Playing Tennis at the Dome

Well, we’re almost to the end of the winter tennis season, however I managed to take a video of myself playing a junior tennis phenom. Olga is rising star and I feel she will be Canadian women’s champ one day. We played a set and she whipped me 6 love. She just turned 14 and she is unbelievably good. Her serves and groundstrokes are fast as mine and she hits the lines so well. Very tough to return and I’m fast. She’s the real thing and trains hard everyday with her Dad, and she’s getting smart too.

She was too much for me on this day. I’m a little rusty, but playing good players really improves your game. It was kind of neat that she gave me some tennis strategy and techniques tips afterward. She’s only been playing for 6 years and already knows more about the game than I do. Kids learn so quickly and efficiently.

We start off our hitting a little slow but it gets better! Next time I’ll take more warmup time and practice those new tennis tips!

A Taste of California

For couples, there’s nothing more inviting than California. It is the essence of American culture and the pinnacle of North American lifestyle. It’s very romantic whether you’re in San Diego or San Francisco with so much to see and do. The weather is incredible. Places like San Diego have an average temperature of about 20 C everyday and it’s sunny.

Each region of the Golden State offers a unique vacation experience such as surfing off San Diego’s shoreline to golfing everywhere here, to wine tours in Napa Valley to shopping in Orange County.

 

From San Diego to Los Angeles, to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, to Eureka down to Palm Springs in the desert, California’s diverse landscapes and urban areas are the vacation of a lifetime. Definitely, you should plan on a visit.

A California escape is all romance, the kind of experience that can alter your life. It’s the ultimate place to relax yet enjoy exquisite restaurants, wineries, shopping, and summer sports activities.

You don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy visiting here. Although, my next visit will include surfing. The 60’s surfer culture is still present. And that’s just a small sampling of the mystique of California.

One of my former clients in San Diego is an expert surfer who travels the world just to surf. His advice is to make sure I’m a very good swimmer because it’s a physical challenge. I don’t like the idea of drinking that salt water after falling off the surf board into a foamy wave crash, but it must be a lot of fun despite the fact the water off of California is cold and you need a wetsuit.

To whet your apetite for an incredible vacation, you might want to read a few books and view a few videos on this amazing destination.

tasteofcaliforniadvd

A Taste of California

One of my prized DVDs is a collection called A Taste of California. It’s a 6 dvd set distributed by Questar that showcases the best of California’s rich culture.  Although the average guy won’t be excited by these videos, women and romantic men will be. It’s a relaxing excursion into one of the most prized vacation destinations in North America.

It’s hosted by a Brit, Simon Kane, and he visits the 6 regions of the state. From the desert areas to the American Riviera, it’s a relaxing journey through one of the US’s most interesting places.

tasteofcalifornia

He’s a great host giving you a unique, foreign perspective of California that makes it even better.  A Taste of California takes you from organic farms to wineries to bed and breakfasts in small quaint western towns.  He chats with famous celebrities, chefs, hotel managers, and winemakers. You’ll see plenty of restaurants offering exotic faire à la salmon pizza with goats cheese and caviar.  Then there’s ballon rides, helicopter rides, whale watching excursions, and aquarium walk throughs, haunted houses, flights in open cockpits biplanes, jazz festivals, visits to incredible shopping plazas and small town boutiques.   There’s fascinating entertainment, golf, and soothing, relaxing, exotic aspas. You’ll see sumptuous meals and romantic music served up at upscale California restaurants and you’ll learn a lot about winemaking from winemakers.balloon-rides-california.

While California is not cheap to visit, this is one trip  that should be on your bucket list.  There are cheaper ways to visit so it’s not out of reach if you take your time to save for it. A Taste of California is an escape to a beautful place and even if you’re not expecting to go there, it is a DVD set that everyone loves.

simon

montereyaquarium

california-spas

There is 7 hours of video on the 6 DVD set featuring 18 unique videos.  I’d highly recommend it whether you’re a romantic or you’d like to learn about California’s unique culture. You can order it online at the Travel Video Store. http://www.travelvideostore.com/travel-video-series/a-taste-of-california/

Goals – Your Compelling Vision

Source: squidoo.com via NuNu on Pinterest

 

There’s nothing like having a compelling vision to force you to focus and align your behaviour.  And the clarity seems to ease frustration and make you happier.

Maybe that’s why most stick to a few activities or pursuits throughout their lives and why they do minimal career planning. It’s easier to manage, creates less frustration and (temporary) contentment.

I’ll practice that in the next life. This time around, I just want to figure out how to align all my diverse interests in to a single force.  That’s not easy, but I’m thinking a plan is the way to do it. Maybe a vision board can help me see new patterns and connections between these diverse pursuits. Can’t hurt right?

I’m not sure why that (unfocussed) lesson hasn’t sunk in better. You’d think I’d know better at this point in my life, but then I want to stay young and when you stay young you get all the other stuff that comes with it.  My endless energies are dispersed too much on a variety of things, and that lack of focus and lack of time can give me considerable trouble.  How about you? Do you avoid new activities, not because you don’t like them but because you don’t want the frustration and emotional expense it creates? What is your vision?

Now with spring arriving, we’re anticipating the fun things we can do and that focus seems to generate a mood uplift. It’s the vision of the goals that does it.  Anyway, listen to what Tony Robbins has to say about goal setting, progress, clarity, and using goals and reviewing your goals frequently in order to pull you forward to your vision successfully:

Meet Inna – She’s Full of Life

Inna is a singer from Romania. She speaks several languages and has a very sexy theme to her music and dancing.  Her videos all have interesting and different styles and themes.

This is a cute, romantic song that was likely shot in California, which has 1.1 million views on Youtube.

Her sexy spirit is definitely captivating. It’s in the beat of the music and the tone of her voice. She has fun with her music.

Her managers have her doing some new themes like the trashy Club Rocker. It’s the wrong direction and is inconsistent with her strengths. Inna is completely unique so there is no competition. This is what happens to people when they ignore their heart — a decline that might keep someone else comfortable but ends up ruining their life. I hope Inna isn’t on that spiral downward.

See more Inna videos.

What Your Spirit Means to You

The Inukshuk is a Canadian symbol of Spirit
The Inukshuk is a Canadian symbol of Spirit

What do entrepreneurs, top athletes, and artists all have in common? Spirit and exuberance.  They have an unstoppable love of beauty, expression, and the possible.

Spirit is just the vision of the ideal, the life that will bring out the best in you and exuberance is the power that gets you to pursue your mission.

 

Look at someone like Richard Branson who does everything and loves everything. Running the Virgin empire forces him to align his many interests. His spirit is infused into his daughter’s heart and mind which is why she is attractive and popular.  They have a great life without limits. Spirits fly when there’s no ceiling — no ball and chain or wet blanket preventing them from realizing their own mission.

Spirited people are popular because their joy of life instantly rubs off on you and you can’t help be swept away. Suddenly you feel the meaning of why the mind needs to be free to pursue the possibilities.

This little guy has lots of spirit and exuberance and that makes him all the more lovable. Kids are like that and young women have that joy, spontaneity, and open mindedness too. Society ruins the rest of us. Why do kids lift our spirits? It’s their curiosity, playfulness and lack of belief in limits.  They just don’t see limits.

Managing Disappointment

So what causes people to lose their spirit and replace it with routine, cynicism, and the status quo?  Is it poverty, a job they hate, failure, disappointment, boredom with life, stale or broken relationships, unstimulating activities friends and family, or watching too much TV? Is it the loss of a valued dream? You know what they say, Dreams Die First.

I’ve almost completely stopped watching television, especially the news, which is always negative and deflating.  If you want your mind always on the possibilities, it is particularly irritating to hear people repeatedly trying to ruin our faith in mankind.

It’s the loss of faith in mankind and the sabotage of people’s confidence that contributes greatly to the disappearance of spirit.  And I mean real spirit, not one fabricated to suit the current situation, or to fit into a clique.  Personally, I hate cliques. They’re destructive and anti-social.  I suspect the religious would refer to cliques as a false god.

What’s crushing your spirit? Why aren’t you doing what you need to do? Take a chance and reclaim it — get it done now, don’t wait.

Here’s an inspiring song I grew up listening to by RUSH!

“Mission” by the Canadian Rock Group, RUSH!

Hold your fire
Keep it burning bright
Hold the flame 'til the dream ignites
A spirit with a vision is a dream
With a mission

I hear their passionate music
Read the words that touch my heart

Spirits fly on dangerous missions
Imaginations on fire
Focused high on soaring ambitions
Consumed in a single desire

In the grip of a nameless possession
A slave to the drive of obsession
A spirit with a vision is a dream
With a mission

The Ride to Remember Starts in Aurora

The Ride to Remember is an annual fundraiser organized by the Normandy Unit of the 1st CAV. This motorcycle ride took place on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 and started at the Royal Canadian Legion in Aurora (where you can get cheap beers).  The motorcycles were amazing and if you’re into the big bikes, you’ll appreciate these shiny, chromed up monsters that were there that day.  There must have been more than 200 motorcycles in the event and some were the size of smart cars.

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motorcycle-honda-rearmotorcycle-victory

Rafa’s Back?! Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open

Wow, after Juan Martin Del Potro’s consecutive wins over Andy Murray and Novvak Djokovic you’d think his next win would be for the title at the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open.  Well Rafa got in the way.

It was Rafa  Nadal’s 600th career win and a tremendous accomplishment for a guy plagued with knee problems. Nadal continued to make superb shots including his typical hard topspins which Delpo only occassional came in to take on the rise.  Delpo played well but Nadal was just too much today. He won the opening set but Nadal’s tenacity was too much. Some of the rallies were lengthy and you got the impression the big Argentinian couldn’t take the gruelling running game that Nadal put him through.


 

Juan Marting Del Potro dejected after loss in the final Celebration at Indian Wells for Rafael Nadal

Indian Wells Tennis – BNP Paribas Open Tournament

The Indian Wells tennis tournament is very popular with the players. It’s held in March near Los Angeles, and is actually one of the major pro tennis tournaments.

Tonight, Juan Del Potro looking tired in the desert heat actually persevered and beat Novak Djokovic, a big upset over the world’s number one player. Djokovic ran out of gas. His first serve percentage dropped to below 50% toward the end. Given his conditioning, that was very strange. Maybe he’s got a cold or something.

And Rafa Nadal beat Thomas Berdych in the other semi to set the table for Sunday’s final. The way Rafa is playing you have to think he will beat Delpo. Delpo had a blistered foot and still won with his typical hard shots. His forehand is booming. Very impressive win, but that injury could be the difference tomorrow.

Djokovic had won 22 straight matches before losing to Del Po.

How about this moment below. What do you think Djokovic is saying to himself right now? — “I’m going to lose, or, I’m going to make  Del Po run back and forth until he dies.

Perseverence – Hanging in When it’s Tough

Is Perseverance Ever Needed?

Let’s say you’re healthy, have a real good attitude, you’re satisfied, the road of life is smoothly paved, and you’re relaxing in paradise. Does the word perseverance even exist for you? Probably not. Even the bad stuff is a breeze and you smile through it all.

What a nice place to be.

Actually, I know people who have that amazing outlook, very positive, and they are great to be around. Obviously they feel a good deal of contentment.

Source: google.com via Outdoor on Pinterest

 

 

I started this post to discuss the value of persevering toward tough-to-achieve, longer term goals, and then of course, I saw the other side of the coin. That just maybe, problems really don’t exist – it’s all in your head.

Let’s analyze your life right now. Tell me, can you be very ambitious and content simultaneously and how do you feel happy when your dream life is off in the future? How ambitious are you? Are you going anywhere with your life?

That’s what the purpose of this blog is —  to discover new perspectives and have awakenings.  I suspect those moments are part of an emotional journey, not one where the road is paved with gold.

What do you think?  Is perseverance an important character trait or one that indicates a negative frame of mind?

I know people who are remarkably resilient and positive even though their lives are severely impacted by different issues. They look in bewilderment when you mention limitations and impossibilities. For them, impossible is nothing. I’m very reluctant to mention actual stories of perseverance because the battle they experience makes readers uncomfortable.

Striving for More

Yes, it’s important to feel good and appreciate what you’ve got. But what if you want more? Is ambition a failing?  When is ambition too much?  What would Donald Trump, Sergei Brin, Bill Gates and Richard Branson say?  Are those without ambition a bunch of phonies or lacking in any drive to improve their lives beyond the ordinary?

I shouldn’t complain about my life. It is good. I live in a very comfortable, modern home, have a car and  a great job, some good friends, and I’m in perfect health and enjoy some great sporting activities.  But, despite all that, I want more. Is it right to want more?

The Perils of Ambition

For those satisfied with the present and no drive to succeed, is the future fraught with insecurity?  Are you ambitious? Are there times when you almost feel really different or that you’re flawed?

 

 

 

Life’s Competitive and What You’ve Got May Not Be Enough

Life is competitive and difficult so you won’t raise the championship trophy without suffering lots of setbacks and challenges. If you don’t have failures, by which to learn from, then you might not be well equipped to handle what life will throw at you on occasion.  Those failures/setbacks make you stronger and more creative as you go forward.  Your goal: Kaizen.

The more you want out of life, the more perseverance you’ll likely need.  As your challenge increases, you’ll need more energy, time, and persistence to win. And there’s no guarantees whether anything you do will work out. Perseverance might be the one thing that saves you.

 

Am I an authority on perseverance? Hardly. I know people who have been through hell and survived. Their medical issues are way beyond my comprehension and empathy. I have trouble speaking to them about it. Now you know why I’m a vitamin supplement and fitness fanatic.

Situations in life test your perseverance though, so how do you come through it all? A lot of times, it’s friends and family who basically help you get your mind off of your limitations and failures — maybe even helping you reframe your problems. People quit because they’re overwhelmed by limitations and repeated, unfulfilled expectations. And the enjoyment level plummets.

I see perseverance as a path rather than a set of personality traits. Although, those personality traits are what enables the path to fulfillment.

Perseverence is often cited on school signs
Perseverance is often cited on public school signs but I wonder if children can comprehend what perseverance really means.

What do you do when the barriers are too much? Get away temporarily from the source of stress. Reconsider your approach, take days off work, change how you view what you’re doing, pare down your activities, tone down what you expect of yourself, review your career and personal ambitions and how long they will take, tell others you can’t meet their expectations and they should do something, ask others to help, and find new things to do.

Some personalities have a lot of it — probably developed through previous challenges. These people just seem to have a broader imagination, faith, or confidence that lets them use different channels to the end goal. And they have stamina to help them get through periods that are emotionally and physically draining.

What is Perseverance?

Perseverance is the ability to overcome setbacks, doubt, friction, frustration, pain, and lengthy time periods to achieve a goal.

  • determination
  • confidence
  • optimism
  • persistence
  • patience
  • faith/belief

Time and Expectations Management

Anyone’s brain can get in a rut. Add to that the fact we have so little time to live today in our long commute/long work hour schedules. Yes, this leads to extended stress and negative health consequences.

I’ve seen athletes quit sports when it wasn’t the sport at issue. It was their lives which had become unrewarding and the sport simply became another source of stress. They couldn’t see the joy that was still present but couldn’t be felt anymore.  Depression sets in and they can’t see the road ahead.

For parents, their kids sports regimen can be troublesome. They live vicariously through their kids so drastically, they don’t realize they’re starving out the other people in their lives. Years later, they’ve lost those friendships or eroded them through neglect. Not a good model for their kids to follow, and follow they will.

The Grind for Young Tennis Players

For tennis players in a rut, it’s signified by swearing on the court, being too focused on winning, not sharing in the spirit of the game, and being critical of others. They’re generally unpleasant and self-centered, when being the opposite is what will take them out of their rut.

Managing disappointment and frustration is a key life skill, because even the best of us will face many failures. Kids training competitively have to keep things in proper perspective or their performance will really fall.

For kids on the court, it’s important to learn composure and keep a balanced view. The kids involved in serious athletic training have a grueling regimen. And since it’s just one sport they are active in, it may get very dull and monotonous.  It’s when their expectations are crushed by what they see as their limitations that they think of quitting.  Coaches need to break their activities down into pieces so the kids can see accomplishment and satisfaction more easily. In a world of instant satisfaction, few kids develop the ability to delay rewards. Give them some small wins and they’ll be okay.

A good work ethic and perseverance are excellent qualities, but knowing when to take your foot off the gas pedal is smart.  With the kids, it means having other activities to keep them fresh.

Take a look at Online Tennis Instruction says about minimizing frustration and maximizing satisfaction.  Can we apply this to our personal lives as well?