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A lot can change in a week. Your living space. Wardrobe. Daily routine. Sense of beauty. Sense of self. So this crazy fire happened that ruined a lot, but it preserved even more.
We do not need a ton to live on. You can still love people, eat nutritiously, move your body, work creatively, and challenge your intellect when you have no idea what is going to happen next.
Thankfulness opens the door to a lot.
(This photo is what a kind person rescued from my apartment after being told everything was gone. It was the best drywall covered surprise ever.)
They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in anything. Mechanics. Systems management. Baking bread. Whatever your work is, chances are you weren’t an immediate expert. Good maybe, but not expert. Kind of hopeful.
Was reading an article aimed at researchers in a rut called ‘The Valley of Shit’. You’ve either been there or are there. It’s a place where you want to give up, and for a fat minute (or week or month) you lose perspective with your work. If you have people in your life who tell you the truth, and you still find yourself with negating thoughts…
“You are probably not the right person to judge the value of your project or your competence right now.” -Dr. Inger Mewburn
Picture Jack Black as Mr. Schneebly telling you this. It will make you laugh. You will feel a little less serious. And then somehow you willingly return to what you started.
The point? Do not stop walking. Do not feel lonely. Do not expect yourself to be an expert at hour 4,548 when your wise mind knows it takes 10,000. And the good news is the valley ends.
In the meanwhile, enjoy H+H Down in the Valley and start your practice. It feels very right to do something that is ancient and good. This is you cultivating something out of nothing. This is your work.
Was reading an article on advice to young photographers. I have no idea what I’m doing with a camera, let’s be honest. But since photos, good or bad, always seem to give something to write about, I think photography and writing are pretty inseparable.
Wear good shoes.
Fall in love.
I like this idea very much. It frees you to walk anywhere, explore your limits. (After a little thought, these are decidedly my 3 most over-worn shoes.)
And what about love? It keeps you sensitive, aware, ready to interact and grab hold of the present. It makes us notice ourselves less and others more. It’s the center of our functional capacity…it’s easy to invest in what we love, right? It’s the why behind our actions.
I want to fall a little more in love with my neighborhood. And my work. My family. My community. And even when we think we repeatedly fail at it, love is at the very heart of us. It sometimes just requires a little walking.
“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it is not rude, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the the truth. It always trusts, always protects, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Cor 13
Was waiting for public transpo in the freezing rain. Lost my gloves. Then recognized an old friend. She is back after living in India on a mango farm. Somehow, we now work in the same building. She tells me stories full of community and beauty…and mangoes. We laugh a lot and feel much less cold. Not a bad end to the day.
So I’m finally home and soggy and need to get a little more done before bed, so I am making a hearty espresso chili: black beans, tomatoes, cup of strong coffee, chili powder, brown sugar, onion, water. Voila.
Not only is this plant-based combination high in iron, but its spicy-sweet flavor will keep your tummy satisfied with its substantial amount of fiber and protein.
Spoon the chili on top of steamed kale for extra vitamin K, which aids in the incorporation of calcium into your bones.
Simple. Sweet. Hearty. Healthy. This day has been a fortunate series of events. Learning to walk with the eyes a little more open, even when it’s dark and rainy. Never lose faith, life is full of surprises. And maybe even mango for dessert.
There are a few things to always be sure of. 1) The weather in Galway. 2) The deliciousness of sweet potatoes. 3) Things change.
If you read through enough old letters or scroll through your phone book, this feeling hits…the reality that the people you want to see every day aren’t always the ones you get to. And those who are your go-to dinner company after a bad day right now will probably one day be the ones you have to board a plane to see. It’s this unpredictable beautiful sphere of relationship.
So when I heard this song, I kind of wanted to lose the excuses, grab the neck of some Schalfly, and give a good cheers to friends and family who are not as close as circumstance would have it. So I did. (Don’t worry, it was a high quality coffee stout reserved for the event that I ever get published or if someone awesome dies.) I hope you make some time to do the same.
No matter who we are, we need connection, community. Which is a very beautiful thing. Until then, there are always car-trips. Plane-rides. Phone-calls. Infinite amounts of modern junk/kind of useful phone applications, and yes, even creepy Greyhounds to bring us a little closer to the people we love. But one day, I am very sure it will all be right.
Enjoy one of my favorites, The Head and the Heart. This is a soulful little tune. I especially love the ending.
Thankful to share a very enjoyable morning at Missouri Running Company in UCity this week. One of the goals of our program was to determine runners sweat loss as the temperatures drop now that we’ve officially hit December. Sure we sweat less than during St. Louis summers, but overlooking proper hydration during the winter months can make your run feel way harder than it ought.
After taking body composition pre- and post-workout, we found the average runner lost 1.5 pounds of water on a 40 degree F run. So how do we accurately replace it? For every pound of water lost, take in 2-3 cups of fluid. This speeds recovery and lubricates areas between your muscles, so the joints of your knees and vertebral column stay pliable and safe.
Cheers and MoRuns for all.
I used to have a yoga teacher named Ahna. She once told me that we hold our confidence in our arms.
For the most part, I agree with her. Just think about the movements our arms create.
Painting a wall. Pulling someone in close for a hug. Stirring a pot of risotto.
Picking up a child or a dog or whatever you find especially enjoyable.
Pulling yourself through the pool. Throwing a bike on top of your car.
All of these take confidence, some of them take strength, a few of them take both.
So I’m cleaning up the apartment mess of the weekend, and this song plays. And I love it. And I think about…arms.
And how the world is a better place when we’re humbly confident with them.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2
It’s fall, it’s fresh, it’s time for transition. About this point every year, I can just about feel time running from me. Sprinting, actually. This morning, I caught this photo…a whole field of ‘em.
I’ve never liked this flower until I saw them here. I’m learning there is a time for everything. Now is a time to plant, a time build, a time to search. And I’m learning to not hold onto it too tightly, which usually makes things ugly. Flowers included.
So here’s my time:
1) Playing a small role counseling in this study to learn more about how the body controls blood sugar in response to food and exercise…diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases, so bam, we better know it’s inner workings well.
2) Starting my year long marriage to hearts, lungs, and the Institutional Review Board. And lots of VO2 max testing. The purpose is to test the relationship between the amount of acid in the diet and the ability of the body to maximally exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide during exercise. Then I’ll write about it, I think. And call it a thesis.
3) Enjoying A.M. hours with GMATT so in a few months I can fully soak in the morning here . As of now, Paula has volunteered to fill the role of roommate and wine sampler. Cheers!
4) Developing my teaching philosophy. So far it goes like this: teach what you don’t know. I think it’s the most sure-fire way to really learn something… because you’re actually paying attention.
5) And cooking to fuel this healthy wave of schtuff. Don’t judge that I was considering buying bulk quinoa…this will last you until at least December. Especially when you use it to make Maple Quinoa Cornbread. Yep, so good it gets a nickname: MQC.
However you name it, it’s one of my favorite fall foods. Hello, it’s chili season, and what’s chili without cornbread? It’s excellent with coffee, too. Packed with protein, calcium, and fiber, quinoa can help fuel your long days while meeting key nutrient needs. I like to use a cake pan, but slice it however you’d like.
Plus, I’m pumped to turn the oven on and not feel like I’ve simulated the Amazon in my little kitchen.
It’s a time for open doors. Mmmm, Fall.
Most everything involves risk these days. Thankfully, we can pick and choose most of the ones we take. Some risks are blatant, others are a little more concealed, and all can pretty much be placed on a spectrum. I have become increasingly aware of something great today: although I’m more conservative than not, I rather like taking risks. People close to me might have figured this out long before I have. Replacing pastry flour with steel cut oats in baking? Low risk. High soluble fiber. Running nightly to the fountains of Grand Basin when you can’t sleep? Moderate risk. But the sound of water does the body good. Going for weeks without getting your heart rate up, bypassing your veggies, daily downing brews, burgers and ice cream? High risk. Although it does sound pretty darn enjoyable.
Okay…the last one I’ve never done for any extended amount of time, but the point I’m arriving at is this: inactivity, alcohol, and poor diet have recently been identified by the American Journal of Public Health as our top 3 risky health behaviors. You might be thinking “That’s obvious.” So why is it a real problem? “Risky” health behaviors have become so much of a norm that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to convince individuals of its life-threatening effects. Until time has done the talking.
Right now, I’m working with St. Louisans who are starting to see the effects of continued risky behaviors steamroll some of their youth, and they aren’t crazy about it. So they’ve enrolled in a research study to find out more about what’s happening. We help them get back on track and take lots of notes, which is fun. And they really start to turn around. Mentally, physically, emotionally, some major changes take place just by taking a risk to do something good, i.e. heart pumping exercise, eating well, and moderation.
So I’m learning from this group of people who are legitimately pursuing something hard: great things require much patience. And what we think is an outside job of effortful change is really an inside job of patient consistency. Sometimes time is the factor no one wants to face, but it will deliver something not just good, but excellent. Take a risk. Give change time, let it percolate. Anything less simply compromises quality. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
No machine, the human body included, can work at 100% efficiency. Thanks for this simple truth, kinesiology.
With athletes, we hear “Fuel the machine.” Eat regularly, don’t eat crap.
With workaholics, we hear “Work like a machine.” Keep motivated, don’t stop prematurely.
But when we look closer at a machine’s core, these phrases are not too relatable. Or praise-worthy.
Maybe it means that we are made to be much more like trees than like machines.