Say Yes to Stuff For You

My Freelancer Workshop pal (we’ve been talking every week since November 2019) requested that I ask them what they said “YES” to this week. Then I thought about it for myself.

I said yes to a “virtual running form assessment” with Jess Wayashe. I can read all the articles online, and watch all the YouTube videos, but it’ll sure be nice to get some real professional feedback on my run form. I met Jess years ago in Philadelphia, through friends, and we keep in touch on Instagram. She posts a lot of informative running and fitness stuff, so give her a follow (here).

Proper form is important to avoid injury, and I want to keep running as long as I can, so saying yes to this will probably pay off in the long term.

Sweetness is My Weakness

Got this in my inbox tonight, from Spring Energy:

Among all micronutrients, sugars seem to be the most harmful substances for our cells. The human race evolved for tens of thousands of years without significant sources of pure sugar in natural food. This could explain why our body, in general, doesn’t handle sugars very well. From the food intake regulation to metabolic responses, our body reacts to sugars as if they were unknown and causing dysregulation.  

Rafal Nazarewicz, founder of Spring Energy

“Highly concentrated sugar is a foreign substance for your body,” he says, “limit sugars to 15g per day!”

That got me thinking about the brownie I got at Starbucks the other day. I found the nutritional information and it’s got 37g of sugar. More than double what Rafal is suggesting, and that’s in one sitting!

I’m not black and white with this stuff, I just know that if I eat a brownie today, it makes it easier to eat a few cookies tomorrow, and maybe a handful (or a bag) of peanut M&M’s the next. For me it’s a slippery slope, but I don’t torture myself. All this running and biking and stretching – I don’t subscribe to the “you gotta earn your dessert” bullshit, but I also don’t deny myself the occasional cravings. Just not everyday for me.

Slow Down and Stretch

I run about five or six times a week, and do a solid stretching routine every other run. The other times I do some small dynamic stretches, and make sure to take it easy in the first mile.

Stretching is a time to ponder, relax, set the tone for the run. In this busy world it’s easy to think about skipping the stretch altogether, and just get to the running, but hey, work stuff can wait. Everything can wait right now, we’re in the midst of global crisis with this COVID-19 crisis. Take care of yourself, you know that.

Today while stretching I saw a woman prepping her horse to leave, and it got away! It didn’t go very far, just a few yards away to eat some grass, nothing dramatic, but it was something I’ve never really seen before, a horse “getting away.”

Slow down, you never know what you’ll see.

Bandcamp Finds: An Albatross, Noveller

A slow week of Bandcamp digging. The weather has been brutal, so I’ve been doing my work first thing in the AM and doing my best to get outside.

I’ve known Ed Guida since the 90s, when he used to play in Bedford, and I played in a ska band called the Unmarked Cars. Oh, what a wild time that is. Now, 20 years later, we reconnected via Instagram (of course) and our love of running (he’s a big inspiration for me). So now that An Albatross has a new album out, holy shit, I had to devour it in a heart beat.

Noveller is Sarah Lipstate, creating some great cinematic sonic landscapes.

You Are What You Do

From Derek Sivers’ new book,

No matter what you tell the world or tell yourself, your actions reveal your real values. Your actions show you what you actually want.

Hell Yeah or No

There are podcasts I want to start, websites I want to launch, campaigns I want to champion, but more and more I see my focus, my “spare time,” is devoted to running. My physical fitness.

Hours per week not just to running, but stretching, the food prep, more stretching, the cool down, the extra rest time devoted to recovery from a hard or long workout.

Of value to me – right now – is physical well being. Running keeps me focused, it clears my head, it manages my stress, it helps me unwind, it gives me something to accomplish each day that’s not just a check box in Todoist.

It sounds simple, but it’s become either “Hell Yeah or No” for me. I’ve recently turned away work because it was not a hell yeah. A friend wanted me to start a music-based podcast with him, revolving around one of my favorite bands, but it just wasn’t a “Hell Yeah” for me.

Hell yeah is 11 miles in a snow storm. It’s a 13 mile bike ride, then a four mile in the middle of a heat wave. It’s “just another run” when it’s pouring rain outside.

That’s my hell yeah, and I’m getting better at realizing that.

Nothing is Real

This is a refrain I jokingly toss around, especially lately. COVID-19 is tearing through America, billionaires have made more billions during this horrible pandemic, sports leagues think they’ll play this fall, and like.. I don’t know, nothing seems real.

This lightens the load a bit with work, with finances, with everything else in life. If nothing is real, what matters?

Of course, the opposite is true. Everything is real. The tension, the uncertainty, the loss; everything we’re feeling is very real.

Being present helps. Being in the moment, in the now, absolutely helps. The whole “just mediate 10 minutes a day” thing is very real.

Counting your breaths and being very present on an hour and a half run helps, too.

Money Is a Game

In an episode of Akimbo (“Money Moves“), Seth Godin equates money as a game, not as a personal indictment on your self worth or status. (Permalink here to the time stamp of the below text).

All of the things I’ve talked about are strategies around the game of money. That money is always moving, that money grows, that money costs, that cash flow matters. But it’s a game, it’s not personal. And what we need to do as productive artists and professionals who create things, is to say, when money is involved, we have to put our game hat on. That this isn’t a personal referendum on who I am, and what I am worth. It’s a game, and I can play it to make more money, or I can play it poorly. But as soon as we conflate it with who am I as a human, what do I count for, what am I worth? Then we’re going to lose that game.

I’ve been there, and I know friends there now, and friends that have gotten out. It’s up and down, goes in cycles. But we have to be careful to not equate the lack of work, of money, with our own self worth.

Time is an Asset

I love this piece from Seth Godin:

Twenty hours a week for a year and you can know something that puts you in a new category. Access to knowledge isn’t nearly as difficult as the desire to learn.

The 100 hour asset

I can look on my iPhone right now and see how many hours I spend on social media. But if I spent that time writing? Working on a podcast? Refining my business? Damn, I could be miles ahead of where I’m at now in a year.

Mind you, I try not to flog myself too bad with this, since I do commit many hours per week devoted to fitness, in the form of biking at cycling (this week I should hit 20 miles running and 40 miles biking), but still, doom scrolling through Twitter when I wake up, and when I go to bed… neither times are very helpful.

Food is always an Adventure

I sort of struggle with my weight. When I got my first office job back in 1998, I packed on 50lbs real quick, and I’ve had problems getting it off ever since.

Starting running in 2016 helped a lot, and then working with a nutrionest a bit in 2019 helped, but then I hit a wall. Then the pandemic hit, which has led to all sorts of stress:

when cortisol levels stay high, this is why stress can impact our sleep, energy levels, metabolism, and libido, and lead to declining productivity levels, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, poor concentration, and even depression.

Fast Company

My productivity has fallen off, but my weight gain has been an “issue.” I use quotes because I’m going easy on myself – we’re in the middle of an unprecedented world event, and it ain’t getting any better here in the United States. And really, I’m not eating fast food multiple times a week, or even eating horrible foods – I just love to snack.

Putting this out there because I just don’t see many men talking about this sort of thing. It’s either HOW TO GET RIPPED or RUN FAST or FASTING and shit, and I just don’t want any part of that noise, in part because of working with Grayson Murphy for nutrition and run coaching.

This week I’m trying to eat hearty salads for lunch, rather than my go-to burritos, which are pan-fried in oil with LOTS of stuff (zucchini, onions, broccoli, beans, fake-meat, etc.), so hoping less oil, fake meat, and tortillas will help.

Defeat by Tweet

Trump Tweets, money is raised for Black-led political organizers in swing states. I love this, and signed up to donate a penny each time this idiot Tweets.

Movement Voter PAC (MVP) has vetted a group of Black-led organizations that work in nine key swing states, engaging in local elections including for district attorney, sheriff, and judges.
By focusing on organizations doing work on these issues in key states, we can expand the base of black voters and black political power and have the greatest impact on the outcome of November’s presidential election and the makeup of the US Senate.
MVP has vetted participating organizations for their track record on moving the needle on criminal justice reform as well as their financial need and growth potential.

Defeat By Tweet