Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hashtag Best Gig In Town

I can usually tell how epic an adventure I had by how exhausted I feel afterwards. I'm typing this now with leaden fingers and drooping eyes. My awesome friend Lois invited me to be a bike marshal at this morning's Glassfest 8K. And rather than enjoying a single weekend off, I said, "of course!" I figured, bike marshal? I just cruise on a bicycle while other people run the race. There's no way I can embarrass myself.

I fell twice.


And then biked 50 more miles with Curt with my sore legs. I'm getting all scattered. What happened?

I drove down Friday. Wait, that's last night. I drove in my kilt. Well, in my car. But also in my kilt. With my bicycle on the back. On the bike rack I stole from Geoffrey. I searched the house for 10 minutes for that bike rack. I finally found it in his car. And rather than asking, or even TXTing like, "hey, I'm borrowing your bike rack." I just took it. And left.

And it would've been a perfect crime, if I wasn't writing about it RIGHT NOW. And I know he reads this shiz. So, uh... Thanks Geoffrey! He was helping Meghan move all weekend. Was/is... it's an ongoing thing. I vaguely promised his son that I would help. Instead I was frolicking in Corning with a kilt and.... Sandals maybe?

Curt, Lois, and I walked down to Glassfest for a little bit. Each of us was utterly oblivious to what we did. Each one of us said, "I don't care what we do. It's up to you." We immersed ourselves briefly in the event. Everybody eating fried foods, listening to a band that was all.... drums? I think it was a high school marching band. On stage. Finally, seeing that none of us was going to make any decisions at all, I said, "let's go." And we left.

Then I made them walk with me to Wegmans, where I bought grapefruits, lox, and Halo Top. I explained to them along the way that I have a very bizarre diet these days. I don't make any pretenses about knowing what I'm doing. I told them, "my diet is: I starve myself all day and then binge eat at night. Mostly cucumbers, fish, and Halo Top." And grapefruits. But I get like 150 grams of protein per day. And 400 grams of carbs. Still. Somehow. Sometimes I just close my eyes and eat an entire loaf of bread.

"Take a pic in front of the Halo Top!
Everyone must see the Halo Top!"

That was Friday. Saturday we got up at 5:30am. Chris met us at about 7. Again, getting all scattered, I have to mention that Curt and I totally ditched him and Lois on our long bike ride later. It wasn't on purpose! We still love you! But you know how us triathletes are. All a$$holes. We're like, "we're not doing this for fun. We're training." So after a few miles, we tore up some pavement and flew away. With Chris trying to catch up to us to tell us we were going the wrong way.


But getting un-scattered, we biked down to the race. We met Sheila, the race coordinator. We wore our bright green vests, and horrible whistles. I refused to use mine. It had a compass on one side, which always pointed the same direction no matter where I turned. And a thermometer on the other side which always read 85 degrees. It wasn't 85 degrees. But that's what you get in a 99 cent whistle. Decorative but useless features.

We rode the course once before the race. I didn't fall down (yet). Then we got back, made some semblance of a plan, and waited for the race to start. Pow! Everyone started running. I loitered, feeling like a cheater on my bike. I hung out in the middle most of the race. Chris was in the lead, Lois in the back, and Curt.... I'm not sure. Probably clearing the road of any errant gators.

"This road is gator free."

At about mile 3, I drifted into the grass on the side of the road. I tried to drift back but my tire caught the lip of the road and I fell with a resounding clatter. One of the runners tried to rescue me, which was doubly embarrassing.

After some time runners started crossing the finish line. The four of us after that just cruised back and forth, cheering runners on. At one point I saw Chris (I think?), and stopped next to him. I pulled my right food out of the pedal. My bike leaned left. I fell on my a$$. Again! I pretended like I was just practicing my martial arts. Just ignore these wounds on my legs.

We cheered on the remaining runners. Well, walkers. As the last two ladies traversed the course, I let the volunteers know they could go home. I mean, they had to pick up cones, or something. But I said, "forget it! Just go!"

I didn't say that.

The two ladies finished after an hour and a half. They were cool. Just doing their own thing. I talked to them a lot. As they approached the finish line, I told the remaining high school students there that the last two people were going to pass them soon and then they could go home. And they replied, "TUNNEL. NOW." And they totally made a tunnel. And cheered the F@#king $hit out of those two ladies. It was exceptional.

Check out those sexy marshals. Pay no attention
to the terrible whistles.

We talked to people some more at the end. Saw some more LUNARs. Took some selfies, and went and got lunch. I don't think anything noteworthy happened in that period, but my memory is terrible. Soon we were back on or bikes. We had already ridden about 17 miles. Lois got the idea that we should ride the Wineglass route.

I didn't realize she meant every single little turn. I got completely lost. Running the marathon is one thing. There's signs, and volunteers, and the runners in front of you. But riding it on a random Saturday, in reverse... Lois could've been taking us to Alaska and I would've had no clue. Finally we got out of Corning and Curt and I completely abandoned her and Chris. Just, unapologetically. With no warning.

Curt and I just rode until our watches said 25 miles. Then we turned around and rode back. The exact point where we stopped happened to have a cute ice cream shop called Twin Kiss. While we stopped, I walked across the street and peed into a bush. That's, um... the end of that. We rode back.
No joke.

Five miles from Corning Curt got a flat tire. I watched, transfixed, while he fixed it. I didn't help, except to hold up his bike. I just stared. Occasionally I made a comment. Stupid things mostly. Probably like, "oooh, that's what a tire looks like inside. What makes it all hard and stuff? Air? Huh. That's why I have that pump, eh? Fascinating."|

I told Curt I wasn't going to post this pic...

We got home and Lois made an absurdly large dinner for us. It was the most delicious thing I'd eaten in my life. Her friend Emily joined us, and we had some edifying conversations. But I don't remember any of them. She was cool.

And then. Then! Curt facetimed with Jenn, right there at the table! I was so giddy I almost peed my kilt. She's a supremely awesome lady on LUNAR. I didn't know that Curt had been coaching her for her first marathon tomorrow! I kept butting my big stupid face into the phone and making ludicrous comments. He was giving her final pointers on her race. I just kept saying useless things like, "you should run the race in a bathrobe." And I gave Curt bunny ears.

This is why I'm not a coach. She'll kill that marathon though. I'm excited! On my drive home I thought, I could just drive to the airport and fly to Minnesota and pace her! With my broken legs. Oh but that won't work. I've missed all the registration deadlines. But what if I jumped into the race a few miles in! Is that a d!ck move? Finally I decided to just get more Halo Top and go home.

So I spent about 24 hours with some really amazing people. We shared a ton of love and a ton of laughs. I fell down a lot. I bicycled a lot. And it was worth every second. This is why I do what I do. Not to crush pavement. But to to crush... um, friendships? You know what I mean. Love is where it's at. And all these beautiful and exceptional people keep piling in on my life thanks to running (and biking, and everything else). So it's absolutely worth the sore legs and (occasionally) sore behind.

I can't wait to do it all again.

Luv it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When Training Becomes Unhealthy

Fellow runner Ellie of Eat Run Pavement recently shared this article written by another athlete: Running for Mental Health: When it just doesn't add up. If you've ever pushed yourself too hard or felt compelled to train/race despite feeling like cr@p, then it's well worth the read.

I know I have.

This past week I've had a nasty infection. My face has been oozing all over the place and I've had no strength at all. Despite that, I still trained every single day. And most of those weren't easy workouts either. I really should have taken a couple days off. Instead, I feel guilty that I didn't do a long bike ride (3+ hours). Nevermind that I ended up biking at least an hour three days in a row, in addition to swimming and running.

I already feel like I don't train hard enough. I already feel like I'm squandering my potential and not focusing as much as I can on quality workouts. Most of the time I feel like I'm spinning my legs or flapping my arms to no benefit. So it's hard for me to take even one day off, for any reason. And I know I'm acting crazy. But it's already middle of May and I feel completely unprepared for this summer of triathlons.

"I'm sure I'll be fine in time for the race."

In a sense, I have to be this obsessive. How else am I going to keep exercising every single day? Even though I get motivated and excited signing up for a new race, I can't maintain that level of excitement week after week, month after month. After a while it just becomes grueling work. Getting up early, running in the rain or snow, hopping on a bike before I can eat dinner. And even the satisfaction of finishing a workout is tempered by the fact that I have to do it again the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that.


It takes some serious pain-loving dedication. And the only way is to go against your mind and body's natural desires is to break your own mind (and occasionally break your body). But once you've crossed that line, you can't just hop back. You can't just say, "oh, I need to rest today, so I'm just going to flip back to the old me for a day so I can enjoy it."


And yet, you have to. You have to acknowledge when you've pushed yourself too hard, and pushing yourself harder will actually be counterproductive. It used to be an effort to make myself exercise. Now it's an effort to not exercise. I know there are some folks who wish they had that problem. But be careful what you wish for.

A nice sarcophagus for when you
push yourself past the breaking point.

The good news is that in the same way that you train your body, you train your mind too. In the beginning it's hard to make yourself go. Then it becomes hard to make yourself stop. You get hurt and you make mistakes. But your mind adapts. You begin to look at your training over a longer period of time, rather than day-by-day. A single workout won't make or break you. Well, actually, it can break you. Which is why you have to be OK with pulling back.

This will be my first Ironman, which is why I'm this nuts. On that day, I will find out whether I didn't work hard enough, or whether I stressed out for no reason. So I'm still in that learning curve. But I'm conscientious of the fact that I will have to analyze my training afterwards and make adjustments. But not before I take a luxurious and well-deserved break.

Really, I'm no expert. I write about it, but that's for my benefit as much as yours. I don't want to say, "be awesome like me!" I'd rather say, "it's hard for me too." Sometimes I feel like everyone else has it figured out except me. I don't want someone to look at me and feel like that. I don't want to be the reason that someone feels like they're failing. Because as long as you're making that effort, you're not failing. You're making yourself stronger. But I have to tell myself that too.

Then again, maybe everyone does have it figured out. They're reading this and thinking, "poor guy. Someday he'll get it." I guess you never know (insert winking emoticon here).

Maybe today I'll take a day off.

"You should take a day off."
"But I'll lose all my gainz!"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 Consequences of Not Posting Workouts Online

I've taken the past 7 weeks off from posting my workouts online. I was focusing too much on my vanity and not enough on my workouts. Plus I was annoying everyone with my incessant selfies.


Social media is an intrinsic part of our lives. Most of us are online every single day, scrolling through the photos, posts, comments, and reactions from our friends (and sometimes from not-friends). We often contribute to this never-ceasing narrative with our own carefully posed pics and meticulously worded posts. A large portion of our attention and energy is devoted to this.

When I'm with people in real life, I make an effort to keep my phone out of sight (some people don't even bother to do this much). But if I'm by myself, I'm usually looking at it. I'll readily admit this. Resisting this urge is a losing battle. Technology is here to stay, and we'll only get more dependent on it as time goes on.

So it's nice to take a break sometimes. To reconnect with yourself. To sink into your own mind and allow yourself to navigate those terrifying thoughts and memories that you usually struggle to avoid via distractions. It's one of the best ways to learn about yourself and to grow. That said, here are five things I learned when I stopped posting my workouts online every day.

Oh no! It's a list article! Suffer.

I don't obsess about my appearance as much.

I'm trimming down my weight right now. But despite that it still fluctuates day-to-day from bloating and what-not. I used to worry about how I looked, knowing I'd want to look shredded for my selfie! Now that I'm not taking a pic every day, I don't have to starve or dehydrate myself just to look a little skinnier.

Or I can just pan the camera up and not
worry about having cut abs...

I've cut out sugar recently, and replaced it with more fruit and vegetables. One of the side effects is that all of that fiber hangs around in my belly, making it huge. After a bag of baby carrots and a couple of grapefruits, I look like Santa Claus (though my beard isn't as epic). It doesn't matter though, I don't have anyone to impress. That's quite liberating.

I don't push myself as hard.

This can be a double-edged sword. For most folks who first start running - or anything else - I suggest they do post online. This helps them keep accountable. It's very easy to skip a workout if you're feeling tired or not in the mood. But if you post every day, you're not going to want to let everyone down. And anything that motivates you to keep pushing yourself is a good thing.

That's not necessary for me though. I exercise every day no matter what. Posting online made me push myself harder though, sometimes too hard. I would run harder or farther than I otherwise would have. Or I'd do a double or even triple workout on a day when I was already worn out. Sometimes a little extra incentive is good. But usually this caused me to overtrain.

Overtraining? Is there such a thing...?

By not posting online every day, I don't feel that I have to show off for anyone. If my legs are only going to hold me up for 5 miles, then 5 miles is all I'll do. I don't have to kill myself to do 10. Or to run those 5 at a crazy pace. I can do what my body is capable of doing. And even though I'm not following a specific training plan, I still know where my mileage should be right now. I don't need to run 20 miles right now. If I was posting online, it would be too tempting to run that just so I could post, "ran 20 miles today just for giggles!"

Because I'm a douche. I liked doing huge workouts and then pretending they were no big deal. Which leads me to my next point.

I focus on my goals, not my vanity.

I like looking good. I won't deny that. And I like posting pics to show off my abs. I like doing workouts that would kill most people. And, as I mentioned above, I like to post those workouts and act like they're just a regular day. Like I'm some kind of superhero.

Selfies are less annoying when you're a cat...

It was all bull$hit, but I was pretending like it was the real me. That's insecurity. Pure and simple.

I'm training for an Ironman. That's a Marathon. Oh, and 4 kilometers of swimming. Oh, and over 7 hours of biking. If I'm to be totally honest, my priority is still to look good. But if that's my only priority, my training will suffer, and I'll bomb out at the Ironman. I want to do well! I realized this recently.

A couple months ago, I discovered, with a shock, that I could actually become a decent swimmer. And as the weather warms up and I can bike more outdoors, I'll likely discover that I can be a decent cyclist too. That's what I need to focus on right now. I've got my calorie counting nailed down. I don't need to obsess over burning calories and looking good for my cellphone camera. I need to be smart with my training, to continue the progress I've already made.

I enjoy racing. I enjoy working out with my friends. I enjoy a beautiful run on a sunny day, or a swim where I feel like I'm flying through the water, or a deadlift where 350 lbs feels light as air. When I first started running, I would run along trails with my dog, or run to the local brewery with my friend Dan, or just explore new streets I would have no reason to drive on.

Epic vistas, courtesy of running.

And when I stopped posting online, I remembered all the other reasons I love working out.

I get more sleep.

Smartphones are probably the biggest thing in recent times that have nuked people's sleeping patterns. Many studies have shown that just having your cellphone nearby will prevent you from falling asleep.

On weekdays I would usually finish my workouts at 7pm or even later. I would eat my dinner too fast. Then my phone would beep and light up as I was trying to go to bed. There's no way I could fall asleep if I was constantly picking up my phone to read the newest comment or view all the new likes. And I'd be lying in bed, aglow in my own smugness, thinking, "it was so cool how I did that epic workout and posted it like it was no big deal."

There was all sorts of unhealthy behavior bundled up there. I wouldn't be sleeping. I'd be staying up all night feeling like Batman. Except I wouldn't be out fighting crime. I would just be destroying any hope of being productive at work the next day.

I lost social connection.

This is probably the one thing that's been a negative. And probably the reason I'll start posting again soon. I already isolate myself too much. I'm always either exercising, or resting. There are times when social media is the only way I talk to people. It's no replacement for the real thing, but it's still better than nothing.

I've met a lot of really amazing people online, especially in LUNAR (Lace Up Now And Run). And I've met many of those folks in real life. We've run together, we've partied together, we've stayed up late together making terrible jokes and discovering many surprising commonalities beyond running. Many of the best times of my life were spent with these fantastic folks, and I wouldn't have met them if it wasn't for the exceptional running community.

And despite my annoying selfies and occasional self-aggrandizement, I have inspired and motivated people. I have paced friends in races, I have supported suffering athletes, I even guided a blind runner in Boston. And many of these opportunities would not have come up without the online community. I have become a better person thanks to these exceptional people, and I have discovered that I have more to offer beyond my over-the-top personality.

All-in-all taking this break has been a good experience. And I look forward to connecting with my new friends online with a better sense of myself and a new found wisdom. Or at least I hope so! It's also possible I'll post a grinning selfie and go downhill from there.

But you, reader, are always welcome to tell me, "quit being such a j@ckass."

Be prepared for more of this! Mwahahaha...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

My First Indoor Tri

Most of my readers should know by now that I'm training for an Ironman (and two half Ironmans). Is that the right pluralization? I want to say Ironmen. But those are men... made of iron. I guess. But iron is heavy. It would be hard for ironmen to complete Ironmans.

That's it! That's the end of the post! Close the browser, drink wine, frolic merrily, make love.

Oh, that's only 67 words. What else can I talk about? Right! I did my first indoor tri this morning! I did the Tri60 at the Y today. It's an official USAT triathlon, with rules and stuff. One of those rules may or not be that you can't take your shirt off. Meghan got thoroughly incensed when I asked if I could take my shirt off for the run. And I don't mean she was fragrantly perfumed (but I mean, she may have been). Something about how women can't take their shirts off (though I wouldn't be one to complain). So I sweated.

The Tri60 was a 10 minute swim, a 10 minute transition, a 30 minute bike ride, a 5 minute transition, and a 20 minute run. All indoors. It turned out to be crazy fun. I did it with Geoffrey, Meghan, and Meghan's daughter. None of us knew exactly what to expect. But we pushed hard and had an epic time!

A few minutes before the first wave!

The kids wave was first. We watched and cheered them on. Meghan's daughter is a turbo swimmer. She was a blur of movement. I quickly lost count of her laps. Then they went upstairs for the bike portion and we got in the pool. There were six of us total in the 2nd wave, including me, Geoffrey, and Meghan. I split a lane with the only person there who swam slower than me, which helped boost my fragile ego. But she was nice and didn't splash me.

I swam 19 lengths in 10 minutes, or 475 yards. That's not super impressive as far as swims go, but it was by far my fastest swim, so I was quite happy. Geoffrey and Meghan swam farther, but they're made of pure muscle and train brutally. I could see Geoffrey in my peripheral vision flying back and forth, that is when my lane-mate wasn't blocking my vision with her backstrokes.

We dried off in the locker room and I changed. I would've high-fived Geoffrey, but that's awkward to do when you're naked. I would've high-fived Meghan, but it would've been super awkward if she'd been in the men's locker room. We headed up to the spin room with time to spare. We had arrived earlier that morning and Geoffrey had helped me pick the settings I would need for the bike. So I set up the bike, hopped on, and started to warm up.

Crazed athletes

How do I describe the bike portion.... It was ridiculous. I was ridiculous. I'm used to riding a stationary in front of a TV. So without anything to engage me, I filled the room with absurd chatter. Keep in mind there were six of us biking in there, half of them strangers to me. And then two volunteers: One I believe was a spin instructor, and the other a guy with a clipboard.

I remarked about the "scenery" on our ride. "There's the Eiffel Tower! Watch out for that truck coming up behind us." Meghan and I teased Geoffrey on his long transition times at triathlons. I joked about passing each other, and about Meghan falling off her bike (which was quite stable). I mentioned how I was sweating so much that our next transition would be a swim. The spin instructor couldn't contain her laughter. Meghan mentioned afterwards how "distracting" I was. I think I may have cost her a couple tenths of a mile on her ride (insert laugh out loud emoticon here). It was my devious ploy all along!

Our half hour rides were all within a mile of each other. We stumbled off our bikes with jellied legs and headed to the treadmills. I was completely soaked at this point (again). The volunteers all gave shrugs about my shirt-removal query, but Meghan was so vehement with her argument that I decided to suffer for the sake of fairness. She was right though: It would've been an unfair advantage. And other USAT tris don't let you do it.

It was hot in that gym! But the run was my event. The others may smoke me on the swim and bike, but I can still run like there are coyotes nipping at my ankles. My goal was to run a 5k in 20 minutes. But it was just too darn hot and my scalp was tingling with that "you're about to pass out" sensation for the entirety of it. I managed 2.96 miles - with Geoffrey cheering me on from the next treadmill over - for a 6:45 pace. Not too shabby!

The three of us placed in the top three overall, although it was based on the total distance, not any sort of weighted average. So the swim, my weakest event, didn't count much against me. It didn't matter anyway, because there weren't place medals. We all got awesome finisher medals! None of us really cared that much anyway. It was such a fun time! And we all went as hard as we could.

Medals medals medals!

That was the coolest part of the Tri60. It was short enough that you could go nearly all out on every segment. And there weren't any hills, or wind, or choppy water, or sharks, or errant tree roots to throw you off. It was all you, pushing at maximum effort. And even though everyone performed at their own paces, we were all together for the whole of it. That's rare!

It was a fantastic event, and I absolutely recommend it to everyone who's interested in triathlons. Any skill level can participate. It's great for training, to measure your current abilities, or just for fun! The volunteers were awesome, and the Y was awesome for hosting. I believe every YMCA does the same thing. There's no reason not to do it!

I am super excited for the rest of the tri season!

See? Excited!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Coping With Responsibility

"Coping"... You like that? Having responsibilities usually means you've successfully become an adult. But also they suck. Nobody likes responsibilities.

When I was younger, I avoided responsibility like it was a rabid alligator (fun fact, only mammals can get rabies... shhhhhh). I had all sorts of smart-sounding excuses, but they all came down to fear and avoidance. I only exercised when I "felt" like it, I only dated "casually", and I generally avoided doing things that required significant or lasting commitment.

I preferred to sit around and drink, go out and drink, or invite someone over for drinking and "casual" adventures (I was too much of an a$$hole to ever offer to go to their place). Again I had some smart-sounding zen reasons for this. Stuff I stole from Eastern Asian philosophy and twisted to say, "life is about doing whatever you want and not taking yourself too seriously."

Then I realized that I was a huge douchebag. That I wasn't doing anything to make myself proud of who I was. That I didn't have any goals beyond how big of a fire I was going to build for me and my dog. I was just living day by day. And it was fun. But if at any point I looked back, I realized that I'd accomplished almost nothing.

"This fire better be huge."

And I wasn't going to be young forever. At some point I would experience health issues (beyond hangovers). I would have to deal with retirement and life insurance. I would grow a conscious and start hating myself for all the people I'd hurt with my selfish frivolousness. And I would actually want to set challenging goals and achieve success.

Today I have many more responsibilities, both towards myself and the people I care about. I don't exactly crave responsibility, but I do appreciate that having more of them means I'm taking a more active role in the direction of my own life. That I actually give a $hit about myself and the people around me.

Exercise and eating right requires responsibility. That's what I usually talk about on this blog. I've mentioned repeatedly that you can't depend on motivation to stick with health and fitness. And in general, I'm rarely motivated to take on more responsibility. So how do you accept it? And how do you deal with it once you've taken it on?

I've already hinted at it. You have to look at it as a good thing. You have to rewire your own brain. I've mentioned before that running every day basically requires you to be insane. Insane in the sense that you don't think the way other people do. Other people don't like to run, and they don't like to take on extra responsibility.

Here I am, pretending like I actually wanted to swim.

But you're not other people.

You want to be an exceptional person.

And the harder you work, the more exceptional you become. But it takes a long time to translate that work into reward. The donuts/whiskey/coffee part of your brain doesn't want to wait that long! It wants dopamine now! So you have to become your own dog-clicker. When you train a dog, you can't throw a treat at its face every single time it does something awesome. You teach it that a click = treat. And eventually it gets that hit of dopamine just from hearing the click.

Responsibility and hard work becomes that click. The treat will come later! But you have to teach yourself to feel good from "hearing" the click. In this case, hard work and responsibility becomes that click. It becomes its own reward. And to get there you have to remind yourself every day why you do what you do, and visualize that success.

Because you will get it, as long as you stay true to yourself and your responsibilities.

"You got that?!"

Of course, we're not dogs. Life throws monkey wrenches into our plans (beyond just distracting squirrels). The excuses creep in. We'll take a "break". We'll stop exercising because of a sore joint, with the vague promise of starting back up again as soon as it recovers (yeah right). We get overwhelmed.

I feel good when I run, or swim, or write, or shoot photos, or reach out to a friend to let them know I care, or to do whatever else I feel responsible for. But sometimes I'm just too tired to even care about feeling good. Lying down and doing nothing feels even better. That's when the guilt creeps in.

Guilt is a "bad" feeling. We don't like feeling guilty. But negative emotions aren't bad in and of themselves. We humans have them for a good reason. They're tools, to push us to act. The problem with guilt is that people use guilt as an excuse to not act. They feel that they're making up for their failures by feeling guilty for it.

"I can't stop eating! I'm such a loser!"

"I forgot to get back to my friend. I feel so bad!"

"I totally missed that deadline. I totally suck."

We express our guilt or self-recrimination, and then the people around us say, "it's ok." Because most people can relate, and most people are nice, so they try to make you feel better. But this is validation. So we don't do a thing, we feel bad, somebody validates us, and we get that hit of dopamine.

Delicious delicious dopamine

When I start feeling guilty because I failed to meet a responsibility, I get up and do it. That's my trigger. I recognize that it's a tool. I use it as such. It's like the alarm clock on my phone. I don't like to feel guilty. And when people say, "it's ok," my immediate thought is, "no, no it's not."

It may be OK for ordinary people. But I don't want to be just ordinary. I'm striving for more.

All of this requires you to be conscientious of your feelings, and to be totally honest with yourself. It's very easy to lie to yourself. Don't. And when you stop lying to yourself, you no longer have excuses or empty validation to fall back on. And the only option it leaves you is to get up and fix the thing that's bothering you. To handle your responsibilities.

And the more you do that. The stronger you'll get. The better you'll become.

Steps to success! You just have
to climb them first...