Not much to report on the training front. The weekend was a bit of a wasteland in terms of training: Saturday was the 26×1 relay in the morning, which was awesome, but I had slept like crap the night before so I spent a bit of the day napping and then had plans at night, so I squeezed my bike in and didn’t finish it. Sunday was spent with my grandmother, who at 94, is still awesome. Case in point: my brother and I met her for lunch and were seated at a table for 6. My grandmother says “Looks like we’re all eating double”. The plans I had for Sunday night fell through so I went for my run late in the evening. My stomach didn’t handle things well so I ended up cutting that short. Just really disappointed with myself about the training last week. I’ve decided that the rest of the year is about burying myself1 and seeing just how fast and powerful I can become.
Also excited to get the new freehub after I destroyed my old one (and kept riding it) at Wildflower last year. Tomorrow’s project. Or Thursday. Or this weekend.
Anyhow, two stories of late (totally non-triathlon related) have caught my eye.
1. The Anne-Marie Slaughter “Why Women Can’t Have It All” story. I think she’s right. Women can’t have it all. But neither can men. I think the issue is much more obvious and visible for women, and I think the challenges they face (as Slaughter said) are probably larger and more difficult to navigate (I can’t speak to this from personal experience because I’m not a woman who has dealt with this). But I can say that I ran into similar issues early in a post job and balancing work and life was a pain in the ass (while not the root cause of a relationship ending, it certainly didn’t help). People were always amazed that I could find time to train for triathlons at that job, but that basically entailed late night runs, trainer rides, swims during lunch or right after work, and a seriously deficient social life. I was trying very hard to get ahead in my career and frankly, it sucked. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had I had kids or more things to prioritize. I think the difference for men and women is that historically, men haven’t been expected to sacrifice face time for family time and women were expected to sacrifice careers for family. As gender roles have merged, this is changing and it’s becoming obvious that face time prioritization sucks for everyone. Am I wrong?
2. My really good friend Shane wrote a nice blog about the issues going on at UVA right now. It’s likely to be resolved shortly (in one way or another: the board meets today and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia has said that if the board doesn’t come to a unanimous decision before Wednesday, he expects the entire board to resign). But this gets to an issue in education (and business) that has become a bit of a bug to me: the desire for short term results when we can’t see the long term future. And maybe I’m old fashioned or stupid or inexperienced in these things (probably all three), but rushing into online education (or any marketplace) just because everyone else (MIT, Stanford, etc) is, doesn’t mean your university is any more special. For one, it commoditizes (what a shitty word) some of what you do (basic education), and it doesn’t provide the same education that one receives by going to class (I can speak from experience on that one. I performed far better in the classes in college that I actually attended). To some extent, we’ve been spoiled by the internet age: we expect all institutions to move and change as quickly as we perceive technology companies do, and that’s bogus. The technology companies that change quickly are those that are tiny. They aren’t institutions at the point when they change. The large companies that have tried to be dynamic haven’t necessarily failed, but they haven’t been very dynamic either. I get that the universities need to change and grow their audience (this, unlike doping investigations, is a zero sum game), but for the foreseeable future, physical students are the business. And anyhow, students learn better with old school methods. Perhaps it’s time we all took a step back and stopped thinking tactically about the short term results and started thinking strategically.
One final thought I had this morning. Never say “pun intended” or “no pun intended”. If you do, you sound like you think your audience is full of idiots. You may be right, but you don’t need to let them know that you think they are.
1I keep on using the phrase “burying myself” and I don’t know if it means what I think it means. The way I’m using it… well it’s a bit fluid. But in general, I think it means that I’m just trying to do something potentially stupid and putting myself on the line. My guess is that Joanna thinks this, like saying “I’m an ironman” makes me seem really intense. But I’m not really. This is just an experiment to see how far I can push (hurt/punish?) my body.