GarageFit, rockin' podcast apps, free-and-awesome online learning, and selflessness revisited.
I climbed over downed trees on the trail today and scraped mud off my bike, so fall must be upon us! My favorite time of year (other than the extra bike maintenance).
In my continuing quest to suck less at cooking, I also made jackfruit ribs topped with homemade BBQ sauce from our garden tomatoes.
Our recent favorite recipe, however, is Chelsea's adaptation of a chocolate vegan mug cake...aka single-serving lava cake ready in minutes. Couple with mint tea, a hot fire and a good book for a major life upgrade!
This Week's Newsletter:
A new blog post about my GarageFit workout setup, the podcast app with a dream feature, free music (or whatever!) classes taught by world-class teachers, and why selflessness is overrated,
Oh, and if you missed my recent blog post last week about "adventure" and thinking back on fun (and pain) in the saddle, check it out!
Getting up high, away from it all.
My GarageFit Home Gym Setup
GarageFit started as a joke in 2017, a goofy name for garage strength workout with a friend. It soon blossomed into a 2x/week community workout for a group of guys. (Well, until the damndemic hit…)
With covid blaring away, cold weather upon us, and outside options diminishing, a garage gym is ever more important. Per a couple of requests from readers, here's my setup, plus three quick workouts.
A few main points:
I gear these workouts toward functional strength to keep me strong and mobile for the primary reason I lift: beach muscles outdoor activities and mobility.
I avoid heavy Olympic lifts (too many loud grunting noises required).
My lifting sessions are short (~30 minutes) and aim for whole-body movements. This isn’t a bodybuilder’s “calves and triceps” setup. I target entire muscle groups or a chain of muscles.
If you're like me, you don't remember everything you read or listen to.
Highlighting Kindle books and reviewing those quotes on a regular basis using Readwise cranked up my retention of written concepts, but what about podcasts? In one ear and out the other...
Until now. Check out the Airr.io podcast app, which lets you easily highlight and save excerpts from podcasts. Even better, if there's a transcript available, it saves the text. I'm currently updating my organization/productivity system (more later!) and Airr exports nicely into that.
Not too many more mountain days like this left in 2020!
Free Classes From Amazing Instructors: Coursera
I applaud the trend of universities putting courses online for people to audit for free. They're sometimes called MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Classes.
Not surprisingly, that's only accelerated the last few months.
If you haven't heard of this, check out Coursera! (There are many others.) I'm currentlylovingDeveloping Your Musicianship through the Berklee School of Music. It's taught by a professional jazz musician and my hands feel like two stone clubs when I'm watching him show off.
The downside to these classes: accountability. 99% of students don't finish free online courses. Having college tuition money on the line is motivating! Unless you're fired up on a topic (cough piano), taking the class with a parent/friend/partner and regularly scheduling it seems like the way to go.
Selflessness Is Overrated
A continued pursuit for me is grappling with contribution out of obligation versus because I sincerely want to. While I believe we can all benefit from selfless contribution (and that the world needs it, especially now!), I'm more focused on engaging in places that resonate strongly (e.g. mentoring, GarageFit) in a way that avoids burnout.
If you’re prone to thinking you should be helping more, that’s probably a sign that you could afford to direct more energy to your idiosyncratic ambitions and enthusiasms. As the Buddhist teacher Susan Piver observes, it’s radical, at least for some of us, to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary time.
And the irony is that you don’t actually serve anyone else by suppressing your true passions anyway. More often than not, by doing your thing – as opposed to what you think you ought to be doing – you kindle a fire that helps keep the rest of us warm.