Some Inspiration

I had an uncle who owned a motorcycle shop when I was young. The shop was a wonderland of parts and tools and the smell of exhaust. But the thing I remember most was my uncle’s hands. They were rough and no matter how “fancy” the occasion, he could scrub all the stains from the cracks and callouses. I admired him and I wanted to grow up to have hands like his.

That was almost 40 years ago now. For the last 18 of those years I have worked a job where I come home smelling of two-stroke exhaust, campfire, sweat. My hands are rough and scarred.

I may not have the skills my uncle had nor do I own my own shop but I can tear down a chainsaw or re-wire a pump and I like to think that, if he could see them, he’d admire these hands.

The {reading list} project

About 15 months ago while on a work assignment I picked up Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why”. I had watched Mr. Sinek’s TED talk and referenced him during our annual refresher training. At the time I remember being quite in love with my job and having a fierce ambition to succeed as a leader, so I finished “Start with Why” and began a deep dive into other leadership texts. That led me to an introspective phase where I dove deep into who I am and why I am the way I am. So…personal development books took over.

Over the course of winter 2017-18 I fell (definitely) OUT of love with my job. Introspection led to near-misanthropy and the amount of time I spent reading diminished. That unhappy phase lasted until June 2018 and ended with a spiritual haymaker.

I was reinvigorated, not with my job and being a leader but just simply finding joy and fun in life (kinda why I started this blog in the first place, to keep me motivated to do the things I find fun and stir my soul rather than punch a clock and go comatose as soon as the kids go to bed). I started practicing speed reading a la Tim Ferriss’ method and I am curating a reading list that spans as many topics as I can discover.

Here is a shot of what I have read in the past 15 months:

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Some of these titles are absolutely outstanding. Some I was not ready for, others I couldn’t comprehend (“A Brief History of Time” or “How Proust Can Change Your Life” to name two). I like looking back on them all and remembering where I was geographically (I travel a lot for work) and mentally/emotionally. Sadly, I had to pull them all out of their boxes in the garage to take the photo but holding them all again and reminiscing, I think I’m going to find a place for my beloved library to live in our new house.

Anyway, if you happen upon this blog read this far and would like to banter about any of the titles I WOULD LOVE THAT!

The {catch up on the Rich Roll Podcast} project

I started listening to the Rich Roll Podcast (RRP) in the spring of 2014. I had a plan to make 2014 “The Year of the Ultra”. I stumbled onto the RRP by way of Rich’s book “Finding Ultra” by way of Scott Jurek’s book “Eat and Run” that I read as I transitioned to a plant-based diet. I listened diligently to the RRP through the summer and as my mileage increased and I found myself out on-trail for hours, I decided to go back the beginning and listen to every episode. Thankfully (and to my dismay), Rich is a prolific creator. It has taken me nearly 4 years of long runs, road trips, and shop days at work to catch up to the present.

Today I listened to the most current episode (edit: as I write this, Rich has already published a new episode) of the RRP featuring Josh Lajaunie and I started to reminisce on how thankful I am for Rich and the effect the RRP has had on my life: training, diet, family relationships, activism. While I doubt he’ll drop in to read this, for what it’s worth, thank you Rich!

The {start a blog} Project

There are several ways I have thought to introduce this blog and myself and I haven’t settled on any one in particular, prepare for rambling and run-on sentences.

I am a husband and father of two beautiful little humans. My job forces me into a tightly confined mental space for approximately 6 months a year and, consequently, during my “off-season” my brain roams far and wide through topics of discovery. I find a multitude of subjects that tickle my fancy every fall. Some I’ve stayed with over the years (running, cooking, fitness, reading) others have passed by, either victim of a lack of skills to comprehend them (Raspberry Pi and learning to code) or the necessary time to develop the skills was more than my schedule could bear.

I started this blog because I have so many ideas of “things I want to do/make/learn”. It’s my way to keep me motivated to follow through and I way for me to document the challenges and successes.

I make zero claims to being an expert and I guarantee you that, as is my way, I will often find the hardest way to do something and then fiercely continue along that path until I have my own personal “Eureka!” moment (I don’t like asking for help much but I’m the first to admit when I don’t know something).

I hope you visit often and find something meaningful, or humorous, or maybe even inspiring.