I read a good piece this morning about some important issues that often get overlooked. Every time I see the markets rally (and we're going back to 5 figures on the Dow any minute now), I can't help but think that it's just a game, that stock values are pure speculation and have no bearing on the underlying fundamentals behind the company. I'm pretty sure that I think it should be illegal for executives of public companies to have their compensation tied to share price.
The off season is officially underway. The season finished up well for me, and I have a lot of enthusiasm heading into the off season, but I'm also thinking an awful lot about how to raise my game. One area where I know I can use significant improvement is in strength. A couple of seasons ago I tested myself on a squat sled machine and somewhat easily racked it. Later in that season I tested myself on the same machine and wasn't able to rack it. Last year's little mishap took a metric buttload of strength out of my right leg. It wasn't even feasible to do any sort of plyometrics or anything like that - coordination and strength were gone. Now that's improved a whole bunch, and my plan is to build leg (and general) strength over the next few months.
One of the better things to happen this season was learning a lot more about myself as a rider. I'm not a sprinter, never going to be one. As much as my fast twitch is lacking, I'm just not the guy to thrive when everyone's bouncing off of one another and going nuts in the last k. In fact it was that stuff happening at the Turkey Day 3/4 that motivated me to try to get away from the madding crowds. Learning full well that crazy sprints just ain't my game opened up another door to some stuff that maybe I'm better suited for and enjoy more. It also helps me figure out how to better help my team mates, and informs the training that I'll plan. To some degree it's a case of training my strengths so that they become significant enough to be useful - the Friel-ian concept of limiters being the watchword here, rather than things that you're good or not as good at. I'd need a catastrophic improvement in sprinting to make an impact in sprints, where if I made a much smaller (but still significant) improvement in other areas, I could make them bear fruit.
I never had pets as a kid. When I started dating my wife, we wound up at her parent's house a bunch. They have a dog named Duncan who I love. It's not at all a stretch to say that without him we wouldn't have gotten married. My mother in law wasn't exactly a buyer of me when we first met, but Duncan and I got on like lighter fluid and matches from the first minute. People read too much into animals, but in this case it bought me some needed time. One of my favorite things to do is to take a walk to the market with Duncan on Sunday mornings to get the papers. The first time I did it, everyone was convince that he'd howl like a banshee when I left him outside, go completely nuts, make a scene, and I'd never make it through the first time or ever try it again. He and I have an understanding. We're deep. Last week we learned that Duncan's liver has turned to shit and that he's got nodes all over all of his organs. His pee is acid yellow green, he no longer eats ice cubes which used to be his favorite thing in the world, he no longer eats much of anything at all. The vet expected that he would be suffering beyond what should be allowed within a very short time. We took a trip up last weekend to see him what I hope will turn out not to be one last time. He's on some meds and is doing pretty standard fare doggie things and generally acting like himself, if a bit slower. I can't bear that he should be dragged on, suffering, but neither can I get my head around putting him down. The pet time frame isn't something I've experienced before. All of the people participants (except the kids) in this scenario are fundamentally the same people they were when we first met. Duncan, on the other hand, has gone from just older than puppy to pretty old dog. No one thinks he's old enough to go yet, but it's especially sucked for me since I've never really been confronted with the fact that dogs just don't live a very long time. Last week I was pretty fouled up with this all week. Couldn't take it. Now the reality of the situation is a lot more apparent, but that doesn't mean I don't have a huge lump in my throat writing this right now, or that I wasn't freaking out when we were getting the papers on Sunday, knowing it was likely the last time with him. He's one hell of a dog, to sing his praises would take a tome, and he's been as good a friend as any in the time I've known him. So thank you, Duncan, for being awesome.
Off to the gym.