Friday, September 18, 2009

Forget Everything You Think You Know

While we were getting ready to meet Beaker and Nurse Kelly for lunch after grabbing our Official Team Tania jerseys from Captain Stacey, D’Kid asked, “Dad, can we skateboard today?”

She is a bike rider primarily, as we all know and doesn’t usually skateboard. Even when I’m goofing around in front of the house, she never asks, “Can I try?” I don’t think she’s 100% comfortable on it. For some reason, though, she thought today would be a good day to change that.

After we got home from meeting the crew, she got changed and clicked on the Disney Channel, as is her habit. “No, no, no!” I argued and proceeded to find some college football [Y’know, to see when Michigan would be playing and if they’d be televised]

As luck would have it, the
Dew Tour was on NBC. They were playing the Skate Vert portion. We watched for a few rounds. Mariel decided that Pierre-Luc Gagnon [or “PLG”] is way better than Tony Hawk.

At the break, she moved to action. “Okay dad, lets go.”

We got her safety’d up [helmet, knee and elbow pads] scooped up my board, and headed out to the sidewalk.

“Before we do anything,” I told her “Forget everything you think you know about skateboarding. Forget that you’ve ever tried to ride before, okay?” In a moment of enlightenment, I suspected what the cause of her discomfort may have been.

I had her stand with her feet together; then [from behind] I gave her a little shove. She instinctively stepped with her left foot to maintain her balance

“A-HA!!!” I proclaimed “We’ve been teaching you backwards. You’re not Goofy like me, after all!”

Once we got that straightened out, once and for all, it was only a matter of time [and baby-steps] to have her glide with me towing her, then just holding her hand, then unassisted. Once she was comfortable with “steering” we proceeded to teaching her how to kick/push.

Within two hours, we progressed from fear and frustration to “Let’s show Mom!!!” and “You’re an awesome teacher, Dad”

Just like teaching someone to ride a bike, it’s really hard to explain something that is second-nature to you.

But we succeeded.

“A teacher must never impose this student to fit his favourite pattern; a good teacher functions as a pointer, exposing his student's vulnerability (and) causing him to explore both internally and finally integrating himself with his being.” – Bruce Lee


In much the same way, I had to “forget everything you think you know about fruit beer” when D’Wife brought home a bottle of Melbourn Brothers Cherry. My experience to date with fruit beer has been mostly light and fizzy [Raspberry Wheats from all over, Harpoon’s Raspberry Hefeweizen, Long Trail BlackBeary Wheat, Magic Hat #9 (apricot)] with the exception of Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic and Coney Island Freaktoberfest – which may or may not have had fruit in it, but is certainly was pink!!! In a word … Girly.

However, when I opened this bottle a rich cherry aroma came up to me. Not fake cherry either, like in Life Savers or Tootsie Pops, but the real deal. Sweet, but mostly sour, this fruit beer isn’t for cheerleaders, it’s not even for quarterbacks; it’s for hockey or rugby players. It’s for someone who doesn’t mind getting a little rough from time to time. I wouldn’t drink it all day, by any means, but it’s a nice treat.

Well worth forgetting what you think you know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Extended vacation, perhaps, but NOT permanent

“I tried to register for the Philly Half in Nov. It's sold out. So is the full. Got to reg for the 8K NOW before that sells out.”

Semi-facetiously I replied:

“Really? Cool!!! I get the weekend off and save a few bucks. Plus, I can quit training completely, at least for the Fall; maybe by Spring I might even give up running altogether, like I did before!!!”

“That is the bestest news!!! Thanks, Lori

I say “semi-“ facetiously, because, as much as I talk a good game about just getting up in the morning and doing my miles, mindlessly and with a plan or goal; without have something to look forward to, I can get pretty complacent. By the same token, I thoroughly enjoy those morning runs, out in the dark, quiet solitude; the moments of Zen I find along the way, like glittering beads among the gravel at the side of the road. After rediscovering the joy [and therapy] that running brings me, the sense of accomplishment to get up before the dawn and “Just …” well, you know how that goes [and I can’t afford to pay NIKE, so I’ll just let you fill in the blank there]

Anyway, I’m not going to let this running thing slip away. Yeah, I’ll probably take the rest of the month off to focus on training for the MS150 City to Shore that I’m doing with D’Wife; but, when I turn the calendar over to October, I’ll have the Ben Franklin Bridge Challenge in my sights.

A rematch with Doe and The King? Perhaps a new rivalry from Disco Bob? [a long-lost friend from college, I recently reconnected with through Facebook] A chance to drop my time from last year? [note, I'm not saying "PR" ... that's runner-speak]

Bring on The Autumn

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tornado Warning

I'll run in the rain. I'll run in the wind. I'll even run in a thunderstorm [if it starts after I've left the house].

But when I wake up, put on The Weather Channel to check the temperature and decide what length of sleeve I'm going to get soaked in, and see "Tornado Warning?"

That, my friends, is a just little bit outside of my comfort zone.

I apologize if I let anyone down.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

In These Tough Economic Times ...

The Pressure's OFF!!! … Not that I was feeling any, by any means. Training has been pretty good, although the long runs could have been a bit longer. Speed is picking up a little bit, too [ran 25:12 for my middle 3 miles of this past Sunday’s 8]

That being said; ITTET, throwing down the $$$ for the registration, when D’Wife’s just starting to get us caught up on the bills after being out of work all summer, is kinda selfish. Especially this month, with D’Kid’s tuition being added to the mix.

I’m taking PDR off my race calendar, backing down my running to maintenance mode [5 on weekdays and 8 or so on Sundays] and concentrating on bike training for the MS150 City to Shore on October 3. If our schedule works out, we’ll come over to cheerlead on Sept 20, but I won’t be putting on a number. WAH!!!

PS: The Ben Franklin Bridge 10K on Nov 1 and Philly Half on Nov 22 are still a go [“are still go’s???”] just gotta find a place for D'Kid, as D'Wife will be working Sundays at that point.