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Bingham

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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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Come Together

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | No Comments

You might be surprised what Nietzsche and your running buddies have in common. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche really got a bad rap. Either that or he needed a better publicist. There was that whole “God is dead” business that upset so many people and then there’s the “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” quote that’s attributed to him. I actually read one of my favorite Nietzsche quotes in an Outward Bound handbook. In writing about mountain climbing, our boy Friedrich says, “Exhaustion is the shortest way to equality…” I’ve never climbed a mountain so I can’t attest…

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White Line Fever

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Motorcycling, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | 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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Summer Vacations

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | No 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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The Competitive Edge

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles | No Comments

You just don’t realize how competitive you are, until you meet someone who’s slower. There we were. Two middle-aged men in a Firebird on a summer night in southern California. The top was down, the V-8 was rumbling. We were just driving around, minding our own business. There he was. A 20-something young man in some kind of four-cylinder Euro-sport sedan with loud mufflers. He kept racing his engine, waiting for the light to turn green. I looked over at Ken. Without saying a word, we knew what had to be done. When the light changed, I gave the young…

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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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Penguin Chronicles #1

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

This is the original, unedited Penguin Chronicle. The Penguin Chronicles :: March 1995 :: You may be a Penguin I can see the finish line, and I feel an emotional rush that transforms me from a mere mortal into a mythical creature with winged feet. Well, OK, maybe not winged feet. How about a mythical creature with webbed feet? Forget eagles and sparrows, it’s time to celebrate the power of penguins. The runner as Penguin? No way!! Gazelles, Cheetahs, thoroughbreds. The metaphors for runners always seem to conjure up images of fleet footed creatures moving swiftly across the landscape barely…

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Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, The Penguin Archives | 12 Comments

John Bingham looks forward to what lies ahead as his career as a columnist comes to a close. All good things must come to an end, or so they say. The truth I’ve learned is that all things, good and bad, come to an end. In life, as in marathons, there are good patches and bad patches—and neither last forever. And so it is that this is my last official column. Beginning in May 1996 with the first “Penguin Chronicles” in Runner’s World Magazine, through various title changes and magazine placements, I have been writing for, and writing to, a running community…

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When to Say When

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, Marathon, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

Okay, it was the right thing to do. So why does it hurt so much? It isn’t always easy being a runner. It isn’t always easy being the Penguin. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to be both and to be true to either. One of the canons of the Penguin philosophy is that running – all running – is joyful in its own right. It’s the act of running, being in the moment of the motion, that brings satisfaction. And it’s the process that matters most, not the outcome. But some runners wrongly think that this focus on participation rather than…

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