Access Your Energy – Part II

“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” — J.K. Rowling

“Made in America” festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

“Made in America” is in full swing in Philadelphia this weekend. J-Z, Passion Pit and Pearl Jam—it’s impossible not to feel the energy pulsating from as far away as Bucks County. I wrote about accessing your energy during le Tour (Tour de France) in July. Energy is the key ingredient  to conquering challenges in life that require endurance, whether it’s a marathon, a degree program, an apprenticeship, succeeding in business, or excelling at carpentry, law enforcement or firefighting.

Energy comes in different shapes and sizes for each of us. Some people get their energy fix listening to music or reading a particular genre of literature, others get charged from people or places like snow-capped mountains or crashing waves, still others get their juice attending a sporting event or concert.

Professional cycling championships at the Velodrome in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

The past several days I’d gotten unplanned and welcomed shots of energy from new places, and people I hadn’t seen in maybe ten or fifteen years. Friday night I found myself at the Velodrome in Lehigh County, PA, watching the Madison Cup in the World Championship of Cycling. The Velodrome is a well-kept secret tucked away in a Pennsylvania cornfield that hosts World Cycling Championships, Olympic Trials and Junior World Championships. My buddy and I had talked about going to the Velodrome for years–a “one of these days,” kind of discussion we’d have from time-to-time. He called Friday afternoon and said, “Hey, I’m taking my charge,” (code for his four-year-old great-grandson) so I matched him and brought my four-year-old grandson. They loved it, we loved it and when I woke Saturday morning my son called and told me my grandson was running around the house imitating the professional cyclists. He’d found his juice at the age of four.

Earlier the same afternoon I was at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA and in through the door walked a running mate from way back. Jim is a large, dignified gentleman. I first met him at a Broad Street Run in the 1990s, and then on the trails in Cheltenham outside of Philadelphia. I tend to judge a person’s age by their attitude and behavior, rather than years. Judging from past conversations with him about his teaching career and retirement I’d estimate Jim is probably in his mid-sixties. He walked with the aid of a cane; he’d just had both hips replaced—one in July and one in August… of this year! Jim grasped my hand and almost brought me to my knees with a handshake, and looked as if he was about to throw his cane aside and start running around the museum lobby. Jim is inspiration personified.

Mountain climbers at 12,000 feet on Mount Blanc in the French Alps.

I mentioned earlier that places can infuse energy into the spirit. Places, you say? Yes, places! I find energy when I’m in the mountains. There is an indescribable rush I get whenever I approach mountains, and the closer I get and more spectacular the mountain, the greater the rush. I love the views from Hawk Mountain in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, as well as those riding along Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Forest in Virginia. But my adrenalin really starts to pump in the Rockies, goes into overdrive at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, and I thought I’d explode at Mount Blanc in the French Alps.

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland are captivating.

Most human beings with a pulse get energy from music, whether jazz, punk, classical, alternative or hard rock. When I’m on a long run, say a two-hour trek through the countryside, and I’m about to tackle a long, steep hill, I like to blast the Foo Fighters Walk on my iPod. By the time Dave Grohl  finishes screaming:

I never wanna die

I never wanna die

I’m on my knees

I never wanna die

I’m dancing on my grave

I’m running through the fire

Forever, whatever

I never wanna die

I’m at the top of the hill, arms extended into the sky, victorious. Tennessee Williams once said, “In memory everything seems to happen to music.”

So, find your energy and get ready for the big day—marathon day! You’ll be glad you did when you get to the “Six Miles of Truth.” That’s when you’ll need to access your energy to make it to the finish line.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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2 Responses to Access Your Energy – Part II

  1. Another fabulous post Jim. I believe too, and have experienced many times over that a place can infuse energy into the spirit. And depending on the place, many types of spirit :-)) This is something that all runners, hikers or outdoor lovers have the chance to experience and your post is a lovely invitation to do so. Nicely done.


  2. Wow Jim! (dashes for another big mug of coffee)


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