Under Construction

Lights In the Distance. . .

Walks’ Outdate – 132 Days and Counting

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Geez Louise, will somebody please give me some Ibuprofen. I got muscles where I didn’t know they still were, however, I do in fact now know they are there, not only because they are killin’ me but also because I did it to myself. See we all know I’m on the way to getting out, and over the years since 1999 I have gained a good amount of weight. So a month ago I decided, “Hey Walks, let’s start an exercise plan to get a little fitness back in the old bod!” (it gets worse)

So I decide to start riding the recumbent bike, where you sit in the seat, legs in front pedaling forward, the machine has a cool screen and all these programs (designed to kill you) that let you ride courses, like “cross country” or “hill climb” or “basic program” where it’s pretty much just resistance with levels 1-10. So my first time out a month ago I get on this thing and what do you think I did? Yeah, hill climb level 8. WRONG!

Bonehead move Walks, it’s a 20-minute program at that level and while I did finish it, I will never, ever, do that to myself again. The next morning I woke up, sat up on the bed and threw my legs over the side and went to stand. Again, WRONG! I felt like someone had beat me with a bat, fed me to a pack of coyotes who proceeded to poop me over a cliff.

See, I hadn’t really done anything in a few years since 2018 when I last played softball, and unlike Tom Brady, I did in fact finish the career with the first place “Kansas City Royals” softball team in Yazoo Mississippi Correctional Center and then I came here. Not long after that I underwent surgery on my back. That’s when all hell broke loose and my athletic days were abruptly ended by unrepairable nerve damage to my spinal cord, so the first bike ride was the last at that moment.

But no… me being me, I wasn’t gonna let myself be left as a pile of coyote poop at the bottom of the cliff, so I decide to give it another shot…a realistic “doable” shot, where in I decided to start over, on the bike of course cuz as everyone knows,  criminals always return to the scene of the crime. I devise a scheme and a program where I ride for 5 minutes on level 5 and will do that for 2 weeks then go to 7 minutes on level 6. My thinking was that certainly I would be ready for a little ole 2 minute, 1-level graduation after 2 weeks. Again, (yea, you guessed it) WRONG!

Remember that thing with the coyotes? Yeah, that, well it struck again this morning, but this time I’m not gonna fold up like a cheap suit, I’m gonna take my round self back out there tonight for another ride. Yep, 7 minutes level 6. OK, maybe I’ll drop back to 5 for the last 2 minutes like “Sings Many Songs” suggested.

But the point is this, all my life till I injured the rotator cuff in my left shoulder in 1999 doing a negative bench press workout, I have been pretty well built, with the washboard stomach, and a lot of muscle. Then that happened, and I was out of commission for almost 11 months dealing with the injury and slowly, pound by pound and month by month I gained weight…a lot of weight. I went from the 6-pack abs I used to have, to the pony keg stomach I now have, and while I am in shape (hey, round is a shape) I’m not in as good a shape as I could be. I wanna get a little more strength and a little more stamina before I get out, so I had to do something cuz I just can’t accept me as a fluffy/cuddly/round shaped guy.

So I’m on this self-betterment mission to coincide with the spiritual/ emotional/ intellectual remodeling I have been undergoing since a couple decades ago. So, let me tell ya, while the coyotes are still very much hungry and just waitin on me, I will not be deterred in at least trying to keep from the trip thru their digestive system and then over the cliff. I’m gonna ride that dang bike for 2 more weeks and then who knows maybe level 7 for 8 minutes… but let’s not make that call at this moment, cuz as I found out the first attempt, sensible will get it completed, jumping in will make me jump out. And since I wanna do this I’ll just take it in 2-week increments. After all, I ain’t in a race, it’s for me and no one else, so I can stay where I’m at level wise and time wise if I want. No one is gonna get on me for trying to do better by my own health and maybe, just maybe, those coyotes will starve to death waitin’ on me to get in a hurry and bite off more than I can chew…

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an elder in my 9th decade. I have lived an ordinary life, I’ve done all the ordinary and expected things, went to school, got married, raised a family, tried to be a good person. Throughout this life I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. Then in my golden years, as I sought to find meaning in my existence, some unexpected things happened and I’ve since learned it took a lifetime to prepare me for the challenge to come. My journey – indeed my calling - led me to come to know a remarkable man who happened to be an inmate in federal prison. Nothing could have been more foreign to my personal experience. GHOST DANCER Communicating daily for nearly nine years I had the opportunity to walk many paths with Ghost discussing our thoughts on many common interests with candor and respect. With enormous generosity Ghost has allowed me to share his wisdom and knowledge of his Native American heritage on Journeys of the Spirit. Over time, Ghost gradually revealed his life story in small bits, like scrambled pieces of some gigantic puzzle. Now, after spending more than 40 years in prison, Ghost Dancer is at last free and ready to tell his amazing personal story. As the saying goes, “you can’t make this stuff up” and as his friend and editor I can say this is a story so big that even after working with him for nearly nine years, I continue to be astonished as he shares new details my mind simply could never imagine. From the very first chapter, Ghost leads us on his journey and invites us to walk with him on his Nene Cate (Red Road). From the day he was born, a happy, loving gifted child, he endured heartbreaking sorrows, betrayals and exploitations. Through it all, Ghost fought a system determined to destroy him by any means, as he struggled to remain true to his calling. Through Ghost Dancer I also met and came to know Walks On The Grass, another federal prisoner whose story is also compelling even though very different. In Journeys of the Spirit, Walks has shared his decades-long journey from deep addiction to wholeness in LONG ROAD HOME and shared other bits of his story in ALONG THE WAY. Now as he approaches his August release into this crazy world of 2022 Walks shares his the thoughts and misgivings as he counts down to the big day in LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE.

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