Saturday, March 2, 2013

...and I can move the Earth

"Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

                                          -Alfred Lord Tennyson


Saturday:  3:00 hr bike ride (w/main sets of 3x12' at 100% FTP and 4x12' at 85% FTP), was supposed to go 3.4 hrs but ran out of gas for the last 1/2 hr...but that was to be all zone 2 stuff...really didn't miss much except another 1/2 in the saddle.


My wife has a masters degree in English Lit.  She loves Tennyson.  I once made a trek to Hanbury Arms in Caerleon, Wales to sit in the same pub that Alfred penned "The Lady of Shalott".  Hell, our second daughter's middle name is Tennyson.   I figured that gives me free reign to quote the man.  I am not a literature guy.  My night stand is littered with books I've tried to read; "The Great Gatsby" and "The Road" were the last two.  I find simple joy in the simple stuff...give me Stephen King, "Lord of the Rings", or Dan Brown any day.  But I do enjoy my life sprinkled with some of the finer things...a good mascato, the Chicago Symphony, Charlie Mingus, and Tennyson quotes.


The quote above came to me in the movie Skyfall...which was my entertainment for most of my 3 hr ride today.  


Again, I'm not the right McHale to analyze poetry...but it seems that Tennyson is speaking of the importance of tradition.  In the movie, Bond must return to his boyhood home of "Skyfall" in Scotland.  For me, my mind strolled through some of the traditions and "strengths" of my world...as well as some of the traditions and lessons my wife and I are trying to instill in our girls.


  1. Hard work gets you far.  As that relates to my current endeavor...I'm hoping hard work will get me 140.6 miles...quickly.
  2. Balance.  Don't let your life get out of whack.  Keep an eye on the prize, and your priorities in check.  My life WILL get "a little" out of whack over the next 150 days.  But that will be temporary.  Even more specifically, the act of training for an ironman is a balancing act.  So much to juggle-swim, bike, run, strength, nutrition, recovery.  
  3. Perfect isn't always perfect.  Mistakes are lessons and sometimes, just because things don't go as planned, they can still perfect.  
  4. Don't postpone joy.  "Be awesome" is the phrase I've been using with my daughters.  It's simple. It's cliche'.  But they get it.  Find the good in life...even when it's hard to find.  Don't be the turd in the punch bowl.
Just this past week, I was discussing Archimedes with my physics class.  The topic was torque. We discussed Archimedes famous quote: "Give me a place to stand...and I can move the Earth."
While I was trying to trying to illustrate the physics of torques...my underlying message was that that one person could move the Earth.  One person, no matter how small could change the world around them.

Go find your lever.  Go move the Earth.




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