MondayMotivation

#MondayMotivation - Trail Run?

I’m not a runner, not really.

I haven’t ever run more than a mile at once, and I haven’t done that since high school. I have done the Couch 2 5K for about 4 weeks, before petering out. I’m not a runner, but I’m trying it on for size now.

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So… I signed up for the LBA - Little Backyard Adventure trail race sponsored and hosted by The Outdoor Society in Olympia, Washington. It is Saturday, August 10 and I’m going to train until then in hopes of coming in better than last place. It’s a simple motivation today - try harder, work for it, and don’t come in last place in August. I’ve already started incorporating little spurts of jogging into my daily dog walks and I don’t hate it.

Observations:

  • My dog maxes out at about 16 minute miles - if we REALLY hustle. He’s more comfortable around 17-20 minute miles. He’s kind of holding me back, but I love him so I’ll have to train separately or just drag him.

  • I am to the where walking fast is more annoying than just running slowly. Yeah, I run slowly, but I am still in the motion and it’s still running.

  • My self-centered notion that people are judging my running ability is just silly. EVEN if they are, who the fuck cares? Not me, from this moment forward anyway.

  • Running on a treadmill is absolute horse shit. I hate it. I was like, why do I hate running? It’s because I did Couch 2 5K on a treadmill and that was the dumbest thing. I mean, not THE dumbest thing, but dumb enough for me. Running outside, though probably slower, is just so much better feeling in my body. I will save the treadmill as a last resort, when it is storming or I am unable to go before triple digit temps for the day.

  • I sweat a lot. I sweat walking through an air conditioned building, but running really soaks me. I’m also coming to terms with the fact that this doesn’t matter either. Re-hydrate and move on, Mike.

As someone WHO never did ANY sport or any fun running, this is kind of cool. I know, so many of you ran in high school or run for health. I just never did, and it is kind of exciting for me. I have a goal, a real motivator, and I’m ready to commit.

#MondayMotivation - New pants!

April didn’t quite go as planned as far as leveling off my eating habits, but I did exercise more than March. Hiking was not the main form, but an important part nonetheless. The real winner, which will make hiking even better, is that I found some new pants that fit well and move with me. This is a link to the pants I bought, the Columbia Pilot Peak Pants at rei.com. (this is not a sponsored link or anything of that nature) I just wanted to go on and on about these pants.

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  • I snagged them on clearance, which means I didn’t pay too much

  • They flex and bend with my body as I climb hills, bend over to pick up trash, or need to maneuver around trees/rocks/etc.

  • They are durable!

  • They are SO comfortable - almost like wearing a lounge pant.

I go on about these because it’s SO difficult to find pants that fit me well. I have plenty of pants and shorts that fit okay, but eventually they just feel annoying. I’m talking, halfway through the first mile of hiking, most pants/shorts feel terrible. These pants from Columbia are a game changer. I’m not the biggest dude, but I’m not athletic build either. I wear a 42-44 waist in most brands, and the length various based on how it fits around my behind. 32 inseam usually works, but sometimes I need a 34. XXL shorts work well, but even some of REI’s shorts and convertible pants fit awkwardly in that size and get uncomfortable as my mileage increases. It’s good to know that Columbia is making pants and shorts that cater to the various body types out there - not just the athletic, outdoorsy dude. I know, most companies go where their business currently is, but I’m thankful for Columbia branching out and encompassing all bodies.

I’m motivated to keep moving and now my body will move freely. I hope to get my hands on some of Columbia’s shorts in the future to test out for the summer months ahead.

Find your comfortable clothes, find your happy place, and get out there!

#MondayMotivation - Illinois Park Project

This past weekend I had the opportunity to join my friend Jen on a hike/cleanup with her passion project called the Illinois Park Project. She created this organization to help the parks of Illinois with their trash, trails, and whatever else they need. You can read all about their mission, ideas, plans, etc on the Illinois Park Project website. If you want to get in touch much faster with them, hit up their social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. If you’re in the Midwest and want to help make a difference, they’ll be doing more cleanups throughout Illinois.

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I’m promoting and sharing and going on and on about this weekend, this group, the affiliate groups, etc because it was such a motivating and inspirational 48 hours for me. I arrived to low 40 degree weather with the chance of rain and very high winds. I arrived to a parking lot with damn near 10 people ready to make a difference. People came from all over Illinois and I came from Texas because we all believed in the same cause and I am a sucker for a road trip.

It’s easy to say you agree with someone’s idea, or join a virtual group, but when you cement it in person with hugs and actions, it elevates to a whole new level of something else. I’ve only had a handful of experiences that are so deep and motivational, but this one was easily the best.

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I’m using this high point to motivate myself. I’ve already reached out to my friends about starting a cleanup here and I’m brainstorming. Now that I’ve seen one in action, know what to expect, and know what I want to get out of it, I’m ready. Let’s clean up Texas, y’all. You want in on cleaning up trails, parks, roadways, etc with me? Get in touch.

Side note, I’m going to add some links here of various websites from participants at the cleanup. Check them out if you want, they’re all good people just loving life outside. And, to everyone who was there, I genuinely enjoyed meeting you, connecting, and of course scheming for our next hang out.


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#MondayMotivation - Happy Birthday Nikki!

Happy Birthday, friend!

It’s my friend Nikki’s birthday today, so we’re going to celebrate her with some good memories! Nikki came into my life in 2012 and I’ve been better for knowing her ever since. Speaking from my view of our friendship, I’d say we connect on a pretty deep level. Beyond the daily happenings and surface shit, we can really get into some real topics. We can talk about the weather, but that’s boring. I like that we dive deep, to the core of everything and explore topics freely without judgment and criticism. Nikki is one of my favorite hiking buddies, road trip buddies, and overall hang out buddies. She is a lot of things - wife, mom, friend, daughter, etc - but she’s human and sees the value in other humans and treating one another with respect and dignity. I wish her a very happy birthday and cheers to many, many more.


Some of my FAVORITE memories (of all time)

This was my first trip to Big Bend. Eric and I drove out earlier in the day and Nikki got off work and hauled ass out there. We camped, we hiked, we drove every main road in that damn park - in one day. It was quite a day!


That time her, Eric, and I went on a Road trip through Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Vegas, and then Zion. Something I can’t wait to do again someday!


Nikki’s bachelorette party took us to Austin and was also a birthday celebration for her. What a fun time. We hiked, we partied, and we went home. HA!


One of my favorite hiking buddies - we ford rivers together! (physically and metaphorically)


Thanks for doing fun 5K walks, hikes, and everything else. Keep on keepin’ on! Happy birthday! <3 Me

#MondayMotivation - Fancy Mixed Nuts

I often lose sight of my goals when I get caught up in the work necessary to achieve them. I constantly forget why I’m doing what I’m doing, so I create lists and trackers to help me along.

One of my goals was to save for a kayak and also drop a few pounds for said kayak. You can buy heavy duty kayaks, but I still wanted to be a little lighter so I could bring a cooler or camping gear along. I’m slowly making my way to the goal, both in saving and losing the weight, and I was reminded of the “WHY” I wanted to do this beyond getting healthier and not adding to my debt. It’s an attainable goal, with no real end date so I’m setting one. I’m going to drop 30 lbs and get the kayak by my birthday this year. Added mini goals to the big goal are to find a way to store the kayak at my apartment and save enough for the car rack and paddle. I have ropes, PFD, and water clothing already. Attack a goal bit by bit, right?

On the topic of goals… I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a trail race. Mind you, I’ve never even run an entire mile in years (decades) or on a trail beyond maybe running up a hill to get it over with. I hike, I jog intermittently, but I haven’t really done much beyond those things. So, if I can whip myself into shape and get in the runner mindset over the next month, before the race registration goes up in cost, I will register. I don’t care if I come in last, I just want to participate and complete one in the near(er) future. I finally participated in a 5K last year, though it was mostly intermittent running. I wasn’t last, and it made me want to do more of them because no one cares how slow or fast you are they’re just worried about themselves and their goals. I think if I get back on the wagon and just start doing it I’ll be able to do the smallest loop of the trail in the course by the August race date. I’m putting this all out there so I remember and so I can have some public accountability. Back on the treadmill this week, unless I get the courage to try the outdoors.

What are some goals you have? Do you lose sight of them or lose track of them if you’re not vigilant? Keep it real—istic. You can do it, people, whatever “it” is.

A NOTE: From the time I came up with the idea for this post (about 9 hours), to the time I finished writing it and posting it, I binge ate a lot of Kirkland fancy mixed nuts. Sigh. I remembered I hadn’t finished this, remembered I had goals, and then went for a walk. On the walk, I regretted the fancy mixed nuts and also the fact that I forgot to write/publish this before going for a walk. Either way, mistakes happen - accidentally or not. It’s all about going with the flow and remembering the goals. Carry on and don’t let a little bit of fancy mixed nuts stop you from your dreams.

#MondayMotivation - Get Creative!

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This past week I took an online course to expand my creativity. I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t know what I believed about creativity, and didn’t know how I’d participate. Turns out, it wasn’t hard because the prompts and ideas were all so open and there was zero pressure. Without going on and on about it, just know that I took a ton of knowledge away from this course and it truly opened my mind to other ways to be creative.

The course had me doodling and writing daily, which forced me to slow down and dedicate time to thinking creatively. Taking time to be creative or to get my thoughts out was one of the best things. I wrote daily in my personal journal as well as the creative class journal I was keeping. It felt good to just write whatever I wanted, without needing to present it or do it a certain way.

Sometimes I get stuck on what to read/listen to/write/create next. Sometimes a little push or a search session on YouTube unearths something new. I got creative, and I’m now exploring new ideas and seeing things slightly differently.

How do you get creative? How do you get through a mental block?

#MondayMotivation - Going Forward

I’ve been on a quest to improve my overall health.  I’m eating less crap, moving more, and exploring my thoughts more thoroughly.  It’s been a great move, as I am feeling better and more motivated than ever in all aspects of life.  I’m using my newfound motivation to strengthen my financial health now too. I have been terrible about money management and have tried and failed with budgets and living within my means.  I’ve overextended myself and that stresses me out, which leads to overeating and laziness. So, since I’m trying to be more active and trying to be better, I’m going to work on managing my money in better ways.  I’m going to start with a simple budget and move on to more complicated things like actual long-term saving, home ownership, and investing. Financial health will mean I’m going to have to get creative with my travel and really prioritize places and people for the year.

Disclaimer: 1) I prefer car travel any day of the week. Flying can be the worst if you’re not frequent enough to have all the perks, so let me just say that my Outback is my number one. I’m not here to shit on flying, because most of the time it is fine, but… the scenic route and stuff. 2) I love camping more than hotels, but again, when flying to a destination camping is sometimes out of the question with time and planning. 3) I already utilize my Texas State Parks pass monthly, but I want to explore those trails I’ve not hiked and parks that have been on my list for a while. I’m also going to use the hell out of my Annual Pass and visit those NPS sites in Texas this year that I’ve been casually learning about too.

What are some things you’re changing on the fly this year? What is motivating those changes?

#MondayMotivation - Authentic Outdoors

I’m motivated by people who love the outdoors and love to spread the joy and knowledge associated with the outdoors. People who share their stories in a real way and don’t just sugar coat everything are my favorite people. Life isn’t like an edited photo, it’s a little grainy and sometimes the colors are out of balance.

A week ago I met with my people on a Skype call for a mastermind group centralized around being real, outdoorsy people who want their social media presence to reflect real life. I’m so lucky to be a part of a group of like-minded folks who love the outdoors in their own ways but love themselves enough to realize that maybe we haven’t always told the whole story or even the real story because we’ve been conditioned to present life in a polished, tidy way. Prime example is the previous sentence - this is how I speak in real life and run-ons are my life. I could clean it up but I don’t care to as it doesn’t REALLY change make it any better overall.

Thanks to the people who run the blogs/websites listed below for motivating me and speaking so freely over Skype on a random Sunday in January. You have improved my life and I look forward to becoming regular chatters about all topics outdoors. I’m no digital media expert, nor would I consider myself an influential person, but I do appreciate anyone who reads/enjoys my content. I make it for me, in some narcissistic weird way, but hope it’s received and can offer some form of inspiration or entertainment for YOU.

Christina: http://www.christinaskis.com/

Jen: https://jennythetrailhead.com/

Kristi: https://indoorsycamper.com/

Sara Beth: https://innercompassblog.com/

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead and I hope you find motivation out there, if not from this. Hike your own hike and live your reality.