If you aren't making things better, then things are going to be whatever they will be. In a sense, change is essential to thriving. The ability to change begins with yourself. Behavioral modification in the present derived from focus on fundamental life values, something I learned about in my visit to the psychiatric hospital. They give you this sheet when you're discharged with 'keys to a healthy life'. A list of things like exercise, sleep, cleanliness, sunshine. It seems so elementary to list these things but when you approach life like something to be managed and mastered there's no room for the noise that invades and distorts the goal--living better. You always return to the basics. If you can champion the basics you can accomplish quite a lot. It is arrogance to ignore this simple truth. You go about attempting to modify neurochemical pathways by performing basic tasks diligently. This is the basis of habit formation. Once you understand and appreciate how simple the process of change is you can apply it to anything. Break down your goal into bite sized actionable tasks that can be absorbed and performed routinely. Once these are mastered others can be taken on building to a more complex pattern of success which was once difficult and all of sudden it's easy. There will be a point in every journey where it becomes perceptibly difficult and usually seems impossible. This is the point where you remember that no-one said it would be easy. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. So you step back, rediscover the basics, and keep going.

The only thing you have in this life, are the choices you make. So live like you mean it.



When stuff like this happens how can you not believe in God? -- Crank the engine. A half hearted response and then silence. Stay calm. You only have 6 deadlines to catch up on and your 30 minutes behind schedule for the day after skipping the morning run, skipping the shower, and skipping breakfast. Priorities. 2 hours necessary to meet your first deadline, 5 hours short on sleep, 7 days straight with no moment to even brush your teeth. Triage. Leave the dead car and take the over-ripe garbage bag to the dumpster. Let the car relax and think about it's actions. Second attempt and the same half-hearted churn before it finally tips over and momentum catches. A million tiny explosions >>> VRRRROOOOM! I'll never take that thunder for granted again. The miles disappear in my rear view mirror. So... the mechanic doing my oil change last week was right, my battery IS dying. Not just the ordinary rue where they make up a myriad of expensive mechanical problems that this clueless dysfunctional urbanite will fall for. Back to the mechanic, buy that new battery. Need us to install it? Nah. How hard can it be to put a battery in a car? I'm done being a helpless city-dweller. Another week slow cranking my car twice a day trying to decide between buying the tools you apparently need to swap out a battery in my car and the humility of going back to the mechanic with my tail between my legs. Wait long enough, the answers come. In the brush next to a parking lot in the forest, while sitting in some shade eating a watermelon with my brother, I luckily spot a discarded wrench in the dirt. The exact wrench I need to change my battery. My brother gapes at me. Yes I still don't believe in God. How ironic. I change my battery and I go on smiling. My life is not the center of the universe. I don't blame the dark side when my car battery dies on the way to the most important day of work and I don't thank the light shown on me by a deity above if I find a wrench in the sand. Bad stuff happens. Then good stuff happens. Repeated since forever. The choice is to make the world a better place even when your own luck won't change. I do see the magic in life. The mystery worth exploring and trying to understand. Something we get glimpses of and can only comprehend temporarily. However, in my observation, the moment we put our finger on this imperceptible truth, label it, start trying to please it, and telling other people how to gain it -- it's lost.



When I realize that I've made a bad decision I can get into a self-propelled cycle that lead's down a road towards making the same bad decisions again. It's important to be aware in those moments and know that it's never too late to plan ahead. To begin taking tiny steps to improve from the moment of realization when a new path is open to you.



IF you prepare the body and mind for performance (P) through training (T)

AND training is a cyclical process that includes breaking down / exercise (E) + building up / recovery (R)

THEN the one who exercises (E) and/or recovers (R) best will win (P)

IF P = T
AND T = E + R
THEN E + R = P

Competitive endurance sports is a Roller Derby-esque, Rhino Charge-like, Darwinian contest of survival. Everyone who wants to push themselves to their absolute maximum potential trains to the brink of their ability, and the one who get's as close as possible without twisting an ankle, pulling a meniscus, or suffering complete endocrine failure by race day will win. The ultra-endurance sport is an interesting one to participate in because the scientific research, let alone the experiential knowledge base, is still in it's infancy. Only now is a spotlight being shown on the physical and emotional toll that extended participation can take. Some of us, given the knowledge of what could happen, would take the risk anyway. Others might think twice and be thankful someone told them it was a bad idea before they got to mile 75 and still had a marathon to go. As many runners have been told be well-meaning friends, "Running 100 miles, that's like the dumbest idea ever." Ultimately realizing that training isn't just about pushing yourself as hard as possible, that it's also about recovering as completely and efficiently as possible, can be rewarding. It's a reminder that being your best doesn't just mean running the fastest race. It also means enjoying life and encouraging others. If we can take our goals and ambitions seriously but not take ourselves too seriously, we are bound to achieve more and pass through the gates of something greater than ourselves.