25 days calm and serene

Calm and serene – that was the mantra of the Marietta college freshman crew team. Yeah, we were buff brothers and precisely sychronized, but coach Ralph Lindamood (1922-2001) was a savvy old coot, he knew relaxation was the third leg of the high performance tripod. He had us trained up in a sort of self hypnosis meditation tecnique. We won like crazy, our tiny Ohio College trounced team after team. It’s the tradition in crew for the loosing boats to give thier shirts to the winning boat. I didn’t need to buy a t-shirt for 10 years.

I tell this story because we can be strong and smart, but for a truly stellar outcome it helps to chill out. Get centered. I know a martial arts teacher who is exceptionally lethal and when he dances in combat he smiles. Not the manic grin of a psycho killer, but the easy smile of someone having fun – without a care in the world.

I’ve brawled as a kid, truly angry punching and grappling. What’s more stressful than fighting? What I’ve learned is that intense fear/rage is counter productive in combat. Stress makes me a casualty. It’s the same in life.

With 25 days left before launch, I could be getting worried. Three weeks may not be enough time to get everything together. Being unprepared could mean either failure to make the movie or even failure to survive. The later I leave the later my return and the colder the weather gets. I may not be looking at a balmy September like 2009.

You know what? Worrying about it won’t help. The most productive place to be in this crisis is calm, empty even. I woke up this morning feeling exceptionally relaxed and easy. It’s getting down to the wire and I’m right there, with an odd sort of smile on my kisser.

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