The Passion Paradox, Run 33 Miles

Another Saturday morning and it’s time to head out on a long run. Today I must run 33 miles. It’s cold outside; about 4 degrees. I’m procrastinating. I’m drinking coffee and refreshing weather.com every five minutes. I will run all  33 miles today. Not only do I have to, I want to.

However, the caveat, the but, the …… I’m not going to be able to do it all at once. And, I’m okay with that. 

Today I will do a few trail miles with Winnie-dog. Then I will run until I need to meet my friend for a walk and dinner. Then I will finish the miles later in the evening. I will get all my miles in. 

As I wait, I start reading the book that I bought: The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. I’ve read book reviews and excerpts, and a ton of articles by Stulberg, and I follow him on Twitter. I kept writing down lines I liked and referencing his articles, so I decided it was time to buy the book, and their other book, Peak Performance. [Peak Performance hasn’t arrived yet.]

What I like about the book is how they use science and philosophy to talk about the dark side of passion and then suggest tools to help find a balance. Passion can help you be successful but it also can break you, they write.

I’m on Chapter 1: Passion Must Be Handled With Care. 

I can’t wait to keep reading because I have big goals this year. I always have big goals. And I always go through dark times and feel lost because I can’t get training in or I sleep in or make bad life decisions. I know that I don’t push myself hard enough some days and some days I overdo it. [I seem to only remember that I don’t push myself hard enough.] 

Trying to balance big goals and still wake up in the morning to get things done can be difficult but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

This is a quote I’ve kept on my phone from over five years ago; I’ve always felt this to be true.

One of the lines at the beginning of The Passion Paradox states: People who are passionate about their lives and put “tremendous passion into everything they do” cannot be content. And, alas, this is my problem – I’m never satisfied, I always want more. I can finish a race, whether it is an Ironman or 50 miler, regardless of the challenge, after I cross the finish line I ask myself –  What’s Next? 

Maybe this is healthy, maybe it’s not. I’ll find out as I continue reading. 

Okay, now it’s time to get outside and RUN. It’s now 19 degrees!!

This week’s book: United by Cory Booker

I decided this week’s book for my one book a week goal is: United.

Since seeing Cory Booker last week in Manchester I really want him to win the primary in New Hampshire. While I support his position on health care, reproductive rights, gun violence and more, I don’t really know a lot about him.

So I’m reading his book and will review it Sunday night, here on my blog.

Note, I think I will be choosing more outdoor related books to read this year. But first: United.

Paulo Coelho The Hippie, a Book Review

I bought The Hippie from the airport bookstore to read during the flight to Colorado. I was dating a hippie at the time and I like Coelho so I thought it would pass the time in a good way. It was July when I started and November when I finished; I got distracted along the way. 

As he writes about the Magic Bus and the people he meets I find that I’m drawn into all their stories. I was reading it more for the people and learning about them, and not so much about finding a life philosophy. As I read I’m constantly referring to maps to figure out where they are and understand the physical journey. 

The main take-away from this book is learning about the character’s urgings to see the world. I enjoyed reading the stories of men and women who want to take every opportunity to see the world. They are full of hope and want to change the world while having amazing experiences. They start their journey in Amsterdam, stopping in Istanbul as they make their way to Kathmandu. 

Paulo learns from everyone and finally he meets a white-haired man while taking a risk walking into a building. Paulo is in search of knowledge and wisdom. And my favorite quote from the book: 

“A man in search of spirituality knows little, because he reads of it and tries to fill his intellect with what he judges wise. Trade your books for madness and wonder—then you will be a bit closer to what you seek. Books bring us opinions and studies, analyses and comparisons, while the sacred flame of madness brings us to the truth.”

Other quotes I like:
“Salute the sun. Allow it to fill your soul – knowledge is an illusion, ecstacy is the true reality.”

Paulo is in search of dancing and learning the ways of the Sufi. It’s not until I re-read sections to really understand what he is looking for. I like this quote so much.

“Then seek the Truth. Seek always to be on its side, even when it brings you pain. There are times when the Truth goes quiet for long stretches, or when it doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. That’s Sufism.”

“‘The Truth is what makes us free. You will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free,’ Jesus said.”

“He had entered a state of complete emptiness, and this emptiness, though its inherent contradiction, filled everything.”

West of 98, What Are You Reading

The best mornings start out with reading and then writing.

I’m re-reading West of 98, Living and Writing the New American West.

The best part of reading this book again is that it reminds of all the amazing places I’ve lived and explored in Colorado and Arizona. It gives me fodder for all the stories I want to write.

Truly belonging to this place would mean embracing it as vastly layered and infinitely complex. Wilderness as primal blessing, forever being born and forever dying.” – Gary Ferguson, from the essay in West of 98: Wolf and Coyote and Kumbaya

Yes by William Stafford


It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could you know. That’s why we wake
and look out–no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.