Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good one

Saw this ad on the front page of today's paper:

: )

Veet is a hair removal product. I'm amazed that the powers that be at Veet approved this ad - it's the kind of thing people would create internally to make each other laugh, but it would never actually be used. The big cheese at Veet must really hate Bush.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I visualize five fluid moves: left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot, and the elusive reach. I let go of a long exhale, releasing tension while shaking my arms. I reach back to my chalk bag, dusting my already sweaty hands as I approach the overhang. My right hand grips the first hold, and I feel the rough stone scraping my skin. My left hand finds its hold and takes some weight off, and my feet have positioned themselves automatically.

Now I need to move. Just move.
Move my left arm.

My left hand won't let go.

Let go.
Now.... now....

I continue to cling to the wall with both hands, berating myself for not moving when I should have. Now I've already made this more difficult than it needs to be. The longer I wait, the more I deceive myself. Although I feel relatively stable, I am wasting energy and losing strength. I must move.
Now... now...
I don't move.

What am I afraid of?

Falling. Onto a two foot thick crash pad from three feet up? Ridiculous. I've jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet for God's sakes.

Looking ridiculous. To the other climbers, it looks much worse to cling to the wall in fear than to commit to a move and then fall. They fall all the time.

So what is the problem?
Move... Move now.

I force myself to wrench my left hand loose, but instead of pushing up, my traitorous feet have pulled back into a safe fall position, plummeting me down to the mat with an unglorious "plop."

Why? Why can't I reach and move with full abandon, committing myself to either grasping the higher hold or falling spectacularly instead of making sure I land safely?

I am committed in theory, but in practice something primal, unconscious and powerful stops me. The fear is so deep and so well-protected that I can't find it. My enemy knows that as soon as I pull it out into the open I will smite it. Endless searching in the same places tires me. I'm not ready to give up so I keep turning over the same rocks.

I am blocked on the wall and on the page.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's called sarcasm

Dancing Matt is really good at it.

Watch his follow-up in response to people who say he faked his video.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Exceptionally good service from Suunto

Yes, I'm one of those people who complains about the lack of good service 'these days.' I can't wait for the day when someone invents a cell phone that outlasts its contract and puts all the current cell phone companies out of business.

Let's focus instead on a company that is a pleasure to deal with: Suunto. I was a fanatic about my t6 heart rate monitor - it tracks quite a bit in addition to your heart rate, and it assigns a 'level' to your workout according your current fitness level and how hard you worked out. If you consistenly 'improve' your fitness, your overall fitness level will go up. I loved to watch my level go up and E and I competed to see who had the higher level - on the rare occasions when I could beat E's level, I would take advantage and lord it over him as much as possible.

Last spring my beloved t6 stopped working - it gave erratic readings or no readings at all. E insisted it was me since his t6 kept working. He blamed my female anatomy, my choice of wardrobe, my sudden inability to adjust the strap right, etc,etc, but the bttom line was me until... his started giving erratic readings. THEN it became a Suunto problem.

I called Suunto to get a return number, and now, less than 1 week later, I hold in my hands a sparkling new t6c. for FREE! Mine was miraculously still under warranty, but E had to pay a small upgrade fee. The fee was reasonable, and no doubt the result of all the bad karma E generated by falsely accusing me of not using my Suunto properly.

As soon as E gets his replacement Suunto, the games begin - we'll both be starting over with 0 data and we'll need to log workouts to gain fitness levels. We're competing for the official "Suunto athlete of the month" award complete with bragging rights, and picture on the refrigerator. Wish me luck, and if you don't already have your own Suunto, what are you waiting for?