Thursday, December 6, 2012


"80 percent of success is showing up."

Eff you, Woody Allen. Some people show up every goddam day and nothing happens.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Just do it

Night was falling. The only way back to the hostel was front crawl through the Red Sea, watching for sharks.

On a long bike ride west of Peterborough, I run out of water. The sun is hot. I have no map, and the cottages tucked into the woods are empty. I have no idea where a corner store might be. My mouth is dry.

My plane touches down in Bangkok at midnight. A friend is waiting for me in a backpacker's pub about 20k away but the taxi drivers refuse to take me there.

I’m at a conference at MIT. It’s an hour before I am to present a paper and I’m gripped with irrational terror.

Alone in a shabby room in the only hotel in an Indian town. I hear a sharp knock at the door.

I’m struggling in a marathon but it’s 18 km to the finish.

Hiking through fields in Turkey, I hear angry shouts and turn to see guards waving in my direction, long rifles gripped to their chests.

I take a deep breath and sit up to see 22 faces staring at me. This is a spinning class and I’m teaching for the first time.

“He likes females,” says the tamer, as I let the tarantula crawl onto my palm.

I am the only foreigner on a Tonle Sap river boat in Cambodia. We're been on the river all day. Now it's pitch dark, and the boat is making an emergency stop for the night. There are no hotels.