All Posts By

John Bingham

All posts by John Bingham

Are We There Yet??

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January 2000:  Are We There Yet? I’ve always liked traveling by car. And, I’ve always subjected my family to my terminal wanderlust. On many occasions my then young son would moan from the back seat, “Are we there yet?” My response was always. “Yep, we’re here.” He would sit up eagerly and look out the window. Then, in a disappointed voice, he would say, “Aw, Pop, this isn’t where we’re going,” to which I would reply, “But this is where we are!” He was not a happy traveler. Every time I started a journey of fitness and better health, including…

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Up In Smoke

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Penguin Chronicles: January 2012 I’m a smoker. Well, I used to be a smoker. So I’m an ex-smoker. Or a former smoker. I’m not sure. What I do know for sure is that for 25 years I never went anywhere without a pack of cigarettes. I told myself that I was an intentional smoker, not a habitual smoker. I intentionally had a cigarette as soon as I woke up. I intentionally had a cigarette with my morning coffee, and mid-morning, and before lunch, and after lunch, and mid-afternoon, and – well – you get the idea. And I always intentionally…

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Better Than Ever

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When all you are is all you can be. One of my favorite books is a little tome by Jess Laire entitled “I Ain’t Much, Baby, But I’m All I’ve Got” (Doubleday: New York: 1972) I happened to read it at an earlier time in my life – where being what I was, wasn’t all I wanted to be. The shortest synopsis of the book is that you are what you are and you can choose to spend your life frustrated by what you aren’t or learn to be grateful for what you are. In those days, my goal was…

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Never Say Never, Again

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It’s not too late to be what you might have been One of the insidious diseases that strikes at middle age, and trust me at 54 I am solidly into middle age, is one’s memory fading. I’m not talking about a serious medical condition, I’m talking about the blurring of what was with what might have been with what really is. It’s not so much that the older I get, the better I used to be, but that the older I get, the MORE I think I COULD have been. What I used to think of as merely broken dreams…

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Wiping the Slate Clean – January 2002

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I never expected to have glory days as a runner. I certainly never expected that if I had glory days they would all be behind me. As I enter my second decade as a runner, it’s time to wipe the expectation slate clean and start from scratch. This year I’m going to retrace my steps as a runner. From 5K to Marathon, I’m going to have a brand new set of glory days. I actually have a plan—to start with the 5K and work my way up the distance ladder as the year goes on. This time I want to…

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Starting Over: The Archives, January 1997

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January 1997 :: Starting Over This is the first January since I began running five years ago that I haven’t been injured. Some years it was just a left over pain, and others it was more serious. In any case, January has always been when I started from zero. I got pretty good at starting over. My January logs look strangely alike: some walking, some stationary biking, and a little running. There’s never been any training in January, just recovery and physical therapy. Every January I was a new runner. Every January I had to start slowly and cautiously, adding…

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Correct and Redirect

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No Need for Speed: January 2006 Starting out without starting over You never know where some tidbit of wisdom is going to drop into your life. Often some of the most salient advice comes when you least expect it. In this case it was while getting a haircut. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my hair. As a kid, when I went to the barber [and he was a barber, period] it was a matter of sitting in a chair while this giant man with clippers ground away at my hair. It was second only to going to the…

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Giving and Getting

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Before there were “The Penguin Chronicles” a friend and I, Lee Alsbrook, wrote a column called “The Recess Bell” for a local newspaper. This is one of those early columns. December has always been a strange time of year for me. In addition to the holidays, my birthday is in December and so this month has become a watershed in my year and in my life. This was the month that society granted me important permissions. In December I became old enough to drive, old enough to get married, old enough to vote, and old enough to drink. I also…

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Running Home

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Running Home There are many advantages to starting to run later in life. Among them is the ability to use running as a means to rediscover memories long forgotten. For me, running is the key that has unlocked the most foreboding doors in the cellar of my psyche. Having had a life before running means there are many people and places which exist for the pre-running me. As that pre-runner recedes into my past, I’ve found I need a guide to take me from the person I was to the person I am becoming. Running has become that guide. The…

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Correct and Redirect

By | Personal, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

Starting out without starting over. You never know when some tidbit of wisdom is going to drop into your life. Often the most salient advice comes when you least expect it. Like when getting a haircut. I’ve always had issues with my hair. As a kid, when I went to the barber it was a matter of sitting in a chair while this giant man with clippers ground away at my head. It ranked second only to going to the dentist as a frightening, helpless experience. Of course, there are no barbers anymore. At least none that I can find….

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