Decide What You Want To Do & Then Find People Who Are Better At It Than You

Yesterday I ran the inaugural Fleet Feet Pickle, an 18.2-mile store-to-store charity run for Backpack Beginnings. Later that night, I attended a “Post-Pickle Party.” Someone at the party asked how long I’d been running and if I’d always been as fast as I am now.

My answer was no, nowhere close. I was a 10-minute miler at best when I started running. I remember thinking that if I could ever only hold a 9-minute pace for a 5K, I’d never ask for anything ever again.

“So how did you get faster?” was the follow-up question.

My answer is that I run with runners who are faster than me.

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Dumpster Diving

Yesterday I went dumpster diving. Not because I’m a zealous re-use advocate and not because I’m an environmentalist and not even because I was hungry and there was no food in the house (which would be the most likely reason for me to give dumpster diving a shot). No, the reason I went dumpster diving is… wait for it… because I dropped the cat’s poo-trashcan in there.

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Reset Your Life

I was running with a friend today and as we were cranking out the last mile of a 15-mile run, we came to a traffic light and had to stop for about 10 seconds before we could continue running. 

"Reset!" called out my friend. 

She explained that any time she has to take a pause in running, she considers it a reset and adopts the mindset that with the first step taken after the reset, it's a new run. 

This makes a lot of sense to me. It's amazing what a 10-second break can give you in a run. You get your lungs back, your legs quit shaking and it really is like starting over. I love that she takes it one step further and considers the continuation of the run a new run entirely. 

I'm going to apply this idea of "reset" to life.

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Beach Weekend

Two weeks ago I visited Ocean Isle Beach with four of my girlfriends. All of us are in our forties. That’s an important point to remember as we move forward.

We arrived Thursday night and did the requisite drinks and seafood (and drinks) dinner and called it a night so we could hit the beach early. We woke up, donned our bikinis, packed a light lunch—Bloody Marys counting as a light lunch—and faced our first big decision of the day. What level sunscreen to use?

It’s a tough call. On one hand, prolonged sun exposure leads to accelerated aging with fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

On the other hand, we all look phenomenal with a tan.

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"Write" Back Into The Thick of Things

The writing career may be shimmering back to life. An editor at a small press contacted me last month about authoring a niche cookbook. (Keep your comments to yourself—I don’t have to come up with the recipes myself which is a shame because I could so do a cookbook around “50 New and Inventive Ways To Make A Meal Out of Almond Butter.” ) Details on that project soon to follow.

In addition, I’ve been working with a close friend on dialogue for an exciting project revolving around  a supernatural drama based in Romania during the dark ages. SAMCA is a tale rooted in folklore with themes of betrayal, tragedy and heroism. The trailer is being turned into a short film with the hopes of being picked up. I’ve not previously worked in screenplays and I’m having more fun than expected working in that medium. Watch the original trailer here.

I’ve also got a couple of new book ideas. Nothing solid, but the ideas are there, percolating.

I was concerned that having a career that required I spend the bulk of my day writing would “kill” the creative juices. And some days, it does. But I’m finding for the most part that the confidence that comes from turning around a video script or commercial copy or blog post for a client on short notice and a tight deadline is bringing confidence to other areas of my writing life.