(* May not have really happened)
Every so often, The Sunday Times Magazine will publish an interview with someone — I can’t even remember what the feature is called — but I’m always entertained by it…
One day I got the inspiration to answer the questions for myself, perhaps craving the attention. Perhaps in an attempt to visualize my future. Anyway, I don’t tend to question inspiration too much — I just try to follow it.
I’ve had this file on my computer for nearly a year. Came across it today while looking for something else.
And figured, what the hell…
Fantasy career: Shortstop. New York Yankees. Or guitar player in a band with tight trousers. Or a movie director.
Next big purchase: Ready for some new ski, bindings, boots. Got the itch.
Morning routine: Up at 6:30 or so. Feed the dog and the cats. In the winter I start the fire in the woodstove. Coffee while watching the sunrise. Listen to nothing or Howard Stern on Sirius. Breakfast and some writing. Coaching starts on Tuesdays, 9AM.
Procrastination technique: Checking and answering e-mail. Reading stuff.
Nagging injury: Some arthritis in my left knee from an old basketball injury/surgery. Just gets sore after a day of skiing. But the less I focus on it, the less it bothers me. So let’s forget I mentioned it.
Worst attribute in a coach: Fear. Fear of telling the truth as you see it. Fear of not getting hired. Fear of getting fired.
Place where he spends the most time: In my office. I’ve got a great view of the sunrise, the mountains, and a good birdfeeder. When I am coaching someone, I just stare out the window.
Favorite recent purchase: My chainsaw. It feels powerful. And dangerous. Took down a big tree the other day. My heart beating like a jackrabbit, hoping I did not get pinned under the sucker as it fell. But it went right where I wanted it to – thrilling! I could buy wood cheaply enough, but there is such satisfaction from cutting and splitting. The ultimate reward is heating your house with something that has touched your hands many times.
Obsession: Figuring people out. Or at least coming up with compelling stories about them in my head.
Gadget he can’t live without: I don’t even have a cell phone, so I’m not a big gadget guy. But when I travel or when I work in a public place, I love my Bose noise reducing headphones. Oh, I do carry around my Sirius radio (it goes from the car to the house) all the time. Music rules.
Best thing about living in the country: It’s quiet. A man can think out here. The sunrise. The sky is full of stars. I open the door and I can hike, bike, or ski. You are constantly reminded of the rythmns of the world by looking outside your window.
Biggest self-indulgence: I’m not much into denying myself.
Person from history he wants to meet: It’s the clichéd answer, but I’ll go with Jesus. I mean, who would have more to share? Would love to straight from him rather than all the interpretations we’re left to sort through. And in person, I’ve found that most heroes disappoint compared to the image we hold. I’m thinking JC would deliver the goods.
Favorite Song: Certainly it’s impossible to pick just one. Kinda depends on the day, on the mood. But if I had to choose one that hits me every single time, I’ll go with “Imagine”… A song filled with melody, beauty, and truth.
Always in fridge: Soy milk. Natural, crunchy peanut butter. Real maple syrup. Frank’s Red Hot.
Personal hero: John Lennon. Love his genius. Paul Newman. Love all he’s been able to create, all he’s been able to give. (Update: Just heard Mr. Newman passed. A cool guy, indeed.)
Funniest coaching story: Early in my career I took on this client who was both weird and rather depressed. I have no idea what we were doing together. Anyhow, in my coach training, I had just learned the power of silence. As in, don’t allow your own discomfort with silences on the phone with your client lead you to just start talking. Often the first thing someone says after a prolonged silence is rather important. So this guy goes silent. And I am determined to match him. One minute. Two minutes. This is a LONG time if you’ve never done it before. Three minutes. Four minutes. This is getting ridiculous. I’m busting out of my chair. What’s this guy doing? Is he playing a game?
And then I hear him snoring…
Best recent gift: My father-in-law paid for our wedding. Hard to top that one.
Home away from home: A cabin in the woods, originally built by my dad, painstakingly remodeled a few summers ago by my brothers and me. If you’re close to me, you’ve been there. And you have a fond memory of the place. Below is the place before the remodel.
Always by his bed: A couple magazines. A book. A snoring dog. A cat fighting for real estate on the bed. And a beautiful woman.
What he wanted to be when he was 6: The Fonz. Or Batman.
Household chore he hates: (I try not to hate anything) Once every three weeks or so we take our trash to the transfer station. Recycleables, bottles, garbage. It’s a whole event to pack up the truck and then distribute everything at the center. Karin does most of the sorting, I’m just the muscle. It’s not that bad though. And you always feel great when everything is gone.
Hero as a coach: Gotta go with Thomas J. Leonard. Without him, I don’t think I’m doing this. A true visionary and what a thinker. The field of coaching never fully recovered from his death.
Greatest strength/weakness: Two sides of the same coin here. My gift is that I see things. Visually, I have really excellent eyesight… much better than 20/20. So I notice things… everything. I can see the open man on a basketball court. I can tell what the car next to me is going to do in traffic long before he does it. And I can see things in other people’s lives that do not serve them (doesn’t work as well for seeing myself, however). There are lots of upsides…
The downside is that this gift can lead me to be judgmental and critical. When I see things that do not work as well as they could, my natural inclination is to fix them. Sometimes I wish I could just keep my mouth shut. Looking for the balance here.
Obsolete item he can’t toss: Eventually, I toss everything. But I did have a tee shirt from my ROTC days at the University of Florida. They made us buy it on the first day for $5. Kept it for 15 years until it just disintegrated.
Favorite place in his house: In the morning, I like the couch that faces the windows and the views of the mountains. In the summer, it’s out on the deck.
Topic he adores but won’t discuss at a party: After a couple beers, I’ll talk about anything. I am always wildly entertained. Others, maybe not so much. But to me, these kinds of conversations are the stuff of life. I am really not interested in the “rightness” or “wrongness” of peoples’ beliefs… I am just intensely curious why people believe what they believe.
Favorite place to nap: I probably take like three or four naps a year. I wish I could take more, but I’m just not a napper. Only happens when I am exhausted. And then on the couch. In the sun.
Favorite car: Bought a pristine 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser to drive myself, my possessions, and my two dogs across the country in 2001. A beast. Would go through anything and I love to ride high up with great visibility. But a gas hog.
Favorite hobby: Love to read anything and everything. But I like taking a good photograph. Would really like to get a super nice SLR and see what happens. Love basketball, skiing, kayaking, baseball, being outdoors. Oh, and I love talking with my wife.
Worst thing about his job: Trying to explain to someone at a party what I do. You’ve got to experience me, baby!
Favorite game: Basketball. Love everything about playing the game. The competition. The sweat. The teamwork. The perfect of the round ball. Though I find the NBA impossible to watch.
Favorite article of clothing: I don’t care much about clothing. But recently been buying some Prana gear. Nice fabric, snug tapered cut. I like that. Comfy, flattering.
Collections: I’m not a collector of any thing. I used to collect CDs, but with downloading and satellite radio, I do not buy many CDs any more. And I give a lot of my books away after I read them too.
Working uniform: Adidas athletic pants. Some sort of performance wear shirt (something that keeps me warm or cool). Slippers my sister got me for Christmas. They are like comfy dress shoes. Love them.
The house’s best feature: Light. The house faces south so we get the sunrise and light all day long. The previous owner was a professional photographer. He told me this house had the best light of any place he’d shot.
Favorite book read recently: Empire Falls by Richard Russo. It’s set in small town Maine, but reminds me so much of the small upstate New York town I grew up in (Hudson Falls). His characters stay with you long after the book is finished.
Recurring dream: I am playing basketball. I am going in for a layup, an underhand scoop to the hoop. I jump and I notice that I just keep rising…rising…rising until I notice my wrist is as high as the rim. At my apex, I flip my wrist around and BANG! I slam the ball home.
In waking life, I used to be able to dunk a volleyball, but those days are gone. And that’s okay.
But I do love that dream!