Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 1.12 Tommy Jack

There are a couple of streaks in which I take great pleasure. I am not exactly sure where or when the importance of streaking (naked or not) became important, but it is. Most likely it was somewhere in the 60s when I was learning the ropes of life through the lens of sports. There were hitting streaks, losing streaks, back-to-backs and three-peats all representing the need for consistency of effective execution. Because in order to create a streak of any positive nature, you had to perform. You had to take your practice and schooling then put it into play. You had to win.

Winning of course being the subject of many a debate and misunderstanding.

Two of the more contemporary streaks in which I am most satisfied are:

I have not eaten meat since 1980. The last hamburger I demolished was at a super dive-in called Tommy's in LA. These burgers were so big, so good and so greasy that we would drive the 30 miles from our hood to Tommy's on a fairly regular basis.

The other one is this activity thing. Not for training (my Ironman streak was abruptly snapped in 2004) but the simple rite known as the work-out. Be it the bread and butter indoor cycling sessions, running, swimming, yoga, lifting or the recovery beach-comb, I have done something physical every day since, well, as long as I can remember. No one was keeping records (or score) way back then.
Also is the blog streak now into its second year of everyday posting. Not real flashy, with the only reward being the discipline involved with its continuance. Yet, somehow, magically, it endures. It has taken on some meaning, a daily ritual, with purpose and pleasure (most of the time).

As is the case with the above streaks, I seek ways and tools to improve, as witnessed yesterday with the blog on the use of the dictionary for spelling and syntax. Additionally, as we have discussed on many an occasion, I believe the mental component to be critical towards improvement. The more we focus our awareness - the better our chances of success. Of keeping a streak alive.

Last night as I was indulging in a Sunday night binge of the series 24, I had to hit the pause button because of a line that was delivered with amazing aplomb by Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). I recall it to be something like this:

If we compromise ONCE, that gives us permission to compromise again, and then again, and after a while it becomes our habit, it becomes us. We compromise to suit our objectives, justified by personal gain, ego, power or any combination of understandable, yet wholly unsatisfactory, reasons. So you cannot compromise even ONCE.

After absorbing the obvious metaphor and wondering if all the times I have compromised in the past might keep me from starting a new streak, (the no-compromise streak), I decided that it is OK to judge YOUR past and make the necessary corrections towards improvement.

So the no-compromise streak has begun. It began this morning at 0430. Incredibly it is still alive.

And I hit the play button smiling. As maybe Jack would.

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