Tag Archives: fitness

Surf Report 2014.05.24 —

This week I’m trying something new by taking a page from Juls the Indecisive Eejit and writing a newsletter-style format. If it works out, I may make it a weekly feature using material that I aggregate throughout the week – effortless sharing at its best. If you want to be part of the process, feel free to drop some feedback in the comment stream so I know . . . you know – whether you care, what works, what doesn’t, etc.

Sections

The Week in Review
Weather
     Current Conditions
     Forecast
Lifestyle
     Favorited Tweets of the Week
     The Week in Pins
     Featured Blog
Entertainment
     Song of the Week
     Video of the Week
End Message & Exit Poll


The Week in Review

DSC_0008
(Photo credit: Renato Ganoza)

You may remember that I took Tuesday off to interview for a job; it was for a position as a railroad carman for BNSF railroad, who runs all the rails in the United States west of the Mississippi. In fact, I felt like I bombed that interview and I must have been on to something, because the very next day I received an email saying that I was not selected to go forward with the hiring process.

I always felt that it was cold and impersonal to replace a face-to-face interview with the personality tests that you see a lot of employers using nowadays; the moment they started doing this (I remember as far back as the late 90’s, when Blockbuster video started using computer kiosks for hiring,) the chance that I would be able to choose my employer began to slide downward. They emphasize teamwork and minimize risk, which sounds like a good thing on the face of it; but they also shut out introverts and individualistic workers who are able to work on their own at a faster pace than in a team, where they tend to get a lot less done and must rely on others for success. I’m pretty flexible, though, and I’ve learned how to answer these tests. In fact, I just laid out the secret for you.

How much colder is it, then, to have prospective employees sit in front of three people; two of them asking the very same questions that were already answered on the test I took online, while the third one typed away at a laptop. The pace was fairly easy, but my mind was blank. It may be the first time I’ve ever suffered from test anxiety. They asked me the same questions I had already answered, and I experienced the most epic fail.

So say goodbye to face-to-face interviews! Because where I thought I was being given a chance to talk about my experiences at my current job and my expectations for the job for which I was applying, all I got was an online test streamed directly through analog devices; and in the face of this ironic and anachronistic melding of paradigms old and new, I floundered for purchase and was washed out to sea.

Oh wellz.

For a moment I felt like I was being rained on. Again. I felt like my whole life was this same story of rejection. (See Daily Tanka 2014.05.21)

I realized that these hiring practices, and this specific incident, were closing doors to me forever. (See Oh, The Places I’d Go!)

we help people find their way... MajorPlayers @ UK
(Photo credit: “guerrilla” strategy)

Then I realized the next day that a great weight had lifted; this was one less complication in my life, one less thing to manage – one loose end tied up for good. Not having any tension between the job I held and the job I desired, I was free to realize that in spite of the few (albeit strong) reservations I have about remaining at my current place of employment I am rather quite happy (See Daily Tanka 2014.05.22) and now my most immediate concern is something quite exciting indeed: Clan Ross’ Summer Surf Adventure. Two weeks driving to the Pacific coast. Seattle. Portland. Surfing in Seaside, Oregon!

I’ll gladly take my time doing that, and then I’ll find my footing and forge a new path forward. (See Daily Tanka 2014.05.23)


Weather

Current Conditions –>

tanka_1
(Photo credit: emanuelazibordi)

You may have noticed that I’ve switched from haiku to tanka for my daily “status update”. I indicated earlier that I burned out on haiku, and I think it’s because I can’t force myself to write in so short a form without inspiration – that “haiku moment”. When the right image comes along, that helps; and when something just strikes you, that’s perfect; but the tiniest inspirations are like motes of dust and can be a little tough to catch on a daily basis, so the tanka format gives me a little more room to breathe, and presents a new challenge: the turning phrase of the third line, much as the human body’s core muscles links the upper and lower body, serves as a link between the upper lines and lower lines, creating two complementary yet contrasting poetic statements that when worked correctly will provide a clever sort of juxtaposition. In fact, the original creation of haiku was an exercise that focused on the first portion of tanka, the kaminoku. If you’re interested, you can read more about Tanka on Wikipedia or take a look at A Quick Start Guide to Writing Tanka @ Tanka Online.

Recently the site has taken on a new theme and a new look, and I’m still trying to find time to get all the little knobs and dials set right. Since I’m no longer using the ubiquitous Twenty Fourteen theme, the featured image barely comes into play, and it’s possible that those are generated for the thumbnails from images in the respective posts. If this bears out then I might stop using single images to serve as a visual cue to what type of post I’m writing. As always, if you experience any thoughts or feelings about the site’s look, feel, and utility, you are more than welcome to chime in; I will take all input into consideration – I create the site, but you actually use it!

Also, I’m planning to change up the surfboard social media icons as soon as I have a chance; While the Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest ones work for me, I have to wonder whether Spotify is a good choice for the fourth. I’m going to take that one out for the time being because I haven’t been able to figure out if people can access a playlist without an account, let alone single tracks; plus there’s some controversy surrounding Spotify and I haven’t been curating much content through Spotify. In fact, I just got around to pinning more stuff in the past week. I’m seriously considering doing a Youtube surfboard and making some playlists of different surf videos and muppet videos; just some different stuff to build a presence and start curating interesting content in that area. For the moment, I think that might be a little more useful. In terms of music, I think Soundcloud might be a better option.

What do you think, would you consider Soundcloud as a viable option for curating audio content? Is there something better that doesn’t cost money? Something that’s more accessible? Can you think of any other services that might be of interest to us? Let us know about that in the comments.

Forecast –>

I’m looking forward to reviewing a CD of surf music that was recently recorded by a local garage band in Spokane, Washington. When I get my hands on the tunes I’m going to give it a listen (or ten) and then do a full write-up, so stay tuned for that – I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome!


Lifestyle

Favorited Tweets of the Week –>

I’m not knocking anyone who favorites all the retweets they get, but I tend to reserve my own retweets for things that I find really interesting for one reason or another, and I do that for one reason: you can list it. On Twitter, we have this link on our profile page that shows how many tweets we have favorited all time; the @robssurfreport count currently stands at 101. I have a few from the recent past, and this goes back more than a week, but moving forward I’ll find more favorites to share. At any rate, most of these tweets speak for themselves, so I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum:

Click through the Instagram link to see a cool Star Wars surfing photo!
(The Empire has a trooper for everything, don’t they?)

The Week in Pins –>

Like I said, I’ve started curating content on Pinterest in a fandangled process the kids are calling “pinning”. I’ve started doing this in fits and bursts, and I really need to clean up my pinboard selection. A lot of my recent pins have been in the category of fitness because of my drive to be as fit as possible for surfing, but here’s an overall selection of recent pins. If you’re doing the Pinterest, follow my boards to get my pins in your feed!

For the fitness-conscious: I found the site neilarey.com a while back with this Jedi workout, but upon further exploration it turns out that there are tons of unique workouts there that can be filtered by workout type and body area focus; as well as challenges, programs, tips, recipes, and more.

Great commentary on personal motivation in the form of an Oatmeal comic (once you click through, beware the F-word.)

I’ve been experimenting with chia pudding recently; I’ve figured out a thicker, custardy consistency can be obtained by increasing the chia to 1/3 cup.

If you’re out there pinning, in addition to following Rob’s Surf Report (hint hint) make sure you send us any cool pins we might want to pin to our own boards. 🙂

Featured Blog –>

This week’s featured blog is a new addition to my must-read list. TK from Chapter TK was the guest on the premier episode of The Kenny & Kylie Show podcast, and so I jaunted over to check it out. She writes mostly long-form posts about “the ins and outs of society”. According to TK’s About page:

Society is always evolving and we can choose to help guide it or just roll with the punches. No good change just happens. It requires the thought and action of the masses. TK aims to foster healthy, civil discussion on some of today’s most controversial topics as well as issues that people rarely consider.

The most striking thing about Chapter TK, in contrast to many blogs that I follow, is that her posts tend to inspire me to write inordinately long comments that could probably stand as posts of their own; this is a testament to the thought-provoking power of TK’s musings. This blog is most definitely an enriching addition to anyone’s reader feed; this blog comes highly recommended.

For a truly informative post on introverts and the unfair way that society treats them, check out TK’s post The Plight of Introverts in an Extroverted World.


Entertainment

Song of the Week –>

This week’s song was one I discovered on this post @ The Indecisive Eejit. Fireflies by Owl City is a really pleasant song that speaks of me the magic of nature at night. I’d never heard of either group or song before, but my wife has; “It’s a little poppy,” Mme. Ross says, uncritically; to which I respond, “well isn’t everything nowadays?” There’s nothing wrong with pop in general, especially since there’s no accounting for taste in music and oh yeah — pop is the new rock. Any way you look at it, you’re still picking your battles. This is a great song.

The video, however, is the cake; or maybe I just say that because I am such a visual person. Standing here, watching it again while dancing with my daughter, I note that the imagery consists largely of Toys of Great Distinction — oldies but goodies, that multiple generations can appreciate as toys from their own youth. There’s tube televisions, a globe of the Earth, and he’s even playing the song on an older electric organ. It’s a throwback to days of our youth, when everything seemed so magical and life moved at a snail’s pace.

I’d like to make myself believe
that Planet Earth turns slowly

As we get older and the world develops apace, that pace seems to get faster and faster. A year goes by in a heartbeat, it would seem, and the things that were of great importance to us lie in the dust of memory, a thing we find remarkable when we notice it.

Put together, the song and video are a brilliant fusion of contrasted yet complementary ideas; so full of brilliance and motion, yet imparting a sense of peace and thoughtfulness. Together, they are haiku.

There, I said it; now watch:

Video of the Week –>

Last night while Mme. Ross was at some sort of high-falutin’ jewelry party, Little Miss and I were sitting at the dinner table enjoying a wonderful repast of cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, summer sausage, lunch meat, quinoa, and the not-to-be-missed Daily Show with John Stewart. We watch it on Hulu Plus, so we are always a day behind, and this was Thursday’s episode. What really blew me away is the history behind the government’s treatment of miltary veterans, which has — as you will learn — not always to the benefit of those who gave up much to serve our country, leaving us with this very appropriate quote:

“On this Memorial Day weekend eve, we can finally admit that America has had for over 200 years a great bipartisan tradition of honoring those who have fought for our freedom by f***ing them over once they give their guns back”

I can’t embed this video, so click the link below to watch it:
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/qelsqv/world-of-warriorshaft—terrible-memory-lane


That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this Surf Report as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I hope also that you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, with barbecues and family fun or just rest — you deserve it. May you find peace in your life as well as your own path forward. If you would kindly help me out by answering the poll below, that would be awesome.


Thanks for reading — now go live your adventure!

 

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Do I really need new running shoes?

And the answer is yes.

photoWell, I did it: yesterday I had to order a new pair of running shoes. I certainly had put some miles on my old ones; but I did not expect to wear through them so quickly, especially considering that I haven’t been able to run as much as I have wanted to.

Maybe I’m wrong about this; I have been running longer on some of my runs, and the stride is known to break down over the course of a long run. So at the end of a two-plus hour-long run, it is possible that a less-than-ideal running stride would cause excessive wear on the outer ball of my left foot. It’s interesting to note, however, that even though I pay careful attention to my stride on shorter runs, there still seems to be more and more wear at the end of each run.

Of course, I might have to expect to go through two pair of running shoes every year. If that’s the case, then I’d rather buy them both at once. I was so happy with the features of the SKORA running shoes that I’m wearing now that I decided to buy another pair of SKORA shoes, this time the “Base” model. Since their best features are built into all of their shoes, so I didn’t really see a need to spend an extra $30 on the high falutin’ shoes when the cheaper shoes would do just as well. Ask Billy Joel, he’ll tell you it’s still rock ‘n roll to him.

But I think the best way for me to look at this is like a toothbrush; they have to be replaced every so often, and a lot of people don’t replace them as often as they should. In that case, it’s better that I have a good pair of shoes with thinner outsoles, because I have more of an indication of when I should replace them, and thus my feet are healthier and stronger over the long-term.

What do you think? Do you run, and if you do, how often do you have to replace your shoes? Where are your wear patterns, and are they weird, or right where you expect them to be? Let us know in the comments.

Weekly writing challenge: my philosophy of health

Health
Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

For a long, long time I have been concerned with my health. It probably started some time in high school when I began to take vitamins, concerned that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients in my diet. I can’t quite remember why I thought so, but I was probably on the right track. I grew up not knowing much about nutrition except what they taught me in school, and so I ate whatever I wanted to eat. And I often ate a lot; in fact, I often ate twice as much as a normal kid would eat; I was a compulsive snacker, too. You could say that my appetite had been stretched out.

Today, it’s not quite back in the shape that a “normal” appetite would be in, but I have it under tighter control. Over the years, I’ve flirted with fitness, diets, supplements, and various degrees of fasting in order improve my health. Having finally found what works for me, I now have a philosophy of health. I actually shared this with a friend not too long ago when she was looking for tips on losing weight and getting fit. I said “eat less, exercise more. More of what you eat should be good stuff, less of it bad stuff. If you stick to your guns regarding those rules ( and yes, get a little OCD about it) then you should do quite well. But don’t forget to let loose from time to time or else you’re not going to have any fun doing it.”

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...
Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See Wikipedia:Sleep deprivation). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would add that you have to ensure that you get enough sleep every night – not that I do. I’m a total hypocrite about that, but lack of sleep leads to stress, and stress makes it harder to resist your urges, especially when it comes to eating. I can do it most of the time, but eating is a classic way to instinctually counteract the stress response.

That’s not the length and breadth of being healthy, though. In addition to doing the right thing for your health – your personal health – you have to ensure that you’re happy, too. Everybody has to work, I know that. But you have to allow yourself some time for your own hobbies, and to spend time with others. This is social health. We need to have a positive outlook and consistently work on our emotional weaknesses through reflection and thoughtful application of modified behaviors. That’s emotional health.

Health comes in a bazillion varieties, and it’s not easy to cultivate the apex of each one simultaneously, so we have to work on them bit by bit, day by day. Get in the habit of improving, and you should never have a problem becoming whoever you want to be.


This post was prompted by the Daily Post Weekly Challenge.
Featured image source: 316th ESC on Flickr
License: attribution