Ahhh early August is here. The dog days. Marathon training is in full swing. I’m sweating lemon-lime gatorade, craving salt, and pledging allegiance to caffeine. I’m also pretty smug about the fact that Birkenstocks are cool for like the first time in forever (I saw them in Vogue), so I am FINALLY cool guys. (Debatable).
Anyways, thank you to everyone who has reached out and asked when my next blog post is coming — and to everyone who has sent me cool ideas and inspiration over the past couple of months — especially my adventure friend Eric for showing me the shark tracker, which has allowed me to appreciate a tiny 180-pound shark named Pico more than I ever thought I could.
Thank you also to my coaches and fellow runners who have encouraged and inspired me this month — especially on my bad run days! You guys rock! As we enter the dog days of summer, I’m working to balance persistence with rest and reset moments. One of my favorite lines I heard a coach say this summer was: “There are three ways you can succeed. 1) You can be really good at something 2) You can be really persistent at something or 3) You can try something new. The dog days are upon us, and it is time to be dogged in our ways yet mindful of our limits.
From an Astronaut Aptitude test to my new favorite New Yorker cover, please see the following things I thought were worth sharing this month:
Full disclosure: I have been all over the place this month. I started 3 books and finished none; however, I’m making solid progress and enjoying the following:
Ten Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes: I was immediately attracted to this book when I saw it sitting on the shelf with the other NY Time Best Sellers. Matt is an adventurer and blogger who traveled the world for 10 years. His story explores what it means to be a nomad (both the good and the bad) as well as what travel does to the mind from a philosophical perspective. From crazy hostel stories to coping with travel burnout, this book covers it all, and I really appreciate the way Matt writes.
Chelsea Handler: Life Will be the Death of Me: This book is brutally honest and hilarious, and both my Mom and Grandma read it and recommended it to me. My mom read it after our family friend Hillary interviewed Chelsea Handler LIVE for her company A Drink With.
Ali on the Run: Interview with Jen Ator. This podcast talks with Jen Ator about her new position as Editor in Chief of Women’s Running in Boulder, CO. It also does a deep dive on the time she trained alongside Apollo Onho for the Kona Ironman. All around a quality pod — and one more reason to run an ironman someday.
Chasing Excellence: Leaderboarding in Real Life: This cross-fit-inspired podcast is another gem. The latest episode is about the importance of respecting your own training and not comparing your progress to the progress of someone next to you. A much needed reminder for me this month.
Just for Fun:
The Moth: Food, Glorious Food: It’s been a little while since I tuned into the Moth. I had Moth burnout, but I tuned in this week on my way home from work and really enjoyed this episode of three short stories. My favorite story was the pizza one, about a young boy from Bangladesh who had to give up his first slice of glorious NYC pizza.
Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness: Should I be Terrified of Snakes?: Brought to you by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, this hilarious, yet serious podcast takes a deep dive with a herpetologist to explore “big snakes, little snakes, what to do if you find a snake, how snakes work, and more.” Aside from all of the commercial breaks, this is pretty entertaining.
You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes: (with Fred Armisen, Jeff Ross, Alonzo Boden, etc.) : (EXPLICIT WARNING…aka don’t listen to this one with your 5-year old cousin in the car). This is a weird, rough-around the edges, yet hilarious podcast. Fred Armisen makes me smile and he might be my coffee-shop-spirit animal. From fooling people into thinking you are having smart political discussions to people who give overly-passionate interviews, this one is a good one (if you can get past the weird improv-singing bit).
Dirt Bag Diaries: Fit to Print: Dirt Bag Diaries always brings it, and this episode is no exception. The narrative follows the story of Adventure Journal Founder, Steve Casimiro, on his path through the journalism world and reflects on the importance of storytelling to our culture as well as how to avoid creative burnout.
3-point Perspective: How to Social Media: Again, this illustration trio is hilarious and I enjoy every single one of their podcasts. I thought that this episode had some great ideas on how to boost your social media game if you are running a small business. I listened to it on a run and their voices and comic detours kept my mental game strong.
Would Your Workweek be more Productive with More Naps and Walks?: Take a wild guess: do you work more hours than Ben Franklin? Maya Angelou? Pablo Picasso? I enjoyed this visual representation of the work habits of some of history’s most creative souls. If I am reading the chart correctly, it seems like there were lots of naps and walks involved - a movement I am most definitely behind.
50 Years on the Moon: This month we celebrated 50 years on the moon! Space tourism is just around the corner and for the low price of 1 million willion you can spend 5 minutes floating just outside of Earth’s atmosphere starting as early as next year. But can you pass this 15-question astronaut aptitude test? I got stuck on the gear question. Looks like I will be kickin it on Earth for a while.
The Shark Tracker! While we were camping in Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park in BC, my friend Eric told me about a little ‘ole thing called the Shark Tracker. This handy tool allows you to track wild sharks, turtles, and other marine life from the comfort of your computer. I picked a tiny 180-pound male Mako shark named Pico and started checking in on him everyday at work. For days on end Pico was vegging out in the Gulf of Mexico, and I started to think I’d picked a lazy shark. He was probs hitting on the 1,000+ lb female Mako sharks, drinking warm water shark Pina Coladas, and doing flips or whatever sharks do for fun. BUT THEN HE BLEW MY MIND….in a matter of 2 days, this little speedster darted up from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Carolina coast — covering hundreds and hundreds of miles like a little Ultra champ. He won my heart!!
Artists I’m Into this Month:
Last month I got coffee with the wonderful Torie Conn, a rad surface pattern designer and makeup artist. A mutual friend introduced us, and I’m obsessed with her giraffe nursery wallpaper. Go give her a follow!
On an Episode of REI’s Wild Ideas Worth Living Podcast, I discovered Loveis Wise, an 25-year--old illustrator who became the second black artist in 91 years to design a cover for the New Yorker. AND her work is stunning!
Knox Mountain Bags used my rock climbing design to make a chalk bag. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and totally recommend checking out all of the awesome chalk bags and patterns on her website.
Think You Can Handle Colleen Quigley and Gwen Jorgensen’s Total-Body Workout? This article popped up in an email from Runner’s World and naturally, being the competitive person that I am, I had to try it. I’ve now made it a part of my rest/recovery day routine. It’s one hour long, reasonably easy and fun.
I have been asking everyone to rank the following cake types in order of their favorite: 1) Cheesecake 2) Birthday Cake and 3) Carrot Cake. I have learned that people are very opinionated about their cakes. I am personally team Bday Cake.
Faith by Bon Iver: Go give yourself goosebumps and give this new release a listen.
Give Yourself to Love by Moon Hootch: My friend Sarah and I discovered Moon Hootch at the Randolf Street Festival last summer. The band is comprised of two saxophone players and a drummer and OMG. WOW. It’s intense, be forewarned, but this song is on my running playlist and a bunch of the OG crew are going to see them this fall.
Leon Bridges Radio: My friend Ryan played this station on our trip in Banff while we were all cooking dinner at the hostel one night. It was the perfect mix of Shakey Graves, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Lord Huron, the Staves, etc. Highly recommend.
That’s all! Thanks for reading.