Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Living life with a sense of urgency

feeling so energized tonight! it doesn't always take something bad to happen to make you realize how short life is and that if you have a vision, you've got to have a sense of urgency in making it happen. we have capacity to do so much that to take no action (or to put it off for too long) is to waste the gift.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Make that "Someday" be Today

As I was reading Running the Edge, by Olympian Adam Goucher & Tim Catalano, I was reminded that so often we like to save a goal for another day, or to vow to make a change later. It's time to make that day today. The book quotes an inscription on a tomb in Westminster Abbey: "When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world." As Gandhi famously advises, "Be the change you want to see in the world." To make that more digestable, it's time to be the change we want to see in ourselves. Call it a permanent resolution, or just simply a mindset. Making a change is your choice. Choose to make that someday happen. Starting today, starting right now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kudos to Missy Franklin, Rising Star in USA Swimming

In a day and age when athletes are known more for their ego than their craft, Missy Franklin is a breath of fresh air. Full of optimism and spunk, the world watched as she set a new record in the women’s 100m backstroke final, and was moved to tears as her country’s national anthem played atop the Olympic podium. All that, and she’s only 17! If London 2012 is a glimpse into the post-Phelps world, then it’s looking like a bright future for Team USA!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Weighing-in on Blade Runner & the Olympics

Oscar Pistorius is a South African sprinter known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs." Pistorius, who has a double amputation, is the world record holder for sport class T44 in the 100, 200 and 400 metres events and runs with the aid of Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre transtibial artificial limbs by Ossur. In 2007, Pistorius took part in his first international competitions for able-bodied athletes. However, his artificial lower legs, while enabling him to compete, have generated claims that he has an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners. (Source: Wikipedia)

Call me a purist, but I believe the Olympics should be for those good enough to compete as they were born, without any technological enhancements whatsoever for any reason.

Once you get into the case by case basis, medically-approved or not arguments, it gets into a dangerous gray area and people will ultimately try to take advantage. For example, if you say that Pistorius is allowed to compete with his unique story (however inspiring it is and however hard he has worked), then what's to stop you from allowing an athlete who ran over his own legs on purpose so that he can replace it with titanium legs to run faster? That may be an extreme example, but perhaps not if strict standards of qualification are not enacted and unenforced.

I don't buy the whole net advantage/disadvantage thing that analysts have "supposedly" pegged on Pistorius. To say that he has an advantage validates the idea that no technological enhancements should be allowed. To say that he actually has a disadvantage just shows that current technology is not up to par (though at the rate of innovation, will surely be compensated in the near future.) Furthermore, to leave the decision of whether or not he can compete in the Olympics up to medics/scientists would be a denigration to his talent.

To those who say that he has had a lot of courage and heart to make it this far, I don't disagree. To those who say that he should be allowed to compete in the Olympics because of it, I caution to think hard about the precedent being set. That's why the Paralympics were started, to allow athletes with physical disabilities like Pistorius to compete in a similar environment/setting. (Besides, if you wanted so bad to see if a physically disabled person could beat an able-bodied person, then why don't you hold a separate competition where the Olympics champions compete against the Paralympics champions?)

When a blind runner decides to enter the Olympics, he should be able to do so, only if he does so without aid. When an amputee decides to enter the Olympics, he should also be able to do so, but only if he does so without aid.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

cannot believe I hadn't put this higher up on my reading list. three days of spellbound misery (read: pure enthrallment) later, I'm itching to get my hands on the film trilogy...

irony, capitalism, and crime - three images this saga brings to bear. if agatha christie had an italian son, his name would be mario puzo.

not unlike the dear friends of the don in this novel, who couldn't bear turn away from their godfather, readers will not be able to turn away from the page.

from robin hood to the western cowboy to the "godfather"-led mafioso, this novel marks a turn in american pop culture. out of the wit of puzo comes a new rogue hero. a criminal in the legal sense yet still a man of principle - who knows what he believes in, what he does not, and is steadfast to his word.

many a second generation immigrant can identify with his own michael corleone within - of wanting to break from traditional ties to the homeland and becoming thoroughly american, of striving to be accepted and respected in upper echelon society, of building a foundation for his offspring such that they would never have to face the same hardships of their forebears.

while the story is an obvious commentary on capitalism as much as it is a narrative about underworld crime, what's most curious is its own ironic trajectory. that it quickly rose to acclaim and ultimately became an icon in american life and literature is something its author perhaps did not intend. (or perhaps that was woven into the outcome all along, who knows?) but for the don and his consigliere, puzo and his audience, the message is clear - reason is, and has always been, the engine. friends and family, the power behind its construction.

Rating: 5 / 5

Monday, May 7, 2012

Amélie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain)

Amélie est la personnification de la joie de vivre. Le directeur Jeunet est un expert sur la représentation de la jeunesse. Normalement, on recule à la simple description - deux heures de temps, de dialogue minimal, de film étranger sous-titré... Pourtant, dès le générique d'ouverture, qui montrent les pitreries d'un adorable jeune Amélie au jeu, à voir l'esprit imaginatif de l'adulte Amélie au jeu, ce film tout à fait rivets et sans effort charmes. C'est un must!

Rating: 5 / 5

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Never chase love, affection, or attention.

Never chase love, affection, or attention. If it isn't given freely by another person, it isn't worth having.