I’d rather wake up wanting to do stuff rather than having to do stuff. Life is short, last week I was 20 and now I’m 56. It goes by really fast. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a cubicle or a prison cell, you wake one day and you’re like ‘Damn, that was fast.’ and so you might as well make it as much as what you want it to be as possible, cuz all you’re getting is older. I don’t understand why people don’t fear that. I wake up every day with the Grim Reaper’s sigh whistling by my ear saying, ‘you better get up, man.’ and it’s all the up I need.
— Henry Rollins

At 6 AM my daily alarm sounds. I'm tired, I recorded a new podcast episode last night and I'm fighting a cold. No factor, I don't have time to be tired or sick. My wife wishes me a happy birthday and I went downstairs for ten minutes of mindfulness practice with my meditation app.

My shoulder is sore, as usual since the surgery. My left knee is tender from running. No factor, if my patella is bouncing from side to side instead of up and down, then my running biomechanics have to improve. Simple. My shoulder has to get stronger as do my knees. 

At 7 AM I make myself some tea and some oatmeal for Monica and JP. JP comes downstairs and says, "Happy Birthday, Dad." The best gift I could ask for. I hug him and thank him. I help him get ready for school and walk him to the bus at 7:45.

Monica leaves for work, taking the rest of the oatmeal that JP left behind. I change out of my pajamas and prepare for a run.

MAF 5 mile run

I ran fourteen miles on Sunday and four miles yesterday. I'm pretty much recovered, Today is a significant day, today I have to improve. 

My maximum aerobic heart rate is 180 minus my age. This keeps me in an aerobic training zone which uses oxygen and fat for fuel and out of an anaerobic zone which burns sugar. Your cardiovascular system has to be better to run faster at a low heart rate. I use a heart rate monitor and keep it at my maximum aerobic function (MAF) heart rate number. Yesterday my MAF number was 143, today it is 142.

Hardly scientific, I know. It takes discipline to adhere to a specific heart rate and to walk up certain steep hills. You must stow your ego away, but that's what I enjoy about this type of training. Next year my MAF will be 141, then 140 the year after that. I will have to be better and better every single year.

On the run I see disabled people on the sidewalk. One man I saw had a cane and had to do a sweeping movement with his right leg at every step. A little reminder about what I should be grateful for.

The latest Jocko podcast is blasting through my earbuds. The story of a captured Vietnam vet and his struggles to survive captivity narrate my run. Once again, a reminder to be grateful and feel fortunate for all that I have.

On arrival back home I do eighteen minutes of yoga and stretching. Every run is damage and has to be mitigated to prevent chronic injury. 

Some nice messages await me when I get home. Considerate friends and family wish me a happy birthday. I feel blessed. I decide to begin writing this blog.

Shower, shave, dress. JP will be arriving home soon.

I drop JP off at daycare and resume my ongoing project of recording a video series based on the bass instruction portion of "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" one of a few projects that I've been engaging in this year.

Finished the video pretty quickly, now going to finish writing the blog. I have work later, a handful of lessons and a Costco trip with Monica and JP afterwards. 

38 years

Birthdays and New Years are good markers to reflect upon what you have learned. To assess what works and what doesn't work and adjust accordingly.

I don't subscribe to the belief that "age is just a number". I also don't feel like someone's age is the be all end all of who a person is and how they should behave. I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds. At the same time I have become wiser I have also become more positive and vibrant, dare I say youthful?

Today is an awesome day. I am having a great birthday. Today is routine and I love routine. I can be robotic and systematic in my behavior but I have grown to love the predictability of it all. I am working on making my default mode a mode of productivity. I have come to loathe inefficiency and idleness. The nature of the universe is growth or death. If you're not improving, you're getting worse. If you're not growing, you're dying.

I have more writing to do, more reading. More videos to make, more podcasts to record and more goals to set and accomplish. As long as I live I will never finish all I want to do. Even though The Reaper will eventually catch up to me, I am going to give him one hell of a chase until he does.

I have found gratification in usefulness. I hope to leave behind a catalog of useful information and instruction to people for years to come. I am not going to wait until "the spirit moves me". It gets done now.

I feel rich in love and in my friendships. Material possessions mean less and less every year to me. I value people, experiences and working on the discipline to achieve goals that I set out for myself. I have all that I need and anything else is on it's way via the universe.

I have also become cantankerous and impatient with cynicism and toxic people. I have absolutely zero tolerance for insincerity and mean-spiritedness. The people who do not add value to me by supporting me also add value by leaving me be and editing themselves from my life.

There is a freedom to reaching an age where you just don't care. I will be who I am and do the things I want to do with my time here because in my heart of hearts... I just don't care what anyone says about it. It's so liberating.

The best gift of all is that I want for nothing. There's no gifts that are entitled to me or that I deserve just because I made it another trip around the sun. I already have abundance and there is more on it's way to me because I am already planting the seeds.


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