This month I’ve run every day, 11 days, four miles each day.
I’ve been following my pal Ed on Instagram, and he’s been running for 50 days straight, usually 10+ miles a day.
He’s doing it fast, sure, but it’s the heart that impresses me. He’ll repost some Instagram Stories from friends who’ve started to run, inspired by his journey.
He’s had to put his own oxygen mask on first (his wife passed away last June), before he could ever think of helping anyone else. The byproduct of “just” taking care of himself has put so much good out in the world, and dammit, at the end of that day that’s what so much of this is about.
I’m not sure why my face is so red, but hey, this video was made and published. Heck, I even messed up the date in the clip, but perfect is the enemy of done, so this video is live.
I’ve been making videos on and off since about 2006, when I actually auditioned for a web-series video show for AOL Music (Sara Schaefer got the gig, and now she has her own Comedy Central special – she rocks!), and then started making a video show for my then music blog Buzzgrinder.
It’s funny – I keep reading and seeing so much about “building a YouTube channel,” along with other buzz phrashes like “build your brand” and such, but I don’t know, it’s weird.
From 2001-2011 I ran two pretty okay music blogs, and did Skull Toaster from 2011-2018, which had a solid niche following in the metal world. Since I stepped away from running any sort of “media thing,” I’ve been reluctant to really start anything again, I guess because I don’t want to get into that schedule, always having to publish content. Yuck, that word.
But this video I made serves a purpose I guess, and that’s to drive donations to girls’ rock camps. As of today, Metal Bandcamp Gift Club raised almost $250 (oh yeah, I guess running Metal Bandcamp Gift Club is a “media thing,” but it just feels different), so if this video helps drive $10 more to a good org, then I am super pumped about that.
Like Seth Godin has said, be helpful. Be of service. That’s where my head has been lately, with writing, video, audio, social media – how can I publish work that helps?
I’ve been following Matthew Luke Meyer for a bit on Instagram (here). From his IG Stories I found out he likes metal, and he’s always pushing the posi vibes, so I guess it was just the universe at work.
He recently did an interview with Tempo Journal, and I love this part:
“[Without running] I felt that I was just riding along with life, not really sure where it was going. But running gave me a way to move into the driver’s seat. Every day I’m waking up with a goal, something I personally WANT to accomplish, not just something that I have to do. That’s translated into the rest of life.”
Those early to mid 2010s were not kind, mostly to my bank account and career, which of course seeped into my mental and physical space as well. An inbox filled with automated rejection emails from jobs I applied to, or the build up of some interviews making it to the 2nd interview, then the 3rd, then a video call, then…
So lots of rejection ate away at who I was. Maybe I wasn’t actually good at what I thought I was good at. I slept later. I ate more cookies. I packed on the pounds.
But then I started eating better. Bought a rice cooker, and ate more veggies. Then I had more energy, so I started running. That hurt like hell, but… I was I was in charge. I was in the driver’s seat.
That was almost four years ago that I started running. Stopped waiting for approval, and picked myself, and it has found its way into other aspects of my life, too. Even the bank account.
I believe that Metal Bandcamp Gift Club has helped sell over 1,000 albums since 2016. That’s better than nothing, right?
Then today we sold our first email sponsorship. We do sponsorships a little different, because we don’t want your money. You have to give it to a local girls rock chapter, send us the receipt, and then you can sponsor our newsletter.
Seth Godin says before you get hired to do a big for-real job, make stuff on your own. One example he mentions is to design a direct-mailer campaign for a local charity and raise $10,000 for them. “Don’t worry,” he says, “they won’t mind.”
When I started Skull Toaster back in 2011, I did it as a “living resume piece,” to show potential employers, “hey, I can do this.”
In rebooting Metal Bandcamp Gift Club recently, I’m doing it again. Giving, building, pushing energy like this for a common good, and it’s something I enjoy doing.
The point here is just to do something, to get your body used to moving. I always say I want to “make movement a movement,” so that we can get people thinking about a workout as some simple body movement, not as blasting your pecs into oblivion.
In the world of running there’s a lot of waste. Lots of plastic water bottles, papers, “swag” that is generally garbage, styrofoam, and that’s just what the race provides.
One of the other things is waste from the food products we bring along. The gels, and “powerbar” types of foods. Single serving food items wrapped in plastic that usually just ends up in the garbage.
My buddy Jesse (one of the key people who inspired me to start running) has started making his own foods for running, and storing them in re-usable food pouches, which you can find on Amazon and probably elsewhere.
Sure, it’s a drop in the ocean as far as waste, but it’s something, and I think it’s awesome. You should try it out!
Been having so many talks about negative self with friends and pals lately.
We have no issue accepting horrible bosses and big jerks, but we issues with accepting graceful, kind people. If they exist in our lives, they can exist as bosses, and colleagues, and partners, and people in our lives.
Keep moving in the direction of the good things you want, and stop accepting jerk behaviors as truth, as gospel.