Danny James

497

I would quit this job in a second for a chance to take photos like this all the time. I would write my girlfriend everyday and call my family from a pay phone

Bane

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496

Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.

495: Work

Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.

E. B. White

494

Laconic Coaching

“He who knows how to speak, knows also when” – Archidamidas

Ancient Greece was a fascinating culture, and a fascinating time. Even the way they communicated is fascinating. Greece was obsessed with rhetoric; the ability to debate, and to deliver elegant and persuasive speeches was highly prized in society.

The exception to this are the Spartans. The residents of the ancient city of Sparta (often called Laconians, after the region that Sparta was capital of) were known to abhor the typical longwinded Greek obsession with language.

These days, through what we know of their history, Spartans are remembered not only for their courage, frugality, and simplicity, but for their economy of speech; so much so that we call this manner of speaking ‘laconic’.

“Spartans were expected to be men of few words and stick to the point”
They felt that there was power not only in what is said, but in what is not said.

One challenge for coaches is to be ‘Spartan’ with our language; to use as few words as possible, and allow learning to be driven by the athlete’s experience with their surroundings and the task we give them.

We must get to the point – quickly; economy in language is crucial if we want to be heard. Attention spans are diminishing by the day. This makes it especially important for us to be concise; to shorten our message.

We can always add details later, if necessary.

Too often, words get in the way. We use them to mask our insecurity. In our desire to prove to the athletes how much we know, we often overwhelm them with information.

Like the Spartans, the wise coach will know what not to say – not just what to say.

493: Blink if you can hear me

The years are collecting, magic diminished and flickering.

… Do something.

492

Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobler’s trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar’s garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

491

I am considered a misanthropist now and then, because I do not socialize with many people. But it’s only my mind that avoids you, my heart is still with you, and seeks the distance so that it can keep on loving you.

Franz Grillparzer

490

Would you believe that the last time these skinned knees healed
It no longer amazed me like it used to and I hate to say it but…
Things they suddenly made a simple kind of sense
The horror, the mad ness, the helplessness of it all
That there is indeed beauty as well as blood
In life’s ocean of disasters
These shattered dreams and dead promises
Will not stand forever like graves
But one day grow legs and slowly walk away
In between the tornadoes and stomped on untrue love letters
There will be those shining gentle moments
Like the last page in your favorite book or
How badly I miss my mother
But how much I’ve come to love my father
And you scream that it’s been forever since
You witnessed blue skies
But trust me when I say that yes
This too will pass
It will quiet
Literally nothing stays the same
Just look to the clouds and you shall see
Always changing forever moving on again and again
Life’s one worthwhile guarantee

Bane, Place In The Sun
It All Comes Down To This

489: If you’re going to try

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

Charles Bukowski

488: Sally in the Sun

The realisation had barely settled upon the consciousness when my face had been brought home into Sally’s hands. As she whispered my name and drew close, I caught in the instant, the glimmer of long obstructed joyousness in her eyes. Suddenly, with space enough to run, and a great gasp of the soul loose in the world at last.

We stood there awhile, utterly delighted and engrossed with each other, amid the crowd before the coal-face of Friday night service dissolving. They’ve occurred before in glimpses, perfect these gaps of Nature, and you’ve figured since you couldn’t be granted many more miracles similar.

We talked at the centre of a hurricane with the sun smiling perfectly overhead at the mouth. Actualized and fully engaged with the moment, we felt the surge of a vast and thrilling current, brimming to the surface yet remained all the while at ease in the deep and holy intoxication that overlapped our traumas.
”I didn’t want to interrupt,” She said genuine, unblinking and ablaze. I wished as soon as it left her lips that she had, and I would have immediately let my responsibilities crumble for the encounter.
I couldn’t help but consider, as Sally spoke how that if she were not already spoken for, her hands were a perfect fit for mine; her waist, impossibly alluring and I could see us laughing at many good times gone by as we lay next to each other on a sunlit hillside overlooking the Steel City, some years ahead of tonight. Just as I had finished imagining these things Sally had motioned with a sideways glance and rather quickly, that she was in fact here with her fiancé and his family celebrating, something that I couldn’t quite translate through appreciating the rapture of her returning smile. Sally was always so infectiously easygoing and buoyant about the future and yet I was detecting somewhere here with her, moments of stuttered thought and a gazing solemnity with but a whit of an unresolved irritation.

We parted with proprieties and cautious glances and that, I estimated was unfortunately to be the necessary end. Stricken is the heart under spell of the imagination.

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