Friday, September 4, 2015

Day 9.157 Now for Instance

There are so many ways, so many paths, unlimited options.

All we need to do is pick one. Or several. The load is up to you.

But we need to have a goal. There must be motivation and dedication to a dream. You have to move in the direction of your highest definition of self.

It can be intellectual, physical or spiritual. You can spend your life chasing wisdom, pumping iron or seeking enlightenment, or maybe find something that contains all three.

I will make the case today that a synergy of this sacred triad is available to us all today. Here. And of course, right now.

Take an activity, any activity. For the sake of this exercise I will select indoor cycling.

1) Know thy goal.
2) Commit to that goal.
3) Begin the quest.
4) Understand the parameters, potential and protocols. This is the intellect.
5) Move with grace and awareness in the present moment.
6) Be aware of sensations, changes, challenges, demands, your response.
7) Find the flow. This is the physical.
8) Combine your commitment with the reality of the process. Adaptation takes time.
9) Listen to your body and silence your mind.
10) Hear your spirit ask for permission to join the passion play.

I have made this guarantee in the past and I will no doubt make it again in the future, but for RIGHT NOW…

Allow me to suggest that if you are successful with your blending of mind and body, the natural sum of those parts is enlightenment, the total involvement of soul with the corporal and the cerebral. You become aware of your power, your place on the path and your mission. This is where the guaranteed fun begins.

Eventually we will see that once this lofty level of understanding is reached, it is about teaching others, walking with them down their path, assisting, leading, mentoring, demonstrating, encouraging. Perhaps providing structure or discipline, sometimes with a pat on the back, other times with a kick to the rear.

We are all on this course together. I may ride my bike faster than you but at the finish line we all earn the same result. THERE IS NO REASON TO GET THERE FASTER.

I think it is our duty to make that course as accessible and joyful as we can.

For everyone.

One way is to practice. Another is to share. A third is to love.

We can practice sharing love at anytime.

Now for instance.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 9.156 All for Today

I was planning on heading back to Virginia for the World Cycling Championships in a couple of weeks. Got a decent quote on air by cashing in a credit from a cancelled flight, a cheap rental car and a $35/night Airbnb room in downtown Richmond.

I decided not to go. I am house/dog sitting at the same time and don't feel like asking someone to do that work for me. Just wouldn't be right.

So then I looked at Yellowstone. Costs the same to fly to Bozeman as it does to Richmond. Plus moving the window forward means that I would have to lean on my tireless cache of spin-substitutes, something I only do when absolutely necessary.

All of that means that my filming for the season is probably over. Unless a sponsor comes forward and likes the idea of having their logo watermarked in every frame of the 60 per second. 2015:

North Cascades Highway
Hurricane Ridge
Santa Fe Century (in production)
Skyline Dr., VA
Crater Lake

Four pretty fair rides. If we could get them - them meaning Real Course Videos - to market a touch faster I could reinvest the royalties back into more work. But my colleagues in the home office have been slow. Painfully so.

The possibility remains intact for an October Moab trip. We shall see. Virginia, Montana, Wyoming and Utah notwithstanding, I googled around yesterday to see what a spring trip to the Dolomites might ding me.

YIKES.

$1,300 just for air. Add a week of hosteling, a couple plates of rigatoni, a bottle or two of local wine, a Fiat 500 and petrol, and we are over two large.

Double yikes. Mama Mia yikes.

That is the latest on the RCV front. Wish I had better news.

Elsewhere Jack cried at the end of Season Three. When he did I did too. Season Three is a masterpiece. It is my favorite. We start Season Four tonight after our SOLD OUT PB session. Even Jack would smile about that!

The Huskies open the 15-16 CF campaign tomorrow night in Boise against BSU. They are a good team, we are young, inexperienced and may even start a true freshman as OB for the first time in UW history. Vegas has us as 10-12 point road dawgs. We have them right where we want them. Coach Pete returns to the program he built into national prominence and leads a rabid Husky pack of snarling pups to a signature 29-21 win. You woofed it here first!

My left hip flexor is on fire.

It feels like fall. My nose froze this morning riding the Honda to spin class.

I was overwhelmed by the FB Happy Birthday wishes. Thank you all sincerely.

I am sleeping better.

We, Junior and I, did 47 consecutive push-ups yesterday. We are meeting for a workout every afternoon after school at 4:30 for some PT.

All for today.

Buona notte amici.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 9.155 Your Choice

I am the first to admit that yesterday's post was a little weak. Because I was. We have come to review these weakloglings as 'streak keepers', meaning, of course, that by their mere posting the streak of consecutive days remains intact, uninterrupted, alive and well.

That is one thing. The quality of post is another.

The quality level of me telling you that it has been a long day and I need some shut-eye to restore and prepare for today, is like me posting that ominous clouds are playing peek-a-boo with the Big Dipper. Not exactly cogent prose inspiring likes and shares.

I should have scheduled the effort when I still had gas in the tank, after all today is just as hectic on a different level, with three classes and a workout with Jr. Reality doesn't slow down just because I need a nap.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, it has been said.

I have been talking all day (in two of the three classes) about something called the P2S ratio. The pain to suffering ratio. In his book, The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Llama tells us that pain is exterior and suffering interior. We burn our hand and pain suggests that we might want to avoid open flames in the future. Because that is our hard wiring, AVOID PAIN AT ALL COST. Yet the paradox is that life is suffering. That is so central to happiness that it carries the moniker of The First Nobel Truth. What an honor. Because once we understand and accept this fact, it changes completely, and is no longer painful. It simply is.

Like going all out. Like being all in. There is no middle ground. You are either flying with eagles or grounded with earthworms.

Pain is the separator. We all know that maximum effort is anything but easy. It hurts. It stings like a bee. It then laughs at our pathetic response to it. It is an exterior force producing an interior response. Unless we diligently work within this concept, experience it, embrace it, own it, we will always run for safety and protection from the very thing that will empower us most.

Pain is pain. We can learn to endure. We can tweak our definition and transcend. We can stand up to it, unblinkingly, and intrepidly. We can call its bluff.

WITH OR WITHOUT SUFFERING.

It can feel so good to hurt so bad. It is all perspective.

Once again spinning imitates spirit much as art imitates life. 

Suffer or no? Your choice.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 9.154 Nothng

Other than a 0400 start and a 2000 finish. Been a long day. We helped a lot of kids get a good start on the new scholastic year. Go get 'em!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Day 8.153 A Cuppa Joe

Coffee breaks rule.

After our 0530 jump-start spin session this fine last day of August, I had a chance to get caught up with an old friend. To say that we shared a cuppa Joe nails both the what and who.

My friend Joe has worked on the hill in DC since the Reagan years. He is prolific in politics, history, business and reform. He has also lost 55 pounds since we first met. a few years ago.

We talked a lot of politics this morning, a little on the issues but more on the candidates. He was in full-on debate mode so I fed him with honest questions to keep his big motor running.

It was fascinating. From tales of the voyage of the St. Louis, his parents' pilgrimage from the Ukraine, his work with Carter, Nixon and Clinton to his opinion on the state of the state (embarrassing), my only responsibility was to keep his cup full and my mind open.

I kept suggesting that the modern world is rife with complex issues, and that sometimes one needs to pick the lesser evils, consider the greater good, or simply protect the needs of the many.

He was surprised at my fence squatting. I never took you for a casualty of these wars, he said looking through me with piercing eyes.

It's not true?

Of course its true but to throw up your hands and declare that there is nothing we can do about it, is exactly what they want you to do. They win and you lose.

OK, I get that, so what DO we do then?

We ask two questions.

I encouraged his elaboration of questions with the obvious one of my own.

Which two?

What and How.

I resisted the temptation to play the fool and ask, what and how what, so I took a sip of percolated mud and waited.

What do we need to do? And how do we do it?

There is a touch of paradox there.

Only if you're in the middle.

Pause.

More coffee?

Sure.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day 8.152 Forgive Me My Sins

I distinctly remember the day.

I was in fourth grade. In a small Catholic school in Southern California (Not St Peter's on Kona). This will be painful and I wish I could just hit the delete button and bloviate about riding or racing or training or, bloody hell, even swimming, but I need to do this.

So then...

It was in our catechism class. We had to memorize  the basic tenants of Catholicism, a chore I was never very good at. It confused the heck out of me that all this could be explained by the simple memorization of complex concepts well above my understanding.

Who made me?

God made me.

Yeah, OK, thanks, that helps.

It got worse, a lot worse, from there. I just didn't get it. Nothing made sense to me. I was lost, confused and just wanted to go outside and play. I was good at THAT! I didn't have a terrific relationship with my maker but by God I could hit a baseball half a mile.

When we got to the forgiveness part it really sent my plane into a tailspin.

Let me get this straight - When I go to confession, an altogether horrifying experience in that tiny, dark space - one on one with the Pastor - and confess my sins, they are all instantly forgiven?

What if I did something worse, much worse, than my usual laundry list of evil doings: Talking back to Mom, cussing, being mean to my little sisters, stealing bubble gum from the Drug Store, etc. etc. What if I, as an example, stole a car or robbed a bank or stabbed Sister Finkel with a switchblade? Would five Hail Marys and five Our Fathers get me off the damnation hook?

I was told at the time that, yes, indeed it would.

WOW, I thought, already scheming a heist in the third aisle of the Hobby Shop, this is easy pickings.

It wasn't for many years, many sins and altogether too many memorized prayers as penance that I realized the missing component in all this sin and forgiveness malarkey.

Sincerity. You gotta mean it and vow to avoid the temptation to do it again. Whatever sin 'it' is.

We play pretty fast and loose with the commandments in this age of information. We kill, steal, bear false witness, covet goods and wives, dishonor our elders and make criminals of the poor. Without confession or sentencing.

This is the society and its code that we have built. Upon this rock we lie, steal and cheat for the sole purpose of a accumulating green cotton paper on which proclaims In God We Trust.

I started out this piece, it being Sunday, with the intent of proclaiming some my  sins, mistakes, omissions and flat out stupid mistakes that have haunted me since fourth grade. I made another one just yesterday.

Maybe a confession would repair my broke down karma.

Maybe complete catharsis and closure is appropriate at this point on this road.

Maybe I will remember this day as another point on the timeline of a soul still searching for answers.

And forgiveness.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 8.151 We are Watching

It will infuriate us in ways we couldn't imagine,
and WOW us in ways we can never predict.

The 'it' in reference here is a college football team. We are in game week after what seems like an eternity of other, lesser sports. And questions abound.

Who are we?
How are we?

These are trying, but fun times. Speculation and prognostication run amok down the artificial turf like rookies in Pamplona. These are kids and as talented and special as they are, they make mistakes. Often at the most crucial times. All part of the manic depressive life of a college football fan who lives and dies with his or her team.

Our coach has said that these kids, on their way to adulthood, represent the dumbest demographic. Although I agree, I think he said that with the same amount of affection that any parent might say of their teenagers.

There is hot debate right now over our QB controversy. Will we start a true freshman, throw him to the Pac12 defensive wolves, or play a junior who has been in the program for three years and looks like a linebacker?

The debate is also about winning. Of course. Win now or stockpile talent, culture and strength for the future? My spin is this: Do what you must to win today. Wins today, this season, prepare for future Vs.

The last time I checked there were over 200 comments posted about this.

My take is that the person who is ultimately responsible, to his team, his school and the fans (the media can take a hike) is the head coach, the CEO of this organization.

There is a reason why this coach is the highest paid employee in the state.

He makes those decisions.

We are watching.