Circle up the Wagons

University of CA at Santa Cruz, 1993, 5:00am.

Although I am not too concerned with my mile run time, nor how much I can deadlift, I have always had enough competitive drive to want the early worm. Even at the age of 20, I was willing to sacrifice the comfort of the morning bed to fight for the day. At this point in my college career, I lived in a house that lay only one block from Monterey Bay but a good 45-minute uphill trek by bike to the redwoods campus. Up at 5 a.m. and out the door within ten minutes, I would push upward on the lowest gears to join the masters swim class at 6:00. (I loved getting my butt kicked by those athletes!)

As soon as class was over and I was dressed, I'd step outside, light up a cigarette, and take the biggest drag possible.

Yep, you read that right. I was smoking a pack a day. Camels. Unfiltered.

You see, it was a test. Which felt newly opened lungs from the vigorous workout? Or the recoiling lungs being polluted from one drag.

It was really effective. That smoke felt awful. I did this bike/swim/smoke routine for less than one week before I gave up those death sticks.

"Circle up the Wagons" . . . one method of extinguishing an outdated habit. Pass after pass, comparing and contrasting, taking copious notes in my mind, I asked myself which life I wanted . . . the one where I was the master of my destiny or the one where I would continue to be the victim of past circumstances. 

Fortunately, clean living . . . similar to kindness . . . feels really good. If you haven't already, check it out some time.

And don't take my word for it. If you're inclined, Circle up the Wagons and decide for yourself.

-Coach Rebecca

Rebecca Boskovic