Getting back into shape sucks. Running has always come easy, until it no longer did. I suppose that’s just how life works. But I’ve been hanging my head low, literally and figuratively, as I trudge through the process of trying to become a runner again.
Saturday was no different. I fought off legs that moved like cinderblocks, lungs that were reminded of how shitty asthma can be, and a morale more broken than the pavement I pounded away on. My head hung low, I didn’t even try and enjoy my run but rather thought in simple terms of “enduring the time remaining” to reach what felt like an elusive goal. And so my view, and my mentality, was anything but inspiring.
Is this really the best running view in Los Angeles? I don’t think so.
And then about a mile and a half in to the run, I picked my head up. Instantly, the perspective changed. Continue reading
I work with college students. Anytime people throw out a dismissive judgement about “youth these days” I am always quick to interject: You’re wrong. You just don’t see them in the capacity I do because if you did, I think like me, you’d be incredibly hopeful about what the future holds. But instead, too many stick to their limited view of a generation they don’t understand, and miss out on incredible love and potential just waiting for it’s chance to lead.
Long ago I learned that the best story tellers know how to get out of the way of a good story and let it tell itself. So I’ll conclude my part of this blog with this: The post below originally appeared on JonTribe, a blog started by Jon Beach, one of the students I worked with last year for a program I manage at LMU. De Colores is a service and immersion program that works with a nonprofit called Build a Miracle in El Florido (a small community just east of Tijuana). Jon, is like 99% of the students I have come to know through this program: Smart and loving, and just itching to combine these two realities in such a way as to improve the world the only way we all know how, poco a poco. I hope you enjoy his storytelling as much as I do and who knows, maybe like me you’ll come to believe that the future looks bright with loving leaders like Jon on the horizon. And with that, I give you Jon’s post…
The sun, the soccer, the work, the faces: Beauty.
The tacos, the tears, the reflection, the embraces: Clarity.
The rubble, the strays, the police, the poverty: Harshness.
The Wall of Ignorance which keeps which side in Darkness? Continue reading
This is me, after my first marathon, in 2004.
To the casual eye, nothing looks out of place. But an experienced runner, or someone with intimate knowledge of “nipple chaffing” can see what most cannot: The blood soaking through my shirt, dried up on the edges of my runners bib. I learned a thing or two from running 26.2 miles but the most important lesson was this: community matters. And not just in the wax poetic kind of way but in the “save your damn nipples from hurting in the shower for the next week” practical kind of way as well. Had I known nipples could chaff, I would have got NipGuards (a real product) or at least grabbed at the Vaseline various volunteers held alongside cups of water at various mile markers.
But I also learned two other lessons. First, very little in life is insurmountable. I wouldn’t have called myself a fitness warrior before that race, and I wouldn’t have called myself one at any point after that. But what started as out as running a simple mile turned into 3.1, which turned into 5, then 10, 13, 18, and finally 26.2.
But ten years later, the second lesson has been far more humbling, painful, and if I’m vulnerable with you all- deeply humiliating. The reality is this: Achievements in running are fleeting if we aren’t willing to show up everyday and put the work in for it. And so my life as of late has been the opposite of that joy and confidence I felt years prior. 26.2 miles became 18, which slipped to 13, then to 10, down to 5, until at last 3.1 became a challenge and one became the minimum at which I could still safely commit to.
As one of my great students reminded me yesterday, you’re confined only by the walls you build. For sometime now, I’ve been more than ready to break some of those walls down. And yesterday, I began to chip away at it. Continue reading
I’m a sappy person. For those that know me, this should come as no surprise. Even if you don’t know me, you’ve seen my attempt to wax poetic from our Millennial Travel Manifesto to my reflection on turning 31 (an epic birthday year, no matter what you say). And while I make light of it here, the truth of it is actually quite simple: I believe undoubtedly that the goodness in this world is in abundance compared to the bad in this world. I say again: The light is so much more powerful than the darkness, and I believe this to be true with all my heart. And so in a time when it can be tempting to believe otherwise, I thought now might be a great time to share a few of our favorite and most inspiring quotes about travel, from people who can wax poetic much better than Laura or I could ever dream to do! Got a quote to add? Throw it in the comments! Want to be inspired to travel, check out our 21 favorite travel quotes! Continue reading
“This is my voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine.” Shane Koyczan has some incredible spoken word poetry, but this is perhaps the most inspiring and thought provoking. I watch this spoken word performance on a near monthly basis. At times it’s a source of great comfort, to know there are others who use their voice in a similar way as mine. Other times it’s a cause of discomfort, as I’m forced to reflect about why and how my voice has gone silent at critical moments. But one thing is for certain, today, I am at last comfortable sharing a very personal piece of work that does say “This is my voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine.” Continue reading
“You’re just a kid, you don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talkin’ about.” There are many better lines from Good Will Hunting, but this one stands out. I remember the first time I heard it, watching Good Will Hunting in a nearly empty $1 movie theater off San Mateo Blvd. in Albuquerque. I was 15 years old. My parents were getting divorced. I was getting bullied in school. I had just been forced to start going to counseling myself, and I was madder than hell about it. I was Will Hunting, minus the whole being a genius part of the story. And so when Robin Williams spoke these words, Continue reading
Not too long ago, we made a pretty obvious, simple, and yet huge decision. We liked doing a lot of this: Continue reading
Travel blogging sounds a lot more glamorous than it truly is. It dawned on me the other night, as I sat staring at a scramble of code on my computer screen that had been taunting me for four hours. But it’s not just that things like WordPress, SEO, HTML, and so much more don’t come natural, it’s more complicated than that. Writing, it takes time. More and more, I am learning the art of drafting my work and for any post that makes it on the blog, there are often multiple versions of it dead in my draft folder. But more than anything else, unless you’ve made it your full time gig (I keep floating the words “digital nomad” to Laura on a weekly basis hoping one day she’ll agree) you’re often on the road in short bursts, and writing your posts from the boringness of your living room.
But you do it for the moments like these, when the view from your office changes into this… Continue reading
This post originally appeared on Thought Catalog.
I’m about to turn 31 tomorrow and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, or so I am told. In my late 20’s, not having a “career track” freaked me out. I was told again and again that I needed to find direction, settle down and of course, grow up. But here I am at 31, as uncertain in many ways as I was at 21. Rather than scare me, this gives me incredible strength. Continue reading
Update: This blog also appears on The Huffington Post and can be read there!
We meet a lot of people on the road. And when we’re really lucky, we manage to meet ourselves.
Relationships, as I was told again and again during my engagement to Laura, change. People change, too, and so we find ourselves having to not only love the person we met, but also the person before us today, and the person who they will be in the years ahead. Continue reading