The goals for the summer are manifold, and both physical and mental, involving art, exercise, writing, and music, but I have discovered in the eleven days that have passed so far a commonality among them: none of them will be accomplished without steadfast attention and incremental advances.
I have been walking and running more and more, even before summer began, and summer will allow me to be much more consistent. No one four-mile circuit around Green Lake makes any discernable difference, but seventy-five or eighty over the summer might mean a marathon down the road.
I have adopted the exercise program recently mentioned in the NY Times. Just a few minutes every morning, but a killer few minutes - I was dripping with sweat today, and not just from the humidity. No one session makes any discernable difference, but seventy-five or eighty over the summer might mean an improvement in my overall fitness by my birthday.
I am still just struggling with moving through a set of chords on the ukulele; I hope to move up to an actual song sometime soon. No one evening's practice makes any discernable difference, but seventy-five or eighty over the summer might mean an actual performance at a Labor Day picnic.
longboard, and went for my first mile-long ride yesterday. It was tough going, although there were moments that I had a hint of what it might feel like to get good at this. No one ride makes any discernable difference, but seventy-five or eighty over the summer might mean a longboard commute in the fall.
If I want to accomplish anything toward any of these goals, I am going to have to do it Niagara Falls style: step by step, inch by inch. I'm not sure why this is hard for me. Part of it, I know, is just the Gap Effect. Part of it, I know, is that the past two-plus years of deaning have not left me a lot of time to focus on my own projects anyway. Maybe after years of teaching stuff I know well I have forgotten how to learn stuff I don't know well. Maybe it is just that the pace of life is now geared toward instant gratification and drag-and-drop simplicity and I have just gotten out of the habit of actually working at things to get good at them. Maybe, if I were honest, I would say that in the past I have only accepted those challenges for things that came easy to me, and that this summer is going to be good for my character as well as my skillsets.
Whatever it is, I just have to get over it. Eighty days is a long time, but it's not forever.