Archive | March, 2018

Wake-up Stories

23 Mar

Lately I’ve been searching for stories that move me. You know, like a judge on Star Search, looking for talent that inspires me. I’ve been roaming the Netflix, Amazon, cable television for stories that take me away or help me unwind at the end of the day. I’ve found a lot of good stories, definitely. But in this search I’ve also found inspiration in Podcasts.

It’s strange because when I was growing up I used to hate talk radio. I thought it was for older people. I thought why listen to people talk when I can hear music while I’m in the car. But I’ve found that I’m gravitating more to these podcasts than to what’s on the radio. I’m intrigued by people interviewing all kinds of artists and leaders in every field and the inspiration behind it all.

Now granted, there are some people and actors, who go out there and record ridiculous why-waste -your-time-listening-to-this-crap sessions and you have to sift through a massive amounts of crap to get to something good. But when you do it pays off.

It’s like getting exposed to all these autobiographies with insightful tidbits of wisdom for different parts of you life. And for some reason I find something I can takeaway from each session.

For the inspiration-you-can-do-it times I particularly enjoy Tim Ferriss, Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, Eric Thomas’s Secret to Success Podcast and Tony Robbins. They interview so many people from so many walks of life and I always feel better after listening to their session. I walk away feeling like something is possible as long as I keep working at it, whether it’s my professional life or just life itself. I had never heard of Debbie Millman before, and I probably would never, considering she was a graphic designer and I had no interest in that field. But what she had to say about life made me pause.

I’ve touched bases with spirituality by listening to stuff from The RobCast where some of my favorite guests have been Elizabeth Gilbert, Pete Rollins, and Mike Lewis the 112th Best Squash Player in the World. His interviews and stories help bring a lightness of being and grace into my existence. Something I always need to work on when dealing with difficult people.

The Moment with Brian Koppelman make me think about my future as a writer and I was actually introduced to Brian through Tim Ferriss’s podcasts. As a writer, I find it extremely beneficial to hear about everyone’s process and problems and how they were in such a horrible bad spot, but managed to turn it around emotionally and artistically. It’s something I find inspirational when I’m losing the umph, which I had been as of late.

These stories … all of them, help push something in me. Something that goes missing on random days. But something I can get back after I go running, or boxing, or biking … that feel-good feeling. I get an extra dose of that, a push of encouragement from these stories.

I feel like I can’t start my day with that spring in my step if I don’t hear my feel-good song and a podcast. These stories aren’t like the winding down of the day Netflix at night sessions. These are wake-me-up-in-the-morning-because-this-is-your-life stories. You got one shot. What are doing? Get on it! They’ve become part of my morning routine and have helped me see possibilities when I’ve been emotionally or professionally sidelined.

So it may not be the same as the talk radio I grew up with, or it might be. Maybe I just came around to realizing that songs are not the only way to jump start your morning. Stories. Podcasts. Talk radio … can make it happen too.

 

 

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The Next Time For Everything

17 Mar

What happens when you thought you gave it everything, but realized you had some left in the tank?

I don’t think this has happened to me in a race … like ever. I give it 100%. That’s a lesson I learned in sports, relationships, and life. No half measures, because then everything is off. And I thought that was embedded in my brain, my conscience.

I thought I had it.

I thought I was prepared … until it started raining.

 

 

 

 

The unexpected has always turned things upside down and tested whether I could adapt to the social conditions. And I’m not gonna lie … it sort of put a chink in my chain. For safety reasons, like creating an avalanche of cyclists tumbling onto the pavement and requiring ambulance transportation, I sided with caution. A slower pace so that I would not injure my already clumsy body.

However, I had reserved more in the tank than I really needed, and was unaware of how much until I crossed the finish line. I was all smiles and breathing normally. I wasn’t tired at all, but during the course of events I definitely felt the weight of my muscles and the rapid pace of my breath, especially during the swim. But once I crossed I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be, or as I’d seen other athletes become. I thought to myself, perhaps I was just really well-conditioned, but then I saw my time and realized I could’ve gone faster during the cycling portion. I mean with slick roads and rain, there’s still a safe way to go fast. Unfortunately I was unaware of it.

I was disappointed in that fact. But I was grateful and proud to have accomplished so much. I was happy that during the running portion I passed the elite-looking triathletes with their stretchy pants and six-pack abs. While they walked, I ran. I never walked, not even during the incline, and that’s something I took pride in, but for some reason the bike killed me.

Now granted, maybe I should have prepared a bit more, conditioned my quads for that cycling movement and prepared my butt muscles for the bike seat. But I should have stepped it up on race day, regardless of the rain.

Now normally finishing a sprint triathlon in a little over an hour and half seems pretty badass for me, but I couldn’t help be a little disappointed in my time. I didn’t think I was going slow, but then again I don’t remember hauling ass either.

A tough lesson for any athlete to learn. But I got it. Reminder … check! So for the next race I’ll be ready to end it like an Olympian.

I was still proud of my achievement, as were my kids, but I felt the pang in my stomach when it was over knowing full well that I had some juice left in the tank. It wasn’t a dump-gatorade-on-my-head worthy moment. But the universe was making sure I listened next time. And not just the “next time” of a race, but the next time I wake up in the morning and I say ‘I got this!”, the next time I write a story, the next time I’m in full fledged morning routine, the next time I’m a friend, the next time I’m in parenthood existence, the next time for everything.

So now I know … haul ass during the bike ride.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

Doubt

7 Mar

I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I was still a little worried.

You see, at the end of last week something unexpected happened. A friend of mine informed me that she ran into this when logging onto my site:

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Now after a couple of days, the situation was cleared up and my site was back up. Apparently my site got mixed up with a spam site and I got voted off the WordPress island for a couple of days. The entire explanation was weird, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. However, the reason I bring it up was because when I saw this, it kind of freaked me out a little. Even though I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, a little bit of doubt began to creep up. Had I said something wrong? Had I posted a picture I wasn’t supposed to? Had I written something offensive?

No. The answers were all no, and I knew that. But doubt was there.

Why is it that that happens?

Why do we doubt ourselves, when we know we haven’t done anything wrong? Or better yet, why did I doubt myself? It was just an instant reaction. It wasn’t confidence or assurance in the fact that they were wrong, it was … wait a minute … let me think … did I do something wrong? And that reaction bummed me out a little.

Normally, if it was a person-to-person, face-to-face encounter I think I would have reacted differently. I would have been more aware of my behavior and been positive that nothing I had done was wrong. But in this case I was in the wrong mind set, something was off and I let The Outside dictate my emotional state. That bothered me a little. I was stressed out over something I was sure I hadn’t caused, yet I was still stressed out.

That happens a lot in relationships, I guess. You know, someone accuses you of something, or makes a comment and it sticks with you for the rest of the day, or week. It makes you question little things about you, maybe taps into something you were insecure about, or something that you were absolutely sure you hadn’t done, but still plants that seed of doubt.

Now granted I was gifted the I-knew-it! moment when I got the email apologizing for any inconvenience this error may have caused me. But I thought, man, I shouldn’t have to wait for an email to have that moment. I need to gear up my confidence level a bit. But don’t get me wrong … I know that people make mistakes and you can be wrong at times. I know. I get it. But when you’re careful and meticulous, and in the present, in the moment, when you’re doing something you’re less likely to make these mistakes. You’re less likely to intentionally cause someone harm.

So I took the moment to make a mental note, and remind myself that … I. Got. This. I’m emptying the tank everyday and at night, I lay my head on the pillow knowing that no matter how things turned out, no matter what some jackass said trying to tear me down, I used what I had, to do the best that I could. Now some days I have more in the tank than others, but nevertheless, I tried. Sometimes I fail, but I always went about it with good intentions, clear eyes, and full hearts. And with that, there should be no room for doubt. Not even a little bit.

I’ll work on it some more.

Buen Camino my friends.