Step Back to Move Forward

An album is linear, and a movie, and the calendar year. It’s planned out, mapped out, and can’t deviate. Song one comes before track two, the dramatic motorcycle chase follows the fight scene, May comes after April. That’s the way it goes.

Life, however, moves. Ups and downs, peaks and valleys, sure.

One of my best career moves was ditching a sure thing (full-time AV tech a NYC university) for something totally uncertain (a three month contract at AOL). Leaving a high paying job for a lower paying one, which led to the right conversations which set me on the path I’m on today (which is still working in music in 2018).

Nothing in permanent, change is always coming, so buckle up and do what you can.

All in With Daily Burn

Well, I gave Aaptiv a shot, but it just wasn’t for me. I need visuals and I need people.

So it’s back to Daily Burn.

I’ve flirted with the service about a year ago, but balked at the price (it starts around $12/mo) on top of a $20/mo gym membership. But since I only really use the gym for the treadmill and rowing machine, well I cancelled the gym and all in with Daily Burn.

Every weekday morning at 9am Daily Burn has a LIVE streaming workout. Real people, all different abilities, and the trainers are absolute characters. Sure, the whole WORKOUT thing can be cheesy for folks like me, right? I’m a metal head computer nerd, right? Who are these people with bubbly personalities and corny jokes?

Well, it turns out they’re pretty great, and much more encouraging compared to canned audio saying, “you’re doing awesome!” So they can keep up with their bubbly selves, because they keep me going.

The 30 minute workouts leave me worn out, sweaty, occasionally cursing, and ready to die, so I feel like we’re off to a good start. It’s weird to pretty much feel like I’m not in shape doing these workouts when just a few weeks ago I completed a half-marathon, but, I know by doing these workouts, and movements, and cardio, and push ups (oh my god) that I’ll be a faster, stronger runner, and that’s what I want to gain from all this.

More Screen Time Thoughts

In a week I looked at Instagram for about seven hours. Before I get out of bed, have a look. Waiting for my french press to brew. In line at the bank. After a run. These tiny moments add up.

And maybe it’s not all about all the OTHER things I could have done with that time, like worked, or read a book, or stretched, but all the nothingness I could have done.

To stare out the window, look at the trees, a late night walk. Life can’t just be about maximizing every single hour, right?

Working Out is Hard

If you ask me to run 10 miles in any direction, sure. I can do it.

Ask me to do burpees for 30 seconds and, well… I can do it, but I won’t like it.

My heart rate is just maxed, my shoulders and arms hurt, I’m probably sweating everywhere.

And I know this is why I need to do more working out stuff. Like I said, I can run comfortably for 10 miles. I can bang up some hills, even do a little speed here and there.

Push ups? Leg scissors? Squat jumps? Kill me now.

As Seth Godin recently wrote in “A note from 2030“:

“Twelve years from now, your future self is going to thank you for something you did today, for an asset you began to build, a habit you formed, a seed you planted.”

Dammit, he’s right.

I started running in 2016, and today in 2018 I am super thankful I started then! I really need to honor that note from 2030, and get doing more work out / cross training / weight lifting.

Start It Now

The best time to start getting into shape, learning to play the guitar, starting a meditation practice, quitting smoking was 10 years ago. The next best time now is right now.

Yes sure, I started running back in 2016 and just ran a half marathon and didn’t die. But you know what I didn’t keep doing from way back in 2016? Push-ups.

In my flurry of “I’m gonna eat better, and start running” excitement, I also downloaded one of those “do a 100 push ups a day” apps. I stuck with it for a few weeks, then… just sorta stopped. If I would have kept with it, for over two years?! Damn, my upper body would be stoked right now.

But I didn’t love doing push ups, I loved running in the woods. So, I ran.

These days I want to run farther, and a little bit faster. And allllll the advice I see out there is… doing strength training (that includes push-ups).

I think with any of this stuff, overlooking the temporary pain in the now to get the completely unknown thing in the future. Somehow I figured if I keep running then someday I’ll be able to run farther. Right now, mentally, I can’t put together that equation; if I do a few push ups today, a few years from now I’ll have more upper body strength which will help me run better.

 

 

Yoga Ain’t Just for White Folks

Yoga has always intrigued me, but even as a white man with a bit of a belly I still feel like I don’t fit the proper look. I know I’m wrong, of course, because as a white dude I “belong” everywhere. But damn, these wonderful humans are inspiring and powerful and wonderful. (via, Kottke)

Screen Time is Eye Opening

Over the past few months I’ve done my best to use my time better. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks, “where did the time go?” at the end of the day. And since I work from home, it’s easy for Parkinson’s Law to kick in and then I find myself working at 9pm.

I started using Pomodone App, which syncs with my tasks from Todoist. I then focus on one task at a time, in 5 / 15 / 20 minute bursts. Then when I’m wasting time scrolling through websites when I should be working, Pomodone alerts me. I really like that.

Then I installed the new iOS 12 and started using the Screen Time app. GULP. I averaged 2 hours and 43 minutes of screen time this week. Almost three hour a day, and most of it social media. That’s 21 hours a week.

That’s a lot of billable hours, or reading, or hiking.

I’m still using the iPhone SE – I just like how it fits in my hand, and in my water bottle pouch when I go running. Sure, the new iPhones look amazing, and then paired with a shiny new Apple Watch? But… I think the Screen Time app will actually keep me from upgrading anytime soon.

So Much is Temporary

Since I signed up for a half-marathon in October, I’ve been running a bunch more miles. I’m following a training schedule, too, so there’s some “tempo runs” and “cruise intervals” in there, terms I’ve had to look up, really. I still don’t really know if I’m doing them right.

I know they hurt, that’s for sure. They’re definitely getting me out of my comfort zone, which as “they” say, is a good thing. It’s allowed me to appreciate how short that pain can be, though. Like, running faster than I normal do for one mile is tolerable because, well, it’s a mile. And then I’ll be done (at least for three minutes), then I’ll do it again.

Like so much in life, things look easier when I can look at them as temporary. And sometimes temporary really means five years, or a decade. Technically that’s temporary.

Kindness as a Radical Act

It’s as simple as holding the door for someone. Being kind to retail workers. Eye contact.

Life is fucking hard, so being nice is almost a radical act these days.

There are fights to be had, protests to enact, rage to stir change, but if we’re always fighting, always clenching our fists, there’s no room for softness, tenderness, and kindness.

This is not a call to cower, to back down, to put our tail between our legs and submit to evil. Not a chance. That in our down moments, when we can afford to be off guard, let our defenses down, let us be kind to one another and remind ourselves why we fight in the first place.

Getting Outside of Myself

In feeling lost at times, I’ve tried to focus on giving. Getting outside myself. Being helpful.

Does “the answer” magically show up? Nah. But your efforts helped the world, and that counts. I spent nights questioning. Shaking my fist at the universe. Eh. The universe does not care. It continues existing, a massive void of indifference.

These tactics worked for me, so your results may vary. Life is short, and trying to “figure stuff out” just felt wasteful to me anymore. Yeah, I still get sad. Lonely. Of course. But I can’t stay there. I need connections and friends and I need to give, even when I don’t think I have anything left to give.