Monday, August 12, 2013

Tennis for underserved youth

OK, re-rebooting and re-running.

I’m in the process of updating and doing some redesign on the RebootYou website at More details to come. Yes, it’s about time!

I’m also running in the 2013 ING New York Marathon on Nov. 3. This time I’m running for USTA Serves, the charitable foundation of the U.S. Tennis Association. USTA Serves brings tennis – and more – to underserved and disabled people with an extensive program that combines tennis and education. You can learn more about USTA Serves and how it carries out its mission at the USTA Serves website. I encourage you to take a look. This organization is doing a lot of good for a lot of deserving people.

You may be wondering if I have suddenly taken up tennis. No, the tennis player in the family is Tami, and it was through her membership in the U.S. Tennis Association that I learned about USTA Serves being an official charitable sponsor of the New York Marathon. When she got the USTA email telling her about the sponsorship, we both got excited because this would give us a way to do good and have fun at the same time.

By raising money for USTA Serves, I could earn a guaranteed a spot in the race. Which is a big deal, given that it is difficult to get into the New York Marathon in any case. Unless you run for a charity, to get in you have to compete for a spot in a lottery with about a zillion other people, and until I learned about USTA Serves, I was not seriously motivated to run for one of the other sponsoring charities. What’s more, getting in this year’s race was especially challenging because everyone who was officially entered in last year’s Sandy-cancelled race has an automatic pass into the 2013 event. But being able to run for USTA Serves changed all that for us – this is really Tami’s and my race.

So I will be getting my own street view of New York’s five boroughs on Nov. 3, taking a few small steps to bring tennis to people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to play. I’ll be blogging about my training along with continuing thoughts about rebooting. Hope you’ll come along for the ride. Or the run, as the case may be!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Life in the safe lane

On the website, we’ve suggested going back to school as one strategy for restarting. Well, I took my own advice recently and went back to school, although it wasn’t exactly what I originally had in mind.

It was driving school – a course for seniors whose skills behind the wheels may be slipping.

It was a pretty thorough refresher course, lasting about 2-1/2 hours and covering freeway, residential and downtown traffic.

I was encouraged to take this course by my wife, who sees my driving habits from the passenger seat and has a much more objective view of my abilities than I do. So while I was initially skeptical, it turns out she was right – the course did show me several areas where I can definitely improve, and underscored the fact that I am not the Mario Andretti that I used to be.

For example, glancing in the rear view mirror regularly to see who or what is behind you and what they are doing – closing on you, passing on the right or left, etc. It’s a way of staying mindful of your total environment. I wasn’t doing it often enough.

Another example, when exiting the freeway: don’t step on the brake pedal while you’re still in freeway traffic. Just take your foot off the accelerator, slow down to make the exit ramp, then apply the brakes. Putting on the brakes on the freeway may slow you down too fast and it also sends what could be an alarming signal to the car behind you.

And looking in the right hand side mirror (and turning around to look) before turning  right at a stop sign or traffic light – there may be a bicyclist or skateboarder slipping up beside you.

So, steering out of denial and into the safe lane. The life I save might be yours – or mine!