LGN 87: Hiatus Pt. 2

2014. Cor blimey. I don’t have resolutions. Some years I like to make a theme for the year. Maybe writing this post will help me figure out what that is.

I have 502 friends.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Obviously, I have an extravagantly rich social life that makes your life a desert wasteland gulag in comparison. Hot and cold running women. Non-stop fitness and fun, which explains the cut physique with sculpted six-pack abs. I’m constantly doing interesting things with beautiful people.

And how’s your social media personal branding going?

This one is tricky. On one hand, Facebook facilitates communication and social activities, which I sorely need to be proactive about, and it does keep me in contact with friends, family and communities that are important to me.

Basically, Facebook is a life support system for your dying relationships. It’s the hospice for your social life. Your friendships may not be on the active roster but they can still faintly fog up a mirror and make a medical device go ping every now and then.

Is there a heartbeat? Okay, good. That’s a relief. For a second there I thought I was going to have to feed and water it, too.

Haha. Was that cynical?

On the other hand, I definitely see the appeal of either quitting, taking a sabbatical, or just not being on there. I deleted the app from my iPhone for a while. I stopped posting a lot of photographs and such.

Sometimes you just have to step back ask yourself why. Question what you’re accomplishing with a certain set of behaviors.

The signal to noise ratio is pretty low online. I don’t want to get lost in or distracted by the noise. More importantly, I don’t want to be part of the noise.

And we all know those social media byproducts. The aftertaste of resentment that you’re not as cool or successful as some people. Seeing how awesome their lives seem. Friends, travel, adoration. Seeing people lose weight, for example, when it seems impossible for you. Or maybe the person(s) you want to be with/around whose social trajectory blasts by far overhead. The people who are never not in a relationship. The engagements, the weddings, the kids. The people you want to talk to, hang out with, or learn more about but will never get past post-Liking.

That’s a lot to navigate. I mean, think of how much energy goes into it. Think about the number of times you go on Facebook or how much time you spend per day — no judgment — and then think about all the posts you see and the emotional rollercoaster ride. This thing is mildly amusing, this other thing was hilarious, oh that makes me so mad, that vacation looked fun, good that law passed, I’m outraged, those bastards are trampling on our rights, I should have gone to that thing, whoa sexy, that guy on TV is so racist/homophobic/ignorant, they didn’t invite me, what an inspiring presentation, I’m outraged again, make me wanna holler the way they do my life, ooooo kittens!

All day long. It could easily be confused with experiencing things. It’s not, though.

But still, there’s that online community thing. The meetup.com groups are excellent. Facebook groups are handy.

For example, you know how every now and then I’ll post on my wall and to the UA group inviting people to join me on a movie, hike, bike ride, kayak tour, or mountain bike ride?

Usually not many people respond, if anyone, but I don’t think anyone has ever jumped on board who wasn’t a UA member.

I am in no way calling people out. I’m not chastising. That’s not my point. You’ve got stuff to do. Live yo’ life. Live it!

Statistically

Of my 502 FB friends at least a hundred aren’t in this region or this country, dozens more are around Baltimore which isn’t that convenient to VA, a few dozen more I don’t know personally. So let’s say that there are a hundred and fifty people locally that I have physically met and interacted with. Many of them I haven’t seen in years. Many of them have families and kids to take care of. Many are busy with their own various, focused activities and hobbies. Many of them aren’t outdoorsy, which is where I like to have fun.

That leaves a handful of people who are willing and able, schedule permitting. All of those people are from UA. So far, anyway. (I’m talking about the “who wants to go on a ____” invites, specifically.)

All of that to say — and here’s my point —  it’s important to be part of a community of people who share your interests. Social media facilitates the community.

I intend to diversify. Maybe grow my community a little.

(I should add that “diffusion of responsibility” plays a part as well. There is a big difference between asking someone if they want to go for a walk and asking a very large crowd if anyone wants to go for a walk. Ask any musician or performer who tries to drum up an audience for their shows.)

NOW IT’S PERSONALS

One quick thought about this. I get a fair amount of views and interest on online personals ads when I don’t include any info about my personality or include any pictures.

I’m not sure what to do with that information.

FITNESS GOALS

I’ve got a lot of work to do, physically. The Old Rag Night Hike revealed some persistent Achilles’ heels, at least under certain conditions: 4 AM, freezing temperatures, aggressive hiking pace (for me) = very repeatable outcome. Not optimal conditions. Fun, but not optimal conditions. Debbie was awesome. She was up front keeping up with the speed demons.

Next time I need a more relaxed pace and some time to take photographs. Maybe set up a time-lapse of certain parts of the scramble and the sunrise.

I need to do something to fix my lower legs. They’re the consistently weak link in my drive train. Running? Running stairs or hills?

  • Short Term
    • ?
  • Medium Term
    • Oh, the 1,000 lb. challenge is a mid-term goal: bench, dead lift, squat. I was at 885 back in … May?
  • Long Term
    • Look good naked. If somebody invents a pill I’m takin’ it. I’ll still train, of course, but….

It’s always a good idea to have something to train for. Nothing on the horizon that interests me, though.

More hikes, more bikes, more stuff. More fun.

PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s time to get down to bidness. Or bizness. Time to have some fun getting ideas and concepts out of my head. The last bit of my portable studio will get here in a few days, I know some studio space rentals, I’ve got the kit, the ideas. Now all I need is collaborators.

Here’s the most far out idea I’ve had. Well … do you think it’s possible to do a kettlebell and weightlifting photoshoot underwater without someone getting seriously injured or the photographer ending up in a coma? Hm. Okay, I’ll put that one on the back burner until I have substantial photographer insurance.

That’s just one of many, though. It’s time to get artistic and go about executing on a vision.

Music falls under the same category. Maybe it’s time to stop fighting the call to play out. I said “maybe”, Chris. At the very least I can get with a duo or trio jam. Find a singer for some duo work.

It could happen.

2014

So many possibilities. So much to do, so little time.

During the winter holiday break, I vowed that I wouldn’t waste my days. I wouldn’t sit around trying to figure out what to do or lamenting boredom and isolation. I succeeded for a while. Monday and Tuesday I was a waste of skin and oxygen — I hate it when I waste vacation days — but it was a good run.

Seeking out fun and inspiring things to do — seems like being less idle would be a side effect of that.

Not a selfish kind of fun either. Not some YOLO bullcrap. Not a “I can’t remember what happened last night” fun.

More of a “come with me” kind of fun. I’ve been out solo exploring and scouting all over the area in the DC Baltimore NoVA metro area and the Bay Area in CA for decades. 2014 is like…

Come with me. Let me show you what I found.

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