Posted in exercise, food, mental health, mindset, motivation, physical health, tips

Goal-setting, goal-pursuing, and real life

With most things, there’s a fine line between “not hardcore” and “too many excuses.”

Setting a reasonable, realistic goal is critical in walking this line.

For most people most of the time, “hardcore” is not the way to go. It’s not sustainable. If you’re in a situation where it’s critical to be all in and right now, then do it. But that’s not most of us (psychologically) most of the time.

For most people most of the time, setting small goals—goals that maybe even seem like not goals at all because they’re so small—is the way to go.

Set a small goal. One small goal.

Relentlessly stick to it. No outs. No excuses.

Once that’s a habit, repeat the process.

In time, you have a whole new set of habits. It takes time, but it’s doable and it’s worth it.

Imagine you started that process a year ago. You’d have three or four or six small changed habits. You’d be so grateful to yourself for starting.

Imagine yourself in a year. Do what you need to do to make one-year-from-now you as grateful as you would be now to one-year-ago you if you had started then.


Posted in about me, exercise, meandering, mindset

I like sweating

A workout definitely feels more accomplished if I’m sweating hard at the end.

Of course, the photo was taken after an outdoor run the other morning. It was hot and sunny, so the sweat wasn’t really indicative of the run being harder than the same run in the winter, but it still feels better.

(In the winter, I’m faster, so that is the feel-good part about running in the winter.)

(Everyone is faster in the winter here, when the temperatures are reasonable. The heat makes you slower.)

(Also, it just sucks less to run when it’s not blistering hot.)

All that said, if I’m dressed up, I don’t like to be sweating.

When I’m traveling from one school to another during my work day, I’m not happy to be sweating.

But working out? Oh, yeah!

This was a struggle I had with swimming. Of course you still sweat when you swim, but you can’t feel it because you’re in water (which actually makes dehydration a bigger risk). And I want to feel sweaty!

Also, I tend to run cold. If I’m in a room and am comfortable, odds are good that most of the other people in the room are warm. It takes a lot before I sweat. I’ve been in spin (cycling) classes with a jacket on for the first 15 minutes of class before I was warm enough to be not cold. (Not typical, but not unheard of, either.)

So. Tis the season to feel like I worked out more, just because I’m pouring sweat when I’m done.

Posted in exercise, food, know better do better, mental health, mindset, motivation, physical health

Go get what you deserve

Get out.


Eat real food.

Cut the processed crap.

Cut the added sweeteners.

Quit smoking.

Get enough sleep.

Cultivate relationships with people offline.

Turn off the TV.


You deserve it.

Feeling good in your body, being healthy, having energy, are worth it.

We’re told at every turn that it’s not.

“You deserve a treat.” Sure you do! But a “treat” isn’t deep-fried or chocolate-covered.

Can you really think of no way to reward yourself for whatever you feel you need to be rewarded for other than to eat junk food?

(How often do you need to be rewarded?)

Have you lived in a sluggish, tired body for so long that you forget how good it feels to have energy and mental clarity?

Being tired all the time is not the inevitable result of hitting a certain age. Neither is weight gain. Many significant health ailments are avoidable or reversible.

When I was in my mid-20s, people who were in their mid-30s told me I would understand when I was their age. Same thing happened in my mid-30s from people in their mid-40s.

As I pass through their ages, I understand that they were blaming it all on aging so they didn’t have to accept that it was really something they had some control over.

Make healthy choices.

You deserve it!

Posted in exercise, gratitude, mindset, motivation, physical health, thoughtfulness

Gratitude for more than health

A few years ago, I was doing a 10k and was maybe a little undertrained. (What?! Never!) Was running it with a good friend and we knew we’d have a good time, even if we didn’t have a good time.

Somewhere around mile 5, I got a text from the guy I was dating at the time:

Hey! As you make progress toward the finish line think about how really lucky you are to participate in that 10k. In the grand scheme of things it is pretty cool. It means you’re healthy enough, financially secure enough, living in a place that can safely put on a big event like that. It’s a good way to spend a free morning. Lots of people all over would love to be in your shoes, feeling what you’re feeling. It’s pretty cool. Hope you’re having fun!

I’ve often been grateful for good health and mobility, not just in the context of running. But he added extra layers that I take for granted most of the time.

So if you’re out this weekend, particularly at something you’re maybe less than excited to be at (I’m looking at you, track meet!), soak in some of his good thoughts about all of the other variables that we take for granted to make it possible.

But it’s also a reminder of one of the reasons I move it move it: because I can.


Posted in about me, exercise

Distracted exercising

I used to need to be distracted to be able to get through a workout, especially running.

Nowadays, I often look forward to the time for quiet thinking. Not just because it’s quiet (see: elementary band teacher and mom to a loquacious 7-year-old) but because there is something different about the thinking that happens on a trip (or 20) up the bleachers, or a run around the neighborhood.

I’m not totally sure why. Maybe it’s like the thinking that some people do in the shower.

Lots of ideas, some concrete (lesson plans, things to do with various people, ways to renovate the house, things to write about), some abstract.

The thinking isn’t always pleasant, but working through it together with happy-brain chemicals almost always leads me to feel better on the other side.

So I feel like: I used to need to be distracted to avoid whatever was in my brain, but nowadays, I can let it flow, manage it, and move on.

It’s pretty cool.

That said, there is also a component of distracting myself from the task at hand (read: running), but my brain so often is so busy that it can easily take over nearly any task.

Also, I didn’t decide to do this. It started when I was triathlon training. No earphones/earbuds allowed on the course, so I eventually started training without so race day wouldn’t be jarring.

There are some days that I would like my brain just to turn off for a bit and I’ll listen to music or a podcast on those days, and some days I run with a partner (most often but not always The Climbing Daddy), but the rest of the time, I run with just the ambient noise.