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What's the Point of Being a Minimalist?

Minimalism has been on my mind for a few reasons recently. First, I bought a motorcycle. If minimalism were a religion, I'd probably be excommunicated for having more motorized vehicles than I have pairs of socks (RV, motorcycle, folding scooter, and electric skateboard vs. two pairs of socks). Second, I had a long conversation with Leo Babauta about minimalism, which brought it from the background of my life to a concept actually examined and discussed. And last, Erica twittered a video about minimalism that's clearly a parody, but makes some valid points along the way.

I sat at a poker table for a few hours tonight and got the coldest run of cards I've had since I can remember. I didn't lose a lot, I just sat there and folded everything. All that time that I WASN'T spending outfoxing my opponents and pulling down monster pots was spent thinking about why I became a minimalist, why I've stayed a minimalist, and what the point of it all is.

I became a minimalist on a lark, which, for better or worse, is why I do a lot of things. I bought an RV, thinking I'd take road trips in it, and from that point on I never slept in my condo again, and I started selling everything. Momentum kept pushing me, and before I knew it I didn't own anything that didn't fit in my 28 liter backpack.

So You Had a Bad Race

On WellMentor

This post is for all the weekend warriors out there – anyone who participates in running, cycling, triathlons or other “race” events.

Whether you participate in these events competitively or not, we each want to do our best every time we go out. Chasing a PR (personal record) is what these events are all about for most of us, even if we tell ourselves that we only signed up so we’d be motivated to train regularly. If that were the case, we’d just lace up our shoes and go run, bike or swim against the watch on our wrist, right? There is something about that “official” time and the environment of competing with hundreds or thousands of other people that ups the ante. That’s why, when a race goes badly, the disappointment is so much greater than when you just have a bad workout on your own. This happened to me this past Saturday.

I ran the Fargo marathon on Saturday with the hopes of breaking 4:30:00 (yes, that’s four hours and 30 minutes – I don’ run so much as plod). I told myself beforehand that if the race were going badly, then I’d settle for just a PR – my previous best time was 4:38:40. My brother and I were running this race together and had been training at similar speeds, and we both thought that 10:00 to 10:05 miles were possible. Unfortunately, that didn’t prove to be the case.

For the first 18 miles, we were nailing it, but at mile 19 my left leg started hurting badly, aching all the way from my heel to my hip. Shortly after mile 21, I walked slowly through a water station, and when I started jogging again, serious pain shot through my left knee. For the next five miles, I walked and jogged at or below 14 minutes per mile, limping the whole time. Much to my chagrin, my brother waited for me. I told him to leave me and try to get his PR (4:42:00) but he wouldn’t. We crossed the finish line together, step for step, at 4:47:28 – my slowest marathon time ever.

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