Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Updates from the psych ward, pornography edition remix

Occasionally I post on Facebook or Twitter entertaining but anonymous tidbits I hear about the goings on on the behavioral health floor at a local hospital. Typically they are a little sad but mostly funny. Today's was entirely sad.

A fairly young patient was admitted because she had attempted suicide. The reason she had attempted suicide is because of marital problems. The attributed source of her marital problems is that her husband is supposedly addicted to pornography.

Interestingly, pornography addiction is a made-up disease. There is no diagnosis for it in the DSM-IV. Which is not to say that looking at porn can't interfere with your life to the point of detriment (the generally accepted threshold for whether or not a behavior is addictive). For instance, viewing it at work may get you fired.

I don't know how often this woman's husband was looking at porn or the degree to which it got in the way of other things, but I do know of anecdotal examples of people describing someone as "addicted to porn" when that person was looking at it once every three weeks. Once every three weeks is not addiction. Once every three days probably isn't either. But if a man claims he has never looked at pornography at all, he is lying.

Here's the question that matters: how dangerous is it? The study referenced in the link above found that access to pornography actually decreases the incidence of rape and violent crimes against women. It acts as a sort of release valve, so to speak.

I am therefore left to wonder regarding the patient I described whether viewing pornography was a problem because it caused actual, direct problems, or whether it was a perceived problem because she had been told it was a problem, whether or not any adverse behaviors resulted from it. It could be that it would have been more or less harmless for this couple except that their culture informed them that they were supposed to make a big deal out of it so they did.

Obviously any details about the degree of harm caused by pornography in this case are conjecture. Here is what is not conjecture: this woman came to believe that the problem was so severe that the only solution was to take her own life. I can't help but wonder if she would have been in that situation if she believed that human beings are sexual creatures and having outlets to exhibit that sexuality is a healthy, normal, and critical aspect of life.

Here in Utah, modesty is a big deal. I often hear repeated "modest is hottest." We have clothing stores with names like "Sexy Modest" and "Diviine ModesTee."I have seen this tired meme posted to Facebook too many times to count.

If this is true, then by "pigs" this must mean "almost everybody." I have seen the attention my wife gets when she wears a form fitting shirt. It spans almost the entirety of those possessing a Y chromosome. I don't blame you--I stare at her too. I will also glance at a woman's butt as she exits the room. Sorry ladies if that bothers you, but I am not alone. Every man in the room is doing it. We all have hormones. Hormones are not evil. Literally not one of us would be interested in life if we got rid of them entirely.

There are appropriate ways to behave in every context. Just as it would be unacceptable (and not particularly hygienic) to wear a three piece suit in the swimming pool, neither would it be appropriate to wear a bikini in a conference room. But when a society scandalizes someone for having bare shoulders outdoors on a sunny day, especially when those shoulders belong to a four-year-old, something is wrong.

The human body is a beautiful thing. We should be comfortable with it. We should be comfortable with its many shapes and sizes and variations. We should accept its imperfections and embrace its uniqueness. We should each do our best to make ours as healthy and happy as it can be. And we should be familiar enough with the human form that when we see it, we can admire it without losing self control, regardless of how much of it the individual chooses to show.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romney's tax plan: a comparison

I am the primary breadwinner of a middle class family. We live in a comfortable home in a nice neighborhood, and we paid for that home with a mortgage. We have two vehicles that each have over 100,000 miles on them. My wife works part time to supplement the household income.

Let's say I have a friend who is also the primary breadwinner of what on the surface most would assume is a middle class family. He lives in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, but he does not have a mortgage. The vehicles he and his wife drive are similar to ours. Neither he nor his wife has to work because they have amassed a fortune in the multiple millions of dollars and therefore have more than enough money to live on for several lifetimes.

Just for fun, let's examine how the Romney tax plan would affect each of us.

1. Across the board reduction in tax rates by 20%.

Impact on me: I would save at best a few thousand dollars a year, only because my income is above the median household income in the US. Those closer to the median would see little if any benefit.

Impact on my hypothetical friend: saving a lot more than a few thousand dollars a year.

2. Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains.

Impact on me: none. I don't exactly make a lot in interest or capital gains.

Impact on my hypothetical friend: none, until you factor in item 3.

3. Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Income below $200,000 a year on interest, dividends, and capital gains.

Impact on me: none, per comment on 2.

Impact on my hypothetical friend: depending on how he manages his portfolio, he could quite easily eliminate all tax liability. Since he has no income from wages and can live on less than $200,000 a year, he could buy and hold securities or sell losers to offset enough of his capital gains such that his AGI never gets above $200,000 a year. Since all his income comes from interest, dividends, and capital gains, despite his significant net worth, he may pay zero dollars in income tax.

4. Eliminate estate tax.

Assuming we were both to die under the Romney plan, Impact on me would be zero, since I'm not worth enough that it matters.

Impact on my hypothetical friend would potentially be significant, though I'm sure he has already reduced the potential for estate taxes through careful planning.

5. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Impact on me: none.

Impact on my hypothetical friend: it would keep him from having to pay taxes even though he would have otherwise escaped liability through management of his interest, dividends, and capital gains. The AMT would prevent the situation from arising in #3 where someone of significant means has avoided tax liability. Repealing it would allow a lot of wealthy people to avoid more tax than they do already.

Closing comments: lest anyone think that putting more money in my hypothetical friend's pocket will lead to more jobs, let me disabuse you of that notion right away: it won't. He has made his money but isn't looking to start or grow a new business. He's content to just manage his portfolio. Anything less he pays in taxes will just result in a larger number on the statements that his brokerage firm sends each quarter.

Since there is no such thing as a free lunch, the revenue the government would lose by eliminating my hypothetical friend's tax liability would have to be made up for somewhere else, either by raising my taxes (perhaps eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, which would cost me more than a 20% marginal rate reduction saves me) or by cutting programs, perhaps the programs that helped me get through school and become a contributor to the economy in the first place.

Don't let Romney's naked assertions that he knows how the economy works and that you should trust him to solve the problems fool you. He's solving problems alright, he's solving the problem of having to pay taxes for people who are already wealthy. He does nothing to help the working middle class.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Willful ignorance

Nike announced today that they cancelled their endorsement contract with Lance Armstrong. Registration for this weekend's Livestrong ride in Austin is rumored to be down significantly from years past. Armstrong has stepped down as chairman of the Livestrong board. The house is burning, and Lance, trapped by his steadfast refusal to acknowledge the truth, is sitting inside while it all falls down.

Grizzly Adam used superlative terms to describe the scope and scale of doping in cycling. I commented that he's missing an important qualifier: cycling is just the largest conspiracy that we know about. But to think that larger, wealthier sports--where the competition to land a spot on a team is higher and the upside of doing so is much greater--do not have doping conspiracies at least as large that simply have not been exposed is naive.

In the early 2000's, I cheered as much as anyone for Lance as he was sweeping across France seven years in a row. I didn't think he was doping because I didn't want to think about it. I was enjoying the show too much. At some point, it just smelled fishy, too good to be true. Ulrich and Basso were doping, but Armstrong still won? Hmm.

Similarly, when I watch the NFL or Premier League or MLB, I enjoy the show. But like Lance, the show is too good to be true. Whether the shoe ever drops and a conspiracy larger, richer, and more sophisticated than cycling's is exposed is simply a matter or whether the business owners getting rich from sport ever decide that cleaning up the sport is good for their bottom line. Athletes have already shown that the incentives are just too great to ever police themselves. To think otherwise is to be willfully ignorant.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coming clean

Today's announcement by USADA of the publication of findings against Lance Armstrong and his US Postal team should come as no surprise for long-time fans of cycling.

Though it comes as no surprise, it still has stirred up a lot of emotion, especially amongst those racers who could have made the big show had they doped and chose not to.

I started racing at 35. And I'm kinda chubby. A pro contract was never in the cards for me. So perhaps I don't have the ability to muster vitriol the way others whose dreams and careers were derailed might.

Here is what I do know: the racers named in the report had a choice whether to speak up or stay silent. They chose to speak up. Perhaps they were coerced, but they still came clean, something the biggest name of the bunch refuses to do.

I don’t applaud what they did, but I do applaud their choice to be honest about it now. That, at times, can be the more difficult choice. The sport didn’t need them to dope, but it did need them to come clean.

Monday, October 1, 2012


When I began racing bikes several years ago, I was not alone. My brother, Steve, and I were together at almost every race. Throughout the years of racing, we have met and become friends with many other racers, to the point that the race itself has become secondary, and the primary function of racing is seeing our friends at the venue.

Among these friends are two other sets of brothers, the Bradleys and the Cottles. Seth Bradley told me, "you and Steve are the fast brothers, we're the good-looking brothers." I don't know about this, given that Seth and I have raced a lot together, and he has finished ahead of me quite a bit more than I have finished ahead of him. Besides, for a short, paunchy, middle-aged guy with thinning hair who has been given the nickname "Gimli," I think I'm reasonably good-looking. Regardless, the Cottles are the wise brothers, universally admired both for their success on the race course as well as their kindness and insight when mentoring other racers.

Just over a year ago, I was fearful I would lose my brother after a racing accident. In the fickle game of roulette that is life, Seth lost his brother Matt this spring, while Daren's brother Doug passed away over the weekend. In each case, like Steve, it was an unforeseeable accident. There is no good explanation and no platitude that will make it all feel better. I am simply reminded to never trade the assurance of a today for the assumption of a tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Campaign Spokesman

I was invited to be the campaign spokesman for Mitt Romney at a conference on women in aerospace. I think it turned out just as I hoped.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Great Basin

This weekend we took the kids on a trip to Great Basin National Park. We have wanted to visit for years, but when we had free time always seemed to have other destinations that won out. We went into the trip with three objectives:
  1. Take the kids backpacking (heretofore they have only car camped)
  2. Tour Lehman Cave
  3. Climb Wheeler Peak (this was a solo objective, not something I wanted to do with kids)
We were successful on all three counts, though not in that order. We arrived Saturday night and found a campsite. Sunday morning I got up early and drove to the Wheeler Peak trailhead. Traveling solo, I was able to move as fast as my fitness would allow, reaching the summit at 6:40 a.m.

Sunrise on Wheeler Peak

Looking south toward Pyramid Peak

Looking west over one of many wind blocks on the summit

Jeff Davis Peak from the east end of Wheeler summit

After returning to camp and having breakfast, we loaded up our packs and drove to the Johnson Lake trailhead. Whereas Wheeler Peak took three hours round trip, the hike to Johnson Lake with kids and heavy packs took about three hours one way. Nevertheless, all three kids made it, the older two carrying packs and with little difficulty.

A curious thing happened during this trip: most of our meals were evaluated in the context of whether it was good enough to serve on a hut trip. It seems that the hut trip bar has been set high, because in each case but one, there was at least a tweak or two needed for them to be truly hut-trip-worthy. The one exception was the peach cobbler Rachel made in the Dutch oven. Sadly, the huts are not equipped with Dutch ovens, and I'm certainly not about to haul one in.

Johnson Lake fills the hollow left by an extinct glacier at the bottom of the headwall of a U-shaped canyon. Three sides are bounded by a steep, rocky ridgeline. Although the glacier is gone, snow still makes its effects known, as all the trees surrounding the lake were snapped off at the trunk about 2.5 meters above the ground. I would not want to have been on the business end of that avalanche.

After hiking out on Monday morning and stopping along the road to harvest some pinion nuts (which were abundant), we toured Lehman cave. On the long drive home, I was left wondering how we could possibly have packed any more into the weekend than we did. I don't think we could have.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I don't talk a lot about business on this blog. Which is not because I don't think a lot about it. I think about it for a good chunk of each day, so this blog documents* what I do to escape that. Today I'm making an exception.

*Or rather used to document, since I haven't been documenting much of anything lately.

Last week my company laid off a bunch of people. Most of them are hard-working people who do their jobs well and did their best each day to contribute to the company's success. I wasn't involved with the decisions, so I don't know the specific factors except that the group affected is a mature product whose plans for growth have failed to meet expectations.

One of the best classes I took in business school was a corporate strategy class focused on decision making in a competitive market. As we analyzed case studies, the professor forced us to demonstrate how a given strategy decision would either increase revenue or decrease cost. The point being that as a manager, if you can't show how a decision will either increase revenue or decrease cost, you can't justify making that decision.

Further, a one dollar reduction in cost results in a one dollar increase in profit, whereas a one dollar increase in revenue increases profit by only a portion of that dollar because you have to factor in the incremental cost of earning the incremental dollar. Therefore, all things being equal, if you have the choice between decreasing cost or increasing revenue by the same amount, you're better off decreasing cost.

In today's software industry, there are effectively no manufacturing costs other than people. Which means in many cases, the only cost saving lever managers have to pull is headcount reduction. It's the only lever many executives know how to pull anymore.

Unfortunately, in some organizations, it's pulled too often. So often that the dollar in savings doesn't result in a dollar increase in profit. Employees who come to work every day with the fear it could be their last will never give you their best. They'll use company resources looking for other jobs, even if a threat to their current job is not imminent. They'll spend time during their workday blogging about the detrimental effects of layoffs.

We all understand the rational notion that if we work hard and contribute to a company's success, that success will increase our own job security. However there is a tipping point: if employees believe that no amount of hard work will ensure employment for as long as they want it, then the organization is fundamentally ill. If the same company has management that knows no way to align cost and revenue other than reducing headcount, this illness can be very difficult to cure.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Saturday was the Crusher in the Tushar. I had four goals:
  1. Don't finish last in my category.
  2. Beat Adam.
  3. Beat Seth.
  4. Beat Rick.
The first goal doesn't sound like a big deal, but I was racing Pro/Open Men, so there were not really any slow guys that would automatically keep me from the lanterne rouge. And there were a number of legitimate pros, i.e., guys who actually make a living racing bicycles. That meant I needed at least one guy in that field to have a bad day, but not such a bad day that he would not finish. Really, though, I wanted to finish fast enough to beat at least one person who was not having a bad day.

Goals 2-4 are a carryover from cyclocross, where every week there is the race within the race between the four of us. I am still smarting from Rick beating me at the line at Ft. Buenaventura, which cost me three points in the season series, which meant Seth beat me by two points in the overall standings and in the process got the eighth and final callup for the first race this season. Seth and I are both keenly aware that he gets a callup and I don't.

Goal 4, however, was kind of a stretch goal, because I have ridden enough with Rick this year to know that he is riding super strong, particularly if the race involves climbing.  I think it is safe to say that climbing is a key component of the Crusher.

My race preparation went well, and other than flying to the east coast the week of the event, getting home late Thursday night, driving to Beaver on Friday, and waking up Friday night with stomach pains that led to me throwing up most of what I had eaten for dinner, I really can't complain. Also, it was raining when I woke up Saturday morning and continued to rain after we started. Not that I mind the rain, I just suffer less than others seem to when it's hot.

The best part about this event is lining up at the start and seeing guys that I have cheered for as a spectator at cyclocross nationals--namely Ryan Trebon and Jamie Driscoll--get callups, and then line up right behind them. Seriously, if we could just do the callups and first 5k where I get to ride in the same group with those guys, I would still pay my hundred and whatever bucks for the entry.

After the first 5k, the rest of the race was really hard. The road was muddy and rougher than last year. I had fewer problems with cramping than last year, so that was nice. Rick beat me by a few minutes, but I reached my other three goals.

I am happy not to have any races longer than an hour for the rest of the year.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Half Measures

In the late 1970's and early 80's, Bjorn Borg was far and away the most dominant male tennis player in the world. He won five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles and six French Open titles and was the first player ever to win two Grand Slam tournaments without dropping a set.

Then, in 1981, at the age of 25, because he had been playing for a "long time," he decided to take a short break from tennis. After the break he returned but intended to play fewer tournaments. His reduced schedule meant he didn't automatically qualify for tournaments and had to play in the qualifying rounds. After qualifying for Monte Carlo in 1982, he lost in the quarterfinals to Yannick Noah. It was the only tournament he played that year. In January 1983, he announced his retirement.

Borg's tennis career is like anything else--it's hard to dabble and be successful. None of the executives I work for dabble with their careers, and I certainly wouldn't get my teeth worked on by someone who dabbles in dentistry. Success requires focus and commitment.

Since the start of the season, I have been dabbling in road racing. I am unwilling to commit nearly every weekend to racing and frankly haven't missed it. The few events I have done have been a mixed bag--I've had some races where I felt good and some other races where I really didn't. Saturday was one of those races where I felt decidedly not good. When I'm racing every weekend, it's easy to shrug off and say I'll be back next week. When I'm racing a lot less, it just makes me question whether there is a point.

I had a good run in 2010 and had some great results. That season will always be a point of pride for me. It also required a commitment on every level that I simply can't again afford to make.

In 1991, Bjorn Borg attempted to return to tennis. He failed to win a single match.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I remember a long time ago reading the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The author suggests an alternate view of assets, specifically, an asset is something that generates income. Therefore, a cashflow positive rental property is an asset, while the home that you live in, because there are costs to maintain it and it doesn't generate revenue, is not.

I would propose another definition of an asset, one captured for the last little while in the masthead of this blog, a line that comes from the prologue, Anthem, to Buck Ramsey's epic cowboy poem, Grass, the final two stanzas of which are quoted below.
The grass was growing scarce for grazing,
Would soon turn sod or soon turn bare.
The money men set to replacing
The good and true in spirit there.
We could not say, there was no knowing,
How ill the future winds were blowing.
Some cowboys even shunned the ways
Of cowboys in the trail herd days
(But where's the gift not turned for plunder?),
Forgot that we are what we do
And not the stuff we lay claim to.
I dream the spell that we were under;
I throw in with a cowboy band
And go out horseback through the land.

So mornings now I'll go out riding
Through pastures of my solemn plain,
And leather creaking in the quieting
Will sound with trot and trot again.
I'll live in time with horse hoof falling;
I'll listen well and hear the calling
The earth, my mother, bids to me,
Though I will still ride wild and free.
And as I ride out on the morning
Before the bird, before the dawn,
I'll be this poem, I'll be this song.
My heart will beat the world a warning—
Those horsemen will ride all with me,
And we'll be good, and we'll be free.

 "...we are what we do/And not the stuff we lay claim to." However intangible it may seem, the only real assets any of us has are our experiences.

Last weekend as I was riding my mountain bike on Little Creek Mesa, I thought about how much money I spent on that bike and how much less than that it will be worth three or four years from now. It is by no means an asset in a financial sense, as it neither earns me money nor retains its value. Yet it was some of the best money I've spent in my life. When I throw a leg over that bike, a smile will follow just as surely as a downstroke on the pedals will follow the up. It has been a tremendously effective conduit to positive experiences.

Kids, bikes, skis, trips, time with friends--all of these things have hindered my accumulation of financial assets. But if I were to die tomorrow, I know which I would rather have had.

Sometimes even Clark Griswold experiences--experiences we build up in our minds as turning out perfect in every way yet somehow (perhaps because they were impossible to begin with) don't end up that way--add to the balance sheet.

The real reason for being at Little Creek last weekend was to view the eclipse. It was worth every bit of torment I felt and am still feeling from the biting gnats--one of the greatest natural wonders I have beheld. 

If that were all I'd done this week, I would be a rich man. Fortunately, it wasn't. And while what else I've done this week is at once difficult, complicated, and liberating, it has taken me to a place I never thought I'd be and from which I don't know that I can or want to return. Though still incomplete and personal enough that I don't want to elaborate on it, it's the furthest thing from being the eclipse in times past I would have imagined it to be. Rich indeed.

Monday, April 2, 2012


It seems as if Strava is taking amateur cycling by storm. I mean, we, as cyclists, have long been apt to wave our dicks at one another in the form of posting our times up various climbs and so forth. Now, thanks to Strava and GPS, every ride is a race, or rather a series of races limited only by the number of Strava segments into which your route has been subdivided.

But in order to engage in this virtual dick waving, one must "follow" other riders--to complete the analogy--whose virtual dicks one would be interested in seeing waved about. As participation has grown, some people new people have decided to follow me. Many of these people I don't know, which is surprising, since I am decidedly not a big deal. But some of these people are my friends, so I thought I would follow them in return.*

*An act of masochism, as seeing how fast they are will certainly only add to the guilt I feel when a piece of pasta or a morsel of sugar or god forbid a bottle of beer passes over my lips since I know these things, while delicious, will not contribute to my fastness.

Strava, however, has incorporated privacy features that make it so members can require approval for another member to follow them. To which I say: get over yourselves. If you have a training ride or even a not training ride that you don't want other people to see, don't post it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


It used to be cool if you had the sack to drop in to Corbet's--just hit it straight up. Check out this video, because clearly that's not good enough anymore. These guys are skiers. I'm not sure what to call myself, but I'm not a skier. At least not in comparison.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Abstinence only

The Utah legislature passed, among other (whacky) things, a bill defining sex education as abstinence-only. Clearly, abstinence only sex education works, because abstinence only states have the lowest rates of teen pregnancy. This is because teens who have been taught that abstinence is the best method of birth control would never consider having sex outside of marriage.

Abstinence only states have the highest rates of teen pregnancy. Because guess what: people have sex. Not just adult married people, but adolescent people who, although perhaps not mature enough to successfully care for a child, are physically mature enough to bear one.

The irony here is that those of us who will teach our kids the realities of sex and how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and disease, including the fact that the only certain protection is abstinence, aren't the ones who are concerned about having our children receive this instruction in schools. We already talk to our kids about the realities of sex and make sure they understand the risks and consequences of sexual activity.

The kids I'm more concerned about are those that receive no sex education at all other than abstinence (and perhaps the occasional Sunday school lesson in which someone licks the frosting off a cupcake). Because when these kids find themselves in a situation where their partner says something ridiculous such as that floating is OK, they won't know better. And I'd rather see these kids stop by Planned Parenthood before than after.

Monday, February 27, 2012

God Bless America

Hat tip to Stevil Kinevil (via Elden) for pointing me to this trailer. I have not been this excited for a movie in a while.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We're going to need a bigger boat

The chatter amongst skiers and non-skiers alike this winter has been all about the lack of snowfall. Well, it finally snowed. And as Dug said, there was much rejoicing. For the most part at least.

For the past three and a half winters, every time it has snowed more than half a foot, I have cursed my snowblower for not being up to the task. Sunday night as it bogged down in the wet snowplow debris was no different.

Until it died, that is. Then I wanted it back at least long enough to finish the job. Turns out, I blew up the gearbox. Cost of repair was more than the machine was worth, so it went to the place consumer-grade snowblowers go to die. I just got a new, commercial-grade snowblower delivered today. Bring on the snow.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Super Bowl: I thought for sure Gronkowski was going to scoop up the tipped Hail Mary pass to give the Pats the win. Six inches out of position. How many cases of a couple inches this way or that led to this result? The Ravens missed field goal in the AFC championship game, the 49er's punt returner brushing the ball with his knee, Mario Manningham's catch on what turned out to be the game winning drive. The list goes on. A game of inches.

Here's what I know from watching Eli Manning: the dude is cool under pressure. I guess he's used to it. Archie's son, Peyton's kid brother. If he didn't get used to pressure early on, he never would have made it. As good as Peyton, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady are, I don't think there's anyone I'd rather have throwing the ball with the game on the line than Eli*.

*Unless Jesus is helping Tim Tebow, then Tim gets the rock.

Lance: Investigation dropped. Meh. Couldn't make anything stick because the statute of limitations had expired. I think that's why we have the statute of limitations. Do I think he cheated? Of course. At this point does it really matter? Not much.

Contador: Two year ban handed down two years after the fact. Perhaps this would have been appropriate two years ago. But a full sanction at this point is a little absurd, especially given the minimal amount of clenbuterol in his system. His results from 2010 and 2011 are relegated, but at least he's eligible to compete in August of this year. Had CAS started the clock ticking on the ban now, it would have been more of a kangaroo court than it has been already.

I'm glad to see that cycling is at least acting like it takes doping seriously. I was going to say I would hate to live in a society that had a police force as draconian as the WADA, but then I thought about the Patriot act, border fences, billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost in retaliation for one tragedy, full body imaging at the airport, and the fact that I can't even carry a bottle of water onto a plane. Killing flies with cannons.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Injury vs. illness

Injury sucks because one can't do what one wants to do usually because one injured one's self doing what one wanted to do and therefore the injury prevents one from doing said wanted thing. Injury tends to last a long time, but utter misery can be avoided by avoiding use of the injured part.

Illness sucks because one can't do what one wants to do because one's whole body feels like it was taped to the inside of one of those gigantic industrial rolling doors and then the door was opened. Turns out, such general malaise not only affects one's physical ability to engage in an otherwise enjoyable activity, but the will to actually raise one's self from whatever horizontal surface one finds one's self on is also crushed like the figurative body in the industrial door analogy.

The title of this blog contains "junkie," because I and my cohorts are addicts. On Friday the question is never "are you going to do something this weekend," but rather "what are your plans this weekend?" Putting a planned outing on the shelf due to injury or illness is like taking the cigarettes from a smoker who has no interest in quitting.

The demands of my profession have lately become such that I plan everything I do a year in advance. Professionally, my product plans always include some management reserve to account for time consumed by unanticipated demands. Similarly, my training plan for this season also included a week of reserve for injury or illness. My training plan* began this week. My reserve is already nearly exhausted.

*For the upcoming cycling season. Skiing has officially been written off.