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The Penguin Archives

Category Archives: The Penguin Archives

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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Correct and Redirect

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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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The Popeye Syndrome

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What I learned while searching for my own can of spinach. People are always calling me names. I’ve been labeled a baby boomer, a hippie, a yuppie, cool, uncool and clueless. In addition to these, I’m part of the Television Generation. It’s true. Growing up, I spent time with Roy and Dale, the Lone Ranger, Pancho and Cisco, and Sky King. I learned about truth, justice and the American Way from Superman, a guy who flew around in a red-and-blue leotard with a cape. I thought families looked like Ozzie and Harriet and behaved like the Cleavers. Well, I thought…

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Running on the Wrong Side of the Tracks

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I’ve run over 40 marathons, so I’m not a rookie. I’ve read most of the training programs out there. I know the names of all the workouts. I know about building mileage and tapering and having a race strategy. But no one ever mentioned what to do if you’re stopped by a train during a marathon. Here’s the scene: Portland, Oregon on as pretty a day for running a marathon as you can imagine. Crisp air, blue skies and plenty of sunshine. I’m leading a group of runners who want to finish somewhere between five hours and anytime on Sunday….

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Summer Vacation

By | The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | 3 Comments

Growing up in the 1950s did have some advantages. No, we didn’t have color TV, let alone cable. We didnt have Playstations or Game Cubes. We didn’t have MP3 players, iPods or cell phones. But one thing we did have was summer vacations. Long, lazy days filled with hope and promise unencumbered by adult organization. Whatever fun we were going to have would have to come from our own imaginations. There were no alarm clocks on those long summer days. The day started when some friend stood outside your house and called your name. The closest you came to planning…

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Gold Medal Moments

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You don’t have to be an elite athlete to understand the Olympic spirit. Have I ever mentioned that I have the greatest job in the world? It’s true. I get to participate in the best races around the globe and meet running royalty from the past and present. There are times I look around and have to pinch myself and think: Yes, I am part of a seminar panel that includes the likes of Bill Rodgers, Steve Scott, Deena Kastor, and Khalid Khannouchi. I can hardly believe a back-of-the-packer like me could share a stage with such talent. Of all the…

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White Line Fever

By | Motorcycling, Personal, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

Believe it or not, the human machine can equal the power of a Harley. Until I discovered running, I had only two passions in life: music and motorcycles. Each fueled the other, and employment in one usually meant greater opportunities to pursue the other. For many years, this combination was perfect – I worked long enough as a freelance musician to build a financial base, then rode long enough to need the next gig. Maintaining the balance between time and money was tricky, but with care and a willingness to consume nothing more than peanut butter and beer, it was…

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