Skip to main content

Stoic existence

Remember Spock from the now legendary TV series Star Trek? He represented the voice of reason, void of emotion. Whenever trouble was at its crescendo, Spock would present an analytical approach to the solution.

I am a Lutheran, born and raised in Wisconsin. Most would say those groomed in the Lutheran faith, from that neck of the woods, have a stoic view of life. We are for the most part tough, practical, and quite reserved on the emotional side. Some of the Lutherans I know who are strong in faith exercise stoicism at critical junctures in life. A good friend of mine in her late 80's lost her husband, and simply stated, "Joe was a good man, it was his time to go."

Over time, I have become less stoic, and more transparent to my friends and associates. In order to be stoic, most possess a simple thought process, and faith in God's word, so that situations and outcomes in life are quite black and white. It seems that through academics - where we are taught explication on ideas and writings - thought becomes more complex, with many additional layers. We come to see multiple sides of a topic, almost as if our mind is a Rubik's Cube, and we are attempting to get the colors in line.

I have recently met new friends who are stoic in nature, for all the right reasons. Given tough situations in life, they pushed forward while doing the good things for those around them, keeping that "stiff upper lip" and many times making personal sacrifices. It shows their character as being selfless, as they stood the test of a bad season in time. They have emerged as a valued gift, like gold sifted through fire.

I will continue to journey through life as an observer, watching and learning from the interesting individuals God puts in my path.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …