Running One’s Stories

My girlfriend and I are running through the park yesterday on a warm, sunny, California afternoon when my partner — observing my relatively-slow jogging rate — suggests, “Ready to step up the pace?”

Nonplussed, I respond: “Give me a break! Can’t you see I’m struggling to keep up?”

Silence ensues, followed by a hurt: “I was just trying to help!”

What in the world has just happened here? One second we’re jogging along together in nature, the next we’re at each others’ throats.

7 Attitudes Towards Competition

“I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy.” –Woody Allen

It’s funny how the things we learn in elementary school stick in our heads and take on an element of “truth” as we get older. As far back as I can remember, for example, my teachers told me that I should *never* talk to other students while taking a test, for that would be *cheating*.

Choosing Your Lessons

I’ve always played sports — never particularly well, mind you — but I’ve always played something. In elementary school and junior high, I was all about football — that is, until the game graduated from flags to tackle, I stopped growing and everyone else started to loom over me. In high school, I took up tennis, made the school team, and lost *every* match I played against the country club set. (Okay, I lost to everyone else, too) As an adult, I got into ultimate frisbee, then biking, and most recently, volleyball. Like I said, I’ve never been an “A” level athlete, but I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of progressing from graceless beginner to competent, not-stumbling-too-badly intermediate. And that’s fine. I’ve never felt compelled to devote the 10,000 hours required to become really brilliant at a particular sport. I fancy myself more of a jack of all sports kind of guy.

But still there are times…times when I think, “I could really be good at this…”

Phoenix – Arizona Science Center

A fun, indoor place to hold a team building exercise in Phoenix   Event Description: A compact, stimulating, indoor place for a corporate team building you can hold event all year long,  the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix is one of the best kept secrets in the Southwest.  In the…

San Diego — Zoo

A fun site to hold a team building exercise in San Diego   Event Description:   Sitting in the heart of scenic Balboa Park, is debatedly the greatest zoo in the world.   It’s certainly an amazing place, with over 3,700 animals to visit and observe.   The SD Zoo pioneered the concept…

Healdsburg, CA (Wine County)

A fun site to hold a team building exercise in Healdsburg   Event Description: An appealing, “bucolic” site for a corporate team building event, downtown Healdsburg is an upscale neighborhood with restaurants, boutiques, and coffee shops galore.   Walk 2 blocks away from the town square, however, and the scene shifts…

Running on Empty

Trudging up the modest incline yesterday towards Spring Lake – huffing and puffing, chest tight, legs heavy as stones — I feel a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that this run is going to be a momentous struggle. To my utter dismay, this 50-year-old body of mine just isn’t responding the way it had on our last run, when my girlfriend and I had sped around the 6-mile course in Santa Rosa (CA)’s Howarth Park in record time, barely breaking a sweat. On this brisk, fall afternoon, however – red leaves lining our path and picking up the last golden light of the day – I am laboring significantly, my feet unable to lift much higher than a walnut. “This isn’t fair,” I say to myself. “Each of our previous runs over the last two months has been slightly better and measurably stronger than the one preceding it. And our last outing was the best yet. Effortless. So what’s the story today? What gives?”

Mindfulness at Work: The Goose is Out

There’s a Zen koan that goes like this:

“If a man puts a gosling in the bottle and feeds it until it is full-grown, how can the man get the goose out without killing it or breaking the bottle?”

Apparently this riddle has been driving Zen monks crazy for the past several hundred years. Now, the thing about koans is this: they’re not supposed to be easy. Wikipedia describes koans as a Zen-practice “to provoke ‘the great doubt’, and test a student’s progress in Zen practice.”