Monthly Archives: May 2010

Exercise and Sleeping

A friend asked me the other day if I was retiring from blogging. She noticed that I haven’t been writing as much or as often as previously. And, hey. What’s up with that? Well, I’m still at it. But clearly I’m not adding new posts here as often as I did a year ago — or the year before that. Why?

Several reasons — but two involve exercise and sleeping. I haven’t been doing much of either the past five months or so. Well, OK. I’m still able to doze during almost any episode of American Idol or Dancing With The Stars. But I’m not sure that counts as a full night’s sleep these days.

And I’m learning to live with the fact that the pain in my left foot ain’t going away — and my daily early-morning runs are getting more difficult and less frequent. The days of me hitting the concrete or the towpath for more than 1,000 miles each and every year are kaput. Hey, maybe I can take up ballroom dancing. Just kiddin’.

Anyway, as I was scanning the Internet sites this early a.m., I saw an interesting article in the NYT: “Phys Ed: Does Exercise Help You Sleep Better?

The jury of research pundits is still undecided on that — maybe yes, maybe not.

For me, I believe there is a strong link between exercise and sleeping and a whole lot of other things — including writing blog posts.


Meetings, Texting and Civility

Well, I managed to hit the concrete for a few miles early this a.m. Hey, it’s not the Cleveland Marathon — but at least I was moving forward. And I even managed to avoid the rain that most likely will be with us for most of the day in NE Ohio.

I enjoy running outside. I appreciate the solitude and the time alone it gives me to think about things. It’s a totally different experience — call it forced exercise? — for me on the treadmill or on the elliptical trainer.

Today I was thinking about civility — and how rude and inconsiderate we are to others often without even knowing it or thinking about it.

I attended a meeting Inside the Beltway last week. And the majority — including me — spent considerable time tethered to a BlackBerry: texting, reading messages, mentally figuring out whether missed phone messages were important or not. That’s a shame on a lot of levels. But it’s also rude. Do we really have to be connected — and available — these days 24/7?

And I’m not the only one thinking about this. Here’s from Christine Pearson, a professor of international business at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, writing in the “Preoccupations” column in the Sunday NYT, “Sending a Message That You Don’t Care“:

For more than a decade, my colleagues and I have gathered data on incivility from more than 9,000 managers and workers across the United States, and we’re continuing this work internationally. We have learned a great deal about the problem’s causes and consequences.

I define incivility as behavior, seemingly inconsequential to the doer, that others perceive as inconsiderate. Electronic devices lead to more incivility because of their powerful ability to claim our attention — no matter where we are or what we’re doing. No one likes to be snubbed, of course, but the offense can take on a new edge when the winner is a machine.

Some younger employees may not be as concerned, as they’re already more likely to communicate electronically. Indeed, if everyone is texting at once, it may seem like “no harm, no foul.”

Chances are, however, that if you ignore your colleagues while jabbering on your cellphone, keep others waiting for an appointment while you check your e-mail or send something electronically that should be delivered in person, some people will see you as inconsiderate.

Yeah. Inconsiderate — and rude.

Just sayin’.

Cleveland Marathon and the Long Run

Good luck to everyone running in Cleveland Sunday — whether it’s the marathon, half marathon or 10K. It’s been more than a decade since I last ran the 10K in Cleveland. It was the Revco Marathon then — and through the years it has remained an event that celebrates fitness and personal accomplishments.

I still consider myself a runner. Although with a nagging nerve problem in my left foot that ain’t going away, my long-distance days are clearly at an end. So it’s been a good run — over the past 35 years or so. And I’m still at it. If you consider chasing the belt on the treadmill running. Woot.

Anyway I have great memories from race days past in Cleveland. And I was thinking about the Cleveland Marathon — and running in general — last week after reading an article in the June issue of Running Times. (Here’s a link — although the June issue doesn’t appear to be online as yet.”

It’s an article by Jim McKinnon — “Still Running: A 60+ Runner Reflects on a Running Life.” Here are a few excerpts.

“You’re still running, what’s this, 30, 40 years on? When did you go from being “once a runner” to “always a runner”? When did you bridge that gap? Keeping at it isn’t as easy as you thought it would be, but then running isn’t easy. You’re over 60 now, but you’re still out there putting in the miles — not as many, but you’re still consistent. Running is still the lanyard of your days. You’ve been fortunate to survive any serious injuries.”

And the last paragraph.

“That you are still running may just be your greatest running accomplishment. As long as the spark is still burning, you’ll be out there plugging along, pushing it here and there, still feeling the rush. Still running.”

Still running. I like that.

And about the photo. It’s my friend Jerry Nahas and me running the Revco 10K most likely in the mid-1980s. I could check my running logs and find out for sure. But nah. Way too much effort and to no end.

And by the way. Jerry and I ran together last year. We finished the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4.

Still running.

I hope everyone has a great run tomorrow in Cleveland — and for many years to come.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Just Basketball?

Well, I expect many here in NE Ohio will still be sucking a tailpipe this morning, following the implosion of the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in game five of the playoffs with the Celtics. And I’m not a big fan of pro sports. So I’m inclined to opine that this is just a basketball game. Hey, there are important matters to fret about — the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico among them and the shameful legal posturing now taking place among the companies responsible.

But this isn’t just about basketball. It’s about a community that desperately wants to associate with something positive. And the Cavs — unlike the local economy, outlook for jobs, housing market, public schools and so on — offer some hope of being the best. I saw that for many years in Pittsburgh — where the Steelers and Pirates helped forge an identity as the “City of Champions.”

Maybe that’s too much to ask of a professional sports team.  But the expectations for the Cavs are were certainly high — along with the potential for disappointment. Here’s from Deadspin: “LeBron Plays Basketball Poorly; City of Cleveland Placed on Suicide Watch.” Oh, my.

And with last night’s loss the fingers of blame are pointing in every direction — including at LeBron James. Here’s Marla Ridenour, writing in the Akron Beacon Journal, “Terrible play maddens fans“:

Those who have watched James since his days at St. Vincent-St. Mary are baffled by his lack of effort in the past two games. Usually on nights when his shot isn’t falling, he loves being the facilitator, playing Magic Johnson instead of Michael Jordan.

Conspiracy theorists will find plenty to debate.

Is James tired (from two years of nonstop basketball)?

Hurting (from his injured right elbow)?

Unhappy (with what looks like his team’s lack of chemistry and the decision-making of Brown)?

Ready to leave town (lured by last weekend’s wooing of the New York press)?

Or do the Celtics just have his number?

It seems like a stretch to believe that even if James had made up his mind to depart in free agency this July, he would pack it in. He’s always been a team-first player, showing no hint of unselfishness on the court.

But the boos were loud and long on Tuesday, and James could not be absolved from the blatant displeasure.

Ouch. Something tells me that we have reached the point here where this is more than just about basketball.

Inside the Beltway — and Back

I don’t know. Maybe it is just me this morning, but it seems like it is taking forever to get anywhere on the Internet. Although I guess I shouldn’t complain about how slow it is to get the various pages to load or to move from site to site. Last week I spent four days attending a conference Inside the Beltway — and I wasn’t able to get any reliable Internet access at all. That strikes me as strange in a city like DC where people appear to thrive on information — and sharing information. Go figure.

And I’m like most people these days — tethered to a computer, BlackBerry, iPhone, whatever for news and information. (See a recently released study by the Pew Research Center, “The New News Landscape: Rise of the Internet.” The hotel I stayed at doesn’t even drop a copy of the dead-tree edition of a newspaper in the hallway in front of your door anymore. And for the three days while attending a conference that looked at a host of education and business issues, I didn’t see one person reading a newspaper. Not one. But almost everyone sat through every session answering e-mails and texting. Hey, just like while driving. Woot.

Not sure what any of this means other than how we receive and process information sure has changed during the last decade or so. And certainly the dynamics of face-to-face communication have changed. Now you have an audience that is multitasking — and as a speaker you have to compete with Twitter, text messages and so on. I’m part of the generation that I don’t believe is very good at that. And this is one of the many challenges now facing teachers who stand in a classroom with students who view multitasking as second nature. Think about that the next time you opine on how easy it is to teach — or to motivate a classroom of students.

Anyway, I’m glad to be back in the heartland.

Now, all I need to do is figure out a way to get my foot to stop hurting so I can get back on the concrete in the early a.m.

Something tells me that I’m going to have more trouble with that than trying to listen to a speaker while answering text messages.