Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Recent Move to a New Situation

I don't usually like to cross-post material from one blog to another. A lot of cross-posting can create the perception, whether accurate or not, that the blogger either does not have enough to say or is too lazy to generate content for multiple blogs, or even that he is not really serious about his blogging. Nevertheless, I'll share one post from one of my other blogs, Steve's Midlife Crisis, because it is relevant to my practice of law and offers some specific information about where I currently am in my life.

I originally posted this three months ago, so it talks about an upcoming move. That move has already happened and, for the most part, it is going well, although I am still learning to adjust to the new routine.

Getting Ready to Move On to Another Situation

At the end of April, I will be leaving the office I have rented for the last ten years. It's a charming little office in a building designed by Henry Ives Cobb in the revived Venetian Gothic style and completed in 1893. The office is just the right size for me. It has a hardwood floor and is filled with solid oak furniture: a heavy desk, a tall bookcase, a file cabinet, a small conference table, and a printer stand. I bought the furniture in 1994 from my friend Steve Oster at Oster Contemporary Furniture. Steve's a great guy and, although I don't see him or talk with him very much these days, I still consider him a really good friend. Also, he did set me up with some excellent furniture.

Perhaps naively, I had hoped to stay at my office until I was ready to retire. Some of that was no doubt due to everything that was happening during that week, ten years ago, when I moved. During those days, my mother was quite ill, my maternal grandmother passed away, I had an oral argument in the Illinois Appellate Court the same week I moved, and I was waiting for the state to pay me on a case I had litigated as court-appointed counsel for an indigent prisoner. After that convergence of events, I wanted never to have to move my business location again. Of course, things are rarely that simple and it was not to be so. Ah, impermanence!

I suppose a change is in order, considering my last office move was at the end of May, 1997. Nevertheless, I am taking a leap into the unknown here because I am choosing to be without an office for a while. That is something new because I've worked in an office environment since my IT career began back in 1985, and I've had my own private office since I started my law firm in May, 1994.

Since I don't have room for all of my office furniture, boxes of files, and law books at home, I'm going to rent some storage space for a while and keep everything there. That's not my preferred way of handling these developments, but my head and heart are just not into looking for new office space now. I don't want to force myself into finding new space until I have a more clear vision of what I want to do and how I want to do it. I can write and do technology and blog consulting almost anywhere, and the nature of my law practice is such that I don't really need to have a fixed office. I have the luxury of being able to wait.

Instead, at least in the short term, I'll be joining the ranks of the "neo-nomads" or new "bedouins." (Hat tip to Jim Ware at The Future of Work Weblog.) I'll be like the mobile professionals in the San Francisco Chronicle article, and like Chris Brogan and Alan Weinkrantz. Brogan says his office is a coffee shop, while Weinkrantz likes to work at Apple Stores when he is traveling.

Becoming a technomad makes sense for me for a few reasons. First, I've used laptop/notebook computers as my main machines since I was in law school. I haven't worked with my own desktop PC since I was in college. (However, that will change soon because my dad is going to give me a spare computer he has so I can network it with my laptop at home.)

I like being mobile. For a long time, along with my laptop computer, I was almost always pretty heavily armed with a cell phone, wireless PDA, and RIM device for text and instant messages. For those reasons, my good friend Philo Janus, the author of the excellent, recently published Pro InfoPath 2007 (Berkeley, CA: Apress, 2007), has referred to me as the Compleat Connected Attorney(tm). Philo is right. I like being able to work in a variety of places.

Second--and this may be a midlife issue--I feel a strong impulse to simplify my life. For a long time, the meaning, nay the sentiment, of this passage from Mr. Thoreau's Walden eluded me, but now I think I understand it in my bones.

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.

* * *

Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.

* * *

Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and
so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow."

Life really is at once complex and simple. As a younger man, I reveled in complexity. Complexity equaled delight for me. Whether it was the integral calculus, polyphonic baroque music, intricate literary subplots with many characters, recursive software algorithms, multidimensional arrays, nuanced and multi-part arguments in constitutional law, or trick plays in football, my mind was in a state of bliss when I had complex, really tough problems to solve. Nowadays, having endured the slings and arrows of the labyrinthine, I appreciate, even yearn for, the simple.

Finally, in my spiritual practice, I am cultivating the intention to feel at home anywhere. Maybe that's why I have attracted this move into my life. Perhaps I am ready to put that intention to work, to take it out into the larger world and start living it instead of just thinking about it. It won't be all coffee shops and quaint cafes; there are a variety of other quasi-office arrangements available. Ever since I was a boy, I have thrived on variety. It seems this change of work setting will give me even more variety.

I will also face some new challenges. I'll be hanging out in places where I can meet many new people, both prospective clients and sources of referrals. I have plenty to offer those people, too. While I am not exactly sure I can call myself an introvert, even if I am, I can improve my networking skills by learning from others like Rob May at BusinessPundit.com.

Of course, I don't know how all of this is going to play out. I do know, however, that I am ready for the challenge.

Monday, June 25, 2007

More Thoughts About the Mental Game

Here's an interesting quote about mental attitude and visualization.
Your attitude is vital. Imagine a match between two evenly matched boxers. One has a positive attitude toward the game and is confident that he will win. The other boxer has a negative attitude and hopes that he won't make a fool of himself. Which boxer do you think will win? They are of equal ability, but only one has a positive attitude. That boxer is confident that he will win. Add visualization to this positive attitude, and he would become virtually unbeatable, as he is focused on a successful outcome.
Richard Webster, Creative Visualization for Beginners: Achieve Your Goals and Make Your Dreams Come True (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2005), p. 23.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Roadwork Recap

Here's the update from the last few days.
  • June 21: 36 minutes
  • June 22: 31 minutes
  • June 23: 32 minutes

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday's Return to Practice

Today, I finally got back to the gym. (The story is too long and complicated to post here.) It was great to be back. Here's the recap of the workout.
  • 24 minutes of roadwork
  • 10 rounds on the pads with Bernard
  • 5 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 3 rounds on the uppercut bag
  • 2 rounds on the double-end bag
  • 2 rounds of stretching
  • 1 round of situps

That's 23 rounds plus the roadwork. Not too bad for the first time back. It was a good practice. In addition to Bernard and me, Jack, Cory, and a new guy named Ted were there. Ted has boxed a bit before, so he seemed to slip into the workout routine easily. Andrew also showed up but it was after 7 p.m. when everyone had already finished his workout. Hopefully, he'll be there earlier next week. We're supposed to do some sparring next week. That will be fun.

Bernard also mentioned that he has been exploring some possibilities for places where we can continue our training after we lose our CAA home. Bernard said he has found a few locations that seem promising. He will check into them and let us know how they might work for us.

That's all the information I have now, but it's really good news. The powers that be may be able to sell our athletic club out from under us without our consent. However, they cannot stop the CAA boxing team!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday Roadwork

A light, springy 40 minutes today. I am looking forward to returning to the gym tomorrow and rejoining our team practices.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Roadwork and Shadowboxing

45 minutes today. A fairly hot day again. I love summer!

My Friend Jeff's Bout Finally Happened! Woohoo!!!

My friend Jeff Gilbert had his long-awaited bout on Saturday. I'm not going to say a lot about it, since I wasn't there. Instead, you can read all about it here. While you are there, I hope you'll post a comment congratulating Jeff on his fine accomplishment. Based on my own experience, I think he'll be riding that endorphin rush for another two or three days. Ah, what fun! Good job, Jeff!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday Roadwork and Shadowboxing

1 hour and 26 minutes today, punctuated by punching and shadowboxing. A pretty hot day out there!

Good Luck, Jeff!

Undaunted by cancellations due to his opponents calling in sick, backing out at the last minute (I think the guy was scared), and other hassles, my friend Jeff Gilbert, of Seattle, heads into the ring tonight for his master's bout in Langley, BC. Good luck, Jeff! Do great in there! Send video and photos!

Brief Training Update

Roadwork and shadowboxing outdoors have been going well. Here's a recap of recent work.
  • June 8: 53 minutes
  • June 9: 1 hour, 13 minutes
  • June 12: 46 minutes
  • June 14: 45 minutes

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Winning the Mental Game

Do you frequent RossBoxing.com and RossTraining.com? If you don't, you should. At his Web sites, Ross Enamait offers a wealth of information about boxing and other combat sports. In addition to his blog, his discussion forum, numerous free articles and videos, and free newsletter, Ross has some excellent training manuals available at prices that are very reasonable, considering the amount of useful information Ross packs into each of them.

Now that you've probably gone to Ross's site, started surfing it, and adding it to your favorites or bookmarks, allow me to point out a specific blog post that I find very helpful. I recently wrote about the mental game in boxing. On his blog, Ross offers his insight about the importance of the mind in combat sports. He also links to two of his articles that discuss the value of mental training in more detail.

On the important subject of dealing with nerves and the pre-fight "butterflies," Ross observes:
"As for dealing with nervous energy, nothing beats experience. You need to become comfortable inside the ring (or cage). This won’t happen in the gym. You need real/competitive experience. A fighter isn’t developed overnight. It takes time."

Ross really knows his stuff. My experience agrees completely with his comments. There really is no substitute for experience. As I gained more competitive experience, I started to feel at home in the ring. As one of my former coaches, Todd Collins, put it, a boxer has to feel like the ring is his workplace, his office. In that space, he must be comfortable. I don't know if Todd and Ross have ever met, but they have taught me many of the same things.

I always feel I have much to learn; I absorb training tips and new information like a sponge. I hope I'll always continue to learn about training and technique. As I mentioned in my earlier blog entry, I will be focusing even more on the mental game in the near future. I will use Ross Enamait's articles and training suggestions to unify my mind and body and become a better boxer.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

And...in the blue corner...it's Photographer-boxer!

Leon Rose, a 38-year-old professional photographer in Auckland, New Zealand, is going to have his first bout on June 16. According to this news story, Rose and 15 other regular guys will be boxing in a Corporate Fight Night sponsored by Ringside Boxing Ltd. in Auckland. Ringside's Web site has more details about the event at this page.

In the article, Rose says, "[Boxing] is great for anyone who runs a business or has high levels of stress in their lives." I couldn't agree more. I've run my own business for the last 13 years and have had plenty of high levels of stress, and the boxing workouts have always been perfect for me. They also appeal to my competitive side; I really enjoy the intensity.

Leon Rose says he's ready and mentally prepared for his bout. I believe him. Those photographers are tough! Several years ago, I had an intense sparring session with a photographer named Art at Pug's Boxing Gym. Art and I spent 3 rounds in almost nonstop, toe-to-toe action, much to the chagrin of my coach who was telling me I needed to move more! Patrick, my coach, was right, but for some reason I felt compelled to get into a slugfest with that mild-mannered photographer. What can I say? I learned from the experience.

Therefore, I have no doubt Mr. Rose will be ready for his match. I hope it goes great for him, his opponent, and the other boxers in the event. I certainly hope they all will have as much fun in the ring as I've had. Good luck, guys!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday, Monday...

And a very rainy, dark one at that! It was raining on and off most of the day. For a while, there was a heavy downpour. Still, I managed to squeeze in 26 minutes of roadwork and shadowboxing. Not great, but not bad. Keep going!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Mental Game

Since I am in a rather strange time of transition, I am going to start focusing a lot more on the mental aspect of my boxing training. I've worked a lot physically on punches, footwork, balance, movement, defense, counterpunching, and strategy. However, I always feel I can do much more with the mental game. Therefore, I am going to be doing more of the following activities to help me improve as a boxer:
  • brainwave entrainment,
  • relaxation,
  • guided imagery,
  • affirmations, and
  • visualization.

Meditation is part of the regimen, too, but I have not listed it here because I already meditate regularly to practice mindfulness and to relieve stress. Since I'll be giving the mental game more emphasis, I will start blogging about it here more frequently. I'll post some of what I am doing and share the valuable resources I find along the way as I work to unify mind and body for boxing and in all areas of my life.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Training Update

On Thursday, May 31, 2007 and Saturday, June 2, 2007, I did 23 minutes and 51 minutes of roadwork respectively. Life has still been a bit busier than I like and I am sort of in transition with my boxing club now, but things ought to stabilize soon.