Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Thoughts of Her

May 20, 2013

Why so many thoughts of her? Do I still love her? Or do I want to be her? The whole glossy fashion magazine life – the right brands, the right places. Somewhere between lululemon and YSL is Nirvana. There was – is – a regal grace about the woman that’s really sexy. The pinnacle of a plug for United Colors of Benetton extolling the virtue of temperance.

I imagine her also in a luxuriance only dreamed of in some Arabian legend of gold and wishes granted. Delighting in massage after massage at the hands of big strong men while little Asian ladies give the eternal pedicure – a kind of state of permanent blissful grooming.

In my thoughts, her Adidas tennis skirt is always hitched up revealingly, instantly recalling the après game, set and match. Her soul served in a chilled vodka (Absolut?) and cranberry cocktail, sitting on a mosaic-covered table overlooking the town of Santorini – bathed in sun and the snazziest French produit de soleil. She is certainly a tart du tropique.

Then there is the innate mastery of arts gastronomique. She will always be rosy and smiling, filled with Paris, fine wine and enough chocolate mousse to choke une cheval. Her lovely long blonde hair forever bathed in the candlelight of a bustling Parisian restaurant. Dinner at Chez Janou, for the rest of time.

Well, anyway, cheers to you madame. On avait l’amour, si meme pas pour longtemps.

Warm Up

January 26, 2012

Chesterman Beach

January 1, 2012

Lachine

November 19, 2010

Postcard from the last ride of the season; a familiar Quebecois quaint.

On the Bike

October 20, 2010

Maybe it’s because I’m reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and thinking about “quality”, but revelations about the big ideas in life are currently coming in the form of machine metaphors. My machine is a bicycle. My bike is my solace, my left arm, my drug. Since I’ve come back to Montreal I’ve hit the bike hard, rediscovering old routes, some deeply embedded in muscle memory. I’ve been riding maybe 30-40 Km/day, most days, weather permitting. That works out to ~ 200 Km/week. Not bad, all considered.

But something has been bugging me the whole time…The bike itself. I had it tuned up when I got here and, as in the past, asked if maybe the chain and cogs should be changed — I complained that they were slipping when I really started to pound the pedals out of the saddle, and the drivetrain felt soft. Like many mechanics before, this one suggested it needed a tune up and cleaning, and after that it was OK. But just OK. There was still slipping, still this sense of losing power with each pedal stroke. The amount of energy I put into a ride seemed disproportionate to my speed and distance. It was annoying.

The other day I got a flat…A bad one, a broken valve on the tube. I needed a new tube so decided to just bring the bike in. I asked this mechanic the same question…Should I change the cogs and chain? And, unlike everyone else before him, he thought about it, agreed and did exactly what I asked. He went into the back to find the parts, and they weren’t even that expensive. The whole deal cost less than a major tune-up.

And the result? Phenomenal. I feel physically down today, battling a chest cold, but the bike, the bike is beautiful. Fast — all the energy of each pedal stroke transferred perfectly. Even though I was sluggish, the bike wasn’t. A problem that had been bugging me for months, maybe even a year, was solved. No big deal. And it was solved the way I thought it would be all along…

I feel as if life is coming around to this too. Like the drivetrain is getting a refit — and power transfer to the proverbial pedals of existence is moving towards 100%. It’s amazing how these things happen. You can go forever just making minor repairs, or fiddling, and hope that makes the difference. But until you deal with the underlying issue there will always be slack and lag. Then, overnight, you spot the true crux of the problem. And here the emphasis is on you. You know better than any expert or mechanic what the problem is, since you “ride the bike” everyday. Sometimes you just need to insist on the validity of your own perspective, and fight for what, instinctively, you know is good for you.

When that all comes together it can be a beautiful thing, a smooth and effortless ride where all your energy is properly transferred to movement. Oddly, you find this dynamic space so often follows a sense of being totally sluggish or stuck.

Zoom!

Huddersfield

September 12, 2010

Plaxico Burress

February 3, 2008

Kind of says it all. Bold foresight, for sure, but with a name like that, sometimes you can get away with it. One of the best ends to an NFL season in my memory. For football, it was pretty poetic.

So much for perfection…

My Aching Back

September 18, 2007

The bane of my existence for the last two years, my back first caused me problems while being hunched over a keyboard for months on end finishing my dissertation. So in a sense my ruined skeletal structure is a fond memory of the closeted scriptorious torture I saw fit to persevere through. Call it a badge of honor. I think I would have preferred a puppy. Or a cake.

Anyway, the old badge is digging into my side real bad these days. After my degree I followed a path of rigorous exercise and regime that slowly brought me back to some semblance of health (and, moreover, mobility). There’s been some ups and downs, but recently I was OK. Last fall I saw a specialist (who agreed with my diagnosis of “sciatica”) and was scheduled for an MRI, but moved out to BC, and for the most part improved considerably on my own. Earlier this summer was a high point, when I was riding the bike daily and able to hike for hours without much discomfort. Then the teaching gig started in mid-July, and my bike fell apart, and before I replaced it I did some jogging, which didn’t feel so great. But again I was feeling better just recently since I got the new bike.

On Friday, after hitting just two golf balls, I wrenched my back so bad I couldn’t stand up. I’d been to the driving range a few times earlier in the summer and was fine, so this was a complete surprise.

Suddenly I’m in emergency at 11:00 PM, waiting about five hours just to see a doctor. I felt like I did two winters ago in Montreal, when I’d submitted the thesis but hadn’t defended, and slipped on the ice in front of f-ing Future Shop on boxing day. It was a holly, jolly Christmas, let me tell you.

But somehow it’s worse now, with my time outdoors so precious to me, and the fall encroaching…

I suppose I should have done more than just get an x-ray and follow my own rehab, but everything was going fairly well. Now, sadly, I believe it’s time to experiment, since waiting for the hospital to call me back for my CT scan so they can tell me to “go see someone at a clinic” isn’t happening. As much as I’m a devoted skeptic, I’m thinking it’s time to see a chiropractor, this in spite of the fact that I know their dubious lineage (heck, I even wrote about it…). Whatever. They have survived the test of time, so maybe there’s something to it…Hey, the philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend, who was skeptical of basically everything, saw considerable merit in alternative medicine. I think he consulted alternative healers because he had some pretty major back problems — brought on by being shot a few times in the war. So there you go — it could be worse.

The experience of being in a hospital again reminded me why I’m particular about staying healthy — the modern medical system is so profoundly disturbing to someone who studies the philosophical meanings of health that it’s hard to have anything to do with it. Yet there is this strange rational conceit that makes me equally dubious of the alternative approach…But now, I may take the leap.

I tell ya, being laid up really sucks. I don’t do incapacitated well.


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