Category: Motivation

I Am Freaking Out

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • We recently had three patients on our floor that were early to mid fifties and in relatively good shape (compared to the overall population). All three had a sudden stroke. We also had an extremely nice patient who suffered a horrible, life altering, work accident. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. These kinds of patients freak me out and make me want to sell everything and travel the world because you never know…
  • I passed a coworker in the hall and I said the standard, “How’s it going?” as I walked by. He replied with great enthusiasm, “Amazing!”. It was such an unexpected reply I had to stop and laugh. It actually brightened my day a bit.
  • I stumbled on this emergency dog carry harness. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I get pretty far out there with the hound and I’m not sure how or if I could carry him out? Seems like a good idea but it’s expensive and a bit large to pack.
  • The possible crazy running goal I’m toying with… Now I’m on the fence, scared, and thinking it’s a pretty stupid thought. From near zero to goal would be extremely hard. I have no desire to build up with smaller goals, or do anything similar beyond. I’m too damn old for that. It would simply be a one time, “could I do it?” thing. Still a few weeks to decide. I’m trending towards no. I simply don’t know if I have the mental discipline to do the training.
  • Pat Mac’s Basic Dude Stuff cracks me up.
    * outrage warning for millennials
  • We got a pretty good dump of global warming this week. Cross country and downhill season starts (for me) next week! That pesky work thing keeps getting in the way of my fun.
  • Speaking of snow, I was totally planning on doing this run sometime this year. I may have to rethink now.
  • Staying on the snow theme, I’ve really been enjoying Cody Townsend’s “The Fifty” project.

Song of the day: “Pancake” by Jaded

Staying Focused

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • The receipt for my WordPress renewal showed up in my inbox this morning and reminded me that I haven’t bothered writing anything since April. There’s a number of reasons for it, but mostly I have the attention span of a hamster. The number of hobbies I have divided by the available hours in the day plus day-to-day life activities is a mathematical problem that would take some theoretical Einstein/Stephen Hawking level shit to solve.
  • I’ve experimented with a bullet journal in the past. I’m not one for carrying around a book, so I opted for an electronic version. Maybe it’s time to revisit it to try and keep myself somewhat focused.
  • Speaking of minimalism, I’m trying a new wallet. I liked the previous one, but it had no option for cash and I didn’t care for how it slid around in my pocket. I just got this one and so far so good.
  • Staying on the EDC theme, I stumbled on the KeySmart. I really like it… except I literally have only two keys on my keychain. Probably not worth it.
  • Very intrigued by the new Mavic Mini. That would mean committing to actually making videos, which should be easy since I built a PC specifically for video editing. The problem is that I need to get over my aversion to speaking to a camera and videoing myself. As they say, I have a face for radio.
  • I finally got around to getting my TSA Precheck. Renewed the passport. Now it’s time to watch 1,200 hours of YouTube videos on where to travel. I anticipate actually booking a trip sometime in 2021.
  • November was rough in the exercise department. I got sick, recovered, and then got my first ever case of food poisoning… resulting in a nightmare 14 hour airline travel day. Recovered, then crashed on the motorcycle and messed up my foot. Grrrr.
  • Generally I do better with goals. When I have something to plan and focus on I’m more likely to train and stay committed. I’ve been toying with a crazy (for me) running goal, but can’t decide if I want to commit to the required training time. Or if I could even do it. I’ll have to decide in January. Stay tuned.
  • Mrs Troutdog got me the PowerBeats Pro. I’ve never worn earbuds before. It’s been nice to get back into to music.
  • A podcast worth listening to: Joe Rogan with Tulsi Gabbard and Jocko Willink.

Song of the day: Fight! Smash! Win! Street Sweeper Social Club

The Perfect Weight Loss Hack

Cool things, shower thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Clickbait titles amuse me and I couldn’t resist. Anyway, I’ll reveal the hack over the next few posts. Here’s the first part. Go find a BMR calculator that includes activity level. This one seems to work well. Enter in the data and see what your number is. Now here’s the crazy part – go eat less than that number. I guarantee you’ll loose weight. Boom! Mind blown. More to come.
  • I was fascinated by this article. I had no idea that there was such a thing as the Open Skies Treaty and we actually let other countries conduct surveillance flights over our military installations. I can’t decide if it’s no big deal, or our openness will come back to bite us some day.
  • I haven’t been very good lately at keeping up with friendships. The older you get the harder it is. It’s certainly a perishable skill that I need to work on. Been thinking about it, so I contacted a couple of buddies I hadn’t seen in a while and made arrangements to meet for lunch and a couple of beers. It felt good. Go do the same.
  • Watched “The Dawn Wall” last night. Well worth a watch but not as well done as “Free Solo”. The “rules” for big wall free climbing are unclear and the movie never explains it, so there are parts that may leave you wondering why they’re doing some of the things they do. At any rate, I may have to go dig out the climbing shoes. What could go wrong?
  • I’ve never been a huge fan of Lindsey Vonn. Her persona always seemed very cold. I was more of a Julia Mancuso fan. Lindsey recently launched a YouTube channel. She’s much warmer than I thought and has a dry sense of humor you don’t normally see.
  • I made a huge step in my street photographs. I actually went up to someone as asked if I could take their picture. If you’re not an extrovert this is a very weird and intimidating thing to do with a stranger. Wasn’t a great picture, but I crossed that hurdle.
  • Data tampering? But, they’re scientists how could this be? In related news, U.S. Oct-March temps were the third coldest recorded. But whatever.
  • Both political parties are full campaign mode trying to inflame their bases. Independent of the realties of each sides message, the left has gone full negative by devoting all its time to attacking the president. Traditionally people want to vote for something, not against something. It will be interesting to see what happens this go-round.
  • The Insta360 looks extremely cool. Inspiring enough I may have to dig out the GoPro and film something.

Song of the day: Florence + The Machine “Kiss with a fist”

Notions Of Cool V.018

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with news today. I like to think I’m reasonably plugged in… and I had absolutely no idea this happened last week. 1000+ people dead and 1.5 million at risk of water-borne disease or starvation. Meanwhile, Bob in Ohio was outraged at something someone said. We have a fantastic panel to discuss…
  • A neat video about cycling. I couldn’t do it, but a great reminder that we’re only here once. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, are you happy with what you’ve seen and done?
  • Speaking of bikes, my town is installing this in one of the downtown parking garages. Yay for bicycle friendly!
  • Jim Acosta is the very definition of douchebag. I get it, he generates equal love and hate traffic. And yes, there are Acostas on all sides of the political spectrum. Sad that this has become the new norm for “news”.
  • I did not hit my weight target this week. It’s mostly meaningless… just a goal. Next week for sure.
  • Bullet Journal update: it went strong for a month, then faded. I still like the idea. I resolve to resurrect the habit.
  • A patient was unhappy with his diabetic menu choices, so his wife brought him Burger King and a supersize chocolate shake. When his blood sugar was 320 he was shocked. He was actually angry and accused us of giving him some “pill” that was making his blood sugar go up. It was a battle to convince him I had to give him insulin.
  • “This will be your favorite patient. Super nice and rarely calls for anything”. Sadly as a nurse, I hear that in report maybe once every three or four weeks. The vast majority of the hospital population are grumpy, sour, demanding people. They’re also in the worst possible health – much of which is due to lifestyle choices. I see a clear correlation between your upbringing, mental attitude, emotional stability, and overall health outcomes. It’s not rocket science, but it’s striking when you see it in front of you every day.
  • My internet went down for approximately 7 minutes today. It was a terrifying vision of the pending zombie apocalypse.

Song of the day: Charlie Feathers, “That certain female”

Is A Bullet The Answer?

I am not a list making or post-it note kind of guy. I am confident that I’ll remember everything. Which, of course, I never do. I’m not a planner other than some vague goals floating around in my head. As a result I’ve been feeling like I’m just drifting from day to day doing whatever task or activity seems to pop up at the moment.

I’m not unhappy with that other than a feeling that time is accelerating and I’m not really accomplishing anything. A few days ago a video popped up on YouTube about bullet journaling. I don’t know why I felt compelled to click on it, but an hour or so later I was convinced enough to give it a try.

The traditional bullet journal is an analog book and a system of tracking and planning. Looking at some of the examples people put together… they can be very artistic and clearly they have time on their hands. That not me. I’m not going to lug a book and a pen around. Way too hipster.

So yesterday I created a digital bullet journal using Microsoft OneNote. Because it syncs to the cloud, it’s available on all devices and I’ll have it available everywhere. I probably spent two hours putting the basic format together. I must admit I really liked the act of thinking about what big ticket things I wanted to get done in the next six months. But it does seem silly writing down the things I want to do today. I’m thinking about them already – why write down what I already know I need to do? I’m all-in though. I’ll keep at it for long enough to decide if it’s helping.

Is this going to make me more productive? A better planner? I don’t know. I do recognize that actively thinking about and committing to words the things I want to accomplish makes it more likely I’ll work to achieve them.

Who knows maybe a year from now you’ll find me in a coffee shop ordering a double soy no whip frap, then sitting down and opening a fancy hardbound bullet journal. Maybe.

Which Path Is Right?

I’ve been on a bit of a health transformation. I finally hit a point where I said to myself, enough is enough. So I’ve been focused, made some good changes, and feel better. It started by following some inspiring people. I had literally spent a week of watching motivational videos (while eating chips) and I thought, stop being such a poser and get your ass up and start doing something.

There are a number of influencers that got me going, but the two main ones are Jocko Willink and David Goggins. Jocko is famous for “Discipline equals freedom”. He gets up at 0430 every day and works out, posting it on Instagram. The more discipline you have in getting all the everyday mundane things done, the more freedom you’ll earn in the rest of your day and life.

David Goggins is a great story. Unmotivated. 300 lbs. Decided he wanted to be a navy seal, lost 100 lbs. in 3 months. Went on to have a great career and do some ridiculously challenging stuff. He’s got lots of good pep talks around things like staring at his shoes for 30 minutes trying to get motivated enough to go for a run. I can relate. Anything is achievable if you want it bad enough.

I love that stuff. Lately I’ve been up at 0400 most mornings getting my workout in. Posting it on the IG for accountability. Strict with my diet. Feeling like life is too short to waste it sleeping in and not getting shit done.

And then I saw a quote the other day that stopped me in my tracks. Paraphrasing – “None of us are getting out of here alive… eat the delicious food, walk in the sunshine, jump in the ocean… there’s no time for anything else”.

It’s true. All this may end tomorrow. Laying on my deathbed what will I relish more – that I was disciplined and got my tired ass up at 0400 every day, or that I enjoyed good food, a cigar, and a some adult beverages? I know it’s silly but that simple quote made me wonder what, at my age, am I doing skipping meals, eating strictly, and being so sore from workouts I can barely walk? Will I really be happier five years from now?

Which path is the right path?

Like anything, balance is probably the right choice. I recognize that if I swing too far to the indulgent side it carries consequences. I won’t be able to enjoy the outdoor activities I like. I’ll probably throw a clot and become a vegetable, cutting years off my life. On the other hand, I don’t want to miss out on nachos. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow am I really going to care that I was ten or twenty pounds too heavy?

I don’t know the answer. At the moment, I have a goal and I’m going to work my ass off to get there. Once there… I think I’ll make a point of ensuring I indulge from time to time. Because it’s true – none of us are getting out of here alive.

Rock Bottom

I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV. But I am a reasonable observer of human behavior. Since my work days are spent at a hospital I get to see a wide spectrum of the human condition. And in watching both my own behavior and the rest of the zoo around us, I’ve come to a conclusion. To make a change you have to hit rock bottom.

This applies to weight loss, exercise, alcohol and drug use, any sort of destructive behavior. To make a real change you first have to hit whatever your rock bottom is.

For some people rock bottom is finding out their favorite jeans are a little too tight. Others, it’s hitting 400 pounds and being unable to participate in life. One guy may make a drunken fool of himself at a party and decide that’s it. For another it may take being in the hospital detoxing and full blown DT’s.

The unfortunate truth about this is that the lower and further down rock bottom is… the harder it is to climb out. It can be done but the success rate gets exponentially smaller.

So what can you do about it? I’m certainly no expert, but I think that constant self-inventory is vital. Be brutal. Look at yourself naked in the mirror. Get on the scale daily. Can you do a single pushup? How many bottles of alcohol are you going through in a week? Don’t hide from it. Hopefully at some point you’ll decide that today is the day to make a change.

I’m sure plenty of real experts can offer better approaches. All I know is what I’ve seen and experienced myself. Until you hit bottom… and then go a little bit further down, you’re not going to make a change. Forcing a constant inventory may not be the best approach, but it can’t hurt. Easier said than done, I know.

The sooner you come to grips with your reality, the better your chance of success. Go watch some motivational weight loss stories on YouTube. Watch a video of someone going through DT’s. Right now, can you run up and down a flight of stairs without gasping for air? Are you truly happy with your current state?

Maybe today will be your rock bottom.