Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Fixx For Hollis: An Essay On Running And Readership And Busking

Alas Hollis, I acquiesce. It seems during any holiday breaks I rationalize (tell a rash of lies) to myself that I've nothing immediate to write about. And then followers like yourself rightfully state that my blog is blank and therefore, disappointing. Checking out my bog vexillology and seeing hits from Tunisia and Bulgaria in the last couple days, my blank blog is disappointing for me too. And so to Hollis and other company I've let down as of late, I do apologize for the vagaries of my blog entries.

Whilst on a most tristful morning run over the prairie sastruga (the weather was – 26 degrees), I did decide just moments ago, what to write to rid the pout on my face. Enough of this navel-gazing.

In 1977 Jim Fixx wrote The Complete Book of Running and he, unwittingly, changed my life. I was living in the tournament capital of Canada, Kamloops, British Columbia and began my daily runs through the most famous McArthur Island Park. Running worked for me. I quit smoking, lost weight, and became super fit. I was running chain in the bush for Noranda Mines at Goldstream north of Revelstoke, then for Trans Mountain Pipe Lines in the Coquihalla Canyon near Hope. I loved working in the B.C. Bush!

Later in life I landed a job teaching high school English in Regina, Saskatchewan, and kept on running. I used to run a minimum of five miles a day, Monday through Friday, take Saturday off, then run ten miles on Sunday.

While at work I was able to intertwine my profession with my obsession. I received a salary while designing and delivering an educational running programme for young offenders in a custody facility. Each weekday morning for seven years, twelve young offenders and two staff, self included, ran around the three mile shoreline of Wascana Lake.

In this past decade, for one reason or another, my fervor for running has waned. I have developed into a fair weather runner; I still run, just not as much. In Summer I try to run every day; in Fall I reduce my schedule to three runs per week, in Winter I mostly lift weights (I never, never run indoors), in Spring I pick up running again.

Running, indeed, has been a positive addiction in my life. It has kept me fit without noticeable infirm. It has kept hale and hardy, and ready for the vigor of busking come Spring again.

The Complete Book of Running by Jim Fixx has kept me in a thirty-four year burst of keen delight.

Now, Hollis, are you happy? Have I inspired you as Jim Fixx inspired me?

I should mention that Jim Fixx died in a ditch in Vermont of heart attack during his daily 10 mile run -- he was at 52 years of age.

Here is a love song for you buskers with a heart ache:


Verse 1

[C] One day [Am] some day

[Dm] We’ll be [G] together again.

[C] One day [Am] some day

[Dm] I could [G] make it up to you

[C] Maybe [Am] you’ll see

[Dm] I can [G] make your dreams come true …



[F] [QUARTER BEATS] I can’t really blame you when you finally told me

[G] That I’d have to go

[F] I can’t really blame you when you finally told me

[G] That you’d told me so.

Verse 2

[C] One day [Am] some day

[Dm] We’ll be [G] together again.

[C] Maybe [Am] you’ll believe

[Dm] I realize [G] what you meant to me.

C Am Dm G [fingers to one strum C]

That’s what she said to me [x2]


  1. HaHaHa... Love it!!! I'll be checking out Jim Fixx's book in the near future! Running has become a very valuable "Fix" for me as of late too! Something tells me Jim's death ,although tragic, occured while doing something he loved and respected!
    We'll have to hit up a run r two togethor... I could benefit from your vast experience and knowledge of the great pastime!!! Thanks Neil... keep em comin... LOL ...guess I had that comin :/ hahaha

  2. Another good Blog topic... "Running, the fountain of youth!" The evidence... right off the top of your head. ;-P hehe. Sorry! had to get a jab backatcha... I'll be quiet now... cause you sure know how to shut a guy up! HAHAHA