This is going to be a quick post today. I promise I’m working on some serious articles and I have some awesome experiences I want to write about (mancations, meeting personal heroes, adventure races, book reviews and other crazy things), but today I want to do just one thing:
Scare the crap out of my mom.
Since beginning my trail running adventures a few years ago she has been adamant that I will step on a snake, specifically the venomous copperheads. “Watch out for snakes” is what she tells me every time I mention heading out for a run. I’m pretty sure in her mind I’m hopping over like 50 of these creepy crawlers every single day. In fact, she bought me a little tag to put on my shoe with my name and phone number on it in case of a snake attack. Continue reading
Everyone should climb a mountain at some point in their life. Something amazing happens as you are huffing and puffing your way up over boulders. Through your oxygen deprived brain a realization dawns upon you”Holy crap I’m climbing a mountain…I CAN CLIMB A FREAKING MOUNTAIN!!” All of a sudden a brand new world of possibilities opens before you. You have achieved something out of the ordinary, something you may have believed to be impossible. You have accomplished something EXTRAORDINARY.
“Ordinary people do extraordinary things.”- Jim Valvano (Coach of the NC State Wolfpack) Continue reading
So I promised this article a while back and waited all this time in order to build months and months of anticipation! (Alright I’ll be honest, it took this long due to extreme lazyassness). Here’s a link to my first “Advice for Trail Running Newbies” article. If you haven’t attempted the almighty trail run yet, then I would seriously recommendfinding a trail close to you, lacing up the running shoes, and start pounding.
To those newbies starting off, here’s some advice (unwarranted or otherwise): Continue reading
First of all, if you are unfamiliar with the term “14er” let me educate you for a moment. The word 14er in hiking parlance refers to a 14,000ft mountain; these are the tallest mountains in the continental United States (Alaska has some monsters that exceed this height). The tallest fourteener in the U.S. is Mt. Whitney in California at a massive 14,505 ft. My favorite state, Colorado, hosts anywhere from 53 to 59 fourteeners (depending on how you classify them) and hiking these bad boys are a major pastime in this state.
Hiking a 14er first showed up on my radar in 9th grade. My dad had moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and was dating a woman who had attempted to hike up the legendary Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. He relayed the tale of having to wake up early EARLY in the morning to battle the altitude and afternoon thunderstorms. Instantly I knew that I had to do this. I set a life goal of: hike all of Colorado’s 14ers.
Since that day, I have summited eight of them. While hiking I’ve created unforgettable memories, faced immense self-doubt, confronted fear of heights, and experienced failure. These mountains have been incredibly exhilarating and have taught me life lessons. The top of a 14er is the happiest place on earth for me.
Why hike them? Continue reading
The flow state, the zone, the present moment. I’ve been thinking about these concepts a lot lately. In fact, ever since watching Tim Howard’s incredible goal tending performance against Belgium last summer.
Flow state or commonly “The Zone” is a state of mind where one, usually referring to an athlete, is completely consumed by whatever activity he is in. Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, every great athlete exemplify what it means to be in the zone; the moments where they have exceeded the normal capabilities of mere mortals and become godlike. This is the present state where they are no longer consumed in thoughts and are instead freed into the realm of action. The present moment guiding their every move. Continue reading
How can I elevate people while doing what I love?
This question has been my main self reflection as I prepare to begin a new school year with a brand new batch of smiling 8th graders (ok…being honest mostly-eye-rolling-but-occasionally-you-can-get-a-smile 8th graders). I’m going to be perfectly transparent while writing this: Last year I was not happy with how I taught. I came into last year on Cloud Nine after an amazing experience the year before, optimistic that the ball of awesomeness was going to just keep rolling for me. Then throughout the year, my spirit was methodically beaten down. The students were pushing my patience and classroom management skills, I was not able to teach the science concepts in ways that I wanted to (ways that deep down were honest to my philosophy of learning), and, the “apex of craptitude” for teaching: I felt major pressure from the end of the year standardized test.
I spent the majority of the summer (and running meditations, so this relates to working out) contemplating the post-mortem of “what went wrong” while also considering a pre-mortem of “how do I prevent this from happening again?”
I narrowed this down to one thing…I lost track of the “love”. By that I mean, I lost my truth. Through the year, I stopped teaching in a way that was authentic to who I am and as a side effect I was not able to elevate my students to success. The guilt of feeling like I did them a disservice is still very painful.
Here’s the lesson: If you do what you love in an authentic way, people will naturally be elevated. You can inspire people just by being a complete and honest you. Continue reading