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Jack’s Go To Songs for the Week of 1/25/16

Hope you enjoy this week’s songs! Here they are for 1/25/16:

  1. Lord Huron – Time to Run – iTunes Link – Favorite band of all time with fun, upbeat running lyrics.

2. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats – S.O.B. – iTunes Link – Super fun song with hilarious lyrics that will get you running.

3. Josh Ritter – Homecoming. – iTunes Link – A little more mellow but has good pickups. Nice speed play song with a good beat.

Enjoy and feel free to share what you are running with this week!

Jack

Inspired by YouTube and Podcasts

When I was working my soul-sucking corporate job, I would spend hours listening to YouTube, sometimes the same video many times over to motivate myself to get out and do what I really wanted to. One of the most inspiring videos that had the biggest effect on me is a dialogue between Joe Rogan and Bryan Callen. The conversation takes place during an episode on the Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast I have since become addicted to. Check it out below, it certainly changed my life and took it down a far better path than I was trending towards. The biggest thing that it made me think about was not living up to potential and as Bryan Callen puts it:

“I know I have something in me and I’m not living up to it.”

“I gotta taste some of that, I gotta gave some of that, I gotta get the fuck outta here, that’s what you need man. Go to TED.com, find it, it’s out there.”

“You can open your mind to a whole world out there.”

These are just a few of the gems. Listen to the whole thing. Over and over. It’s worth it.

Always in Stride,

Jack

Downfalls of Motivation

I absolutely love motivation of all kinds, as if you couldn’t already tell that by the name of this website. It pushes me to do things that I couldn’t before and also teaches me to believe in myself. I find strength in other’s success, words, experiences, etc. I find it fascinating, I’m amazed at the impact it can have on me and others. Heck, lately I’ve even found the Home Depot “Let’s Do This” commercials to be motivating and I don’t even own a home or live in an apartment that requires maintenance. Still, I’m rearing and ready to install a new floor for some reason?!

Recently though, I heard an interesting take on the detrimental side of motivation, something I hadn’t quite considered. I’m unsure of who the quote belongs to, but it goes something along the lines of: “It’s like going to school to study to be a lawyer, going through all the classes but failing the bar, therefore you can’t practice what you’ve learned. If you don’t apply it, what are you doing?” I really like this perspective and it opened my eyes up a bit.

You can spend all day watching motivational videos, listening to motivating music, getting yourself pumped up, but if you don’t actually act on it, there was no point and all you did was waste time. It is essentially a form of high tech procrastination. Les Brown says “judge a tree by the fruit it bears, not the fruit it talks about”. Your results and actions are all that matters. Sure, the prep work leading up to it has a part to play, but it is meaningless if you don’t actually follow through. It’s important to have an end game to the motivation and also have the drive to act on it.

Just some food for thought. Now get off the computer, put away your phone, and go do something.

Always in Stride,

Jack

Songs of the Week 2/16/15

Hello All!

Enjoy your songs of the week! Great mix of some good house beats, some pop music, and a few others.

Songs of the Week 2/16/15

ArtistSongiTunes LinkAmazon Link
AviciiThe NightsiTunes LinkAmazon Link
One RepublicI LivediTunes LinkAmazon Link
David GuettaLovers On the SuniTunes LinkAmazon Link
Mr. ProbzWavesiTunes LinkAmazon Link
Jose GonzalezStep OutiTunes LinkAmazon Link

Always in Stride,

Jack

Outsmarting Your Evolutionary Psychology

Evolution plays a major role in how we act and interact on a daily basis. Thousands of years of evolution have led us to where we are now, equipping with us with the tools we need to survive and thrive. However, evolution moves slowly and changes can take a while to be noticeable. Some of the traits that are no longer necessary can take a while to be discarded and made irrelevant.

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Outsmart Your Monkey Mind

I find the fear of failure to be one of the most interesting evolutionary stories. The majority of human beings have a fear of failure that prevents them from trying new things or taking chances. Many believe that this instinct is deeply rooted in the tribal mentality.

Before modern civilization, your tribe was extremely important. All members of the tribe depended upon one another in order to fend off predators, hunt and gather food, and for reproduction. If one was cast away from the tribe, it was almost as severe as being given a death sentence. Surviving as a lone wolf was extremely challenging and rarely ended well.In struggles for power and establishing the alpha positions, fights and struggles would take place. These fights would end with winners and losers. The losers would either end up dead, be cast out from the tribe, or be far less respected within the tribe.

Luckily for us, times have changed. A failure is no longer a death sentence. In fact, it is just another opportunity and a chance to learn something. There is no longer a reason to not take a chance. If you ask yourself what is the worst that can happen, it is almost guaranteed to be better than in the days of our ancestors.

I was inspired to write this post after watching Jim Carrey’s graduation speech at Maharishi University. Surprisingly enough, the comedic actor has many gems of wisdom and information to impart to all of us. I highly recommend you watch it and take in what he has to say.As Carrey puts it, it is important to realize that “you can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love”. There is nothing to lose and the repercussions of failure reside only in your head. Don’t be afraid to make your dreams and aspirations come to life. Others will be inspired by you and feed off of your light.

The fear of failure is no longer evolutionary necessary. Put yourself far ahead of the game by basing your decisions on what you truly want. “The decisions we make in this moment are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.” – Jim Carrey. Make your choices based on love and passion. 

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M]

Always in Stride,

Jack

10 Values of Running: Kilian Jornet

By now you all know how much I look up to Kilian Jornet. He is an amazing athlete and an even better person. When writing my Summits of California post I headed over to Kilian’s site to see what was new. There had been some updates since I had last visited, but one stuck out to me automatically. It was his list of values.

Kilian-Jornet

I have always been a huge admirer of Kilian, but this takes it to a whole new level. He is a fantastic athlete and person to aspire to and take some lessons from. Here is his list of values from his page:

1. No one told us what we were. No one told us we should go. No one told us that it would be easy. Someone once said that we are our dreams. If we don’t dream we are no longer alive.

We’ll fight for our dreams, we’ll pursue our passions, because we believe that the meaning of life is not following anyone else’s path. The meaning is in forging our own paths towards what we love. And despite the difficulties, every fall teaches us how to carry on.

2. We walk in the footsteps of instinct leading us into the unknown.

Taking a risk isn’t gambling, it’s evolving, it’s changing the people we are. Being free is being ourselves, not following anyone. It’s making our own decisions. It’s choosing. Choosing whether to start a family, whether to climb a mountain, which career you want. On the mountain, we’re the ones who choose our path, we’re the ones who decide whether or not to go down into a gorge, whether to tackle one summit or another. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re not, but either way we’re breaking trail in a place where there are no paths.

3. We don’t look at the obstacles we’ve overcome, but at those we’ve got ahead of us.

We learn from the past without having lived it, take the experience we’ve gained and add respect and fear to build a solid future. The past isn’t the life we’ve lived. What we do today gives no guarantees for tomorrow. We live every instant in the present, facing what’s in front of us.

4. It’s not about being faster, stronger or bigger. It’s about being ourselves.

Walter Bonatti wanted to know the extent to which extreme difficulties justify extreme
measures. Humankind has shown that with technology we can build whatever we set
our minds to. But does it make sense? We have to learn to live with less, with what we need to be as human as possible, as well adapted to our environment, to nature, as we can be. Our strength is in our feet, our legs and our bodies; it’s in our minds.

5. We’re not runners, alpinists or skiers…we’re not only sportspeople…we’re people.

Emotions shared aren’t simply piled one on top of another, they’re multiplied. A summit isn’t a geographical point, a fact or a stopwatch. A summit is memories, it’s emotions stored within us, it’s the people who come with us or who await us at the bottom. We ourselves are all the people we love and admire, who are with us even when they’re not.

6. We can’t be sure we’ll find it, but we’re going in search of happiness.

Failing is not trying. Failing is not enjoying every step along the way. Failing is not feeling. There will be punches, there will be pain and goals far from met, but in no way can we fail if we make our own path, even if it doesn’t reach the top.

7. With simplicity.

We’ll go to the mountains without others, without assistance, without external help, with humility, without wanting to dominate the mountain, because we know that it’s much stronger than we are and it will take us where it wants us to go. We’ll learn to  coexist with the real world, the world of rocks, of plants, ice, the world beneath the cement. With what was here before us and will be here long after we’re gone.

8. In silence.

We’ll tread softly, unnoticed, respecting our environment, leaving nothing more than our footprints to be erased by the wind. Real life is what we carry inside us and only in silence can we truly explore ourselves.

9. Responsibly.

Because on the mountain there’s no helping hand when we’re in danger, we can’t lose our way because there is no set way, but there’s also nobody to congratulate us when we achieve what we’ve set out to do. Because the mountain is far from hypocrisy, because the mountain is honest. We’re responsible for all our actions good or bad.

10. What are we after? Might it be life?

What is the ultimate objective of all enterprise? Of all adventure? Of life? Is it achieving goals or moving towards them? Is it reaching the horizon or discovering the landscapes we cross to get there? Is life crossing the finish line or the emotions and feelings inside ourselves? We are people forged from dreams, emotions and feelings.

I hope you enjoy Kilian’s values as much as I do. He is a remarkable athlete. If you want more of Kilian, check out his book or movie:

Kilian-Jornet-Run-or-Die1-280x421dvd-a-fine-line

Always in Stride,

Jack

 

Summits of California: Feeding the Soul

Since graduating college, I have not competed in any one event consistently. I have chased adrenaline rushes and just followed what makes me excited and happy. This has taken me to the 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ironman, and Ultra Marathon. So what’s next in my adrenaline chasing life?

I’m going to take a page out of the book of one of my favorite athletes of all time: Kilian Jornet. He is the only professional runner I admire these days. By age 25, he had won every major event that he had set out to. These events included top ultra marathons like Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, Western States 100, and many more. He is one of the most decorated trail runners ever. So after he won every race he set out to, people asked: “are you going to stay on the circuit and keep winning?” His answer was simple: “Why?”

It is said that the core of man’s spirit comes from new experience. Kilian understands this well. After all these accomplishments he set off on a project called “Summits of My Life”. The point of the project being to summit and descend major mountains around the world at world record times. This year, I’m planning on doing something similar in California (most likely not at world record pace).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwusaZX6ofs]

 

My project is a spin-off, Summits of California. By this point, we all know how obsessed and in love with California I am. This project will give me the opportunity to further explore this majestic state and see her beauty in many forms. I have picked 5 major mountains in the state of California to ascend and descend as quickly as I can. There will be a YouTube Series, Blog Series, and book tied to this as well.

The five mountains are:

1. Mt. Shasta (14,179 ft)

Mount Shasta

2. Mt. San Jacinto (10,834 ft)

San_Jacinto_Peak_0675

3. Mt. Whitney (14,505 ft)

Mount-Whitney-at-Dawn-Sierra-Nevada-California

4. Mammoth Mountain (11,059 ft)

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5. Matterhorn Peak (12,285 ft)

matterhorn0029

These peaks range from the highest peaks in California to some more mild peaks. I have reasons for each of these choices that I will detail in later blog posts.

Happy 26th Birthday to me, 26 will be the best year ever, yet again.

“I am not afraid to fail, to get lost, to dream, to be myself, to find. I am not afraid to live.” – Kilian Jornet

Always in Stride,

Jack

What Do Your Actions Say About You?

Everyday is a Vote

Every second of the day, you have the opportunity to vote. You get to vote for what you want your life to be, how you want to spend your time, and who you are with. Think about it. When you get home at the end of a long work day, you have a plethora of choices before you. All of them say something about what really matters to you and how much willpower you have.

tony-robbins-quote

Simple Patterns or Goal Chasing, You Choose

Let’s look at the choice to watch reality TV. By making that choice, you are saying to yourself that reality TV is more important than any of your goals. More important than working on a six-pack, a Boston Qualifier, writing a book, catching up with an old friend, working towards financial independence, or being adventurous. Yes, it may seem dramatic, but how you choose to spend your time will determine your future. You can’t write a book by watching reality TV all night, every night. It requires you to sit down, write, and hammer out that book.

Remaining Conscious

This isn’t to say that every time you watch reality TV you’re an awful person and that you don’t care about any of your goals. It’s more to call attention to the importance of each decision and how it determines the trajectory of your life. We all could be more conscious during the day, thinking of how our decisions are shaping our lives.

It is difficult to be conscious of our decisions, but there are ways to hack our programming. Most humans have a tendency to fall into repeated patterns of action that are simple such as: watching TV, playing on a cellphone, or browsing the web. These activities are mindless and familiar.

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Hack Your Mind

To hack these patterns, write down what you want to accomplish each day in a notebook and keep to it. Plan out your day the night before, detailing what you want to do, hour by hour and stick to it. Writing something down is a promise to yourself, always keep those.

So what are your actions saying about you and your goals? Are you taking steps each day to achieve your goals or are you just fooling yourself and repeating patterns? Check out this YouTube video for some great motivation on the topic:)

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfLamzgWPf4″]

Quote – “Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” – Tony Robbins

Always in Stride,

Jack

8 Big Life Goals for the Next 5 Years

Well it’s about that time again for me to lay out some big life goals for myself over the next 5 years. Last time I did this, I was able to stick to it and achieve exactly what I was hoping to. However, I do not believe it is within the nature of man to remain stagnant and satisfied, that is reserved for death. My mind has been racing a lot as of late and it’s time to identify and call out a new direction.

1. Financially Sound and Out of Debt

At this point in time I have $32000 worth of debt left from college (easy ladies, don’t all jump at once). This debt is a pain in the ass to be completely honest. It comes with an interest rate that is larceny and contributes to my conspiracy of how our whole generation was fucked over, but that’s for another day. I want nothing more financially than to be out from under the thumb of this and back to zero. I’d like to not send Ed Financial Services $250 a month, $150 of which goes to a ludicrous interest rate. I’d like the financial freedom to invest, grow, and make purchases. I want financial freedom not only from student loans but also from working as well. I want to make enough on my own to cover my costs of life and to “work” on the side for “fun”. I’m far more productive that way.

studentdebt2

2. Own a Home in California

If you do the math of goal 1 and goal 2, it adds up to quite a lot. There is not place in the world that I have felt more at home in than California. I love the views, the beauty, the people, the cities, the climate, the diversity, the attitudes, and pretty much everything about it. California is my muse and I would always like to have a bungalow here to come home to for at least some duration during the year. I fought so hard to get out here and stay here, I want to make sure I can always come back here.

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3. Remain Unmarried

I am sure that this will be the goal that has the most people up in arms and will create a nice little Facebook comment firestorm. Ever since some rather interesting relationships in college, I have realized that I absolutely love being single and what it allows me to do. I don’t answer to anyone, about anything, at any time. At the drop of a hat I can do whatever I like with whoever I like. I love meeting a wide variety of people without having someone looking over my shoulder. I like getting to know who is compatible with me. I also like having plenty of me-time considering 65 years of being with the same person is a long time, it can wait a while longer. Of all the couples I know in-between the ages of 20-30 who are married, I think maybe 2% of them have a marriage that is even close to resembling something that I would want. Honestly (and don’t ask if you are that couple). Most of the time what I hear from married persons is complaints about lost dreams, petty fights, and god knows what else (I zone out sometimes). It’s just not for me at this point in time. I’m an independent asshole who likes doing what he likes doing. I’m not in a mindset that works for a marriage and I know it. I think it’s smart and responsible to not enter into a legally binding contract when I am not ready. Especially when there is a 50% chance of success. Hell, I think every marriage ceremony should have a ceremonial coin flip: heads means you get married, tails means it’s off. Yes, I’m a cynic but I also know what makes me happy. It’s not to say I’ll never be married or never consider it, but I know what works for me right now. I won’t marry unless I find someone with whom my goals, passions, and desires align with almost perfectly. I do agree there has to be some sacrifice for small things, but no way am I sacrificing my dreams and what makes me happy. If I get married, the girl will probably be similar to the one in this CitiCards commercial. Besides, I couldn’t even afford marriage at this point:)

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIjGaDUp6FY”]

4. Live Abroad

I have gotten really good at following my gut since college. I get an idea in my head and I stay true to it no matter what. California was that way, quitting Accenture was that way, and most of my dreams and passions are that way. For the past few years I have had a desire to live in Australia, Spain, South Africa, and Vancouver. I’ve never been to any of these places and I can’t quite explain why, but my gut is telling me it’s right and the path I need to be on.

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5. Published

I have been working on a few different books over the past few years with varying degrees of success. Resistance gets in the way and I worry of what the critics will think, which is silly. In the next 5 years I want to have at least 1 book published, regardless of how bad it is. I need to get the monkey off my back and let the muse take over from there.

Published-Book-Photo

6. Western States 100

The Western States 100 is one of the most prestigious endurance events in the world. It started off as a horse race and evolved into a foot race when a horse pulled up lame one year and the owner completed the course the following year on foot in just under 24 hours. The course travels from Squaw Valley, CA to Auburn, CA and features around 19,000 feet of elevation gain and 21,000 feet of elevation loss. It is another one of those things calling me.

wser.org

wser.org

7. Blog Success and Payment of Rent/Mortgage

This blog started out as a passion project to express myself and get out frustrations while working at a job I really didn’t belong at. It has evolved into my voice and a way for me to establish myself in the industry I love. It was recently monetized and is becoming profitable. However, I have bigger goals for it to reach a wider audience. I want to connect people to each other and to ideas that advance the running community. I also would like the blog to cover my rent and or mortgage on a monthly basis:)

Saving-for-a-Home

8. Get in Better Shape Every Year

Since 18, each year I have been in the best shape of my life. I want this to continue and at the very least be in the Touch of Gray commercials at age 55. I see no reason to get out of shape and to let eating habits slide. I’m going to keep running and working out each and every day, staying fit and able for whatever comes my way.

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Feel free to argue or criticize. It’s fun that way:)

Always in Stride,

Jack

Paralyzed by the Critics

In ramping up my website and personal brand, I have grown unnecessarily concerned with what the critics may think. It is unusual for me, as I typically don’t care but I guess for some reason it’s different for me when taking myself far more public than I ever have before. With YouTube videos, increased blog presence, a Podcast on the way, and much more; I am going to be spreading my name and ideas all across the interwebs. I do believe I have a lot to say and share that others can benefit from.

That being said, from time to time I have partially paralyzed myself with fear of the critics and fear of not being perfect. I’m worried that a running science blog post will be torn apart because I don’t have a Master’s and only have a Bachelor’s. I’m worried that a blog will be torn apart because I didn’t edit it enough. I’m afraid of the backlash from expressing ideas that go against the grain or from exposing poor industry standards. From the step back view, it’s quite silly and I laugh at myself. I’ve always been a risk taker and it is something I love about my personality. At this point it’s just a matter of taking the leap and putting it all out there.

No one when they first start something is perfectly polished. It would be impossible to expect that. There are growing pains and learning curves that must be experienced on the way to something great. In creating a personal brand and a place for myself in the running biomechanics sphere, it will no doubt be the same types of trials and tribulations. There will be many who disagree and tear me apart as well as many who love what I have to say and agree with me. At the end of the day the conversation will be pushed along and biomechanics debates will be better for it. A degree can help, but so to can the direct experience I get on a daily basis. I read as much as any student from a variety of textbooks and books by top PTs, doctors, researchers, shoe manufacturers, and anything else I can get my hands on.

When comparing it to running, it would be similar to not going to the start line for fear of not finishing. You must leave it all out on the course and see what you are made of. Give your gifts to the best of your ability and die/finish with nothing left inside. It is the only true way to live a life.

Get ready for The Motivated Runner to take off:)

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

Always in Stride,

Jack