Planting Seeds

One of the things I started doing right around the time I launched this blog (early September) was running and focusing on my health. I’ve run 11 times since then and I generally aim for 3 times per week, although a few weeks have been tough. You can follow my progress on Runkeeper, as I’m working my way up to 3.1 miles to run a 5k.

I’ve done 1.5 miles lately to get comfortable with that length before pushing myself further. I initially started out by walking a block or two, then running a few blocks, then walking, then running, until I did my target distance. After about 5 or 6 times out, I was able to run the entire length. Since then I have focused on improving my pace and have cut 1 minute and 40 seconds off my first 1.5 mile time.  I know an 11.5/mile minute pace isn’t super great, but if you look at the details, I’m doing 9 to 10 minute pace for a good part of the run. Not too bad for only 11 times out!

In addition to running, we’re attempting to transition to a vegetarian diet. We were vegetarian for 5+ years during college and for a few years after. We liked it, but it’s hard to eat healthy when you don’t know how to cook very well. That has changed, thanks to my new(ish) found interest in cooking and food. I can’t say we’re 100% vegetarian yet, but I’d say probably 75% of our meals have been over the last month or so, with probably 90% of the last few weeks. Overall, I think we’re eating a lot healthier, although I think we need to work on getting more protein, especially if we’re both running regularly.

Today, all of that work paid off a bit. I received the results of some recent blood work I had to get for my work’s insurance program, and I’m happy to say all of my numbers improved dramatically! Cholesterol decreased 14% to 177 vs. last year’s tests. My systolic blood pressure decreased 11%. My cholesterol/HDL ratio went down 22%.

I’m so psyched. It really helps to have a little success to keep you motivated and happy. I think that can apply to every interaction in life too, beyond those successes you make for yourself.

Think about how you interact with others, whether it’s friendship, marriage, or your children. What can you do to encourage them? To motivate them? To increase their happiness? The more you give, the more you’ll notice you’re receiving motivation and happiness in return. And it’s not necessarily them giving it back to you, either. Many times, watching the people you care about succeed and build on their happiness is as rewarding as your own success.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

I’m planting seeds for my health and my family. The more work I do will not only set a good example for my kids, but help me live a healthier, happier and more involved life with them today** and** tomorrow.

I’m planting seeds for my marriage by being mindful and present for my wife. I’m working hard to give extra moments and effort to our relationship so we can build a stronger love in the now.

I’m planting seeds for my sister, by being there for her and encouraging her in an extreme time of need.

What seeds are you planting?

Flow on the Web

The web is vast. Billions of pages. Endless information, entertainment, opportunities…

To help with the overload, I’ve decided to simplify my decision making with sites. So going forward, I will no longer:

  • Read paginated articles. Make your site compelling and I’ll visit other pages to boost your impressions — I’m not going to click to another page every 4 paragraphs though!
  • Sign up for sites that require a single service, like Facebook, to register. Sorry, I won’t be locked in to a service I might want to quit some day.
  • Follow sites that don’t offer full content RSS feeds. I’ll click through if I want to comment. Otherwise throw an ad or feed sponsorship into your RSS if you want to get money for my views.
  • Click past interstitial ads to get to the site’s content. Would you visit a store that popped up a wall of advertisements in front of you when you walked in? Nope.

All of these nuisances ruin flow on the web and make the web more complicated than it needs to be…

Have I missed any that bug you?

The Pixies

I finally got to see the Pixies last night with my amazing, loving wife (and serious Pixies fan)!

It was an amazing show, as the Pixies played the entire Doolittle album, as well as some b-sides from that era and some of their most popular songs from other albums. The Doolittle segment featured a backdrop of song-specific video made especially for the tour — a complete audio/visual experience.

It was great in another sense too, as it was a connection between our past and present. From making many mix tapes for Melisa, chock full of their songs, to sitting in my bedroom during the high school years, obsessively listening to Surfer Rosa while attempting to learn songs like Gigantic on my guitar. The show brought back those memories, as well as many other Pixies related memories over the years.

Despite the expensive tickets and re-entering life on like 5 hours of sleep today, it was all worth it. Creating amazing new memories with someone you really care about, that build off some of the best times of your life, is something you can never pass up regardless of the cost.