Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day 3.87 A Big Fucking Yuk

We didn't come here to be mediocre.

We came here to challenge ourselves to be better, regardless of the level of success we currently own.

Where ever you are on the 3D graph of your life, you have the opportunity today to do something to better it, to trend upwards.

You can eat better.

You can work harder.

You can work smarter.

You can sleep deeper.

You can manage stress more efficiently.

And you can do all of the above. Starting right now.

There is no entry fee, no placement test and no appointment.

You just need to start.

And don't stop.

Anything less is the middle ground, comfortably squatting atop the fence. Neither confirming nor denying. Moderate in all things. Like a rusty chain.

A BIG FUCKING YUK. (sorry)

I mentioned this morning in church (class) that I am preaching to the choir about this. The congregation all nodded in recognition that yes, they had all heard this before. Then the fire and brimstone landed square.

It is now our solemn (and sacred) responsibility to take this to others. In order for the choir to be heard by those currently deaf to its importance, afraid of its challenge or anxious over its intensity. We must reach them. And fast. We must convert.

We need more awesome and less mediocre.

And that is why we come here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 3.86 Trending Upwards Jack

Practice with focus reinforces your commitment and significantly increases your chance of success.

Passive learning is fine, but not enough.

The best way to improve ANYTHING is to do it.

Often. Always. Relentlessly.

Watching how it affects your mind, your body and your spirit.

The body is the easy part. (How I wish that was an altruism!). We were born to move. We have an incredible gift in ambulation. We can get from here to there any number of ways. We can get there in a New York minute or take our sweet Texas time.

I was thinking about extremes today. The space between genius and stupidity. Between love and its empty counterpart. Between maximal effort and laziness. Between fit and fat. Courage and fear. Faith and desperation. Hypocrisy and truth. Then and now.

While I navigated my little truck thru the mine-field of a state route (in this case 305), the wind in my ear remind me that it is not so much about BEING one or the other, but TRENDING towards it.

I am not a genius. But I learned something important today.
I am not in love with one person, but many.
I am quite fond of maximal effort, yet judge myself lazy at times.
By most measurements I am fit, yet I carry excess fat.
Sometimes I feel like Jack Bauer, other times scared shitless about the future.
I have faith that one day I will be free of desperation.
There are some hypocrisies, but way more truth.
If only I had made a few different choices way back then, maybe things wouldn't be so strange today.

Or not.

I pull to the curb to allow a screaming ambulance to pass. As the obnoxious but utilitarian sound subsides, I hear a metaphor's shrill statement:

Just trend upwards. Get a touch, one step, closer to your ideal. Head in that direction with all your heart and all your focus. Move towards the light you want to be.

And don't stop.

This is the practice.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day 3.85 Soap Lake Lava Lamp

I took the mound this morning and pitched to a big hitter. In my relentless pursuit of what I like to call 'an honest living.'

I will no doubt provide details along the rough and rocky road of the process, but what caught my interest as I did initial research (validity testing) was a series of seemingly random, but very connected, stops along the way.

Some sample buzz:

Innovators and early adapters.
How to touch people.
Ideas that spread - win.
More choices on less time.
Is it remarkable?
Sell to people who are listening.
Obsessions.


In Seth Godin's TED presentation he astutely connects these important dots, finishing with mention of a little town in Washington that he says, looking at a projected map, that if this is nowhere, Soap Lake is the middle of it.

He then told us about the brilliance of the lava lamp.

The 60' one that Soap Lake wants to build as a tourist attraction.

It was as if the flood gates of the Grand Coulee dam had opened.

Well, the initial round of remark-ability measurement has been completed.

The Soap Lake Lava Lamp fits every criteria of a remarkable concept. I hope they make it.

I hope I do too. Stay tuned.

Pictured above are remnants from one of the many Kitsap County, WA Mosquito Fleet landings. There is a bicycle trail that now connects them. Like dots. Like how a pitcher is connected to the pitched-to.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 3.84 Let that go

Avocados and eggs.

I wish I had the avocado tree that grew in the back yard of a house I once rented in Orange County, CA. It was immense, gnarled and prodigious. There grew hundreds of avocados on every giant limb. I made guacamole by the gallon.

I wish I had a hen house. Like the one on my ranch in Carlton, WA. Not only did we keep an efficient team of Rhode Island Reds but geese, and a hybrid of turkeys and chickens, we called turkuns. It was not uncommon for weekend breakfasts to feature ten-egg omelets.

Now avocados are $1.50 each and I own no hens. How I miss that small bit of self-sufficiency!

What else do I miss?

My '65 Mustang.
My cabin.
My Rodgers XP8 drum kit.
My friends in the Indian Ocean.
My Mom.
My health and fitness.
My job.
All the girls I have ever loved (was that a song?)
Rainbows.

Missing and wishing. Miss this and that, wish this or that.

Attachments. All and everything. How I cling.

The reality is that all those things are missing (gone) from the present. Did I ever think they would last forever? Yes, I did.

Do I wish otherwise? Yes, I do. Sometimes.

Let that go. Please.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 3.83 Sugar-coated hog wash

A recent article suggests that diets for obesity don't work. Neither does exercise. Further the author says that the 61 billion dollar weight-loss industry are thieves in cheap disguise. On THAT point I agree! Lastly the article (sent to my in-box as a service) says that being clinically overweight is OK, and does nowhere near the financial damage currently cited as catastrophic. They say that it is time to stop telling the fat to thin out.

Hummm.

There are other reasons why we exercise, eat healthy and invest wisely in ourselves, dear author. Foremost being imho.......

BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Let's face it, when you look and feel good, when you have worked hard to better yourself, when you enjoy the healthy satisfaction of effort and reward an altogether different level of confidence is available. I (and please excuse my Type AA-ness) feel horribly slothful if I miss one workout or pack on two pounds as a result of a weekend with the binge brigade. This isn't admitting guilt, it is dedication to discipline. Those who fail chronically usually give up. We need to encourage and support not excuse and justify.

It could all come down to self image. How do you feel? How do you want to feel? Are you content with your current status? Are you in this for improvement and self realization? Do you think that the physical plays a part in all that? Can you run a 10 minute mile or hoist 50 pounds overhead? These are life, not merely athletic, skills. In an emergency you may need them to save the life of an innocent ten-year old, not simply to meet the current societal directive of beauty.

Do you read? Do you pray? Are you a good neighbor?

The same way that you read to increase your knowledge base, take quiet meditative time to de-brief and contribute to society rather than steal from it is just as 'right' as taking care of yourself.

IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

So let me be clear. I don't care how you spin the financial effects. I don't care about the impact to social security or the GNP, and I certainly won't swallow a hallow and sensationalistic twist on the state of obesity in America.

We (the we that assemble here) train and strive for continual improvement. Saying that it is OK to do otherwise is not only wrong it is enabling an already reeling demographic. 

IT IS NOT THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Give me a plan. A cause. A reason. A reward.

Not more sugar-coated hog wash to dummy-down my discipline, please.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 3.82 Target: Pucon

Here is the rough draft I sent over to HQ for approval this morning. It's not like this is the first time you have heard of the campaign, but it is going out to our 50K+ users maybe as soon as tomorrow and for them it will be the first look. Hope I got it right. You have been on-board for a while so you know what is at stake.

If you have always wanted to ride exotic and remote 'bucket list' routes, now is your chance. The popular CompuTrainer Real Course Video line of indoor training products wants you as a partner. The model is to crowd-fund a series of videos shot around the world in stunning, picturesque and challenging locations. Can't get there? We'll bring the next best thing direct to your door!

A $25 contribution gets you the RCV upon capture, production and processing, almost half-price of the existing product line. The Pucon campaign is underway. We stand at 22% of target. We would like to gauge the outcome of this campaign in order to create momentum for subsequent videos.

And to encourage a successful start, RacerMate, for TWO DAYS ONLY, (Thursday & Friday, March 26 & 27) will match all contributions!

Add another layer to your indoor training motivation by contributing today. Should this test campaign prove successful, we are prepared to extend the series to five volumes by the end of this year. Your involvement gives you a share of the future. You decide where you want to ride.

Cuba?
Japan?
South Africa?
New Zealand?
Norway?
France?

CompuTrainer wants YOU on OUR team. Please visit our campaign site and join us today. The Pucon, Chile campaign has only one week remaining. We need to act.

Now is the time. Pucon is the place. Together we can.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 3.81 I'll Take 'Em


In a semi-serious rhetorical question posed to long-course triathletes (Ironman) a few years ago, the answer wasn't overly surprising. But one of the published responses was. The question:

If science (in conduction with big pharma) invented or discovered a drug that would allow you to win Kona (World Championship) but would cost you five years off your life, would you take it?

The 'no surprise' percentage from the AAA type over-achievers was overwhelming, about 65% responded without a second thought, answering yes. 20% of those answered fuck yes.

The one answer I found comical was the person who wanted a qualifier. He asked, before answering, what five? The bet hedging got me to thinking, 'without the diminishing quality of life reality, would obvious instant glory be worth hastening the end game?' Seriously, if we are destined to spend the 'golden years' prostrate in a hospital bed linked to life support systems and unable to clean up after ourselves, why NOT have one moment and its glorious memory?  Because it's cheating is the only legitimate response. Ask Lance.

But this hypothetical situation plays out in other metaphorical ways. Remember the days when the anti-smoking coalition's scare tactics told us that every cancer stick we puffed cost us five minutes of life? That 100 minutes per pack (I am assuming that this was a non-filtered test) means that for all the Camels, Marlboros and Rothchilds I inhaled in my silly younger, bullet-proof days, I should be ashes and dust by now.

For approximately the last quarter century I have wised-up to the benefits of good habits. I quit smoking a long time ago, gave up hard liquor and quit eating meat. I exercise daily. That combination has probably kept me alive as a couple of heart-related issues could have easily gone 'the other way'. Point being that everything we do, every combination, every bad habit kicked and good one pursued, gives us a better chance of sticking around. You might be the toughest guy on your team and still get broadsided by a cement truck, sure, but the things we can control, we must.

Here is an interesting study published in US News & World Report. Please read it.

A team of Harvard University researchers analyzed data from six large studies that focused on the leisure activities and body mass index of more than 650,000 people older than 40 who were followed for 10 years. They found that those who clocked 75 minutes of brisk walking each week – which translates to about 11 minutes a day – lived 1.8 years longer than those who didn't exercise at all. And those who got 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, or 22 minutes a day, gained 3.4 years. The findings were released in November 2013.

Did you notice the (bold) 3.4 years metric? On only 22 minutes a day?

I'll take 'em, thank you very much.