Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Day in the Lives ...

My niece was talking on the phone to her friend and answered,
"What does my aunt do? Well, she is vice-president of this company she started that does on-line training and statistical analysis and stuff, then she teaches graduate courses at two universities. On the weekends, she does this Judo Training Center for young athletes and she is always trying to raise more money for that. Of course, she's a mom. She's also vice-president for the United States Judo Association. I don't know. That's a good question..."

She holds the phone away for a moment, looks at me and asks,

"Just how many lives DO you have?"

Two judo coaches from Connecticut, Bill Montgomery and Joan Love, have accused me of having escaped from a Star Trek episode they saw, with a race of mutants who did everything at twice the speed of normal people.

The truth is, I am one of those people who is always doing two or three things at once. In an article I read, multi-tasking is related to Type A personality, stress and heart disease. According to their statistics, I am pretty sure I should have died at age twenty-three. Here is a Saturday in my life ...

Put coffee on. Take a shower while coffee is brewing. Poke Julia to wake her up. Put my judo gi in a bag. Poke Julia again and tell her I really mean it. Run Julia's bathwater while I find her judo gi. Threaten Julia with a beating if she doesn't get ready to go. While Julia is in the bathtub, run put gas in the car and to the grocery store for cases of bottled water for the training center. Call optometrist from the grocery store and ask for a new pair of contacts. While standing in line at Starbucks, call Julia to make sure she is dressed and ready to go and find out what she wants for breakfast. Buy breakfast at Starbucks. Pick up contacts at optometrist. Drive back to house and pick up Julia. This is the first forty-five minutes of my day --- before I drive thirty-five miles to the training center for the first practice of the day. While Julia sleeps in the car I listen to my voicemail and return phone calls.

After two judo practices are over, I drive thirty-five miles back home, grade papers, add several web pages to the on-line course in Ethics we are writing, read Dr. Davis' comments on our webcast slides which are due on Monday, make the corrections, read several chapters on developmental education for our next grant, answer 15 email messages about USJA activities (most of them are nice emails today), read a request for proposal for a grant competition we are considering, write an entry for my company blog and go to bed.

... And it is only as I write this I realize that -- this is my day off!

This blog is in answer to Carlo who asked me why I do not start a judo program for Native Americans, as well as everyone else who has asked me why I do not start my own judo club, run for any more offices, make a DVD, write a book or have my own line of judo gis.

Despite appearances, I am not complaining. I will be 50 next year,so I am now on a mailing lists to receive catalogs for courses designed for people in "my age group". I paged through one of these and the classes had such titles as,

"Dealing with Bereavement and Grief"
"Preparing your will"

and my personal favorite (I am not making this up) ....
"The Life Review: Tell your life stories to people who care."

As opposed to what I guess many old people do, which is tell their life stories to people who don't care. For now, I think I will try to have a life rather than talk about the life I had.
------------REQUIRED JUDO TIP ------------------------

If you are looking for a coach and (even secretly to yourself) you look down on people if they can't beat you up, you, my dear, are a moron.

I forgive you for being a moron, though, because I was just as stupid and far stupider. I used to think to myself, "Why should I listen to this old guy. He is a lot bigger than me and I can still kick his ass."

Not only that, but in my late thirties, I was thinking that I should give up teaching judo. Because, as I told Steve Bell, I was getting too old and slow to be able to pin and armbar these young people on the mat. I didn't have the strength to power through the turnovers on just about anyone any size.

He said, "We think that to be the coach we need to beat up everyone in the room. Do you realize how stupid that is? Do you really think that Bela Karolyi gets up on the parallel bars with those little girls?"

Then you look around to other sports and you realize that in boxing, wrestling, basketball and every other event you can imagine, the coach is not out there competing with the athletes.

If you are looking for a coach, don't look for the person who can beat you up. Look for the person who is coaching the people who can beat you up. And if you are that coach, then feel good about yourself and the job you are doing, quit worrying that your uchimata looks more like Inoue's grandfather's than Inoue's. I'm sure Ojii-san Inoue is a really cool guy.


Anonymous said...

Ronaldo Veitiare, the current cuban women's judo team headcoach, a morbid obese man probably weighing more than 140 kilos by the look of him. Still most the cuban women he has coached have won many Olympic and Worlds championships.


janna said...

I always look for coaches who are producing champions. As opposed to coaches who have a really high belt rank. ;) Thanks for your blog Ann Marie, it's really helping me get serious about my conditioning.