“And who understands? Not me, because if I did I would forgive it all.”
― Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

We like books. Not so much novels (though I do read them sometimes and Louis had been somewhat of a Stephen King fan at one point or another, as well as an Anne Rice fan) but usually informational books: science books, certain how-to books, etc. My kids enjoy books too. There is an uproar if we skip reading them a bedtime story. And I know my nieces enjoy books too (more on that in another post). I’m glad it runs in the family. I have a particular obsession with my books. I like them to remain as new as possible: no creases, bends, markings, rips/tears, etc. I flip-out if someone mishandles them – really flip-out. My brother was aware of my obsession and told me I’d get over it one day:

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A battle of wills

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” –common proverb


I think about a lot of things when I run: My pace, my breathing, how far I want to run, and a few other things. For the first half mile, I feel great; I feel I can run all day. Then it starts to set in: the slight burn in my legs, a bit of labored breathing, and arms that feel like they’ve got a tad more extra pounds attached to them.

“No sweat,” I think, “just a little burn.”

At a mile is where I really feel it: More leg burning, heavier arms, and a more concentrated effort to control my breathing. This is when the mental battle begins:

“Do I really feel like running today?”

“Why’d I get up so early – I shoulda stayed sleeping.”

“I don’t think I can go on much longer.”

“I’m tired. A mile is good, I’ll do more tomorrow.”

“I hate this, why am I doing this?”

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“You’ll know at the Finish line.” —The Spartan Race

When I ran the Super Spartan Race last month, my goal wasn’t to win. I just wanted to be sure I would be able to finish while not killing myself. That meant I had to prepare.

The Spartan Race publishes daily WOD (Workout of the Day) routines via email. Anyone can subscribe. They offer suggested routines to help prepare for the race and to stay fit. I often get ideas from these and incorporate them into my own. Here’s one of my favorites – I call it, the Spartan Fox:

1). Run 2.5 miles, preferably to a park.

2). Max-out on each of the following:

Declined push-ups
Leg raises

3). Run 0.25 miles

4). Repeat 2-3 one to three times.

5). Run 1 – 2.5 miles.

Think you can finish? Lol.

Logo rising

“[taps the Bat-signal] Nice.” — Batman to Lt. Gordon, in Batman Begins

I’ve been spending more time recently on my blog: writing, reading, exploring. The more I look around the more I realize something’s missing. My brother said that your blog is your home. If that’s true, then mine looks as if I just moved in: no furniture, so to speak – Something’s needed…



Great minds think alike

“… are you pondering what I’m pondering?” — The Brain to Pinky, in Pinky and the Brain

Now being a blogger myself, I have a newfound appreciation for it (I have a newfound appreciation for a lot of things these days). One thing I picked-up on was that it is good to have blog posts written in advance. I usually write my stories several days beforehand, and then post them. More so, before sitting down to write them I let them ‘marinate’ in my head for a few days (even weeks) before that even. It’s a habit I picked up in college. When given physics homework problems to solve, I’d read them first while having absolutely zero intention of attempting to solve them, and come back to them several hours or days later. I always had an appreciation for the subconscious mind, and my thinking was that I’d allow it to explore the problem on its own first without having to do any real work ‘myself’ (the true definition of laziness and procrastination). When coming to the problem again it had an air of familiarity to it at least and I found it easier to think about it. That was one trick I used way back when and it comes in handy for my blog posts too. I usually have a bunch of posts marinating in my head, virtually written, and then sit down one day and write them out. I had always thought this was my own great invention.

I’ve been thumbing through Louis’ blog posts recently and today I found this gem. Sound familiar? I guess it runs in the family! (I doubt we’re the only bloggers or physicists that do this, of course, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it mentioned elsewhere.) Other times, though, as with this post, the stars align and I just kind of come up with a post instantly. Funny how that works too.

Blogging can be as dynamic as thought. That is refreshing.


“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” –Marilyn Monroe




Look closely at my shoes (bottom pic). They hardly look like shoes at all (they hardly feel like them either.). I didn’t know what the hell to wear regarding footwear. Trail running is new to me (hell, running, period, is new to me). I knew whatever shoes I wore would get muddy and that they’d get soaked with water from all the mudpits. Who the hell wants to be sloshing around in water-logged shoes? Not me, for sure. So the way I saw it, I had a choice: run in my Nike Free+ 3’s, dust off my old basketball shoes and run in those, buy a pair of trail running shoes, or go with my Vibram FiveFingers (running in my brand new Brooks Ghost 6 shoes definitely wasn’t an option). I debated all the way up to the final few hours.

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Spartan aftermath

“A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.” –Trinity to Neo, in The Matrix

I had a lot of déjà vu during the race. Even though I’d never done it before and had not previously seen any of the 25+ obstacles, mostly, there was a soothing familiarity to them. I had expected to experience a lot of things during the race (fatigue and bruises, obviously) but this was not one of them. It was a welcome feeling.

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The Spartan Race

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” –Confucius

My brother and I used to go to Pelham Bay Park to exercise. Nothing fancy, just the usual calisthenics: push-ups, dips, etc. The park was an easy 10 minute walk from our home. We had exercised there together for years. As we got older, we both continued to exercise but more so apart than together. This morning I exercised at my son’s school near my house. There’s a nice field there, some benches, and a playground. I’ve been going there regularly now and do the same exercises I’d done with my brother years ago. It’s comforting to go to the school to workout. Though it is different from the park we frequented it is very familiar. I think about my brother.

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