Like a Bigfoot

Motivation, Mindset, Positivity, Endurance, Adventure, Perseverance, and Possibility

Category: Recommendations

Heat and Humidity Blues

The middle of August in Southern Virginia means the same thing as the middle of July….HEAT and HUMIDITY.

It also means I’m stuck inside most of the day….except at 5 in the morning (by the way it was still 80 at 5 in the morning today).

In honor of better, colder times…here’s what I’d much rather be doing right now:

My favorite Waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway- Skinny Dip Falls on a cold October afternoon on Mancation

3 Video Suggestions

If you are like me and in the weird zone between accomplishing a goal and declaring a new one, then you probably look online for inspiration.

While spinning my wheels I usually look to youtube for awesome content to get me inspired.

Here are three youtube videos to quench your thirst for badass endurance sports.

WESTERN TIME- By Bill Yang who has some of the  best ultrarunner short films online.  This is about Sally McCrae’s attempt at Western States two years ago.  Western States is known as “the Super Bowl of Ultras” and film is a great representation of the event.

FAST FORWARD- Lael Wilcox’s attempt on setting the female record mountain biking the Arizona Trail.  A self-supported bike ride which takes days to traverse through the state.

BLIND SOCCER IN COLOBMIA- This is actually part of a film series called American Futbol produced by a close friend of mine Petar Madjarac.  So far this is my favorite episode.  It explores the love of soccer through blind soccer players in Colombia.  Very inspirational!

Two Podcast Recommendations

Two podcast recommendations from last week:

In the same week there were interviews with two of my favorite “mountain athletes” aka wildmen who do some awesome shit in the mountains.

The first is an episode of the Ultrarunner Podcast featuring an interview with Timothy Allen Olson.

In it he discusses a range of topics covering overtraining syndrome, meditation, and his plans for the Hardrock 100 (best race ever!)

The second is an episode of the Tim Ferris Podcast where Tim interviews Alex Honnold- rock climbing extraordinaire.  (If you don’t know who Alex is…youtube him immediately)

In it Alex answers questions ranging from how to handle fear to how to poop while rock climbing.  I’ve been fascinated by Alex Honnold for years now so it was really interesting seeing how he goes about his everyday life.

Check them out and enjoy!  Happy Tuesday!

Book Review: 81 Days Below Zero

“What Crane Learned was gathered in increments, plucked like stray threads from crises and moments of doubt.  His transformation bound him, in ways he probably couldn’t yet imagine, to some of the greatest feats of resolve.  In the words of one famous polar odds beater, it just comes down to putting one foot in front of the other.”

Over the last few years I’ve been obsessed with tales of survival (maybe since 3rd grade when we had to read Hatchet by Brian Paulson).  Endurance, Into Thin Air, Unbreakable, River of Doubt have all been engrossing reads that completely captured my imagination. Something about the amount of pain and suffering someone can overcome is utterly fascinating to me…

Is that weird?  Am I a masochist?  I promise I don’t want to be in a situation where I am forced to overcome massive amounts of misery (except for ultras)….but just knowing that I would be capable is important to me.

The latest book to add to that list is 81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy.

This is the true story of Leon Crane, the lone survivor of the harsh Alaskan wilderness when his B-24 bomber crash in the winter during World War II. (Part of the non-survival story was about Alaska’s role during WWII which was fairly compelling)

Leon was a city boy from Philadelphia who knew next to nothing about wilderness before this catastrophe.  Throughout the book he is forced to step up to the insurmountable challenges and through his experiences he slowly gains the competence he needs to survive.

I love the idea of small lessons and skills adding up over time.  It reminds me of one of my favorite non-fiction books The Slight Edge.  Crane doesn’t just instantly become a badass mountain man, rather he uses lessons from his failures to give him the education needed to survive (the failure cycle is something I’m constantly preaching).

The other interesting idea in the book is “LUCK”.  I don’t want to spoil anything but Crane gets unbelievably lucky repeatedly throughout the book.  Don’t get me wrong he still goes through hell and misery, but then he stumbles on a few commodities that are essential to his ultimate survival.  It reveals how circumstance and complete coincidence can affect our lives.

Crane never wallows in self pity, always keeps his ultimate goal in mind (get back to base and let his parents know he’s alive), breaks down his goal into smaller achievable tasks, gives gratitude when he stumbles onto good fortune, uses his talents as a critical thinker to solve problems, and endures.

Overall it was a good book to add to my ever-growing list of “inspiring survival books that are true stories about people overcoming impossible odds”, a very specific genre of books.

Keep reading and enjoy your Monday!

Podcast Recommendation: Tim Ferris Show

This morning I was at the gym completely enthralled in the Tim Ferris Show Podcast.

I always joke and say podcasts are what keeps me in shape and what keeps are house clean, because usually I’ll find a good show during a workout and chores.  The reason I love them so much is because they are so unlike “normal” interviews; instead they are more long form conversations.  They usually range anywhere from one hour to 3 hours so you get to really get to know the interviewer and the interviewee by the end of the episode.

Every once in awhile I’ll listen to one that completely knocks it out of the ballpark.

Tim’s episode titled “Interview Master: Cal Fussman and the Power of Listening” does just that.  (NOTE: I’m only an hour in and already utterly fascinated)

Cal is a journalist who has lived a life.  He’s interviewed people from all walks of life- everyone from politicians to sports figures to actors to regular folk from all around the world.  To say he’s really good at conversation is putting it lightly- he excels at asking questions and, unexpectedly, can TELL a great story.  So far his stories about traveling around the world and relying on his conversation skills are incredible.

Highly recommended.  Check it out!

Looking forward to listen to the last two hours of it tonight…maybe I’ll get some laundry done!

Movie Review: Barkley Marathons “The Race that Eats its Young”

“If you’re going to face a real challenge, it has to be a REAL challenge.  You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.”- Laz

Unforgiving Tennessee mountains, a psychotic (in the best way possible) and quite hilarious race director,  random books scattered about, a conch shell, over 100 miles of brutality, razor sharp thorn bushes, 40 racers seemingly lost in the woods, taps, blood, sweat, and tears, and no trail.

You can keep your Super Bowl- this is the greatest event in America.

Continue reading

Podcast and Blog Recommendation

“You are more powerful than you think.  Act accordingly.”‘

-Seth Godin

If you are looking for an amazing conversation to listen to than check out Seth Godin on the Tim Ferris Podcast.  He drops some knowledge bombs that will change your perspective on how you are living.

You can also check out his beyond fantastic blog where he shares his daily insights.  The man is a bonafide genius and has become one of my new role models.  He is a factory for inspirational gems.

“Make mistakes, own them, fix them, share the learning.”

-Seth Godin


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