Turning Back the Clock

There’s something about being 39 that causes people to take stock and try to reclaim the physical abilities they had in their youth. I was no different. When I was six months from my fortieth, I decided to start running and training to take off the 20 or so pounds that had crept on over the years. My goal was to dunk a basketball again…something I hadn’t done since I was 19 or 20.

Starting slowly (and a month before the New Year’s crunch, when the gym gets a lot more crowded), I gradually increased my training on the elliptical machine (low impact was good) and started a weight training program too. By March I was touching the rim again, and I continued to make progress, but couldn’t make the dunk.

Finally, the big day arrived: May 15, 2003. I had taken the day off from work, and went to the local Y to play in a pick-up game. Having played reasonably well, I thought, “Why not give it a try?” To my utter amazement, being really warmed up and having stretched, I slammed it down.

I quickly called my wife, Lisa, and asked her to get down to the Y with our videocamera, to document this for posterity. I’m no Michael Jordan (although we are the same age), but here’s the proof that I made it.

By the way, immediately after reaching this pinnacle I joined the gang you see in the background in another pick-up game…and within 15 minutes had broken my left index finger (my first fracture!) That took me out of training for several weeks, and it’s been downhill since.

This summer has been a good training time too, although now because of life events it’s been a week since I’ve gone running. Making time for training needs to be a priority.

NY Times Highlights CEO blogging

Thanks to Jeff Jarvis for highlighting an article by Randall Stross on CEO blogging in today’s New York Times. As Stross writes about Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz:

C.E.O. blogging should no longer be viewed as extreme sport. Mr. Schwartz’s example shows that blogging fits quite naturally into the chief executive’s work week. In an exhortatory piece, ‘If You Want to Lead, Blog,’ published in The Harvard Business Review last year, Mr. Schwartz predicted that ‘having a blog is not going to be a matter of choice, any more than having e-mail is today.’

‘My No. 1 job is to be a communicator,’ Mr. Schwartz told me last week. ‘I don’t understand how a C.E.O. would not blog if committed to open communication.’

Assuming that other chief executives are willing to make their thoughts just as visible as Mr. Schwartz’s, the blog provides a highly efficient medium of publication. Mr. Schwartz, for instance, simultaneously reaches shareholders, software developers and current and prospective customers. With posted responses, these groups easily reach him as well as one another. . . .

Whether the blog is aimed at the diverse external audiences contemplated above, it seems a blog to engage employees in an internal conversation might have some merit.

(Via BuzzMachine.)

Horror Movie Trailer

Check out this post from Chris Anderson, author of “The Long Tail.” It includes a video that, in a humorous way, points out how the media landscape is changing, and how the audience is no longer passively consuming what the networks are feeding.

The Audience is Up to Something

While you’re there, you may want to check out other posts that reflect Anderson’s thesis, that while big hits will always be important, the non-hits collectively are becoming an important economic force. With costs of inventory becoming near zero for digital media, and costs of delivery near zero because of the internet, and with search making it easier for people to find what they want, it’s no longer economically necessary to provide programming designed to appeal to a mass audience.

(Via The Long Tail.)

One of 50 Million

…but likely one of a handful in my department at work. I think blogging could be a good way of sharing information with my team and with department leadership, and helping to call attention to interesting trends in news media and new media. My intent is for this to be a gathering place for information that will be useful to my colleagues.