Saturday, August 28, 2010

our team

sports is invariably associated with the concept of the team. fashioned as a collective, constructed as a whole, identified as a unit, under a common flag and anthem and uniform and purpose.

even in individual sports, there is still an association with the team, with each athlete being the spear-point of a motley cast comprised in varying degrees of assorted coaches, trainers, therapists, nutritionists, consultants, managers, agents, accountants, assistants, acquaintances, associates, friends, and groupies.

for all athletes, in some form or fashion, whether professional or amateur, there is always some form of a team.

ostensibly, the team is supposed to be aimed at helping us achieve the one thing athletes desire most: winning. winning over others. winning over the self. winning over the challenges before us.

the problem is that this is not always true.

invariably, in the course of our lives, in ways sometimes fortuitous, in ways often disastrous, in ways always painful, we'll find that the team is not about us winning. teammates, coaches, our attendant assorted casts of characters and supposed companions, will in various ways at various places during various times--inevitably, in the worst ways in the worst places during the worst times--prove themselves to be something they should not: competitors, enemies, betrayers, thieves, parasites, spies. with conflicts of interest, mixed loyalties, separate agendas. serving a purpose other than us winning.

it is at those moments that we realize our real team.

and our team is not our supposed teammates, or coaches, or attendants and hangers-on. it is not the ones who always tell us yes. it is not the ones who do for us what we want. it is not the ones who dominate our lives. it is not the ones who come to us when our life seems good. it is not the ones who'll leave us when we find that we need them most. our team is not that.

our team is who we don't always expect. it is the ones who aren't afraid to tell us no. it is the ones who do for us what we need. it is the ones who step aside to accommodate our lives. it is the ones who've always been there for us. it is the ones who'll stay with us when we need them most.

and it is the ones who in various ways at various places during various times--inevitably, in all ways in all places during all times--prove themselves to be about the one thing we desire the most: winning. over others, over ourselves, over all the challenges that may ever come before us.

it is, in short, the ones who have always sought the best for us. even though we didn't know it, couldn't believe it, refused to accept it, even though it was always offered but ignored. even though we, and they, did not always understand each other.

that is our team.

and hopefully, we realize this before it's too late.

so that we can cross the finish line together, and share the life we have won for each other.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

begin again

well, i guess i'm back.

i was on vacation for a few weeks, with an extended time off to spend some more time with my family and reconnect to them and whole bunch of other things i probably should have stayed in touch with but had forgotten about. it wasn't something really planned (it was my parents' idea, if anything), but something that i certainly wasn't going to turn down.

vacations, i've learned, are the kind of thing that you don't realize how much you need them until you actually have them. and by vacation, i don't mean vacation just from a job or school, but vacation from everything you're doing. as in comprehensively changing your life and forcing yourself into a new environment in totality from place to time to schedule to habit to sleep to eat to drink to labor to play to breathe to think to dream to live. because it forces you to re-evaluate and think about things from different perspectives, and in so allow you to gain some insights into what you do versus what you are and what you want versus what you need and what choices you have to resolve the differences between them all.

not to say that's what happened. but at least i found out that sometimes it is good to not train for a few weeks, and get off the regimen, and clear out the agenda of tasks and deadlines, and just let go and let yourself sink into a rhythm of another life...and it helps all the more to do so in the company of people who love you and want to help you, even if they don't really know how.

so now i'm back to begin again. perhaps better. hopefully better. but at least better enough to resume the course of living with a sense that i should have had but had forgotten about.

and i'll try to pick things up again here in the same manner.

with a connection i should have had but had forgotten about.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


sometimes you wake up late on a morning you'd originally planned to wake up early. sometimes you miss the breakfast you'd planned on joining. sometimes it's a struggle to just go out beyond the door. sometimes it's the last thing you want to do any work. sometimes it takes every ounce of energy you have to talk to someone, or even look them in the eye.

you're tired even though you know you shouldn't be tired. you're sore even though you know you shouldn't be sore. you're heavy even though you know you shouldn't be heavy. you're depressed, you're irritable, you're sick, you're worn out.

and no matter what your years, it feels like you've had an infinite of mileage over road that was not pleasant under conditions that were not kind in ways that were not good.

and whatever law of averages supposedly exists, it did not apply with the highest highs to smooth out the lowest lows, leaving instead a torpor of a morass of a quagmire of a swamp of a cesspool of a mudpit of a big black gaping hole that is your daily routine and your daily state of soul: empty. exhausted. dispirited. and, above all, dead.

and so you're awake (not really) staring at a cup of coffee (not strong) contemplating the day (not bright) and through the haze and fog and obscurity of your senses (not right) and your mind (not here) and your life (just going through the motions) descending invariably, inevitably, helplessly to just one thought:

you need a break.

and not just a vacation.

a break.

from everything and everyone and anything and anyone and something and someone that's made your life a load grown beyond large to outright leviathan.

which is where i am.

on a vacation.

but realizing that it's not enough and that i really need a break.

even if only for a little while.

and so i'm going to take some time to just unplug.

from life.

or at least, as i know it.

i'll see you in a few days. possibly weeks. hopefully not months. definitely not years.