1. How are you doing? No, really. How are you doing? I think I’m doing okay. Business could be better, but it is not horrible. I want it to be better, but I am okay right now. I hope you are doing okay as well. This has been a weird time and I’ve tried to take advantage of this weird time. I can honestly say that my relationship with my wife is better than it has ever been. We talk more than we’ve ever talked before. Or maybe before kids. I don’t think that’s because of the pandemic, but we are making more of an effort to just talk. While making dinner. After dinner and sitting out on the porch.
I’m also taking that very famous course on happiness and much to your dismay, this is not secret about being happy, but the psychology about what makes people happy. The three things that I’ve figured that I need to do better is to savor, to show gratitude, and to show kindness. I’ve made a concerted effort to do those things and I’ve tracked it, and I can tell you that being conscious of those things (because these are real things that I am doing with my wife and my kids) have made me happier in a time when I maybe shouldn’t be that happy. If you have a couple of hours to spare during the course of a week, I’d recommend taking Yale’s The Science of Well-Being. Plus, you can now say that you’re a Yalie.
2. How to funk in 2 minutes. Always remember, it’s not funk until bass hits that sweet ass.
3. I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark and the entire Raiders of the Lost Ark series (who didn’t?) and Atlas Obscura has the six places that may have contained the Holy Grail.
4. Outside Online’s Brendan Leonard on the Hellbender 100:
I ran into the Colbert Creek aid station at mile 48, just as the last light of the day was disappearing at around 8:20 P.M., feeling good after jogging some big sections of the trail over the previous five miles, as opposed to walking. Although it had been slow going (the slowest 50-mile split I’ve ever recorded), I reminded myself that these things always take way longer than I assume they’re going to. I changed my socks and packed a wind jacket, rainjacket, and liner gloves into my vest for the next 24 miles into the night. A guy I ran with a little bit on the last section had said the second half of the course was easier, and the lady parked next to Hilary said it was “more runnable,” but I was not counting my chickens before they hatched. Even if it was all flat terrain for the second half of the race, I was pretty sure I would find a way to feel like shit at some point. Hilary walked me partway down the road to the next section of trail, another 3,000-foot climb up the Buncombe Horse Trail.
In the thick trees, under the clouds, without many stars visible, I settled into an almost complete darkness, pacing myself uphill, not knowing where the top of the climb would actually be. I didn’t see another headlamp for over an hour on the way up, then finally started catching a few folks on a set of switchbacks. One guy asked as I passed, “That next aid station’s gotta be coming up pretty soon, doesn’t it?” I told him I couldn’t say, and I tried to keep myself thinking the same thing he’d asked. I could drive myself crazy straining to locate signs of an aid station up the trail: the tiny dots of headlamps, the faint din of music, maybe the glow of a fire if they had one going. It was best not to think about it, because if I started wishing it was there, I’d start wishing every minute, then feeling sorry for myself.
5. I love this so much.