Running for Your Life: Live Tree or Die

It’s spring! Time to enjoy your trees, and the trees close to you!

Got a spare $20, or so? Scoot on down to your closest independent bookstore and buy (or order) “The Hidden Lives of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben, a German-born forester.

If you think the twist on the famous patriotic line above is an accident, think again. With the prospect of Hillary Clinton running against Donald Trump in the presidential election, independents and deep-thinking political folks in the US are going to need a new hobby during the next several months, now that country and patriotism have been co-opted by the likes of these two.

So, how about trees, instead? Reading Wohlleben and you will never see a tree the same way. Or view its roots, the role of fungus (of all things), even the positive side of death (when it comes to a glorious communitarianism – not Communism!) that we impoverished human beings can learn more than a thing or two about.

Next: Running for Your Life: Half Size It

Running for Your Life: Don’t Smoke Your Joints

I’ve become a believer in joint respect. When it comes to running, that means knees, hips and ankles.

So what to do? Well in two words: stretch and strengthen.

To his end, I have to thank my friends at One on One Physical Therapy on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. They turned me on to the most simple but effective exercises that I’ve been doing every other day without fail since late last fall.

That amounts to lunges (watch that the bent knee does NOT go beyond your outstretched foot) and squats (similarly, work to thrust the butt back in such a way that the bent knees do NOT go beyond your outstretched feet), and leg raises that focus on both quad and buttock muscle strengthening in order to take even more pressure off the knees (and consequently your ankles, which will benefit from a softer foot strike on run). Other exercises too, but this is the core of my treatment method.

As to hips, I always end my exercise workout with a series of hip stretches to keep them limber. Hamstrings too, which need special care as we age.

So, do yourself a favor. Don’t smoke your joints. The benefits will be amazing. When you’re deep into a pain-free five-mile run, you’ll thank me !

Next: Running for Your Life: Live Tree or Die

Running for Your Life: Yes, 21 Days !

Last Friday (April 22) a revelation occurred in a nondescript Gowanus gallery hideaway named “Nihil,” or Latin for nothing.

On that Nothing night “21 Days Under the Sky” was screened for a small group of family, friends and biker insiders, that showcased the coming out of writer-bard-badass Kate O’Connor Morris. Yes, my beloved daughter, and although I consider myself a lifelong writer and editor, such power, confidence and pitch-perfect tone and timing, was not learned at my feet. The Kate you hear in the 3D narration of this documentary about chopper culture is a true original. And, yes, I am in awe of that talent.

But don’t take my word for it. Download this amazing Fox Digital studio movie from iTunes or Netflix. Judge for yourself. Oh, and do yourself a favor and save the first viewing on a wide high-def screen with the highest quality sound. You won’t want to miss a word of Kate’s narration – or a tune in its one-of-a-kind soundtrack.

Next: Running for Your Life: Don’t Smoke Your Joints

Running for Your Life: If the Greats Were With Us Thursday

I had the most pleasant surprise the other day, when I picked up a slender galley copy of a memoir called “Letter From a Young Poet” by Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962), from the review table at my place of work, the New York Post.

What a read! A perfect anecdote to the loud, self-serving blather of this endless political season. The letter was written by Plutzik in the waning months of his twenties, looking back on what he had done since leaving Trinity College (Connecticut) and his mentor, Odell Shepard.   

Here is a sampling of the foreward by poet Dan Halpern:

The highlight of Shepard’s letter [in reply to Plutzik; it was never posted] is the following passage regarding the nature of writing, of the writer/artist:  “... and hence comes that feeling of being ‘superfluous’... and a sense of utter solitude as a mask of his genius, and soon after, despairing of communication, he comes to write...  For himself alone, in a prolonged soliloquy.” Was Shepard invoking what Rilke wrote forty years earlier in his letter to another young poet, “Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.”?

This slim volume has treasures galore. This great is certainly deserving of renewed attention.

Next: Running for Your Life: Yes, 21 Days !

Running for Your Life: Primary School

King Don! the New York Post blares (April 20).

Hill Cruises Against Bernie.

After This, It Sure Looks All DonHill From Here

So it’s Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump in the general election. Or that’s what the betting money is telling you.

Cable news is awash with NOTHING but this story. (Except that the image of Harriet Tubman has been chosen to replace former president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, the most common note in middle-class circulation. Huzzah!)

As to Primary School (don’t even start with how the Caucus works). In New York (these are state rights, not to be assumed for the 49 other jurisdictions), a closed primary system, only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic Primary. As to Republicans, that’s governed by their own state rules, and yes, for Republicans, you also have to be a registered Republican to vote in the Republican Primary.

Then delegates get selected … Here’s a look-see on the GOP New York process from a website that is actually as cogent as possible given the depth of convolution (from

“The Republican Party does things differently in New York, as it does in many other states. It's not a strict winner-take-all state, because the candidate who gets the most, or even a majority, of votes in the state doesn't get all its 95 Republican delegates. In certain circumstances, though, a candidate may win all of a certain type of delegate in New York.