Sunday, July 11, 2010

Psychic Income, Movie Reviews

Over the past 21 years it has been my pleasure, most of the time, to be in the business of race directing triathlons. This experience has been both rewarding and challenging, to say the least. The highs are way into the clouds while the lows are below the surface of the West Texas sandstone. So, as I sit back and reflect on the 21st year of the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 I still wonder what the attraction is to do this and why when it feels good, it feels real good. So good in fact it is almost like sex or riding the Hog, two of the most enjoyable things I can think of. When you spend the time preparing for the event starting one year out, then the last week before the event comes up and the unexpected happens. Now this is stuff that you can’t plan for so you have to shoot from the hip to get it done. Such things as weather, illness or injury to key volunteers, problems with the venue, unhappy athletes for one reason or the other, faulty equipment, etc., etc. So, you dig down deep and make it happen. You actually make it happen so well the athletes never know there was a problem of any kind. I have always said that the key to putting on a successful event is to have things happen behind the scenes that could put a negative on the event but proper correction is done so smoothly that the athletes are not aware of it. My goal has always been to put on a race that all the athlete has to worry about is racing. If he or she has to worry about anything going on with the venue then I have not done my job properly. Then the proof in the pudding is when the event comes to the last racer crossing the finish line and the remark, “great race!!” comes out of their mouth. That is what I call psychic income and I am convinced, after talking to many race directors, that is what keeps all of us in the race directing business. When the racers come up to you and tell you what a great race you have just directed is there is no better feeling. Then the e-mails start coming in about how great the race is, etc. Even when you get the one sore head who thought the down hill on Spiral Staircase was too dangerous, you still just sit back and say,”I love this sport and aren’t downhills part of riding a bicycle?” It was even suggested at one time that maybe we should take that downhill out of the race course, and my reply was simply, “over my dead body.” I have ridden this down hill for over 20 years and have never come close to going down and I tell the racers to be careful and respectful of it or it might get the best of you. If they don’t listen then they may go down, so when you are in my pre-race meeting please listen and ride the course with a good attitude and common sense. On the same token I will have people tell me they love the challenge of the hills, especially Spiral Staircase, and they look forward to doing the race each year. This again puts large tokens of psychic income in the cash drawer of the mind, and prompts me to come back and do it again and again. Fact is, planning is going on for 2012 right now as we speak. Thanks to all my readers out there who might also be competitors in the annual Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3 and if you are not, please take a ride to Lubbock and compete next year.

Movie Reviews:

“The A Team”, ***, Not a bad action movie headed up by Llam Neeson as Hannibal the very smart and cunning leader of some apparent misfits but in the end real action heroes. These guys are Special Forces type guys who get booted out of the service on drummed up charges then decide to make it right by blowing all the bad guys up. Some funny stuff also happens and the “right stuff” good guys win in the end. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking(stogies actually).

“Grown Ups”, ***, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade co-star in the comedy about five friends and former teammates who reunite years later to honor the passing of their childhood basketball coach. Now with wives and kids this makes for a very funny movie. Rated PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity.

“Killers”, *, While I hate to agree with the local critic, it is not a real good movie. Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigi meet in France by mistake, he a contract killer, she an everyday tourist. Some how they get involved and he decides to leave the contract killer business, and she goes goggle eyes with him. Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara are supporting characters and they don’t make much sense either. Rated PG-13 for violent action, sexual material and language.

“Knight and Day”, ***, In this case I really disagree with the local critic. This movie stars Tom Cruise, and Cameron Diaz, he a rogue government agent, she is a business person traveling on the same plane. The fire works begin during the flight and then it is an endless parade of action and some great chase scenes. Of course good wins over evil and you have just seen an enjoyable movie. Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence throughout, and brief strong language.

“Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, ***, To me this was a very boring movie, but well done and for those who like Vampire, Werewolf love stories it is a must. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality.



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