One path on an uncommon journey

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lose Yourself (with all due respect to Eminem, Nick Zero and Tone Atlas)

'Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?"

So, today I wanted to write about exercise. Why? Because I care about you all and want you to do something for you, your family and your friends. Stay healthy, stick around and live a long life. 

A couple of quick statements:
1. Kids who grow up in a house where exercise is the norm will exercise more as adults.
2. Exercise can help relieve stress and help make the brain stronger.

Let's get you jump started on exercising (if you aren't already.) We'll use my daily walk as an example, but you can change it to fit your routine.

Just Start- Pick up your iPhone, smartphone or whatever your device is; plug in your headphones and step out the door. Start your music, audio book or podcast and walk. Go for five minutes, ten minutes, whatever. Pat La Duca, trainer extraordinaire, recommends 45 minutes to two hours at a brisk pace. You'll get there, just start for now!

Get a smartphone program-I use Digi Fit on my iPhone. It is free, tracks most activities and you can run your music through there. It will announce intervals and times. There are a ton of free programs for working out. Get what works for you.

Lose Yourself- 
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime 

Whether it's a playlist, book or podcast, lose yourself. Let it go. The time will fly. My playlist is set for around 45 minutes, starts slow, gets fast paced through the middle and slows down at the end. Warm up, workout, cool down. 

Here's my list:
 1. Fix you - Coldplay
2. For What it's Worth - OneRepublic
3. He Got Game - Public Enemy
4. Lose Yourself - Eminem
5. Dreams - The Cranberries
6. For Taking the Trouble - Jackson Browne
7. Willing and Able - Prince
8. Clocks - Coldplay
9. Gloria - Paul Schwartz
10. Big Yellow Taxi - The Counting Crows
11. As - Stevie Wonder

Play Games- It's too cold. My back hurts. I don't have time.  When the little doubts and excuses creep in, say to yourself "Well, I'll just walk five minutes." "I'll just walk to the corner." You'll find you want to push yourself and do more. 

My knee was acting up today and I had to do it. I only did 1.5 miles, but that's pretty good considering I wasn't even going to go. 

I am very competitive and I try to go a little further, a little faster everyday. It works for me. I don't care how fast any one else is going, I'm just trying to be better than I was yesterday.

"You can do anything you set your mind to, man." - Eminem

If you are healthy and strong, you can do anything you set your mind to. Are there any exercise tips you have? Please share them via the comments!

(Photo is from thehuffingtonpost.uk)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

An unexpected journey (four things you should learn from Bilbo Baggins)

Every year when my good friend, Greg Black, asks me what books I would take with me if I was stranded on an island, the answer remains the same, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. if you haven't read them, you should. If your kids haven't, convince them to. If they are too young, read it to them. there are no 'spoilers' here, read on.

While watching The Hobbit I was inspired to write this blog. Bilbo Baggins is the main character and
his experiences change, surprise and inspire himself and others. There are many lessons throughout the book/movie, but I'll highlight four.

1. Get out of your comfort zone. Bilbo is visited by Gandalf, who invites him on an 'adventure.' Bilbo finally accepts, running out of his house with few items.

The first step is the most important. You can't begin with out it. Do something different, that you may not be comfortable with. You can learn,  you'll get some experience and, what the heck, you may even enjoy it.

I'm doing it as we speak. For the first time in, um, ever, I do not have a 'traditional' job and am hoping to never have one again. I do not know what it's like to be an entrepreneur, it is new, frightening and scary. But, I am trying to reinvent myself at 55 and loving it so far.

2. Be compassionate. Bilbo has several chances to kill one of the unfortunate villains, Gollum, but never does so. He sees some of himself in the unfortunate creature and chooses to spare him.

Cut people a break, they are not so different. You never know what is going on in their lives, what goes on behind closed doors. There very well may be a reason they act the way they are/do. And, they aren't so different than you sometimes.

While we are on the subject of you, here's an idea - cut yourself a break. Try and be a bit less critical of yourself. At times we are rougher on ourselves and family than others, so go ahead and give you and your family a little leeway.

3. Do what is right, regardless of the consequences or the immediate outcome. Bilbo has many chances to take the easy way out, to quit or to run and he always does the right thing. At any risk.

“It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there will be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”Mohatma Ghandi (One of my favorite quotes.)

I can't say any more than that, do the right thing.

4. Let courage rule - leap! Bilbo, and a dozen others, are watching Thorin being beaten mercilessly when he lets courage rule. The smallest, meekest, least experienced jumps and the others follow.

Now, I am not saying look before you leap, but sometimes you just have to. You will probably surprise yourself. What you can do is only limited by you. Believe in yourself, take a chance! Go ahead---LEAP!