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The Penguin Archives

Category Archives: The Penguin Archives

The Chosen Path

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

When where you are is where you want to be. It’s a safe bet that I talk to more runners than just about anyone else on the planet. With traveling 300 days a year, my overflowing e-mail inbox, and my own curiosity, I communicate with thousands of runners a year. It’s interesting because I meet so many different kinds of runners: old and young, thin and not so thin, good and awful, and everything in between. But despite their differences, most have one thing in common: They’re either running to or from something. Some are running to a new PR…

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Survival of the Slowest

By | Personal, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | One Comment

We. The few, the proud, the plodding. Steven Pinker, in “The Language Instinct“, suggests that if language didn’t exist, people would be so driven to communicate that they would create a language. So strong is our instinct toward communication that there are almost no recorded instances of groups of people who have not developed a means of talking to one another. Surely our ancestors had a running instinct as well. It’s hard to imagine a community of humans that would not have included runners. Some, though, then as now, were just a little slower than others. The evidence of this…

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Miles to Go

By | The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | No Comments

Here is an early Penguin Chronicle that may help to put the whole “Penguin phenomenon” into perspective. As you can tell from the tone of the column, no one was more surprised by how this started than me. From time to time I get insights into how my life is changing – and how running has become the change agent. Those of you who, by nature or by training, are better tuned to your own psyches may scoff at the density of my awareness. Be reminded that I have been no more inclined to be open with myself than I…

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Embrace Your Local Penguin

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

Sometimes it isn’t the miles but the people who make the run. Of all the changes that running has brought to my life, maybe the most important one is my awareness of my need for people. Having spent most of my first 40 years as a musician, I became accustomed to spending hours alone in a practice room. The practice room became a sanctuary, a safe haven from the pressures of work and relationships and family. I thought running would be the same. I thought that I could simply replace the time alone in the practice room with time alone…

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Correct and Redirect

By | The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | One Comment

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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Body Language

By | The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | 2 Comments

I thought my sturdy frame could take just about anything – until it talked back. Early this year, I was running often and well, doing more speed workouts (okay, maybe not technically speed workouts, but certainly less-slow workouts) and looking forward to racing a 10-K. Then I spent nearly four weeks traveling on planes, boats, and buses to Argentina and Antarctica, with the final leg of my trip totaling 27 hours of sitting. It was a recipe for disaster. Once back at home, I bent over to put a small package on the floor. There was no getting back up….

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A Walk in the Park

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

One of my favorite runs in London is through Hyde Park. No big surprise. There may not be a more beautiful inner city run anywhere in the world. What may be a surprise to those who simply put on their trainers and run their workout is the full complement of activities going on simultaneously. The park is a smorgasbord of people enjoying their own versions of sport and leisure. To focus on only our own activity is to miss the richness of the mix. In a single hour of a single day in Hyde Park, I’ve seen horses and bicycles,…

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A Walk in the Park

By | The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | No Comments

One of my favorite runs in London is through Hyde Park. No big surprise. There may not be a more beautiful inner city run anywhere in the world. What may be a surprise to those who simply put on their trainers and run their workout is the full complement of activities going on simultaneously. The park is a smorgasbord of people enjoying their own versions of sport and leisure. To focus on only our own activity is to miss the richness of the mix. In a single hour of a single day in Hyde Park, I’ve seen horses and bicycles,…

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A Change of Course

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, Motivation, Penguin, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | 2 Comments

Sometimes we need to rethink what it means to succeed. Sometimes you meet a person and you just know that he or she has a life lesson to share. That’s what happened when I met Mike in March. We and about 80 other runners were aboard the Ocean Nova, bound for Antarctica where we would run the Antarctica Marathon or Half-Marathon. At first glance, there was nothing remarkable about Mike. He seemed to be just another middle-aged man, carrying a few extra pounds, whose glory days as a runner were back in the nylon shorts era. As often happens when…

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Summer Vacation

By | Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | One Comment

Growing up in the 1950s did have some advantages. No, we didn’t have color TV, let alone cable. We didn’t 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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