Archive for February, 2007


School of Hard Knocks (On Ice!)

I took a break today and went ice skating at lunch time. Instead of my usual “power laps” the whole time I helped a couple friends work on skating backwards.

Of course, I had to go zooming and jumping around some too and I fell. Hard.
(Yes, I was probably showing off.)

At first I was favoring that hip and walking hurt. Then I realized that I was exacerbating it and decided to relax and walk as naturally as possible. It took some conscious effort since my body was tightening that area. After a few minutes I was no longer hurting, in fact I was walking comfortably.

Lessons learned:

  • When you’re learning something new expect to fall.
  • When you fall get up and keep skating.
  • Minimize the long term impact of those falls by relaxing (you might even find yourself enjoying the ride!).

And for today’s question: if you fall while ice skating should you put ice on it or was the initial application enough?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan | No Comments »

A nice, smoothly plowed driveway.

It only took me

  • 25 hours start to finish,
  • half a dozen re-attachments of a hydraulic hose,
  • several dozen jump starts,
  • one session of shoveling before I decided there was enough hydraulic fluid left,
  • four “fillings” with gas from the can (slow leak in the tractor tank, so I only put in what I “need”),
  • one gallon of hydraulic fluid delivered by a friend,
  • one super-frustrating session of getting the tractor *really* stuck,
  • one cannibalized coat hanger to hold the hydraulic hose to the cylinder (great suggestion Papa!),
  • three different attempts to winch the stuck tractor unstuck,
  • two missed classes,
  • one successful winching (using the car as the fixed point — does that make it a stationary-wagon?) to pull the tractor off the driveway far enough for…,
  • one trip to town to fill the gas can after…,
  • one slip-sliding-rocking session to get the car down the driveway (I drove and my wife pushed — at her request!),
  • and one wind/sun burnt nose.

    Manual labor. It builds character, breaks backs, and is the reason I’m back in school (to avoid it unnecessarily).

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    Jump Starts, NPR, and the Mind/Body connection

    This is about the balance between being flexible and what I call “efficiently lazy.”

    I have certain things that I prefer consistent. Where I leave my keys, where I park, the motions as I climb out of the car. When things are their norm I can run on “auto pilot” and let my feet do their thing until I am where my car should be before paying attention to where I am. This automatic behavior frees my mind to do its own thing.

    So what happens when these patterns get interrupted? Those are those “character building” moments I heard about from my parents. This week I drove a different car than usual which was fine until I climbed in at the end of the day to go home. I had left the headlights on and the battery was fully drained. Fine. Until I did it again the next day. I decided I needed to interrupt what was beginning to develop into a pattern so I turned my headlights off several blocks early.

    What about the flexibility side? Typically I listen to music and non-fiction on my MP3 player while I drive. Today my batteries were fully drained in my MP3 player. (Do you detect any patterns in my life yet?) Since I’m not a fan of listening to just road noise I turned on the radio. After reprogramming my presets (since the battery had drained and cleared them) I flip switched through the stations to which I always listen. On a whim I decided to check for an NPR station and tuned in just as a show was starting talking about the mind, body, and their connection — a topic that I find fascinating. (I’ll report back when I find and listen to the rest of the show.)

    The moral of the story is that some patterns can be very useful while exercising your flexibility of behavior can often bring unexpected windfalls!
    What patterns do you have that could use interrupting? Or establishing?

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