My Journey To The Dark Side (Of The Street)

dark side 1A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I went for a run, Modern Philosophers.

Actually, it was just this morning, but I’m a bit delirious and dehydrated.

These are the sweaty dog days of Summer, and I almost wish I was stranded on Hoth.  Just as long as someone else was around to shovel the snow.

When I woke up, my back was sore and I had a bit of a tummy thing going on.  I thought about skipping my morning run, but a little voice inside my head reminded me that I’d been at this for six weeks now, and a Jedi finds motivation, not excuses.

The voice in my head was eerily familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it at the time.  It was enough to get me out of bed and into my Running Toga, though.

"Search your feelings, Austin. Now get your ass out of bed and go for a run!"

“Search your feelings, Austin. Now get your ass out of bed and go for a run!”

It was hot and something just wasn’t right with me.  I ran a quick systems check, and none of the alarms went off, but I could definitely feel a disturbance in The Force.

It was just after 8:00AM, but already, the sun was out and powered on high.

In fact, it was so bad that I felt like I was running through the deserts of Tatooine, under that planet’s twin suns.

"We're twins, but Mom always said I was her favorite" -- Left Sun

“We’re twins, but Mom always said I was her favorite” — Left Sun

According to my calculations, today was the 29th day out of the last 41 that I’ve gone for a run.  What made today different from all the rest, though, was that I desperately wanted to give up and quit before I’d even gone a mile.

I’m sure you’ve all had days when you just didn’t feel it.  However, the last thing I wanted to do was give up and head back to The House on the Hill.

The new running program has been going so well, and I was afraid that if I quit today, it would set a precedent for days down the line.

Plus, It was my weigh in day, so I wanted to sweat off as much weight as possible before I got on the scale.  I pressed forward, but I didn’t really want to do so.

"Run faster must you do, Fat Boy!"

“Run faster must you do, Fat Boy!”

Once I had turned onto Eastern Avenue, it was apparent there was no way I was going to survive 4.25 miles with the sun beating down on me like it was.

The solution was simple, but I knew it was wrong.  The Dark Side was calling, and I did my best to fight the urge.

Each stride hurt a little more, though, and the Dark Side of the Street, cloaked in shade got more appealing with every step.

I was a Jedi like my father before me, but hell if I was going to survive my run if I didn’t give in to the Dark Side.

dark side 2And so I made the journey to the Dark Side.  It really was my only choice.  I didn’t see Obi Wan or Yoda popping up to offer me another solution.

The desert sand of Tatooine was filling my sneakers and burning my feet.  The twin suns were relentless, and my Jedi robe was soaked through with sweat.

On the Dark Side of the street, I was able to disappear into the shade and find some relief from the suns’ glare.

I didn’t have my blaster or lightsaber.  I was armed only with was my cell phone and a bottle of water.  While Dave Grohl’s voice was powerful on my Pandora app, it would not be enough to fend off the Tusken Raiders that I knew were out there, watching me from their hiding spots in the desert.

Look at all the meat on the Fat Boy. We are going to eat well tonight!

Look at all the meat on the Fat Boy. We are going to eat well tonight!

I tried to focus on the road, but I was in too much pain, there was so much sweat, and Darth Vader kept getting inside my head and beckoning me to a meeting at the Death Star.

He kept insisting that I stop to pick up salt and vinegar chicken wings, which happen to be the Emperor’s favorite, but the last thing I needed was the thought of all those calories when I was running.

Plus, the sound of Vader’s distinct breathing was messing with my own labored breathing and I was getting lightheaded.

This move to the Dark Side was not working out as planned.

dark side Austin 2I stopped at the midway point to take the above photo.  Look at how lost I am, Modern Philosophers.  The twinkle has gone out of my eyes.  My face is a mask of agony.

Can you see the Tusken Raiders hiding behind those trees in the distance?

If I could have collapsed on that spot, I would have.  But I knew that Tatooine would not be kind to my body.  Sandstorms would bury me, and rescue teams would never find me.

Of course, I’m sure my body wouldn’t remain out there too long.  Not with those horrible beasts tracking me and thinking of making me their dinner.

dark side austinI must have used The Force to get back to The House on the Hill because I don’t remember much of the return journey.

I think I talked to myself a lot, continued to ignore Vader’s demands for appetizers, and used my musky sweaty scent to keep the Tusken Raiders at bay.

I sat on my front porch for a very long time, trying to clear my head, and free my mind from the evils of the Dark Side.

I’m not sure it worked, though.  I’m still very groggy and chugging water like I’m severely dehydrated.  I’ve got a pounding headache and absolutely no energy.

I was, however, able to muster up just enough power to step on the scale…

Dark side Austin 3I’ve lost 13 lbs in six weeks, Modern Philosophers!  Not bad for a guy who might have lost his mind out on the road today, right?

I guess the moral of the story is that The Force is strong in all of us, and sometimes, we just have to push ourselves and trust it to keep us safe.

At least that’s what I think, but my mind is a little sunburned right now…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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44 Responses to My Journey To The Dark Side (Of The Street)

  1. Tricia says:

    This was my best read today.

  2. That is what I call a perseverance run. I’ve had plenty of those but none lately because, well, we’re not talking about me, are we? Congratulations on the 13 lbs. I’m going to start doing something about my fat butt immediately (oh yeah, we’re not talking about me). I liked your Star Wars references, but I really lost track of that. I thought that was Brain Guy from MST3000 (the Mike Nelson years) in the top picture next to Darth Vader. Oh dear, can we still be friends after that crack? Anyways, reward yourself because you ran at all, even 10 steps is better than cowering in bed. Rock on.

  3. nolanwrites says:

    Well done Austin, it takes a lot to stick with it. But as you know now, the rewards are worth it! 🙂

  4. Your persistence is amazeballs! May the force be with you!😊

  5. Pingback: Monday Morning (Iced) Coffee Club: 8/17/15 | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

  6. Pingback: What I Learned From The Heat Wave | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

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