Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Valentine: Our Cross Training Coach

My Valentine, Pramila Jayapal, with my second-favorite Cross Training Coach, Cornel West.

My Valentine is of course my wife, Pramila, also known here as DartreDame.

I call her our Cross Training coach because she trains us to synthesize what we might initially believe are disparate disciplines into a greater whole. Take her Seattle P-I column published today titled The Root Causes of Immigration. In it she links poverty, the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA, agriculture, global and village economics, immigration, unionization, and our very humanity...because in fact they all are linked. I commend this column to you with enthusiasm. There is nobody putting this all together like she does.

Many find Pramila's writings, speeches and organizing inspiring. And it truly is. This ability to translate what's going on, break it down and put it back into a whole that causes folks to act with passion for the greater good is a unique gift. It is Cross Training Coaching.

But, since she's my Valentine, Dartre's also my inspiration. And for me, Dartre inspires in many ways far removed from this cross training of our intellects with our souls I've just been alluding to.

Her latest inspiration for me comes out of her recent taking up of running. It's been a trip sharing the running pains--of all kinds--that she's been dealing with as a re-athlete, much as I have had to deal with in my re-athleticism via cycling and randonnering. But every day Dartre runs, she comes back more excited, rejuvenated, committed. It is fun to be around.

So it got me to thinking...maybe I should incorporate some running into my cycling base training. No sooner did I get to thinking that very thought than I turned the page in the current book I'm reading, Base Building for Cyclists by Thomas Chapple. What did I find? Nothing other than a chart for cyclists who want to begin adding running into a cross training program.

Very practical. And humbling. Check out how slooowly Chapple encourages you to go. A whole lot of walking before ever really running much. Probably smart advice.

Well, truth be told, she did inspire me, but I haven't run at all yet. I think I'll start tomorrow. OK, by the chart that means it will be walk 5, run 3-5, walk 5, run 5. OK, got it. I'll report back later on how it went.

I am very proud of my Valentine. She is taking on tough stuff. Convincing a world that barely ever pauses that we better take stock and take action for our collective welfare. And, she's conquering her own inertia by taking stock and taking running action. Both are inspiring.

Now, I just have to keep an eye on Cornel West. He sure is holding my Valentine pretty darn close. If he weren't my second-favorite Cross-Training Coach, I'd be worried!

For more on Pramila and the organization she founded and leads, see the OneAmerica website.

Photo by Jack Storms. Check them out, great Seattle photographers!

Keep it crossed,