Pick your road, and allow others to pick theirs

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You might be pretty good at life. You may have taken a very short road to get there.

Others might be struggling, or taking a long road to get where they should be.

Remember that it is yours to help or not to help, but never to impose that help or withhold it. When I say yours, it is your place, your prerogative, your responsibility, your right. We're all on the planet together, but we all have our lone roads to travel.

Hopefully we pick up a few good companions along the way.


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Links of the week, Oct. 6, 2015

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Early concept drawings of Jiminy Cricket

» Do you like old things? How about things that have been around for thousands of years but may go extinct soon? Look here.
» It seems like every generation or so, pinup girls get reborn; in the current iteration, roller derby culture is the mainstream manifestation. But look back on some iconic WWII pinups.
» What does Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python fame, think are the the best animated films ever?
» And while we're on animation, check out these Disney drawings you probably haven't seen before!
» Matt Sweeney has played on tons of songs you've heard. And he fell into it. I especially like his story about working on Johnny Cash's posthumous albums. Hear him talk to Marc Maron.
» There's a cafe in London that only serves breakfast cereal. And it really makes some people angry.
» Wow! A paralyzed man is walking again thanks to a computer hooked into his brain.

This post is brought to you by Alpha Brain by Onnit, a nootropic that can help with recall, focus and more. Read a review here.

First half marathon diary, Week 18

Happy Monday once again, friends!

Well, this was an odd week...I wound up having to buy new sneakers, which is awful five weeks ahead of a race, but they're nearly the same as the ones that my toes finally poked through. It was really humid early in the week, and my 6-mile run really was terrible (I actually stopped after 2.5 miles and had a little heart-to-heart with myself and went out and ran another 3.5).

Then Saturday came. I got out early to try to beat the majority of the rain, and I planned what was supposed to be a 12-mile route really poorly. At 10.5 miles, I realized I either had to start running around the block, or just extend it, so I went ahead and extended my route, finishing at 13.2 miles — just a smidge past race distance, and I finished in 2:18:41, almost exactly at my predicted race pace, which was to be 2:20. So, we'll get a couple more in, but I'm comfortable at the distance (I still managed to do some laundry and work a full day afterward). Yay!

Links

Me on Runkeeper
More running diary
Rock 'n' Roll Savannah
Training schedule

Stats

Miles logged last week: 27.29
Time logged last week: 4:48:04
Weeks until race: 5
Weight: 151

This post is brought to you by Shroom Tech Sport, my pre-workout of choice. No caffeine, no shakes, no weird warm feeling coming over you. Just some extra drive to get you through.

Sweaty Josh picture of the week

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Gak! Did I accidentally run 13.2 miles?!

Links of the week, Sept. 29, 2015

Some varied and interesting stuff this week, I think.

» Even the most adventurous eaters might look twice at the ancient Roman menu
» A look at the history of the mason jar, the latest hipster container of choice
» Oh, my the cute! Dachsund races down under
» Look inside the homes of some of Hollywood's elite
» Watch drones build a bridge
» Look around before you snap! Even with the glut of shark attacks off North Carolina this year, more people have died taking selfies
» Children haunt some of the places they used to play

This post is brought to you by Alpha Brain by Onnit, a nootropic that can help with recall, focus and more. Read a review here.

First half marathon diary, Week 17

Happy Monday once again, friends!

Well, last week I thought I'd jumped in speed, and while my shorter runs this week were slower than last week, my long run was 31 seconds a mile faster than last week. I'd been finding my long runs dropping by a few seconds a mile every week, but this was a big jump, and I actually wound up averaging about 5 seconds faster on the week than I did last week.

This was my final scheduled recovery run. My mileage will fall off by a couple of miles for the rest of the training, and my rest will increase. I will have a week that I'll be moving my training up a day, so I may get a short 1- to 2-mile run in so as not to rest three days, but if I do a lot of walking (likely), I might just skip it.

We're 6 weeks out from the race, and I'm getting excited for it, starting to plan the month leading up and the day. I'm thinking, as I write this, that I should change my long run routine a little bit, so that it mimics race day a bit. Right now, I get up, get dressed, pack a bag, drink some water and coffee and take a pre-workout, drive about a half hour and get out of the car running. Race day will be more like a 5- or 10-minute drive, but I need to be parked 90 minutes before race start.

Anyway, onward! Have a great week!

Links

Me on Runkeeper
More running diary
Rock 'n' Roll Savannah
Training schedule

Stats

Miles logged last week: 28.88
Time logged last week: 5:05:16
Weeks until race: 6
Weight: 153

This post is brought to you by Shroom Tech Sport, my pre-workout of choice. No caffeine, no shakes, no weird warm feeling coming over you. Just some extra drive to get you through.

Sweaty Josh picture of the week

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The years is almost 3/4 over; how are you coming on your goals?


[by Steve Hillebrand]

We're heading into October. I don't know if you noticed, but the Earth keeps spinning, the sun keeps rising and setting, and time keeps on ticking.

Another week, and the year will be three-quarters over. Take that week, look back at your goals, and charge into Q4 with a renewed zeal for what you wanted to accomplish this year.

I've done pretty well. My goals were largely esoteric; here's a look at what they were. But I've started some new things, seen some stuff through to conclusion, and the final three months of 2015 will include a move from the suburbs into the city, my first half marathon, some visitors from different parts of our lives and settling into some new routines.

How about you?

Links of the Week, Sept. 22, 2015

» This is a great long read about how we (humans) spread out over the planet
» Futurism's cultural bias: Old workplace cartoons predicted the fax machine, but nothing so audacious as women in the office
» Want to live in a smart home? One former Apple exec's abode is on the market for a cool $35 million
» Did you know that whales have dialects, and, even more, culture?
» Are we 5 years away from self-driving cars becoming the norm?
» Outliers: How the longevity gene is more powerful than smoking
» As an affirmed life-long nail biter, I can possibly attest to some perfectionism

This post is brought to you by Alpha Brain by Onnit, a nootropic that can help with recall, focus and more. Read a review here.

First half marathon diary, Week 16

Happy Monday, friends!

Something got into my legs this week. I was on the road 24 minutes and change less than last week, while my distance was only down 0.14 miles. And that's while missing a day off.

I did eat a lot more carbs this week than normal. I've started having a peanut butter and banana sandwich (or two!), and I'm eating more rice. I wonder if that had something to do with speed and stamina.

This was the first week that when I finished my long run, I had some muscle cramping. It was the first time I crossed the 11-mile mark, and the first time I crossed the 2-hour mark, and maybe I have to remember to cool down and stretch a little more than I usually do. Normally I just have a Gatorade and get on my way.

Anyway, 11 miles, and I feel like if you told me I had a week, I'd be able to push out another couple of miles. Onward!

Links

Me on Runkeeper
More running diary
Rock 'n' Roll Savannah
Training schedule

Stats

Miles logged last week: 28.41
Time logged last week: 5:03:05
Weeks until race: 7
Weight: 155

This post is brought to you by Shroom Tech Sport, my pre-workout of choice. No caffeine, no shakes, no weird warm feeling coming over you. Just some extra drive to get you through.

Sweaty Josh picture of the week

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Working the tools: The gavel (cutting out the excess)

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Via Leading Change in Freemasonry on Facebook.

While this post will ring a little louder with Masons, I think it's important for everyone. Masonry is, after all, designed to make us better people.

In the first degree, one of the working tools we're given is the common gavel. It is used to trim the excess from our lives. It really is one of the hardest things in our lives: recognizing the stuff that is keeping us from doing the important stuff.

Taking Facebook quizzes instead of turning off the lights and getting to bed early enough for eight hours' sleep before your alarm goes off; binge-watching "Modern Family" instead of opening that biography you've been saying would inspire you to greatness; shopping for shoes on Zappos instead of launching that new business you've been talking about — these are the excesses we face every day, the things that keep us from reaching our potential.

Not to say that those things are bad, nor that sometimes they're a welcome diversion. Sometimes you need to zone out in front of the TV, and sometimes you wear a hole in the sole of your sneakers. Sometimes Facebook is the best way to be in touch with friends and family.

I've been starting to use my gavel more and more. I'm saying no to projects that aren't either fulfilling or worthwhile from a financial standpoint. I'm making progress on some projects that have been on my plate for a long time. I'm making sure I connect with people it's important I stay connected to. I'm writing more.

I feel good. I'm sure there's more I could do, but baby steps are so much better than no steps. Or giant leaps that don't stick.

Bonus: The Masonic Roundtable discusses balance.

First half marathon diary, Week 15

No video this week. We'll get back to them next week, though!

Happy Monday, friends!

Great week. Now that I've acknowledged my 5-6 miles problem, I made some mental preparations to deal with it. And then I changed my route for my 10-miler at the end of the week and it went really well. I don't know when the last time I ran a sub-9-minute mile, but my recovery run was much faster than normal.

My schedule changes the next few weeks to accommodate work and the holidays, but I'm going to aim to keep a rest day before my long run. It means I lose a rest day this week but gain one back in two weeks.

Links

Me on Runkeeper
More running diary
Rock 'n' Roll Savannah
Training schedule

Stats

Miles logged last week: 28.55
Time logged last week: 5:27:16
Weeks until race: 8
Weight: 156

This post is brought to you by Shroom Tech Sport, my pre-workout of choice. No caffeine, no shakes, no weird warm feeling coming over you. Just some extra drive to get you through.

Sweaty Josh picture of the week

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