Friday, June 22, 2012

The Heat burn the Thunder

I'm no big fan of the Miami Heat, but their utter destruction of the Oklahoma City Thunder in game five showed that they have finally learned how to play as a team. On the other hand, OKC forgot how to do so. Just watching Kevin Durant bring the ball down the floor and twice in just a couple of minutes attempt to dribble behind his back when surrounded by Heat players, only to have the ball stolen both times, tells you all you need to know about this game. All three of the triumverate of  Durant, Westbrook, and Hardin made critical rookie mistakes, just when it looked like they might get back in the game. The Thunder have a lot to learn before they can win a championship. I expect the Heat to dominate for the next two or three years because they have finally learned how to play together, and LeBron has finally learned how to lead a team. I wanted the Thunder to win, but after I saw how they responded to adversity, I think they are a mile and a half away from doing so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This could be the end

I never want to say "never again". It's so final. But I've done a lot of thinking about my running lately, and I'm thinking it's time to hang up the spikes, so to speak. Here's why. For most of my life, my running has been because of my love of competition--it has been a means to an end. The end was always getting myself to the point where I could be competitive as a runner. I enjoyed the training because I enjoyed the thought of finally winning my age group.
I think I had an epiphany about this a few weeks ago while on a hike up Mount Raymond. On the way back, as I staggered down the trail, pretty tired, I saw this gazelle--a human gazelle--running up the trail. Of course the guy was maybe twenty years younger than me, but I really couldn't have done that twenty years ago either. I'm just not a distance runner.
I've always been more like a decathlete than a long distance runner, although in my late teens to early twenties, when I weighed in the mid-150s, I once did a 5k in under 20 minutes. Still, that was the pinnacle for me. At nearly 53 now, I could no more approach that than I could recite Shakespeare's Othello from cover to cover. Nor do I really think I'd like to do the training to get me there.
You see, now I just love working out to be fit. I can take a day off if I want to without feeling like it's hurting my race prospects. I can work out just for the joy of getting in shape. I can look more like a decathlete without worrying that I'm 193 pounds and there's no way I can beat the gazelles at the 5k--even in my age group--at that weight. In short, I can be me.
So, this year, I'll run my race on the 4th of July. But next year, maybe I'll do something different. It'll be a new feeling, but one I can definitely embrace. Then maybe, if I ever work out to the point where I get my body fat down below 10 percent, maybe then, I'll rethink things and wonder what I can do. Like I said, I never want to say "never". I hope this doesn't make anyone sad. I'm still the same me who wants to keep in shape to do the things I love in the outdoors. It's just that I no longer believe I can make the U.S. Olympic team. I guess my dreams have changed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Romney is using the "rope-a-dope"

In 1974, boxing legend, Muhammed Ali defeated the then champion George Foreman using a technique that came to be known as the “rope-a-dope”. The basis of this strategy was for Ali to hang out along the ropes, covering up and letting Foreman wear himself out by raining blows against Ali’s arms which were shielding is vitals and head. Eventually because of this strategy, Foreman exhausted himself in his futile attempt to beat Ali into submission. It seems now that Mitt Romney might also be employing kind of a rope-a-dope technique. The reason I say that is that Romney seems to be laying low while the President is running all around the country doing fundraisers (at last count he’d already done 150 of them). As the President does this, it allows him to make many rhetorical mistakes along the way, highly visible to the public who will be making up their minds soon on whom to vote for in the November elections. Meanwhile, Romney is laying low, seemingly awaiting the right moment to spring forth with his own attack, giving life to the old adage “give someone enough rope and he’ll hang himself”. Obama seems to be doing a fine job of it.