Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 1.24 Everything

Everything all the time.

One of my favorite lyrics. From Life in the Fast Lane by the Eagles.

Everything; Focus, power, skill, grace, speed, élan, joy. And the your ability to bind them together with the power of presence. Your acumen and degree of mental toughness. THAT is everything.

All the time: Maybe just when you feel lit it? Maybe when you have satisfied the prerequisites of training; rest, proper nutrition and adequate situational rehearsal? When you have the time? When you get that new (pick as many as apply) bike, kit, training plan, race entry, girlfriend. Or ALL the time?

Anything less sounds off-key and out of tune.

Somethings some of the time.

Total disrespect for eternity. No honor here. No effort = No deep inner satisfaction.

The interesting thing is that well over 90% of the general population doesn't get this. And I realize that there are priorities that supersede training and racing. Good health and fitness, even.

But YOU are not in that percentile. Are you?

YOU are in the top ten percent.

And you know what it is going to take to both stay there and move into the top five.


Everything all the time.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 1.23 The Path with Heart

It has been said that the journey of a thousand miles starts with the a single step.

I believe this to be true. We gotta start somewhere and there is no better time than now. In fact there no OTHER time than now.

So let's get going.

With whatever needs doing. Move towards it.

That thousand miles?

Works out to be 63,360,000 inches.

Further, as an inch is to a foot as a foot is to a mile and as a mile is to eternity, we can only start, and then continue. We have to begin at some point along that path.

That journey.

THIS journey.

Let us find tools to stay motivated, inspired and strong, because there will be opportunities for distraction, elements of fear and occasions of temptation. We will think that it isn't worth the effort and head for the fridge as we surf the web.

Keep moving on this journey along the path with heart. I want for me and I wish for you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 1.22 Heaven and Hell

A Samurai warrior comes to a Zen master to ask a question.

Master I would like to know if Heaven and Hell really exist.

Laughing and mocking him, the Master (in present day jargon) says don't be ridiculous, you are fat, lazy, uneducated and uncouth. Therefore no teacher in the world would answer this important question for such an unprepared person, Samurai or civilian.

The Samurai was incensed and as the Mater walked away he drew his sword intent on decapitating the ignorant monk.

Just as his sword was about to cut the Master he suddenly turned and said to the warrior, 'That, sir, is hell'.

The Samurai stopped cold and realizing he had created his own hell through pride and anger, and seeing the profundity of the Masters words, fell at his feet in humble reverence.

The Master looked down upon him, lifted the Samurai's head gently and quietly said, 'And that, sir, is Heaven.'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 1.21 Mate

I don't really know if there is an equivalent of manic-depression with the physical. If you had the misfortune to read yesterday's post , you learned that I was, a short distance from the literal perhaps, feeling as if on my death bed.

That was yesterday. After a dreary day of over-hydration, rest, comfort food and a solid 9 hours of sleep, I am happy to announce that I am back. Live from Seattle.

Our spin session this morning was just the jump start I needed. And now as I type to you and watch (and film) the splendid sunrise over the Emerald City, I feel like a new man.

Hence the reference to polar extremes in the opening sentence.

It is hard to imaging anything more dramatic. From the depression of sickness to the wonder of vitality. For me, If there once was a question on this binary example of how important good health truly is to the quality of our lives, the last 24 hours removed any lingering doubt.

I feel like I went to bed in Kansas and woke in OZ. (Those of you in Kansas please know that this is the second reference to your beautiful state today - as earlier in class I used the metaphor of constantly riding hills and then riding the flats in Kansas as an example of how intense efforts make everything else seem easy. I added the verbal fine print that there are, contrary to popular cycling belief, some outstanding bumps in the K-State topography.)

So I am happy to have had the experience. It was most humbling. I had a chance to witness the empirical sensation of being out of gas. On empty. Stalled, stuck and stranded, red lights flashing from every gauge. Down and almost out.

And now this glorious start to the day. What a turnaround. Miraculous. I thought thinking about travel, movement, energy might help, and it did.

I want to get back to Australia and just walk about. Sit on Bondi beach and play my didge. Mix it up with the locals. Swim with sharks. Advance the story.

Send good vibes back home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 1.20 in Dog Years

Ya know when they say 'sick as a dog'?

That is my sorry arse today. Virus on top of the whole cardio enchilada. Bad mix.

Last night was the worst. Couldn't decide whether to go to ER, call the cardiology department, or self medicate. 

Chose the latter, with water, electrolytes, protein supplements and a pair of Advils along with the frustrating search for a comfortable horizontal sleeping posture. Nice try fido.

I think I was able to doze into a light sleep only to have it turn nightmarish with astonishing speed. For the sake of exposition, here is the outline: I am having a cardiac episode, myocardial infarction of catastrophic proportion. I realize in my dream (I think it was a dream) that I have been trained to respond by a series of precise movements, starting with holding my breath while laying on my  right side. As I exhale I roll over to the left and go into full relaxation mode. It is here that I realize that I have skipped a step in the sequence and unless I repeat perfectly and sequentially, from the top, with the clock running - almost out of time - it is officially the end of game. This futile exercise goes on until I force quit and check pulse, which of course I cannot find. I lay there wondering about the nature of time as my chest heaves and heart pounds.

So today I am in the dog house with a dry nose and runny eyes wondering how many dog years are left.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 1.19 Swoosh

As much as it hurts me to say, pains me to admit and fills my soul with impuissance, it is nevertheless true.

One of the greatest advertising campaigns of all time promotes a company I have had issues with for twenty years.

I do not run in their shoes.
I do not wear their gear.
I do not support their teams.

Have you guessed by now of whom I speak?

Of course you have.

But let's be sure to separate to two. One is the company and the other an advertising agency. The former hires the latter to promote their image, their products and their brands. How they do that is the genius behind the sales, in my most humble of assessments.

When Nike came out with the 'Just Do It' campaign, it was widely accepted as very good. It is more than very good - it is great. Dare I say phenomenal. How the slogan addresses every situation, sporting or otherwise, with its prolixity is nothing short of amazing. I mean, really, can you imagine a more altruistic campaign from somebody trying to sell running shoes? It answers every question first, then powerfully moves from emotion to inspiration with nary an overt pitch for sales. Pre might have even approved.

It is brilliant. Cunning. Didactic.

Just Do It. Beautiful.

Just Do It.

I think Dr. King and the Seahawks would agree.

PS: I LOVE seeing Huskies in the end zone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 1.18 as an example

Each could go in multiple directions.

For the sake of exercise, practice and creative application, let's go through the drill. It is Sunday at 0600.

Yesterday we talked about four media forms of communication, the book, the film, the book on tape and music. Of course there are others, but those are the Fab Four. Here is an illustration of the possibilities inherent in each (done ten times faster than right now).

The book:

Sunday dawned in blustery blue, winds pushing gray clouds and icy waters from the South.

The film:

Inside. Dawn.
August wakes from a troubled sleep to the crashing sound of falling trees. He is shocked into the day with the realization that this is going to make an already tense situation borderline impossible.

The Book on Tape:

'Dear Lord', he gasped, fumbling for his glasses and flashlight, 'Goddam tree just fell on the roof', then with a pause second-guessing his initial reaction, 'Or was that a dream?'

The Song:

Winter winds across the sky
why ooh why ooh?
I need your love to calm this storm
to see us through this troubled morn.

I am shooting time-lapse video of all this from my patio.

Let you know how it renders.

Seize whatever the day brings (he said aloud heading towards the door).