Saturday, January 12, 2013

Russia? Really?

I was taking a break from trying to put a zipper into a sweater just now and decided to check some of the statistics associated with this blog. Evidently, there have been more page views from Russia (32) than from the U.S. (30). Say what? I find it hard to believe that the words I write or the photos I share (there will be more soon once post-holiday busyness passes) are of that much interest to people in Russia. I don't know anybody in Russia! The Russian mafia perhaps, or the source of all spams and Internet hacks? It at least keeps life interesting to ponder the significance of this statistic in either frequentist or Bayesian terms.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Postscript to the Last Post

I registered for the GoRuck Challenge because the sons encouraged me to. I told them that I hoped I wouldn't embarrass them. Younger son offered that the only way I would embarrass them would be to break down in tears during the first 10 minutes. I assured him that wouldn't happen. I treasure that my sons have welcomed me into parts of their worlds. Before I started doing Myo Sim kendo seven years ago, I asked them if my trying it would embarrass them. They assured me it would not and have encouraged me and practiced with me. Without their support, I would not have earned the black belt I now have. Older son now similarly encourages me in Myo Sim karate. I don't expect that I will ever have a black belt in that, but that's okay.

This morning's Seal Team workout was particularly tough. If earlier days this week were abs day, legs day, or arms day, today was kick-your-whole-body day. On the first set of routines, the one from which I emerged alone after everyone else, older son was one of the last to finish. He said that as he and his buddy left the field he noticed that there were three people still working, one of them me. I had not realized that today was that hard on him, too. At the finish, after we as members of the new class had been carried back to the parking lot by other team members, he offered me a rousing high five in recognition that we had both made it through the hour. As we got into the car, he told me that I would finish the GoRuck Challenge in May even if he and his brother had to carry me at the end, unless of course other team members were carrying them. I treasure that my sons have such faith in me.

That karate black belt I'll probably never earn? I'll probably never win the Mother of the Year award either, but that's okay, too. I think I'm doing pretty okay without it.

Your Race ... Your Pace

I normally hate motivational sayings and posters, being much more of a fan of the demotivational ones offered by, Earlier this morning, though, I loved hearing the words that are the title of this post. At the time, I was crab-walking across a soccer field, last in a group of more than 60 people. I had somewhat held my own during the bear crawl across the field, but the 25 star jumps once I got to the other side slowed me down a bit, and by the middle of the crab walk back across the field, I was in last place. By the time everyone else had finished and started to move on to the next field, I was still working on the third of the four exercises sets we were supposed to do. Given that we were supposed to find a buddy when we finished, I ended up being my own best friend.

Yes, Seal Team Physical Training is kicking my butt in a major way, but that's okay. For someone who has spent 56 years being so competitive that she eventually stopped playing most board games and any sports in which there had to be a winner, last place is a new place to be. I am learning that someone has to be last, and that the only losing is quitting. I am learning that I can do more than I think I can, and to pace myself to stay the course rather than to try to win. I am actually enjoying doing something at which I have no expectation of winning. I may not be able to win, but as long as I keep at it, I know I won't lose.

I particularly like that so many of the Seal Team exercises are done with partners or in a group, and that the goals set are for the group. If the goal is 100 situps, and I do 30 to my partner's 70, that's okay. Any contribution counts. For someone who many times has been the counterexample to "works and plays well with others" and who actively avoided any classroom group projects ever proposed, this is a major step forward. I hope that someday I might be contributing half of the goal for a buddy pair or the even percent of the goal of a larger group, but for now I will contribute what I can and try to contribute more the next time.

If you read my last post, you know that the reason I am doing Seal Team PT is to train for something called the GoRuck Challenge which sounds as if it's something like 12-14 Seal Team sessions, one right after another. I'll try to remember there what I'm learning here, that the only losing is quitting and that any contribution counts. I can do this; I really can. As they say in Seal Team, hoo-yah!