Category Archives: Ramble

Going slow

It’s really easy to get out there and give it everything you have.  It’s even rewarded in our culture.  When’s the last time you heard someone say, “Go out there and give it 20%!”?

Fact is, just like you can’t get your car un-stuck from a snowbank by flooring the pedal, you can’t expect success by giving your full effort.  That’s a certain recipe for burnout.  Mind you, if I’m being chased by a ravenous bear, I might go all out until I pass out from exhaustion or until the bear gets me.  But that’s not what I’m on about.  I’m talking about long-term success.

I’ve signed up for a half-marathon in May.  And for the next few months, I’m subscribing to the 80/20 principle when it comes to my training.  This week begins a 15-week structured training plan: 80% of my workouts will be done at low-intensity, and 20% at moderate-to-high intensity.  I’ll be using heart rate as my primary metric to help manage my effort.

Going slow is hard!


Elite, yet normal.

I posted this link last year, but somehow it lost the video reference.  So here it is again.

We have Jens Voigt of Team Saxo-Bank showing The Internet around his hotel room.  I’m not particularly a follower of Voigt, but he is almost certainly a stronger athlete than I.  But he is still human, and shares the same kinds of concerns that us mere mortals do.

Some Random Suggestions

13 excerpts from an e-mail that a good friend sent me about a year ago:
  1. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  2. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
  3. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  4. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  5. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  8. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  9. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  10. Forgive everyone for everything.
  11. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  12. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!
  13. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

That blue sensory awareness potion

I remember one summer in my childhood. My brother and I were dropped off at the community centre daycamp, and off we all went to the woods. When we got there, our fearless daycamp leaders gave us each a jar of a mysterious blue liquid. This liquid, we were told, would enhance the smell of everything and anything it were to be applied to. Everything, that day, smelled so vibrant and intense!

Now, being a grown adult, and with the perspective that time brings, I know that this mysterious blue liquid was a placebo, and it’s efficacy was based purely on psychology.

But as a kid, I didn’t know any better.

And I wanted to get my hands on some of this mysterious blue liquid. I wanted so much to be able to experience the smells of everything around me, like I did that day in the woods. So of course, as I was known to do, I asked the leaders the next time we had a daycamp. Of course, nobody wanted to tell me the truth about that blue liquid. It was a guarded secret. But I kept pushing. I wanted to know how it was made. And they wouldn’t tell me.

About a week of this goes on, and by this time dear ol’ mom gets involved. She is the one who finally finds out the reality, that this combination of water and food colouring is nothing magical.

But looking back again, as an adult, with the perspective of an adult, I know now that the mysterious blue liquid really was magical. It was able to something for us kids, that we adults are often unable to do: to live in and experience the present. To be in the moment. In the now.

I like to tell people that although I am getting older, I have no plans to grow up. It is important, to me, to never give up on my excitement and wonder about the world. We so often lose touch with our curious selves. There is nothing wrong with being an enthusiastic and curious individual.