Autopilot. I guess that’s where I’ve been?

No real need to report specifics on the last three years since you were there too, I assume. If not, congratulations? Since this blog was a general report on inactivity two years prior to the world pretty much shutting down, I’ll spare you the recap. Suffice to say, not much happened except my ass was parked in front of a computer and not out doing any of the things I initially started this blog to report on. There were attempts, but only in the way that one might try learning how to make bread. At first it seems sorta easy, but then afterwards you realize that your skills are a long way off and all that time and work ahead of you is maybe better focused on something a little less mentally taxing.

It’s definitely a road not taken situation though. In your head, you know that the time and work you put into all those things you know you should be doing for your physical and mental health is worth it in the end and you should take that road, but you rewrite the damn poem and your ass gets flat while wishing the time away thinking about how good freshly baked bread tastes.

To make light of it sounds like acceptance of the situation and a reluctance to change but I suppose that facing the flat-assed demons for what they are could be a step to starting. I honestly can’t remember, it’s been more than a few years since I’ve been faced with a “use it or lose it” decision staring me down but I guess it’s familiar; however, cozying up to the familiar is what got me here in the first place. On a positive note, I have rekindled a love of playing guitar and kept up with that on a regular basis. I always found it a really peaceful thing but mostly used it as a stress-reliever and let my actual skill progression plateau so that I’m more of a noodler just walking aimlessly through scales, yet another thing where I let the comfort factor supplant the hard work factor. Dammit, I’m old and things are hard.

Everything now is “twenty years ago, this happened” and well, twenty years ago, there was a lot less going on in my life and damn if it ain’t hard to find the time without keeping those new priorities ahead of it all. So, the basic approach either needs to be adjusted or the idea of comfort does. Either way, a plan to turn “get up off the couch,” into “just do it,” and then ultimately “do epic shit,” can begin.

What’s New?

A large span of internet silence from someone with an online presence, even a minimal one, can generally mean they’re busy with life … I guess? Not the case here. Sure, work is busier than it’s been in awhile but that’s no excuse to stop thinking, at least it shouldn’t be. And how many times does someone take a break from posting only to come back and post about not posting before it becomes annoying? Probably about this many times.

This blog is meant to be about how I workout or train for something and that hasn’t happened in awhile either meaning I’m reporting on the nothing I’m doing with myself.


I am feeling restless and a bit anxious so that usually means I need to change something since I’m comfortable. I like comfortable, it’s easy and it feels good. On the other hand, I’m physically uncomfortable since I’m not training for anything or working out in pretty much any way. I’ve traded one nicely earned soreness for a shameful one. No real reason for it, which is also very boring. What I’m trying to get to is that life has been fairly boring and yet again here I am not doing anything about it. It’s kinda good cause sometimes boring means things are ok.

This summer has had it’s ups and downs with a couple family members health but nothing serious, just annoying. I’m actually posting this from day surgery at the nearby hospital cause my wife is in for a procedure to help out with something that flared up. Again, nothing serious but it’s really obvious that getting old sucks lately.

What I have learned in my time off is that working out improves my mood and I sleep better. I’m not by any means plagued with sleep issues but I do notice that quality of sleep is better with regular exercise. Duh. Also, digestive issues are much less. Again, duh. I’ve discovered that a small bit of experimentation with CBD oil to manage IBS has actually worked, or really seems to have helped. I threw everything at it too, all the trigger foods and symptoms seem much less. Not like while constantly working out but enough that I’m still using it. Maybe a little less stressed too because of it? Not sure … maybe.

My youngest broke his collarbone at the beginning of the summer and I thought it was going to be a big issue but he was really bounced back super quick. It was more of an issue to keep him sitting still than pain management or any kind of discomfort. We’re past the six week mark at this point so everything should be okey doke. I broke mine twice as a child but can’t remember too much about the healing process.

I’ve gotten out on my bike a bit, which has been super nice. Especially since I’ve got really nice paths nearby and it’s easier to go farther without feeling like I’m going to die (read: I’ve gotten chubby).

Blah, blah, blah, less talk, more work. Cheers!

So here we are

Funny how a blog about self-improvement can go on without an update for close to a year and when he finally makes it back to post an update, there’s nothing new. I pretty much took the whole damn year off from running but have still been going to CrossFit regularly. I’ve noticed a difference in my body composition and have yet to come to terms with how things have changed. It’s mostly got me motivated to start running again … right when the crappy weather starts rolling in. Duh. My eating habits have gone in the dumper too, so it’s safe to say I need to get my shit together.

Last winter I almost refused to set foot outside if the weather was less than 30 degrees. Should be different this year cause what we’ve had so far has felt really nice. If I can keep my wife from stealing all my cold weather running clothes it shouldn’t be too hard to get out. I’ve got a 5k trail race (my first legit trail race) coming up in about six weeks that I’m looking forward to. Should be messy and fun.

Can I do better?

I’ve been asking myself this question A LOT lately. And yeah, I can do better, at pretty much everything. I’m not necessarily picking on myself for anything in particular but as I assess the things in my life that matter: my family, my health, my career … I’m positive that consistently trying to improve should be my ultimate goal. Not just for myself but for the betterment of those that matter most. Because everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.

It’s hard to believe that one of the most ridiculed figures would be responsible for one of the most poignant quotes but there it is. I would very much like to believe I’ll be able to protect my family from the nasty things in the universe but that’s not only unrealistic, it’s irresponsible and they deserve better.

This post could easily evolve into a list of famous quotes, each with their own inspirational value, but that’d be too much salt in the sauce. I’m not great at picking one thing and focusing on it, making a plan and executing it to the end but when I do, things come out better than if I just rely on some sort of inspirational soup from day to day.

I can do better and will. Just one thing at a time. Until I get punched in the face.

Book – The Cool Impossible

I started reading The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton a few days ago, launching into it after finishing Born to Run. It has become quickly evident that my shortcomings are due to the fact that I’m totally out of balance and don’t train with any kind of purpose. I’m only two chapters in and the part about being unbalanced and what it will do to your body and the pain you will experience is like a training log. Ugh.

Gonna read the rest of the book and try not to cry about how I’ve wasted this much time training without purpose.

Eating clean – A two day experiment

As I get older, I’m starting to notice how my body isn’t taking to certain foods the way it used to. Dairy and fried foods are the main culprits I’ve come to realize definitely don’t sit well but sugar rich foods, especially cheap baked goods, are likely to be added to a “why bother” list of things I won’t eat.

Yesterday, I ate how I usually eat when I plan out my meals. I had oatmeal with chia seeds and a banana for breakfast, chicken breast with roasted vegetables and a salad with beets and zucchini for lunch and turkey tacos for dinner. Result: felt great!

Today, I had McDonald’s for breakfast and lunch, a donut around 10:00am and a monster energy drink after lunch that I bought at a gas station where I filled up. I haven’t had dinner yet but pretty much no matter what I eat, it will be a better choice than everything else. Result: feel crappy, falling asleep at 3:00pm.

I need no further evidence that my diet needs improvement and that my body is definitely responding to what I eat as I get older. I’m not even enjoying eating poorly so it’s obviously time to address the issue.

Running buddy

There’s a small park close to my house that is relatively wooded and has a decent size (for suburban Chicago) lake in the middle. It has a decent amount of wildlife, which is more prominent in the summer, but there’s a year-round resident who camps out in the middle of a marsh I came across twice this weekend. A reasonably large, very fluffy, very cute coyote.

On Saturday I saw him when first going out in an area close to where he’s believed to live and I decided to give chase as he was about 100 meters ahead of me, heading away from me. It was a bit of fun to see how he’d react and all I got was a fair amount of humiliation for my efforts as there’s no way in hell I’d ever be able to keep up with him.

Sunday, it was a different story. I was on my way back and spotted him again, over by the lake just ahead of me crossing the path. After crossing, I stopped and waved at him since he’d stopped and was looking over at me and was rewarded with a playful bow and a little bit of a wiggle. I won’t read into it too much like I had some kind of Disney princess experience but it was at least a fun way to end a run. I kept a look out for something he might have been eating and maybe I interrupted his mealtime but couldn’t see anything. Either way, I’ll be keeping a lookout for him on upcoming runs. And maybe keep a few biscuits at the ready in case I get another friendly curtsy.

Getting closer!

I’m about five weeks out from Grandma’s and training is going well, despite really not committing to any kind of schedule through winter. My longest run so far has been twelve miles and I’m mixing some shorter runs in during the week and haven’t felt anything that seems like I might run into trouble like with Chicago in 2015. Continue reading “Getting closer!”

Renaissance Periodization

Since I apparently have diet tourette’s, I’m gonna just put this out there: I’m starting RP (probably next week). A bunch of people at my box have had great success with it and it comes with a template that tells you what to buy and when to eat, based on the time of day you workout or what do eat on rest days. I’m doing the basic cut template and a lot of what’s involved I’m doing already on the weekends with meal prep anyway so I’m hoping this will all so fairly smooth. Continue reading “Renaissance Periodization”