the road wear. I know it's old fashioned, and I should be getting into yoga, but as a triple fixed sign, I'm still doing some of the same things I did in youth as a part of this regime, starting out with 22 push ups, jogging for 22 minutes in place, doing 88 sit-ups, and finishing off with another 11 push ups.
After jogging in place on Monarch Pass

After jogging in place
on Monarch Pass

It only takes a half hour, and I can get out of bed or car wherever I am, and do them right there. It's the running in place that's the core of the program, and it forms a kind of meditation, together with some interesting visuals. Celestially speaking, this comes from a Sun Mars conjunction in Taurus in the third house. Long term, sustained energy in either communication or transportational issues. I've been writing a column weekly for eighteen years, and am now getting my exercise while on the road. As with any martial aspect, it's a personal challenge.

Snow plow on Monarch Pass

A snow plow on Monarch Pass

   Of late, this regime has included bouncing in the Virginia woods naked at midnight under the Full Moon to music; in my cousin's front yard looking at the mist enveloped Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee; in the middle of the North Carolina swamps with moss and mistletoe hanging from the trees all around; beside the road on snow covered hills in the panhandle of Texas, looking back on Fort Worth as a small spot on the horizon, with lethargic dinosaur-looking oil pumps slowly sucking the Earth around me and occasional truckers sounding their horn as they drive by. In Colorado, it was Monarch Pass at 11,000 feet on the Continental Divide, with the snow plough alternately covering me in a fine mist of cold crystals, or filling the air with the pungent smell of diesel fumes.

   Jogging in place. I like to think of it as getting nowhere fast.

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