The Tweets
The Tweets

Entries in Sports (6)

Wednesday
Jul042012

NSF(most people's)W

There is something strange about the weak in the knees feeling after you've pushed yourself to the limit during some physical activity. In some ways it's almost orgasmic. The feeling of achievement coupled with exhaustion is a very specific sensation.

It's especially weird--and somewhat thrilling--to have that sensation outside surrounded by other people who have no idea what I'm experiencing (I hope).

NSFW? Maybe.

Still a feeling that can turn your day around? Definitely.

Wednesday
Jun272012

When are computers like umpires?

I think I experienced my iPhone pulling the old "make good call" today. Before I go on, I know it's a ridiculous premise but I'm going with it anyway.

The other day I went for a run on the treadmill in my building's gym. Normally I run outside, but it was an unbelievably humid day. Humblebragging aside, I managed to run for a much longer time than my usual run outside, but for some reason, the app I use on my phone managed to short change me on the virtual distance I ran (I was comparing it to the counter on the treadmill itself, and I'm using my prerogative as the author to state that the treadmill did have the correct distance). I was slightly annoyed as it upped my average speed, something else the app tracks. This, of course only affected me, but it was troublesome all the same.

Then today, something very interesting happened. On my outside run today, after I had gone maybe 500 metres, the app logged a full kilometre. I continued my run, ending at a much higher recorded distance, but close to my usual distance. Of course this dropped my average speed (and basically evened out my total distance).

Unless Skynet is real, this is an amazing coincidence, but in my weird nerdy way, this restores the balance in the universe, and believe me, with the way I've been feeling lately--and with the month that's coming--I definitely needed a little balance.

Wednesday
May302012

Now if only saving the Princess were this easy!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I will attempt to discuss applying video game logic to real world situations without losing whatever credibility I may have.

Neat trick, if I can pull it off, no?

After a long hiatus of specifically scheduled physical activity, I've decided to get into the running game. It's only my second week and already I've learned quite a few things. I've already touched on the whole goal within a goal issue that I have, so I'm going to focus on how I've learned to enjoy my new activity using my experiences playing video games.

I have an app (of course I do) that tracks each of my runs for distance, time, pace, location et cetera. The great thing about it is that it is much easier to track my progress and improvement from run to run; week to week. That is also the worst thing about it. If I happen to have a bad day, or don't beat my best time--or even my average time--that little voice inside of me starts talking about what a failure I am. Logically I know that this is ridiculous, but we all know how that little voice can get inside your head... because he/she is already there.

So if real world logic doesn't work, where is a poor nerd to turn? Why, to video games of course! I've started thinking of each of these records that my app keeps track of as high score leaderboards. Of course the ultimate goal is to get the new #1 score for each mode/level, but who can honestly say that every time they pick up a controller, they beat their own high score (let alone someone else's that rests mockingly above your personal best)?

Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes your finger slips and you hit the wrong button. Sometimes you focus too hard--or not enough. Whatever the reason, you're not always going to improve on a purely quantitative level.

But you always learn things: what pitfalls to avoid, how to better approach a roadblock, or most importantly, how to keep going when you suddenly run into a brick wall (or into that bottomless pit). Just getting on that horse (or adorable dinosaur) is a victory.

And just forget about trying to knock off that other person's score. They're not even playing the same game as you are. Just work on getting that local leaderboard clear of all of those placeholder scores and once that's done, focus on replacing some of your old scores from time to time.

Competing against anyone but yourself in an individual sport is a recipe for disaster because then you become the person on the street yelling at someone only you can see.

Just keep the competition friendly; we don't need any real life Tyler Durdens stumbling about.

Tuesday
May292012

To paraphrase Greg Proops...

"I'm straight as an arrow, but make no case for it."

With that out of the way, I'm going to talk about fashion. my personal fashion choices have affected me in some interesting ways over the years. Deep stuff, I know, but when struggling for relevancy, the clothes you wear can help to cut through a lot of the bullshit (if done right).

When I was in school, it would be generous to describe my fashion sense as being "in a growth period." That's not to say that I didn't have strong opinions, but these opinions tended to lean heavily on the sports jersey theme. T-shirts, hockey jerseys, basketball tops, even baseball uniforms all had an important spot in my wardrobe. Thankfully, my small frame and introverted disposition made it painfully obvious that I was not a frat boy wannabe. I just liked sports and what better way to show people what I liked?

As I got older, I started to understand the complicated mistress known as style. I began to incorporate things that I enjoy to this day--vests, both sweater and suit, being chief among them--albeit in a very awkward way. Looking back, it was kind of fitting (pun intended).

Now this is not to say that I am some type of style maven in the present day. I'm just saying that I'm more aware of trends and what I like and I do my best to marry the two into something that is as close to a fabric based representation of who I am.

"Clothes make the man" is a saying that I believe my father subscribed to whole heartedly. I have been fortunate to come across photos of my dad in his youth over the past few years. Taking the decade of the pictures into consideration, my father was always very stylish; more hip in his younger days and more sharp as he got older. Even looking at the labels of his suits, I could tell that he went to the best tailors in town and he took great pride in his appearance. He also understood how to dress for the occasion, whether that occasion was a party, business meeting or a new segment of his life. As he got older and became a father, he settled into a more comfortable, yet still put together look. Maybe he was no longer the best dressed man in the room, but he was still the best dressed man in his immediate social circle.

Starting in my mid twenties, that sensibility started to take over my way of thinking too. It started with almost mindlessly following and copying trends, be it skater culture, veering into hipster-wear or whatever was cool at the time. I rarely would don anything that I personally thought of as cool if it was not generally accepted as hip in the circles I happened to be hanging around in at the time.

Gradually, I started to introduce little personal touches of my own--I won't go so far as to say I was a trend-setter; usually even the first person to do something copied it from someone else outside of their sphere of influence. I like "dressing up," even if I don't have to, and sometimes there needs to be a conscious effort to even throw on a ratty t-shirt after getting home from work.

Because I'm the neurotic nerd that I am, I often find myself thinking that I should have gone more casual, or gussied myself up more. This is less of an occurrence now, but there's always that moment when I look at someone and think, "That's how I should have dressed for this event."

Self esteem issues aside, one of my great challenges is to evolve my style as I get older so that I don't become the 50 year old wearing a sleeveless shirt and backwards baseball cap. I'm trying to cultivate a style that I don't have to change too much to go from "day to evening" so to speak, and I think I'm finally coming close. Of course a lot of that has to do with how much--or little--disposable income I have, but that's another story. Who would've thought that being comfortable in my own skin would be helped by being comfortable in the fabric that covers it?

A younger version of me would have scoffed at the majority of what I just wrote. He never would have seen himself as someone who put this much thought into the clothes on his back. 

But then again, he never thought that he'd get over the Cleveland Indians losing the '97 World Series either.

 

 

(...it does still hurt a little though)

Wednesday
May232012

Must everything be a life lesson?

Well I did it. I completed something on my new personal calendar. As I sit here trying not to get sweat all over my keyboard, I can allow myself a pat on the back for finishing my second run of the season (proudly wearing the third nerdiest t-shirt in my wardrobe!). This is definitely not going to turn into a self congratulatory thing--and I never will post any measurable results in an ugly attempt to garner support/sympathy (read: I'm slightly embarrassed by said results)--I will allow myself a rare moment to revel in the fact that so far, I'm actually sticking to something (two things if you count what I'm currently doing).

Not to bore you with the details, but something else hit me as I was walking back home. I've forgotten how to pace myself. I'll probably repeat myself early on in this process, but it's more to knock things into my thick skull than for you, faithful reader (I'm going to go on pretending people are reading this from the get go so that if I actually gain an audience, there won't be as much performance anxiety).

My first kilometer was relatively good, time wise, but it drained my tank pretty good so that I couldn't end as strong as I wanted to. Back when I was playing organized sports on a regular basis, I had learned how to pace myself so that I wouldn't tire myself out too early. Of course, the same can be said of other aspects in my life (big revelation...). I tend to throw myself completely into things, once I convince myself to start, that I'm so tired all I can think of is "when can I stop and relax?" 

A trick I've learned from others (and Super Mario World) is to set up checkpoints at various intervals along the path to a goal (physical, or mental) so that the whole task is not so daunting. The problem is that once I'm in sight of these checkpoints, I tend to burn myself out trying to reach them, forgetting that the checkpoint is not the goal; hell, the goal isn't even really the goal. I also forget to take in everything around me, always looking too far into the future for what's coming next.

The fun is supposed to be in the journey, and somewhere I lost sight of that… and now off to the shower before I short out my computer!