LGN 86: Hiatus Pt. 1

Inside: Kind of long;Winter’s maw; Quelling rumors about something I allegedly said; Reflecting on 2013


Allegedly, I once referred to people who do Mental Toughness class as…

…a bunch of assholes. I don’t know how these kinds of ugly rumors get started.

I want to get out in front of this one and set the record straight. Here’s the truth and the actual quote. What I said was:

“… they’re a bunch of assholes.”

And I was referring to Mental Toughness class participants.

I hope that sets the record straight.

There is some context to that statement. It was a thought I had in response to something motivational Justin said during the midst of a rough finisher. I think it was around the time he was preparing me for Tough Mudder. When was that? May of 2012?

I wrote about that inner dialog in a blog. I didn’t really mean it, though. I was just finisher-angry. You’ve always been cool with me and an inspiration even though I actively avoided that class for nearly three years.

Seriously, though. Bunch of masochistic fitness freakazoids.

I would like to head off the inevitable accusations that I referred to people who do Mental Toughness as “masochistic fitness freakazoids”. (Come on and wind me up.) These accusations are baseless and I’m confident that when the truth emerges I will be vindicated. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those with the fortitude to take on intense physical activity as a physical and mental challenge to ultimately make themselves faster, stronger, and more fit.

To those who were offended by my alleged statement I apologize. I’m sure you can work off any frustrations I may have caused with my careless choice of words with recreational burpees or Tabata intervals.

I’ll be stepping down from my post as of December 23rd to spend more time with my family.

Haha. I kid. (I am doing everything I can right now to not wrap Christmas presents even though most of them are gift cards.)


2013 is winding down. Transitioning to a new year is always a reflective and thoughtful time. In a way it’s completely arbitrary. A date on a calendar. A few weeks after Winter solstice, though. Maybe that makes it meaningful. It marks the upswing. Lengthening days. In olden days Winter meant something to much of the world, whether it was monsoon season or bitter cold.

Winter was life and death. Winter was no joke. One bad crop, one absent herd of caribou and you, your whole family and village died of starvation. Or you’d be on the verge of starvation when the seasonal Spring marauding hordes and empires swept over the land. Winter-centric illnesses. Bad news.

So the idea of the sun returning instead of leaving is comforting. Heliocentric hope when you need it most.

Hey, that was almost Huffian.

Hm. Maybe this should be part one. Need to add that to the title.


So all of you fit people. All of you who train a lot or do competitive sports. Are you pretty much sore all of the time? You must be. Do you take any kind of anti-inflammatory OTCs?

I’m sore as hell right now. Crazy sore.

There’s a game I like to play. I call it “Why the heck is my ____ so sore?”.

Why is my butt so sore and why is my right glute much more sore than my left? Oh, all of those lunges and sled pushes. Not sure about the asymmetry, though. Glutes definitely feel more muscular (ask me how I know).

What’s going on with my shoulders? A few hundred yards of bear crawls will do that, I guess. Oh, and the barbell. 135 lbs. across your shoulders for an extended period of time. Mystery solved.

But my lats? I have no idea. Is that from the bear crawls? Maybe the piggy back. Holding part of the weight of someone’s legs for an extended period of time maybe. I really don’t know.

I’m just going to assume that if I’m this sore it means that my strength and endurance points are in the process of increasing exponentially. I think that’s the way it works.

I don’t see my legs often but my arms look different from my point of view. I hope my legs aren’t getting bigger. I already have enough trouble finding pants and skivvies.


The gym is closed until Jan 2nd. That is good in many ways and for many people.

Truthfully, I have no idea what to do with myself. None. Three to five times a week I had training and classes to look forward to. Even when I wasn’t looking forward to getting a thorough ass kicking I knew I would feel better — by some definition — by the end. More … up. Even if I didn’t get the exercise rush I still knew I had accomplished something and invested one more good hour into my fitness-longevity account. (Interest rates may vary.)

Even the peri-social aspect. The hello-how-are-you-fine-and-you-good-workout-sweat-you-like-sleep-and-food-me-too-okay-goodbye. It’s a lone palm tree in the desert, if that makes sense.

That’s also kind of the my problem, though.

I occasionally do other things. The yoga class I was taking was canceled. Not a popular time slot. When it’s warmer and there are more hours of daylight there are also a lot of good meetup.com groups and activities.

I hate bars. Drinking culture kind of repulses me, if I can be honest. Also, I am not wired to relax in crowded places. It doesn’t mean that I can’t or won’t have fun but … yeh. I end up riding a very efficient cortisol and adrenaline blend. I turn into a sentinel. That’s just how it goes. Can’t sleep for hours afterwards because of the buzz.

Therefore, I try to meet people through similar interests, hobbies, recreational classes and activities.

It’s harder than it sounds but even with big social FAIL the activities themselves are still rewarding.


This well-deserved and sensible gym hiatus has revealed the weakness of my social strategy.

If you are like me then you tend to trundle along through what has become sub-optimal circumstance and then one day — eff it I’m dropping a change bomb. Then you do something rash.

For example, quit a job before you find a new one. It’s exhilarating for about a week, by the way, and then the stress ball starts to grow (right around bill time). Such freedom, though.

Or you start something new with conviction. Change your look, your wardrobe, quit smoking, join a gym, jump into online dating with both feet, book a last minute trip, go some place new, move to a new city/state/country, etc. Major lifehack, in other words.

Reformat the drive of whatever aspect of your life needs attention. Sometimes that means getting rid of some good to clean out all the not-great. Sometimes it means starting over and rebuilding.

Carry on or start afresh? Something’s gotta give.

This is one of those change bomb moments. This aspect isn’t working? BOOM. New stuff. New places, new faces.

But reactionary isn’t the best thing. Besides, wherever you go there you are. I’ve moved a bunch of times, started new things, pulled up roots, and I end up dealing with the same stuff. Y’all know.

Diversifying is probably the better way to go here.


This is part one. Lot of reflectin’. Maybe part two will be about projections. Or psychologically projecting.

What happened in 2013?


My photography has taken off as a semi-professional hobby. My skills, equipment, and experience have grown by leaps and bounds. I’ve got a lot of ideas and concepts. All I need is willing collaborators.

If you want to hire me for a photoshoot my prices will be increasing in 2014 but UA members get the rookie rate in perpetuity. You made this possible.

I also want to put it out there that you can commission me to do custom shoots. Is there something you want a photo of — a building, a place? Do you want a pro photo of yourself for online profiles — Facebook, LinkedIn, online dating? Do you want a photo of something you love to do? Photo graphics and textures for a website? Talk to me.


Loved ones — family and friends — were lost. My family is dealing with serious and in some cases life threatening illnesses. Dark times for some bright spirits.

On the other hand, the nephews are growing so fast. They’re great people going through the milestones of youth. I need to put effort into being there for them more even if it’s electronically.


Oil pastels are my new thang. More convenient than painting and with a lot of potential. It may not happen often enough for my tastes, but it’ll be part of my whatever-thing when I combine the photography, music, art, writing into a big ol’ One Project to Rule Them All.

It’s good to know that I’ve still got it. It’s rusty. But I still have it.


Sad trombone wah waaaaah. <– That’s about all I’ve done musically this year.

The goal is to record a Winter song over the next few days. Or any song. Whatever comes out. A few friends are trying to bring me out of musical retirement again. Live performances in 2014? I’m intrigued. We’ll see.


I need to go to a doctor. Dentist. All that. It’s been a while.

Still doing it up at Underground Athlete. I’ve started taking classes, too. Kettlebells and Mental Toughness. I wish it weren’t true — I don’t like pain — but I feel different after a few weeks of doing classes in addition to semi-private training. Different = intensely sore.

I’m a little less reluctant each time. I think it may be addictive. Your body craves physical activity and even intense physical activity. I’m kind of itching to try something I haven’t done in a while to see how it feels, y’know.

I’d like to do some of the classes at Underground Athlete Sterling, too, but I already have a pretty full schedule.

I was going to back off for a few reasons but — why stop the one thing that’s working? As long as my body holds up, of course.

Yoga was back in the mix for a few months. That was needed. But it’s gone again. C’est la vie.

Personal Trainer Food has been good. I’m out, though. If they send me an offer to entice me to do it for another month I’ll bite. Otherwise….

Oh! Doing the classes with high intensity in every way for an entire hour makes me ravenously hungry. I’ve been eating more and not necessarily well as a result. I’ve got to find a way to deal with that. I’m not going to lean out via a Freddy’s Steakburgers addiction (darn you, Cristal).


[blows raspberry] <– The second musical output of the year!

This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Once in a life time. Water flowing over top. Same as it ever was.


Kayaking! Oh man that was great. I’m looking forward to warmer months. I don’t know why I’m so into it. I just am. I really should be taking swimming lessons. Seriously.

I didn’t do much mountain biking but I have a goal of being able to keep up with Debbie’s crew. I must redeem myself.

Oh wait. That’s not accurate. I rode with some UA friends. That was friggin’ awesome. Made a friend and got some quality time. That was a highlight of the year. And I did some Gears and Beer Meetup MTBing at Difficult Run. Those were great.

Was Tough Mudder this year? It was. The one in Frederick. I’m retired.

Yeh. It’s been a pretty good year, all in all. I did a lot of things I didn’t expect to do. Stepped up to some challenges.


There are some FAILs, for sure. I don’t want to dwell on them other than to strategize how to turn them around.

The new apartment has been great. I never did have that apartment warming party, though. Or any guests other than family. Wait. Who’s been here? Dave and Dan. Two people in the past year passing through. Haven’t made much use of the cool amenities.

My friends are amazing people but I rarely see them. They’re scattered all over the place. My social circle isn’t a circle and gets smaller and smaller.

My hobbies come in phases. There’s nothing wrong with that, really, but when you neglect skills you lose your edge. Some tools should be kept sharp. I just tried to sight read classical arrangements of Christmas tunes. Woof. Used to be really good at that.

Getting strong is easy for me. Getting lean is not.

There is no spoon.

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