Excellence Quote

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Will Durant (occasionally misattributed to Aristotle but actually Durant summarizing Aristotle)

Because everyone needs an inspirational quote every once in a while.  And this one works for me today because I had to convince myself that I should workout today even though its yoga day of P90x (not my favorite as it always seems to take FOREVER).

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I’m a dork

One thing that some people may not know about me is that I’m a big dork.  I like math and spreadsheets and all other sorts of dorky things.  And, thus, I’m super excited because I just got this in the mail!

I’m a big enough dork that I looked at what classes Yale is offering through its Open Course program, in which it puts online all of the lectures, problem sets, and exams from a slect set of classes.  And I got all excited when one of the courses offered is a meteorology class!  I’ve watched the first two lectures, I started the first problem set, and now I have the text book!  Now, this is just for fun (I warned you I’m a dork) – not for any sort of credit. 

But, it’s awesome!  I’ve been interested in meteorology for a while.  I spend excessive amounts of time checking the wind (and the radar and then the wind again).  Ikitesurf is one of the first websites I open in the morning and one of the last I refresh at night.  And, don’t you want to know what in the world they mean when the forecast talks about maurading fronts (never a good thing, as far as I can tell – it basically means that they have absolutely no idea what the wind will do that day)?  Now, I can understand a bit better what is actually going on!

So far its been totally interesting.  Why do we have an atmosphere?  What makes up the atmosphere?  It’s definitely not a gut class; I’m having to remember some math and science that I haven’t used in a very long time.  But, it appeals to my dorky side and my kiting side, which I’m appreciating!

Kiting is fun!

So, I realize that the title of this post may seem super obvious.  Of course kiting is fun.  Anyone who has tried it knows that.  And why else would I have moved to the Outer Banks for kiting?  Why else would my life revolve around the wind forecast?  Why else would going kiting trump doing basically everything else – laundry, cleaning my apartment, meeting up with friends for dinner, reading a new book by my favorite author, living in a spot where I can get good Indian take-out, etc.  OK – a lot of things trump doing laundry and cleaning my apartment, but the others on the list are valid. 

But, despite the fact that I clearly love kiting, it’s important for me to remind myself sometimes that kiting is supposed to be fun.   I occasionally get too caught up in landing the next trick, re-landing some trick that I’ve gotten a handful of times but can’t seem to stop again, or just being a bit more stylish in my kiting.  I get frustrated when these things take longer than I’d like and kiting starts to feel like work.  That’s about the point that I have to remind myself that kiting is fun and that kiting does not always have to be working on a new trick, but can also be a fun cruise-y day.  Because, the truth is that nothing beats the feeling of gliding over the water during a beautiful sunset.  Nothing beats chasing birds off a sandbar with white puffy clouds on the horizon.  Nothing beats heading out in the ocean and catching a wave (and then running from it when it turns out to be a lot bigger than it originally seemed).   Don’t get me wrong – I love to work on new tricks.  I love breaking it down into parts and pushing myself to try something new and just a bit scary.  I love the feeling of being surprised that I actually landed something I’ve been working on for a while.  I even love the crashes and the bruises.  And working on new things is what keeps kiting interesting and exciting.  But, sometimes, I need to take a day or two off from progression and do something else to remind myself that kiting can just be about having fun.

This past week, I needed that reminder and I got it thanks to two awesome sessions.  Sunday dawned with NE wind and decent sized waves, so a bunch of us headed out for a fun ocean downwinder.  The waves were fun.  I was on a surfboard.  I caught some good waves (and got munched by a couple as well).  It was a total change of pace from trying to do freestyle, freestyle, and more freestyle.  Instead, I got to play in the terrain park that is the ocean and remember that mixing it up is really good.

Then, Monday it was off to kite Hatteras Inlet with my friend Billy (and with boat support thanks to Captain Billy – it was a very Billy day).  We launched from a little sandbar island and played in the slick and the kickers around the island (with the warning that if something went wrong, to aim for the channel where Capt Billy could rescue us – luckily, this wasn’t needed).  Then, we were off to Ocracoke to find some butter slicks, chase birds in a sandbar cove (there were tons of them and they were beautiful all flying away), and jump in front of the ferries.  It was just a cruise and boost and fun kind of day, in a gorgeous spot where there were a whopping total of three kites.

Anyway…so, kiting is fun!  Now, if we could just get some wind…