One car in the parking lot of Floyd Fitness Center at 0525 Wednesday as I parked beside it for my first activities of the morning — a brisk cardio workout for the next 35-45 minutes to begin the day.

For many years, I began each morning with workouts at Olympic Gym at Seven Corners in Falls Church and later Gold’s Gym, which moved in closer to our condo in the Virginia Square in Arlington.

Such morning workouts helped keep me in shape for what then was a nonstop lifestyle, but I lapsed after moving to Floyd in 2004 and ignored the warning signs of flab and extra weight until getting back into the workout habit a little over a month ago, along with physical therapy at Peak Rehab for lingering problems from the motorcycle accident that tried to kill me in 2012.

Three times a week takes me to Floyd Fitness each morning at 0530.  I’m home by 0630 where a fresh pot of coffee awaits along with a hot shower and two to three hours of work on the computer on two web sites.

With determination, I hope to stretch the workout to an hour at least five days each weekday morning.

That routine allows me to arrive at Circuit Court on Tuesday mornings at 9 or 9:30 a.m. (later hours when Drug Court kicks off the day) or at the Board of Supervisors at 8:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Both court and the supervisors kept me at one or the other this Tuesday until late afternoon and I did not get home until after 6 p.m. to write the Supervisors story last night and will write the court story shortly for this week’s paper — the third news story for this week.

Although I left the gym sore and tired, a bottle of Gatorade restored my electrolytes on the way home and the coffee and a shower perked me up before sitting down in front of computer screens to begin the day.

While one gym participant beat me in on this Wednesday morning, more than a dozen cars occupied the parking lot when I left a little after 6 a.m.  Fitness appears popular in Floyd County.

Although I lapsed after leaving Washington after 23 years working in and out of the Capital Region, I hope return to a decent weight with reasonable flexibility in a few months.  At age 70, getting back into shape takes a little longer and the workouts remind me of a promise of “pain is only he beginning” once uttered by one of my trainers back more than 40 years ago.

By the time I leave the gym, I pretty much own the day.  My mind is clearer, my movements require less effort or pain and I approach a long and brutal schedule with enthusiasm and vigor.

of course, at my age, a heart attack or stroke could take me down in an instant but surviving a crash that damn near killed me a little over five years ago suggests I have other things to do and, hopefully, accomplish before the grim reaper comes calling.

When we moved to Floyd nearly 14 years ago, I hoped to get away from the political shenanigans of Washington but they continue and keep me busy editing and writing for a national political web site.  CNN and MSNBC call from time to time for video coverage of national news in the area and the phone call from a Washington assignment editor sent me to Blacksburg with my cameras to cover the massacre at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2017.

I still get invites to appear on cable TV shows as “a veteran political operative” and have traveled back to DC to speak to the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism from time to time.

In 1981, I was a 33-year-old newspaperman with more than 15 years of experience at two dailies who went to Washington for what I thought would be a couple of years learning about government and politics.  After a dozen years as a political and Capitol Hill operative, I finally returned to journalism but remained in Washington for another 11 years.

At 70, I could retire and do something else but I can’t image not getting up each morning, writing about the news of the day and/or taking photos for newspaper and web use.

I am what I am and still damn happy about it.

Some don’t like it.  Please don’t waste time asking if I care.

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