Cyclic

I haven’t been running much in the past few weeks. If I’m being honest, I haven’t had much motivation in the running department and it’s felt more like a chore than something of enjoyment. Often when I start focusing more on numbers, time or a long race… I experience a little burn out and that initial inspiration starts to dwindle. Truthfully, not running as much really hasn’t bothered me. The good thing about not solely basing your identity in one area is that you don’t create unnecessary, unhealthy pressure on yourself to have to live up to a certain expectation. I’ve found it better in some ways to be a chameleon.

Dedication is strange because dedication is where you get good at shit and get to experience things the undedicated don’t get to experience, but dedication can also lead to emptiness in other avenues of one’s life. Take running a 100 miles for example…. despite what Weed Goat has to say, a 100 miles is a long freakin’ way. Whether you run, walk, crawl or even DNF… the simple act of training for such a distance requires persistence and sacrifice in other areas of your life. Maybe you’re sacrificing time away from your family and friends, maybe you’re sacrificing other entertainment avenues such as drinking, partying or hitting the bar… maybe it’s sleep. Whatever it may be… dedication leads to sacrifice in some way to pursue a specific goal. I highly respect anyone that committed to pursuing a specific goal.

I’ve really enjoyed training for the “shorter” ultras (specifically 50 milers) in the past year or so. It’s a great distance that allows harder efforts and doesn’t take up an entire 24hrs. Plus, the training doesn’t have to be as intensive. I’ve found a lot of balance in that type of training and it’s been mostly lighthearted and fun. Ive gotten the opportunity to focus on multiple areas of life without having the main focus be running.

I think part of the lack of inspiration, dedication and motivation I’ve felt lately stems from signing up for another 100 miler. It’s been 2 years since I’ve covered the distance and just haven’t been able find that deep rooted desire to put forth the training to perform the way I would like to perform in that specific distance. Training has kinda been redundant and boring. Perhaps it’s running the same repetitive run around my neighborhood or the same ole drony long run at Red Mtn, but whatever the core of it’s cause… it doesn’t really matter.

Part of covering different distances in this sport is figuring out what you enjoy the most. Ive been dabbling in this sport for 10 years now and still learning what I enjoy the most. I think at the top of it all… I like the simple art of moving your body through a beautiful environment and the connection it brings with nature.

Chimney Tops from the off trail manway in GSMNP

In the past few months, my focus, time and energy has shifted more towards music and crafting my therapeutic practice in the work setting rather than running. Those 2 areas are where I’m feeling most inspired and motivated so naturally, they’ve been receiving the bulk of my thoughts and time.

I’ve been writing a ton songs and it’s been hella fun and a great outlet for me. On the work front, I’ve been exploring other avenues of the mental health world such as after hours crisis, probate/court psych evals. It’s been a fun process discovering what area of therapy speaks to me most.

The older I get, the more I’m starting to recognize my own cycles/patterns of behaviors. More importantly, I’ve started to honor those aspects of my intuition. I’ve found that I don’t always have to be inspired or be on fire to run… and when these cycles happen… it’s important to recognize that it’s natural and I shouldn’t throw too much emphasis on trying to figure out the “why” behind it. That fire is always there… it just sometimes presents as a slow burning simmer instead of a raging flame.

I went out yesterday with Matty Fierce to nail down the Thrift Store Half Marathon route.

The cool crisp of the approaching Fall in the air and being back on some good ole fashion single track produced a sense of excitement for Fall/Winter trail running. I’m looking forward to getting back to some fun and relaxed running without being so goal focused here in the next month or so.

Does anyone else have patterns in their own lives they’ve recognized?

“We all just live in cycles. We all belong to the stars. Our souls long for revival. Be true to who you are.”

Honest Songs

I vividly remember sitting in my white Jeep Cherokee in my high school parking lot when I first heard Chris Carrabba belt out “please send me anything but signals that are mixed cuz I can’t read your rolling eyes.” I was immediately hooked upon Chris’s first breath and down stroke ofAgain I Go Unnoticed.” It was short, simple and driving. It was raw. It had so much emotion behind it. I’d pretty much bought in completely by the time they released their MTV unplugged album in 2002.

I feel even more in love when they released “A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar.” I will STILL watch the bonus DVD (Far From Home) that came along with that cd.

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that Dashboard was one of the BIGGEST influences for my own songwriting and music style. I fell in love with his language and the pure simplicity of his stripped down sets of him and his acoustic guitar. Same thing goes with Dan “Soupy” Campbell of the Wonder Years and Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties. The way he writes is just honest and raw.

Soupy Campbell

I’ve always been a “lyrics” guy so anyone that has heartfelt, sincere lyrics typically gets my full attention. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Frank Turner and one of his songs “Try This at Home” has been a great reminder to just do it. Just create music for the sake of creating music. Who f’n cares if anyone likes it or will listen to it. Stop doubting yourself and just have fun with it. It’s not that serious.

Frank

Kati and I talk about this concept all the time. We (as humans / people) get so wrapped up in placement and position. We’ve been so conditioned by the mentality of “be the best or don’t participate at all” that we will not participate in something we enjoy for the soul reason we can’t be the best. How much are you missing out on because you’re too afraid to start or you don’t think you’re too good at it? So WS

Youre never gonna get people to listen to your music. No one cares about your writing. Your songs aren’t mastered in a studio. Why bother?”

Because I like writing and playing. I like the creation process and think it’s important to put that out into the universe. It’s that simple of an answer. That’s the “why.”

I took an extended break from the band back in my 2.5 year stay in grad school. I just didn’t have the capacity to do both. So we put our debut album out in October 2018… played a few shows and fell off. That’s mostly my doing. I had to make choices for my career and had to set boundaries. I still continued to write and put out acoustic stuff… and we did play a few shows… but it was just too much. But now that I’m settled into a job… music has resurfaced full force! I’m writing more solo acoustic stuff and hoping to play a good amount of those types of gigs. Also the band is back playing and getting ready to record 4-5 new songs! We’re kicking off the rust with a show at Interstellar September 17 and will hopefully start playing elsewhere in the upcoming months.

Da bois

Life is good. I’ll probably start making more music related posts with new songs, lyrics, and videos. I did a quick inventory of ALL the songs I’ve ever written and it’s something ridiculous coming in at +60 songs. Obviously most have never been released or recorded. Some are sweet. Some are mean. Some suck. Some don’t. I plan on releasing a lot more music from now to the end of the year so be prepared… or dont… I don’t really care one way or the other.

I do have a new single “October Skies” coming out on Monday. Well… it’s out now on SoundCloud and to download on Bandcamp… but will be available errrrywhere else on Monday (ie: Spotify, Apple, Amazon, etc)

But if you’re not doing something you think you might enjoy or something that you already love but you don’t feel you’re good at it… or that you think other people will think negatively of it… just do it. Who f’n cares. Be creative. Be you. Do what you want!