Sunday, April 29, 2012

racing vs pacing


My tennis game is improving, and it’s not because I’m trying harder but rather the opposite.

Strange that.

You would think going at it with 80% effort instead of 110% would be detrimental to my game.

Well, it all depends on your age - at least that what I’m finding.

My theory being - If you are 29 and younger the 110% rule applies, but get yourself over the age of 35 and you need to throttle back appropriately, or pay the price - injury.

I think of myself as a pretty smart guy (hey, I heard that!) so I wonder why it took me so long to realize this simple ratio of age vs. effort.

It’s mostly about delusional thinking and living in the past.

Yes, I was a 6.0 player - but that was, oh, like 27 years ago and I was well under the age 29 rule I stated at the start here.

So what did I do exactly to achieve the 80% effort which led to my success this past week?

Well for one when a tough shot came back over the net instead of sprinting like a frightened jackrabbit and straining my joints and body like a crazy person, I held back and took a much less hasty approach. Some shots I got to, others I just kinda left.

And my body thanked me for it.

The shots I did get to using 80% effort I returned pretty well, and the ones I left - well, lost that point, but it is only a point and not a game and risk of injury fell down to the not likely state.

The second specific think I did?

I served the ball at about 80% of the speed I can. This produces an adequate serve and saves my back, neck and shoulders from unnecessary stress. Oh I admit every once in a while I cranked one, but only about once a set.

Results?

No pains, pulls or injuries. And I won two out of three sets against players of equal skill level. 6.3, 4.6, 7.5. on Monday and won the court on Friday by winning 16 out of a possible 27 games.

Yeah, for me.

Well, my allotted space is used up once again, so I’ll be off to do things - pain free for once!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

back at it


It would appear, at least it feels like, my back is mostly mended.

I took an extra week off of tennis (which is killing me) just to make sure I don’t re-injure it again by being too hasty.

But the two weeks plus of relative inactivity has been driving me a bit crazy. And to top it off my offspring was home most of those two weeks sick as can be.

She is still coughing up a lung as of today, but not as frequently or violently as when she was in the midst of it.

Happy joy times for all involved, let me tell you.

And today kicks off a week and a half of relative visits . . . um, yeah, it just gets better and better.

I don’t really mind, but it is a strain on my nerves.

And as I suspected the new book I’m working on is sitting in the back of my mind - and that’s about where it’s stuck at the moment.

I’m actively thinking about it . . . that counts, doesn’t it?

And I noticed the back hatch of my van is sprouting rust spots like it has chicken pox . . . if vehicles can get chicken pox that is. I suspect that within a couple years it’s going to get pretty ugly.

And the lawn looks like it’s almost ready to be mowed which is another great way to strain my recently recovered back. So, it’s going to be pretty shaggy looking before I get to it this spring.

It is supposed to snow for a couple of days beginning tomorrow though, so that should slow down the blade growth a wee bit, I hope.

Also, my ereader, though I really, really like it don’t get me wrong, seems to have a pretty sad battery life before I have to recharge it.

It claims to be able to last 24 hours of continuous reading time and two weeks of off time before it needs a recharge.

To that I say - Bullshit!

I have found, on two occasions already, that after a mere 8 hours of reading it is crying out with a warning to be recharged. That is pretty sad.

Last time I checked a day was 24 hours long, not 8, at least on this planet.

Still, the convenience of the device outweighs the needs of the . . . er, whatever . . . you know what I mean.

Well, I am looking forward to getting back to some tennis again this Wednesday after two and a half million . . . er, weeks off.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 15, 2012

bearing down

Well, life is all about change.

Mostly.

Like changing a wheel bearing that is dying on a car, which is what is currently happening in my life.

No big deal, but annoying, and fairly costly. Still, the car was bought used and was about 25% the price of a new car, so unless I change the engine, transmission, all the brake lines and all the wiring . . . I’m still way ahead.

So, I’ve passed the 33 book mark this year and I’m putting my ereader to the test. I’ve managed to read two books on it this past week and I have three more from the library loaded up and ready to go.

Does this mean I’m going paperless?

Well, not any time soon. However, I do find the ereader so easy to take with me wherever I go so it makes trucking along those huge novels (looking at you Tad) so much easier than the paper version.

On the old man front, my back is still not 100% healed from my tennis injury. I’d say, as of this typing, it’s hovering around the 80% mark which is a vast improvement from last Sunday when it was around 20%. Looking to hit my first ball again this Wednesday.

What used to take me two days to heal from now takes two weeks.

Scientists need to find a cure to aging . . . then again, that would be problematic at best, wouldn’t it?

Many distractions have popped up recently and my concentration with regards to my new novel project is flagging. Still, come May when the distractions disappear, I’m going to be on it like a blue bottle on spoiled meat . . . um, you get the idea.

Family gatherings are imminent (one of my distractions) and that always throws a monkey wrench in my works not to mention again my back issue and car problems. The most I can do with those kinds of interference is read, read and read some more.

I know, book absorption overload this year and with the new toy I’m reading even more than ever before. This will be my best year, in terms of number of books read and total pages read, if I keep up like I am . . . and with the ereader I see no slowing down in the months ahead.

Oh, I’m excited to be able to pick and chose titles online from my local library site. It’s dead easy to find books, download books to my earader, and consume books.

I don’t even need to leave the house to get new titles to read . . .

A true book junkies dream come true . . . if you don’t want to collect said books that is.

Well, how quickly my blog page fills up and another Sunday comes and goes.

Oh, one last thing. Two more authors I’m going to check out in the paranormal arena - Devon Monk and her Allie Beckstrom series, and Jeaniene Frost and her Night Huntress series.

Jim Butcher still top of the heap though.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Bunny Day

Well, the hunt went off well this morning even though there was a mixup with the location of stashed goods.

It seems the Easter Bunny left a bunch of treats in places the little one (who is pretty large now) didn’t know about until I got up to inform said searcher of the correct rooms to search in.

Yeah, she knows.

Doesn’t mean the fun is all gone. She still enjoyed the hunt and the treats.

Still, those days of magic are pretty much ended.

Time marches on and your little ones grow up to be . . . teenagers!

Yikes!

Anyhow, this week was going along just great until I torqued my back playing tennis on Friday and spent the last two days hobbling around like a lame octogenarian.

Mostly healed as of today, but the tightness and spiky pains return when I twist a certain way.

Yeah, this impending old age thing is really getting old fast . . . excuse the pun.

Ooooh, and I found another fun author to read. Name of Kim Harrison. She writes Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and is similar, though not as good as, Jim Butcher.

And - I’m reading her in eBook form . . . Yes, another huge technological leap forward for this old man.

I saw an ereader on sale for a price I couldn’t resist. So, I did a bit of I-net searching to see if it sucked or was okay. Seems for the price I got it for it was a steal. And Yeah, I am really enjoying it a lot.

I downloaded the first Kim Harrison book (Dead Witch Walking) and Jim Buthcer’s (Summer Knight) from the library and it works like a charm. My wife is not convinced of its coolness, but my offspring is, I think.

My own Paranormal novel planning is ongoing and I’ve nailed a couple of characters down pretty well though more work needs to be done. I also have the first chapter gelling in my mind and the overall plot is thickening.

Well, this day is Bunny Day, so I should go back and spent time in Family mode.

Which will likely be spent sitting on the comfy couch together reading books . . . yeah, we are weird that way.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 01, 2012

no fooling

Yes, it’s April 1st, and no, I’m not about to play any tricks on my family or friends.

Must be getting old . . . er.

Which is sad in a way - kind of like I’m losing my sense of fun and humour these days.

I’ve felt lately like that 12 year old inside of me was hit by a train and is still recovering in a full-body cast, comatose, mouth wired shut, instruments beeping beside a hospital bed.

I think I’m mostly waiting for summer to come full on so I can go for long walks in short pants again.

And I’ve been coming to terms with my body’s ability, and limited range of agility, on the tennis court. I’ve managed to get back to the top court on both the Friday and Sunday men's doubles leagues, but I’ve had to cut down to playing only three times a week for fear of seriously injuring myself beyond repair.

I’m on the cusp of being too old to go at it like a teenager.

I can still play with spurts of that level of effort and enthusiasm, but it comes with a high price. Like my right ankle in pain, and my neck stiffening up, and my right shoulder starting to bother me.

And that is just this morning’s short list of aliments.

Ibuprofen can only accomplish so much.

But, on a positive note, fewer hours on the court mean more hours behind the keyboard working on my new project.

It’s all in the formative stage right now, but I have a first chapter jelling in my head and it will likely come tumbling out in time for May’s reading night.

After that I’m going to do a quick sketch of the novel and then party like it's NanoWriMo 1999.

Once it’s all down in puked-out, first-draft form then I’ll go over it again and make it comprehensible to others.

Well, not much else to relate today except likely resting and finishing yet another book this afternoon while I nurse my many aches and pains.

That would be book number 30 read so far this year . . . no, there is no cure for that.

Until next Sunday . . .