I like to hear what people say

Charlie Dark.

Fun talk.

A talk about enjoying.

Enjoying life….enjoying “whatever”.

Charlie Dark started a “running club” (although he’d resist calling anything a club) called RUN DEM CRW.

That’s fun.

He came from the DJ culture and brings that same flash and fun to his fitness career.

Smart and cool.

Why not make it all fun?

We treat fitness like we’re a machine in the shop, “working out”….working….working.

“Work” isn’t always very fun.

Why make the exercise we do so rigid and boring?

Heart rate monitors, charts, calories…..they have a place, I guess….but it can all be so much fun, too.

These TedTalks can be kind of long…but I like this guy and this one had a lot of good things to say.

One thing that he said is that one of the “rules” he believes is that “if you don’t run, then you must cheer”.

That’s a good rule.

Enthusiasm is the key to this whole ball of wax….this life….this world.

Find something that you can be enthusiastic about, and then pursue it.

Why are all the hard things so simple?

This guy is building  a strong and creative community around running.


running is enough

“….that discovery is only available or only necessary if and when our lives are in upheaval? Because if that’s all we’ve got or if that’s all we believe in, then we’ll wait until we’re lost or broken to set sail….”

This TedTalk is about how sometimes discovery is enough.

It doesn’t have to be driven by a traumatic event or extreme discomfort.

Sometimes, you can run to something just because you like to run.

Zoe Romano ran the Tour de France.

She ran across the United States….and was the first woman to do that unsupported.

That’s a big deal.

That’s an accomplishment.

This talk is a response to the people who questioned “why” she did these things.

It’s a response to all the questions about what “bad thing” she was running from….the question about what happened to make her run away like that.

Her answer, even though it might not sell books like overcoming a heroin addiction and depressed promiscuity by taking a really long hike (ala Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”), was that she wasn’t running from anything, she just liked to explore and discover….she just liked to run.

Sometimes running is enough.

And….discovery is necessary and …..enough.

She says, “and discovery matters because it makes us children again….”

I’m starting a new postal route in about a week.

It’s a lot bigger than my route….in town…..a lot of twists and turns…..businesses to deliver to.

It’s imposing.

It’s imposing to launch myself into it with minimal training.

But….it’s an adventure, too. It will be a discovery.

And….I’m running again, building up slowly, enjoying it, realizing that my body can still take it if I take it easy at first.

I can look at all of this as a terrifying proposition, the new route and all, or I can see it for the positive adventure I know that it’s going to be.

Adventure is a good thing.

I don’t think that I’m running from anything, either.

young brave



SISU: the extraordinary courage and determination in the face of adversity.

That’s a Finnish word….”sisu”.


I worry about my children.


Maybe I’m unreasonable, but I try to ward off disaster.

But….what if some of what they do isn’t necessarily heading them for disaster?

I suspect that a lot of what I do to protect them is unnecessary.

This video by ultramarathoner Anna Frost is basically saying that you should let your kids experience the world in all its facets.

Learning from failure is just a valuable as the successes we experience.

I think that her talk applies to the boys in our life, too, but the main focus is empowering young girls to become “overcomers”….to see that their possibilities aren’t limited by people’s preconceptions of what a “girl” can do.

I don’t know how to do that, really.

I never thought that my daughter was limited by her gender.

That would be crazy.

Now the youngest is growing and changing ever day….and I see her trying and succeeding at the new things she engages.

That’s pretty cool.

Why make it harder than it is for a kid to make it through the world just because they were born female?

Gender issues….and….now that this ball is rolling….”race” issues….are such a weird bunch of cra…..

Why do we sell our world so short?

We’re missing some amazing and good stuff when we limit people like we do sometimes.

I’ll say it again, “What makes your life better makes my life better“.

I want to surround myself with happy and accomplished people.

That makes my life so much more interesting and fun.

What can I do to facilitate that for them?


stump=bear, skunk=run


Second morning running and it felt better than yesterday.

That’s always a kindness when the second day is easier.

Who would keep going if things didn’t feel better as you went along?

Took the opposite route this morning….ran down to the little Baptist  church.

It’s about a mile and a half….hilly….easy.

I recognized this morning that, given the right motivation, I can still attack the hills.

I can sprint if the fear factor amps up my adrenaline.

Two skunks…..probably a male and a female….walking across the grass at the house on the first curve, snuggling (I guess that it was snuggling….skunk snuggling….cozying up to each other….I’m not really sure)….oblivious to the world…enjoying each other….and….then…..

I jogged by, watching, but when they saw me the biggest of the two, probably the macho male, took off after me like I had interrupted something.

I probably had.

At 4:30 in the morning, the world belongs to the animals. I was the intruder.

The skunk was mad.

I was scared.

I ran.

It’s funny how something small that can raise a big stink will sometimes dominate the space it holds.

When I came back on the return trip home, the skunks were gone.

If I think about some guy running through my bedroom at 4:30 in the morning, I know that I can’t blame that skunk for his reaction.

I’d be PO’d, too.


dogs and running save your life

Of course, the title of this blog is hype.

What’s going to save your life?

I love these videos that Salomon puts out…..find them on YouTube with “Salomon Trail Running” as the search term.

They’re all great.

I started “running” again this morning.

It’s always good to realize that my head isn’t going to explode when I breathe a little harder than usual.

I can run a mile and not expire.

That’s a victory.

“Run” is a loose term for what I do, though.

Especially the first day out after a long layoff, it’s more like sticking my toe in the water to see how the temperature is going to agree with me.

I “run”, I guess, but it’s a slow run….feeling things out before I go for the record….tomorrow.

I run in the dark, anyway, before anyone else is awake….before the cars come and I startle them in my black t-shirt and black running shorts.

I’d be startled, too, if I saw some fool running at night dressed completely in black.

It’s good that my legs are so pale.

If I wasn’t Norwegian they’d never see me.

Man….I love to run….and I love dogs.

This video is good medicine.

sustaining a sense of wonder


My routine lately is to get up at 5, stumble out to the room outside of our bedroom, grab a can of cat food to put down on the porch floor as I make my way to the porta potty that we’ll soon be able to get rid of (when the septic system is finished), do my business in the little blue house, come back inside and wash my hands, then….go downstairs and walk the puppy, then feed the puppy, then walk the puppy again and put him out in the garden area, then….then…..(what do I do “then”?)….I come upstairs and sit down at the computer and if I’m not too frazzled from making my way in the early world, I write this blog.

Maybe I’ll make some coffee before I come back upstairs.

That’s it.

That’s how the morning starts.

That’s why some mornings I just post a YouTube video.

That’s easy to do when I’m still a little disoriented.

These mornings lately have been so light (with a full or almost full moon) that I can’t believe it.

It’s like daylight almost.

I thought about “sense of wonder” when I was out by myself in this morning light.

On a Sunday at 5 AM, it’s really quiet.

People don’t have much of an early agenda going on a Sunday.

Sunday is the day of rest, unless you have a cat and a dog to feed.

It’s so quiet.

I love that quiet.

Moonlight and quiet is a good thing.

So….anyway….this whole sense of wonder thought came up and I thought that if you lose the ability to take pleasure in the wonder that’s all around us, you’ve pretty much lost it all.

You have lost it all.

What a grim way to tick off the days….without the ability to feel the wonder…. and the gratitude that follows.

Maybe that’s one of the good things that you can give your children?

Maybe giving them something more than a memory of what a cranky Daddy they had is important?

No matter what our accomplishments….no matter how advanced we think we are intellectually….no matter how much we think that we understand about the world and our place in it….if we don’t recognize that we need to be amazed every minute by something incredible that’s been put before us…well….maybe we’re falling shy of something good.

It’s light outside these mornings, and I know that the darkness follows, and that’s OK, too.

I know about the light….and I know about the darkness.

I wait for the light….and know where to find it.

I celebrate the wonder when I remember.

What an amazing place to land for a while.

Isn’t this world something?!


“all the diamonds in the sea” Bruce Cockburn


keep coming back

This is from a performance a while back at Tigg’s Pond….a retreat center down the road from our house.

I deliver mail to them…so I’ve gotten to know them a little….nice folks.

“The Kid” is one of my favorite songs that David Wilcox performs….written by Buddy Mondlock.

I keep coming back to the good ones.

“….but the truth is, I could no more stop dreaming…..than I could….make them all….come….true”

Here’s another version of the same song…..by the man who wrote it…





We went to the Emerald Village Mine up around Spruce Pine for Isaac’s birthday.

I showed Sparrow a geode when we were there….showed her how the “jewels” were inside the rough rock.

There’s some real beauty in some of that roughness.

I don’t think I’d know a geode if I tripped over one.

I only would recognize it if the jewels were somehow revealed.

Today, Jenny went to the laundromat to do a bunch of laundry.

Our dryer is broken….and the washer broke, too.

It’s hard to do laundry at home when the tools we use are busted.

Sparrow was playing in one of the baskets under a folding table, and this woman who was working on her laundry nearby bent down in Sparrow’s face and said, “YOU ARE A NOISY LITTLE GIRL AND YOU HURT MY EARS!!!”

Of course, Sparrow started to cry and (I was so proud of her) Jenny had to give that woman an earful about how inappropriate it was to talk to someone else’s child like that.

It makes me angry just to think about that situation.

Of course, the woman cowed under the attentions of an angry mother.

It’s easier to confront a relatively helpless 2-year-old.

That’s what a bully does….they attack the ones they think are helpless.

Man….that woman is a real turd for talking to my little princess like that.

I was thinking about how it’s easy to love the lovable, though, on my way home….but that it’s really hard to love the people who interact with us in repulsive ways.

I don’t know how to do that.

I get my back up sometimes.

I want to do battle with the ones who hurt the ones I love.

I don’t know that this woman had any jewels inside her.

Maybe jewels can grow under the right circumstances?

All I saw was rough and common.

How do you love beyond the pain that sad people can bring to your life?

Again….I don’t know.

I do know that if you mess with my people, you’re going to get pounded if you don’t watch it.

How Christian is that?

Geodes are kind of cool.

I should work at remembering the potential in some of these mean people.

Maybe that lady was shiny on the inside?

Nah. She was a turd.


Shut your mouth, weirdo, or next time you’re going to get a pounding.

That’s not Christian….but it’s a promise.