Archive for August 25th, 2009

Susan Georgia Bikes CT Trails and Risks Riding the Rim of the Grand Canyon

I don’t remember not being on a bike. I was the third child—and the first girl—and grew up playing football. I was one of the guys, and if my mom couldn’t find me, she’d look up the nearest tree.

I was always riding over lawns and in the woods. In high school, I was captain of the soccer team, was on the swim team, and softball team. I was a very jock-type person. I have always been athletic. I also like kayaking.

Then I acquired the taste for mountain biking, which is basically trail-riding in the woods. It is wonderful…and at age 48, one of my favorite things to do. There are not a lot of girls who do it, and it was an instant attraction.

Susan Georgia mountain bikes the Grand Canyon rim—2008

Susan Georgia mountain bikes the Grand Canyon rim—2008

I work in a doctor’s office, and I often arrived with my bike in the car. At the end of the day, I would ride on a level trail around a nearby pond.

My love for the sport really picked up after I met Gary four years ago. He is 56 now and has been riding seriously for a long time—doesn’t even get on a road bike unless he’s going for at least 50 miles.

Anyway he introduced me to much more aggressive mountain biking, which involves steeper trails with lots of rocks and tree roots. The rides are longer, say 15 miles, and the biking is more technical. Read the rest of this entry »

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You Need Constant Practice To Improve Sports And Stage Performance, Leadership Skills And Living Your Life, Says Aikido Master Richard Strozzi-Heckler

These excerpts (mostly about sports) are from a longer, broader article by Richard Strozzi-Heckler, author of seven books, master of aikido, and founder of Strozzi Institute for embodied leadership training, which incorporates physical methods as well as cognitive approaches. The complete article can be found at http://www.strozziinstitute.com/resources/articles/you+are+what+you+practice/

You Are What You Practice

“We are what we repeatedly do.”
–Aristotle

By Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Ph.D.

…To get good at something it’s necessary to practice…Researchers say 300 repetitions produce body memory, which is the ability to enact the correct movement, technique, or conversation by memory. It’s also been pointed out that 3000 repetitions creates embodiment, which is not having to think about doing the activity, as it is simply part of who we are….

Compare this with a recent ad on television that promotes weight loss with the promise that, “You don’t have to change your life, you only have to take a pill.” We live in a culture that sells the quick fix, instant gratification, and get it all right now, on a daily basis. While we may understand, at least intellectually, the importance of practice when we casually comment to our children that it’s necessary to practice when learning to play the piano, type, write in cursive, or drive a car, it’s largely an idea that’s unexamined.

The media and entertainment industry create the illusion that by simply stepping into the right car, dressing in the latest fashions, or dyeing our hair a certain color, our goals will be instantly attained. The idea of committing to a practice to achieve mastery or personal fulfillment is not a highly endorsed idea. When we’re constantly fed a diet of “Fast, temporary relief,” there is very little incentive to consider a practice as a way to positively take charge of our health, behaviors, relationships, attitude, or over-all success in life, to say nothing of developing leaders.

The notions we do have of practice are through the realm of sports or the performing arts, where perhaps we’ve had some experience, or at least enough familiarity (mostly as fans), to know that it’s a requirement for success.

Yes, we understand that athletes and performers practice, but what is invisible to us is how much they practice. They continue to practice during the entire season, during the off-season, and even while they’re in a championship series or in a heavily booked performance cycle.

In a recent interview with Ellen Degeneres, you could hear the audible gasp of the primarily adolescent female audience, as Britney Spears reported that it’s not uncommon for her to practice her singing and dance moves 12 hours a day; Read the rest of this entry »

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Irreverent Flashing At The Tennis Hall of Fame

Went to Newport, Rhode Island to watch the tennis tournament there for older champions, players who have won some majors and been ranked number one (or in the top 10) in the world in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s all on grass—”the ‘real’ kind that’s very fast, not what they have at Wimbledon now,” according to one of the founders of this Champions Cup contest—and the venue may be the oldest for tennis in America…or anywhere. From 1880, I believe. Very beautiful and very green.

I couldn’t resist an irreverent flash there in spite of hardly working out the last three weeks, gaining weight (almost five pounds), and being told that I had to button up my shirt within seconds after this photo was taken.

irreverent flashing at Tennis Hall of Fame

irreverent flashing at Tennis Hall of Fame

If you look closely, you will notice the people in the background who play tennis dressed in clothes they might have worn 100 years ago. All very quaint and wonderful.

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Injury and Laziness Set Me Back Big Time!

Haven’t been to the gym since July 30th. What the hell happened? Where is all that discipline that others are resenting (see post on August 17)? How could I go at least six times a month for two years—and eight times a month since I started this site—and give it all up so completely?

Here are my excuses. I strained so hard setting new records for chin ups and pull ups, that I hurt my shoulders, forearms and right elbow. The tennis and squash that followed probably didn’t help. But I played through the aching. I needed to stay away from the machines and weights in the gym to recuperate. However I still could have done my crunches. Yet I didn’t. After just three days of them in two weeks, I stopped.

Traveling eight days and having visitors and events at the house another four may have kept me from the gym. But crunches take less than half an hour. So there is no excuse. Just laziness.

Saw the doctor and am now wearing a tennis-elbow, velcro wrap. Read the rest of this entry »

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