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playing poker and teaching science: May 2012

playing poker and teaching science

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Friday, May 25, 2012

In the moment

I used to four-table no-limit hold em tables on evenings, weekends, and in the summer time. It was a fast paced existence. I had to time my breaks for food, drink, and the elimination of both in such a manner that each was done quickly and efficiently. There was no time to waste.
I made money, but at what cost?

I have always been a firm believer in balance. “Mind, body, spirit” was my mantra. I read voraciously, studied aikido, and attended church to pray to my God. I built my mind, stretch my body, and lifted my soul on a weekly, if not daily basis.

I let that slide for a while.

The events of Black Friday when the government in its infinite wisdom shut off the flood gates of easy money on line for the above average poker player took away that fast paced game playing, but as with any mental or physical endeavor that involves repetition, the return to a pre-poker existence has been a long time coming.

Coupled with the muscle memory of repetitive clicking was the passing of my Father and falling back into a less-than-perfect relationship as a result. The culmination of these events was a year spent on autopilot. I did the things I would do and had fun doing them, but I was operating without focus. I drank more than I needed to, I read less than I should, and my conversations with God were few and far between.

Things have changed and I think the biggest change was a conversation with a friend about less-than-positive relationships she had been in. She related that she had been through some tough times and as a result had sought the company of friends whose lifestyles made the friendships somewhat destructive, yet she returned to those friends for support much in the same way a beaten dog would return to the hand that beat it.

There was no beating going on in her case but the point was a valid one. I remember reading that an abused spouse may return to the abuser as many as seven times. I also remember thinking, “How can someone do that?”

I had done just that however. Had lost my focus on the one lesson I had promised myself that I would never forget from my aikido instructor, “Live in the moment.”

I will stay in the moment. I will live in the moment. I will experience what is happening right now.

Life is way too short to do otherwise.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I haven't been to see live theatre for quite some time and I'd almost forgotten how much I enjoy it! I saw Avenue Q last Sunday and was thoroughly entertained. I highly recommend it!