October 8, 2013

28



“When the miles come easy, cherish it.”  
~Meb Keflezighi

I planned on having an epic day on the trails for my birthday running 3 loops, 46.5 km or ~28 miles, the Eagle View trail in John Forrest National Park.  But that pipedream was two weeks ago when I was training like a bear in the Perth Hills during my off week.  I quietly logged 5 runs of two plus hours in 6 days. I was just having so much fun putting in the work and living simple.  Wake up, study and self-reflection for 45 minutes, run for two hours or more on forested trails in the Perth Hills, smash a homemade protein shake, ice bath in my friends pool (sill winter here), eat my first meal at 10 or 11 am, read/rest/recover/treat myself to TV movie like 7 years in Tibet or The Dark Knight on lazy afternoon, and then head to the city to meet friends in the evening.  Repeat the next day fully refreshed without any sense of fatigue or soreness.  Cherish it.    

But the accumulation of stress aggravated my right foot/ankle.  I pushed it too hard too soon.  I wrote my victory speech before the battle was finished.  I was dumb.  But I am ok with that.   

My biggest worry last year -27- was my health.  How was I going to get back to running full time again?  Am I ever going to do the things I love in the outdoors again? 

I was literally sitting in a doctor’s office on my birthday getting a referral for yet another test to figure out what was wrong with me.  While it appears that similar fate has found me today with my foot submerged in a tool box filled with ice water, my mindset is completely different.  I am less concerned about my race in two weeks that I am not prepared for because of injury, again, than I was last year. 

The one thing I had to learn during my downfall was to be 100 percent content with never having those experiences again.  I was idolizing a thing, recreation, and not being able to do it dragged down other areas of my life.  I have come to realize that I could never run another race or walk a long trail again and still be content with the accomplishments and experiences I've had.  I heard once that if you love something or someone, let it go.  If it was meant to be, it would come back.   

Today, 28, I am afraid of wasting the opportunity.  I have a lot to be thankful for: job, people in my life, education, two loving parents, no debt, a bank account, relatively good healthy, a car that runs, a car, not having to spend my life savings to pay a people smuggler to transport me to the country I currently reside in, and much more.  I am afraid of squandering life away on worthless pursuits.

Following the world news recently has reinforced the idea that the world is moving fast and crazier than ever.  The US government Shutdown meaning more economic volatility.  Another boat filled with refugees from Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan  Lebanon, and Syria carrying men, women and child sank off the coast of Australia/Indonesia- over 22 drowned to death.  Chemical weapons being used on innocent civilians in Syria.  The siege in Nairobi...The writer at the end of an article on the recent suicide bombings in Iraq casually stated in the final paragraph, “Monday's attacks were the biggest since the Sept. 21 suicide bombings that struck a cluster of funeral tents packed with mourning families in Sadr City, killing at least 104 people…More than 4,500 people have been killed since April.”

I don't really have any political statement or a solution.  The best I can do is not waste the opportunity that so many others would cherish… and it might not always be there for me. 


Overdue actions from last year to carry over to this year:

Start a Major Side project.  Starting a small business or writing a short book or seriously learn to program would be really cool.  However, if I get my running legs back, I feel like I would give it a serious go and try to run some fast times and long races.  Father time is catching up and this takes priority at this point in my life.  I can start business or write a book at any age.

New Hobby, Musical Instrument.  Primarily just to expand my mind and try something new.  I have never done any singing, dancing or instrument playing in my life.  Now would be a good time to try.  Again, running would trump this.  I have no problems with focusing 100 percent on running for a few more years if I can get the ball rolling.

Choose One.  I have so many ideas bouncing around my head.  I think it is about time I stop dreaming and actually choose one and go after it.  I don’t know what this means yet but I hope to understand it better in the next year.

Walk the Walk.  I read all these books and blogs on how to live and be healthy and be happy and be wise and control your own life…etc.  I think I already know what the right things are to do.  I think its time to apply the principles I read about and actually make a difference in my life.  You can subscribe to Runner’s World magazine, but if you don't run, you will never be runner. 

Practice gratitude.  Be thankful every day.  Write it down every night until it becomes habit to think this way.

Read a technical paper daily.  One of the great mining consultants told me to read one technical paper on drilling and blasting (or anything) every day and in 5 years I would be an expert in that field.  30 minutes per day for 5 years and you can be an expert.  Of course, he told me that about 5 years ago when I just started in the workforce.  If only I would have heeded his advice…The second best time to start is now. 

Develop a Healthy Poverty.  I am going along pretty good at this by living out of car the past two years.  But as I get older, many of my peers are buying houses, new cars, getting married which are all great things but I don’t want to succumb to that ever present feeling of doing it just because it’s the THING to do.  My time will come for all of that- maybe.  I aim to get joy out of the small things and be more consistently content with the life I am living.  Annie Dillard puts it so well in her classic A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

“The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.”
Obviously, there is so much to do and not enough time to do it.  I don’t expect to do half of these things.  I just have to keep my foot on the accelerator and cycle through and repeat. 


The web has everything and most of it is free.  Here are a few of the many things I have been checking out.  Who knows what I will be following a year from now?

James Altucher is a weird guy, but some of his easy to follow instruction and funny stories about life make his writing a can't miss.  "There is only one skill: the skill to persist." 

TED Talks.  They have been around a long time but recently I have gotten into a habit of watching one 20 minute talk every night with dinner (when I am at camp).  I have watched about 40 talks since July. I find new ideas come to me more often since I have started this. And fuelled me to write 30 posts in 30 days.  

Ultrarunners.  I have been following runners like Anton Krupica, Dakota Jones, Cameron Clayton, Kilian Jornet, Rickey Gates, Sage Canaday and now shining star Rob Krar (and so many more).  They are sponsored by outdoor companies and race all around the world pretty much full time.  Seems like an awesome life.  Maybe if I start running well again, I can do it too?

Seneca.  Stoicism is a philosophy about I finally started reading letters from a stoic.  It is a big time recommendation from Tim Ferris and I have been wanting/putting it off to read it for years.  I have gotten through about 25 of the letters and still many more to go.   

Ryan Holiday.  I like his concept of keeping a commonplace book.  I have been doing it for years collecting articles and writing outlines/notes on books I have read but am nowhere near as organized as him.  He also reads hundreds of books per year.  I am  on his monthly recommended reading list but I only read like 2 books per month if I am lucky. 

Chase Jarvis Live.  A web tv show where he interviews successful and creative individuals.  I really enjoyed the most recent one featuring Austin…

Intellectual Ventures.  I actually found out about this through a ted talk.  I find the work they do on solving the worlds problems with funding from Bill Gates fascinating.

Too tired right now to add in all the links, just google them.  The internet is all connected anyway.  Every word written on this page and can a link to it.  I think very soon every word typed will have a direct link to another webpage.  The internet is smart and big and scary.  

Picture: Me on my 28th Bday

3 comments:

  1. Intellectual Ventures might be doing good in some areas, but they aren't very good on the whole. Here is a great listen. (http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/26/138576167/when-patents-attack)

    And the follow up, part 2 listen
    (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/496/when-patents-attack-part-two)

    Other than that, great thought provoking stuff. Things I ponder constantly. Keep on keeping on.

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  2. OK, I dont like google ventures anymore. Thanks for the links...

    ReplyDelete