My pre-run checklist

Before I go on long-runs, I mentally go through a quick checklist to make sure I don’t forget anything.  It’s the difference between having an enjoyable long run or an torturous one.

Now let’s see….

Barefoot me

  • Wearing sunscreen so I don’t catch on fire? Check.
  • Wearing bug spray? Check.
  • Vaseline strategically applied to prevent chafing?         Sorry, TMI…     anyway, check.
  • Got my keys? Check.
  • Phone? Check.
  • Sunglasses? Check.
  • Brimmed hat so I don’t look like a walking stop light by the end of the run? Check.

Is there anything else I need to go on a proper long run?






Same and Different

There is an infinite number of similarities AND an infinite number of differences between any two humans, no matter who they are.  It just depends on what you choose to focus on.

When we like someone, we tend to find the similarities, and when we dislike someone, we focus on the differences, but both similarities and differences are there for us to choose from.  Noticing the differences can be fascinating, but generally speaking, the world is made much better when we choose to find the similarities first.


My Best Blogging Practices

My thoughts on the matter are a direct result of the thought-provoking blog from Eric at MakeItUltra.  In it, he shares some of the rules he’s set up to maintain a healthy balance between blogging and the rest of his life.

I was interested to read his personal blogging rules, and even more interested to realize the difference in how he approached the question from what I would have, though I would see myself adopting any of his guidelines.  This gives me great satisfaction; it reminds us that we can get insights from others but ultimately we all walk in our own unique way.  My own list, like his, lays forth the path in which I choose to travel as bloggers.

1. Consistency is king.  It’s more effective to have the deliberate pace of the tortoise than to have the hare’s feckless dashes to nowhere.

2. Produce.  Write a lot.  Writing, like any creation, multiplies exponentially as it becomes more prolific.  Writing down as much as possible is just like sowing a lot of seeds in a garden.  The more I write, the more I till my mind and plant ideas.  I don’t know which will grow, but I know the more I plant, the better the harvest.

3. Nurture your community, both in and outside of the blogosphere.  First, there are thousands of other bloggers out there.  A vast number of them are more experienced than you or I, but there’s plenty of room for everyone to be respected and prosperous in their own communities if they have an honest work ethic and compassion for others.

Second, isn’t that the fundamental reason we blog?  To connect with others, swap ideas, share what you’ve spent so much of your life learning?  So I can’t just post something once a week, pretend I’m the J.D. Salinger of blogging and never talk to anyone.  Well, I could, but why would anyone engage with me if I don’t engage with them?  I guess the Golden Rule is the only rule I’d apply here.  Do unto others as you would want  them to do unto you, or put another way, I’ll get only as much engagement from others that they’ll will have first received from me.

What personal guidelines do you use when it comes to your blogging?  What paths do you take to keep on track?  I’d be much honored to hear some of your own ideas in the comments, or point me to your own blog post.


What is God?

Love is God. Anything that leads you towards God (Love) is good. Anything that leads you away from Love (God) is bad. It does not matter to me what religion you ascribe to, or even if you are a passionately committed atheist. If you Love the humanity strangers, as if you loved the humanity of your own brother or sister, then you are on my side. You make the universe a better place. Anything that is actively done for the sake of Love makes you feel good. It makes you feel empowered in the best ways. It leaves the universe in a better place than you found it. Anyone who uses Love as a shallow excuse to perpetrate some evil on the world is committing the worst wrong of all.

The Cold Shower Mindset

Most of my showers are freezing, and not because I don’t pay my bills.

Apparently there are numerous health benefits of taking cold baths or showers.  Chris Gayomoli has an informative and entertaining blog detailing these benefits.  I’ll leave it to him to explain how it seems to cold water immersion redirects blood flow inward to deep blood vessels, improving blood flow back to the heart, which seems to help your system flush out the waste products and restore nutrients to the blood stream, thus reducing inflammation.  Well, that was about the gist of it, but check out his blog anyway; it’s a good read.

I don’t take cold showers for the potential health benefits, however.  I don’t even take them to help me wake up, or to help me cool off after a run, though it’s good for both of those things.  I do it because of the “cold shower mindset”.

The cold shower mindset is a take-control, GITFD attitude towards life.  It strengthens an ability to let go of little things that you thing you need but don’t, like warm showers.  This “cold shower” mindset is really about tackling something uncomfortable, accepting it, and then turning it into something refreshing and invigorating.

Here are the DOs and DON’Ts of taking a cold shower using this mindset.  I’m not a doctor, and pretending that I am one may be hazardous to your health, so… if you have a heart condition, make sure to ask your REAL doctor before taking really cold showers.

Don’t turn on the cold water and then stand outside the shower for several minutes while you “psych yourself up”.  At best you’ll just waste water and time, and at worst you’ll psych yourself into saying bold things like “oooh, maybe it could just be a teensy bit warmer….. and maybe even a smidge bit more….” and so on until you compromise yourself into an unsatisfying, slightly less warm shower.

DO turn the cold water on and climb in within three seconds.   Anything longer and you’re letting your mind talk you out of it.  Personally, I turn on the cold water, and say to myself “And, in you GO” and step into shower on the word “go”.  You may come up with your own command; you’ll probably need to.

Don’t spend your time cursing how cold it is once you’re in the shower.  Of course it’s cold! That’s the point.  Allow yourself to acknowledge and experience the temperature, but don’t make a judgment about it as if it’s good or bad.  You won’t adapt to the water by hiding in the corner, arms wrapped around you, wondering why you ever listened to people like me.  Instead, immerse yourself completely.  Whatever areas you really don’t want to expose to cold water, wash those areas first.

After about two minutes or so, your body should feel fairly comfortable in the cold shower.  When you towel off, it is unbelievably refreshing, not just to to the body but also to the spirit- almost like a daily baptism.

Again, I’m not concerned about the various health benefits of cold showers.  To me, they’re a seed to cultivate acceptance, simplicity, and self-reliance in my life.  Try it for yourself, and see how you feel.  You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.