Friday, October 29, 2010

How to look like a giant nerd while running a 5K

Click to make the giant nerdiness more giant.

I need to make this an ongoing "how-to" series. I really excel at looking like a giant nerd in various situations.

Tomorrow morning I'll be running the Pumpkin Push 5K at Seward Park and trying to break 30 minutes. You can find out what happens here. The suspense!

Considering that my food intake today included pizza, Halloween cupcakes, more Reese's peanut butter cups than I care to divulge and one giant Santa mug (you heard me) full of beer from the office kegerator (YOU HEARD ME), it'll be a miracle if I break 30.

No matter what, I'll have a heck of a time. Plus, my very favorite holiday is this weekend! It just doesn't get better than this.

Which reminds me... How to look like a giant nerd on Halloween (2009 style):

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to look like a giant nerd in your high school yearbook

I was 17 in 2004 and could not vote in the November election, so I decided instead to create this super awesome t-shirt — using red Sharpie and Scotch tape, thank you — to peer-pressure my 18-year-old classmates into voting. Preferably not for George W. Bush, but I didn't state that on the shirt.

I guess I should have. Oops!

This is a friendly reminder to all of you to VOTE this week! You have until Tuesday, November 2, to drop your ballot in the mail in Washington state. If you're reading this in another state, you should do your voting thing, too — whatever you need to do. Then go do a keg stand, because the other kids are doing that, too!

Ahh, I miss college.

Speaking of silly, regrettable things... it's not a great idea for a Senatorial candidate to shove fliers under the windshield wipers of all the cars in the Park & Ride, ANDY HILL, because when it rains, as it often does IN SEATTLE, you look like a huge jerk when people have to spend three minutes peeling your soggy face off of their windshields when all they want to do is go home, heat up a Hot Pocket and watch Dancing with the Stars.

I didn't vote for you anyway, dude.

So that's all I have to say right now. Vote. I'm not gonna say VOTE OR DIE, because, wtf? Is that a threat? Vote or don't vote. But it'd be pretty cool if you did vote.

As my super-cool high school friend Carl, who now works for Congress, reminded us everyday citizens on Facebook, "Decisions are made by those who show up."

(That quite possibly came from The West Wing. Amazing.)

**Random memory update: I don't recall a whole lot from 1996, but I do remember quite vividly the mock presidential election we had in elementary school. My family had just moved from Seattle to northern Indiana; I was in 4th grade. I voted for Bill Clinton. Nearly everyone else voted for Bob Dole (this was Indiana, remember). Even then, at 9 years old, I remember being like, "Bob Dole? Really, guys?" I just love voting.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The photos!

If I do say so myself, the coolest photo from the hike on Saturday is this one of Aaron climbing a giant tree stump that looked like a piece of broccoli (click photo for larger view):

I'm sure he's happy that he beat out trees, a waterfall and random mossy things for best photo. America's Next Top Model status! (So many hours of my life dedicated to that show, my God.)

We used his Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lens (I have no clue what I just wrote) for these shots, and he also did some magic tricks with Lightroom, I believe.
I was obsessed with trees that sported ugly protrusions. Again, ANTM-style, I was all, "Give me pretty, but make it ugly. I said ugly-pretty!"

I also liked this tree that looked like a claw. It reminded me of the Fremont troll's claw-like hands. Check it.

And here's a leaf. A leaf on a log.

"This will be a good one for the blog," said Aaron:
Please note that I'm rocking a Jansport, thank you. And I'm glad the camera is hiding my face, since I found myself making all kinds of crazy faces while taking photos. I believe the crazier your face is while shooting, the better the photo. Truth.
This one might be straight out of the camera. Aaron might have taken this one, too. This is the flowy water look I was trying to learn about.
Aaron took this one. This little guy grew out of the top of a tree stump. So cute!
This one reminds me of the Henry David Thoreau quote I keep in the right margin of this blog, which I shortened a bit, but says: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

I hadn't actually been to the woods in a while until Saturday. Despite its name, Woodinville doesn't exactly count. It was peaceful and fun, and as much as I enjoyed seeing the sights through an awesome lense, I liked seeing it all in real life even more.

Some things just can't be captured in a photo. I remember I was trying to take a good picture of something interesting and finally just stepped back and said, "Maybe I'll just enjoy it in real life for a sec." Of course, I can't remember now what I was looking at, but I enjoyed it at the time, and that counts just as much as a cool photo, I think.

I had Aaron take this last photo because I knew I'd never remember where we were. This was a nice, easy and very pretty hike, and a great place for me to start learning about photography from a very patient teacher.

I highly recommend that you go to the woods sometime.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Awesome/exhausting weekend

It started with a hike.

My friend Aaron, a knowledgeable and talented photographer, was cool enough to go on a hike with me Saturday and show me how to use his ridiculously nice Canon camera. Most of our conversations went like this:

"So, if I want to make the water look flowy, the number needs to be high so that the shutter speed is... slow?"

Typing that now, I have no idea if that's right. He taught me about ISO and aperture and other stuff and my brain just does not grasp it all very easily. But, I know way more now than I did before (I think??) and I'll only learn more with time, reading and practice.

Best of all, there was a super sweet waterfall at the end of the hiking trail, which Aaron swore he did not know was there, but it made for some cool pictures.

This photo was taken with my phone. There's Aaron playing a fun game with his camera practically in the water. He's much more adventurous/brave than I am!

I'll post some actual pictures I took when I get them and we'll see if they're any good.

Today was the Dawg Dash 5K at my alma mater, the University of Washington. The race started and ended in Husky Stadium, which was also where I started (Dawg Days orientation) and ended (graduation) my college career. I'm sure that's symbolic somehow.

You can read about my super awesome 5K playlist (played on my gangster iPod mini, which worked wonderfully), the rain magically clearing up for the race and my new personal best 5K time here.

Yes, that's a plug for my new little running blog. I figured I wouldn't bore you with a bunch of running stuff here. I'm too busy boring you with other stuff!

Side note: How cute is my mom?

Speaking of other stuff... I've been slacking on my push-ups. But, as so often happens at my house, a random push-up challenge commenced on Saturday and some personal-best records were set. My mom did four — she had never done even one before. I did 10 — the first seven pretty easily, then numbers eight through ten with great, head-bursting effort. Aaron did 50, but he's a guy, so whatever.

Also, I'm doing another 5K next weekend. Also, I really need to construct my lobster costume for Halloween (meant to start today, took an epic nap instead). It should be a good week leading up to another fun weekend!

Side-side note: Congrats to my dad on his engagement yesterday! I don't write a lot about my dad here, but we're very close and I'm so happy he's found a wonderful woman who loves him [almost] as much as I do. We don't always agree on everything, but he's the most important man in my life.

He's always in the front row of every event I participate in, from my pathetic attempts at junior high track meets and random award ceremonies to high school and college graduations. He's right there, filming everything and snapping photos like it's the Olympics. He's listened, given advice and cried with me over multiple heartaches and heartbreaks. He never hangs up the phone without saying, "I love you." And I'd need all the fingers and toes of an entire army to count the number of times he's said the words, "I'm proud of you, Dev."

I love you, and I'm proud of you, Dad.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Don't be shy... I see you

I don't get a whole lot of comments on this blog, and that's OK. I write mostly to organize the tangle of thoughts in my head and put them somewhere else so they don't clog up my brain.

But some friends will mention in passing that they've read certain posts, and I've gotten some nice emails and Facebook messages from old high school friends with words of encouragement. It's always nice to hear that people read what I write and don't think it's complete crap. (And if you do think it's complete crap, feel free to keep that to yourself. Thanks!)

If you follow my blog and don't want to comment because you're afraid I'll think you're a creeper, don't worry about that. Chances are I already know you're a creeper, especially if you're the only person I actually know who lives in a certain state or city.

Google Analytics rocks. It lets me know that people do read my crap! And they read it all over the country. Not so much in the midwest, but I've never been a big fan of that region, either.

All those dots represent visits from 77 different cities in 21 states. Doesn't look like that many, I know, but The Google never lies. At least I like to think it doesn't.

People have also viewed this blog in Germany (hi, Moo!), South Korea (hi, Sarah!), Canada, India and New Zealand (no clue on those last three).

And while the largest concentration of visitors obviously comes from Seattle and the surrounding cities, there are a surprising number of visits from Portland, Oregon, and Mesa, Arizona. Who are you, Portland people? Holler at me, Mesa! Don't be shy. I appreciate your visits, and I'd love to hear from you, too.

This is not meant to be an OMGLookHowCoolIAmBecausePeopleReadMyBlog post. (I've already established that I never have been, am not and never will be cool.)

I just thought I'd let y'all know that although I expose quite a bit of my thoughts here, I can also see a little bit of you, and I'd like to see even more (in a completely non-creepy way). Don't be afraid to comment, or just email me if you'd like to holler (talking to you, Mesa!) or ask me any questions about how I got to be such a weirdo.

And I'm sorry I've been MIA from blogging lately. (Yes, I see when people check my blog even when I haven't updated it for several days. I appreciate you.) I've been running. And going to sleep early. And getting up early. And running. You can read a little more about that here, if you want.

I get ideas for blog posts right about the same time I get into bed (which is 9:30 on weeknights, holler!), and I usually fall asleep writing them in my head. Then they're gone when I wake up.

I also have lots of random notes, quotes and lists on the memo app on my phone. The problem is that I tend to write looong, boooring posts and don't want to just knock out a post if I won't have time to get all my thoughts out. And if I start writing a post at 8:30, I'll inevitably be up until 11:30 obsessing over it, and then be tired and miserable the next day.

I highly suggest a 9:30 bedtime, grandma style. I didn't know what it felt like to not be tired all the time until I actually started getting enough sleep, and then I realized it was awesome and I don't want to go back. This hinders my blogging. I need to make the time.

I knew I was going to like J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly when I read something he wrote that was along the lines of, "I've been meaning to do [such-and-such], but I haven't made the time." He deliberately avoided saying, "I didn't have the time."

We all  have the same amount of time. We all choose what to do with it.

I currently make plenty of time for:
  • exercise
  • sleep
  • life admin (boring stuff like laundry, writing my budget, clearing clutter)
I need to work on making time for:
  • my close friends
  • blogging
  • keeping up with people (calling my dad, setting up lunch dates and happy hours with friends I rarely see, etc.)

Well, this post turned from a Creepy McCreepathon into a self-improvement call-to-action...

Now to sleep. Hiking Saturday. 5K-ing Sunday.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Start taking your dreams very, very seriously

I've decided to buy myself a really freakin' nice camera for Valentine's Day.

Why? Because I've also decided to start taking my dreams very, very seriously.

I've realized that dreams I never act on will always remain dreams. If I let obstacles — real or imagined — stand in the way of my dreams, I'll end up staying right where I am, wondering what would have happened if I'd acted.

Once I decide to act, a dream becomes a goal. A goal, when reached, becomes a reality.

Ben Davis once weighed 360 pounds and was deeply unhappy with his life. Check out his new reality — please watch the whole thing, get really emotional and then vow to take your dreams seriously:

A very good thing to remember: "If you want to do it, all you have to do is do it."

The obstacles I face in acting on my dream to take up photography as a serious hobby are mostly imagined. I wrote that I feel paralyzing self-doubt when I think that I might not be good at it, that other people will always be better and that it's too late for me to master a new skill.

The funny thing is that real obstacles, like not having enough money to buy a nice camera or enough time to practice taking photos, aren't the issue here. I have enough money. I have plenty of free time on the weekends. The fact that the biggest obstacles exist only in my head is an interesting realization.

I find that when I dream of something, whether it's running a marathon or traveling around the world, I almost immediately start thinking, "But... [I'll never have enough endurance] [I'll never have enough time/money/bravery]." I can be too practical and too realistic. The "But..." comes all too quickly for me.

Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." If I accept my self-doubts as reality, they'll become reality. If I choose to overcome them, I will.

It all starts with taking my dreams seriously. Instead of thinking about all the reasons why I can't do something and letting them stop me from accomplishing anything, I can look for ways to conquer them. In the case of learning photography, I can simply believe in myself. Having other people believe in me, like the people who left nice comments on Facebook about my previous post and who emailed words of encouragement, also helps.

I also do really well with having set goals. My goal to buy a nice camera for Valentine's Day has nothing to do with the issue of money, but more with the idea of making it really special for myself. I don't want to just decide to take up photography, immediately spend a bunch of money on a camera and then take it for granted. I want to plan for it, look forward to it and really appreciate it when the time comes.

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes, "Because money permits a constant stream of luxuries and indulgences, it can take away their savor, and by permitting instant gratification, money shortcuts the happiness of anticipation. Scrimping, saving, imagining, planning, hoping — these stages enlarge the happiness we feel."

Also, I've decided to forgo a new laptop for a while. When I got my laptop "fixed" (it was never really broken...), a new laptop went from being a "need" to a "want." I want a nice camera more than I want or need a new laptop. I could have both, I suppose, but that just seems excessive. It's fun to have smarter, better, faster and stronger things, but the satisfaction of getting use out of something that's still useful is fun for me, too (see: periwinkle minivan, 17 years old and going strong).

As for the Valentine's Day timeline, that's just so I can have something to look forward to on Valentine's Day (sounds sad when I type it, but I assure you, it's not). I'm on an open-ended, self-imposed dating hiatus, which will have to be explained in a different post, since the long-story-short version is still a long story. I'm quite happy with the single life, so I won't mind spending V-Day alone, but it'll be even sweeter with a new, badass camera in my hands.

And what better day to start pursuing a "passion" than Valentine's Day? : )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Talent, passion and love, love, love

This morning I awoke to a very nice and unexpected email from Jesse Tarnoff, the extraordinarily talented filmmaker behind Sandbox Love. He had read my August post about weddings and wrote to thank me for the praise that I heaped upon his very praiseworthy wedding films.

Specifically, I had summed up the work of Sandbox Love in three words: "Gorgeous. Romantic. Stunning."

So then I thought, "Hey, not only is this guy crazy-talented, but he's also nice enough to send a thank-you email to some random girl who watches his videos! Awesome."

But there's another reason that I admire Jesse and the other folks at Sandbox Love: They are clearly doing what they love. They are doing meaningful work that will be treasured forever by these newlyweds and their families. And they are doing an amazing job.

I've been struggling a bit with figuring out what I'm passionate about and what I'm good at. After all, wise people say that the best career route you can take is to find something that you love to do and then find a way to get paid for it.

Chris Guillebeau says this about pursuing meaningful work: "The world is waiting for you to figure out what only you can contribute. Take as much time as you need to find the answer, and then get started on it."

I'm still working on figuring out what I can contribute. I find myself thinking of things I might like to do, whether for a future career or just a fun hobby, and then I feel paralyzed by self-doubt.

For instance, I've always liked photography. I enjoy whipping out my camera to capture bits of life that I'd like to keep around a little longer. But I worry that if I tried to take photography more seriously, perhaps by buying a more sophisticated camera and really learning how to use it well, I might find that I'm no good at it. And I have this odd feeling that since I've never taken a photography class, I'm somehow behind (but behind who?). And because I focused on writing in college, I feel like that skill defines me, and that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

I know that no matter what I do, there will always be someone who is better at it than me. But I have to remember that just because someone is better at something doesn't mean that I can't be good at it, too. And as soon as I refer to myself as an "old dog" at 23, I know I'm being ridiculous, but I'm just being honest here.

Just yesterday, I read this encouraging piece of wisdom in Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project: "Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice."

It's obvious that Jesse and the other filmmakers of Sandbox Love have incredible raw talent, but on top of that, they must have spent years studying, practicing, observing others' work and developing a vision for the kind of films they want to produce. Being passionate and putting in the work is what really brings that initial talent alive.

Talent without passion is a dormant quality. It's like Play-Doh that forever stays shut inside the container. It has the potential to be so many things — anything, really — yet it will be none of those things if no one puts time and effort into shaping it.

Having potential is one thing; living up to it is another.

I may or may not have a natural talent for photography — I don't know — but if I can start pursuing it with passion, maybe that's just as good. It's certainly better than just thinking about it and doing nothing.

Back to Jesse Tarnoff, my inspiration for this post. He writes on his blog, "I have the best job in the world. I get to tell love stories." He's certainly found what only he can contribute to the world, and he does it so well. Check out a few of my favorite wedding films from Sandbox Love:

Dan + Danielle's Wedding Highlights from Sandbox Love on Vimeo.

Ahh, my current favorite. The Dashboard Confessional song is perfect. The best parts, in my opinion: All the shots that "peek" around corners; when Danielle rounds the corner of the stairs and her family cheers; the incredible dome of the church; the look in Dan's eyes as he watches Danielle walk down the aisle; her father telling them to keep each other safe and make each other laugh. (The fathers always kill me in these.)

Allison + Craig from Sandbox Love on Vimeo.

This one's probably my all-time favorite. Again, the songs are spot-on and perfect for the pre-wedding and post-wedding moods. Best parts: The entire thing. It looks like it was such a fun wedding! (Plus, the father's speech — again, it kills me!)

Check out the Sandbox Love Web site for more. And big thanks to Jesse for being awesome and giving me an inspirational boost without even knowing it. (And I was serious when I told you I'll be hiring you someday!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The death and rebirth of a laptop

My laptop died in February while I was using it to refer to a recipe for lemon-thyme cakes. The good news was that I was able to complete the lemon-thyme cakes even after my laptop died, and they were delicious.

Then I stashed the laptop in the hall closet for eight months and pulled it out for the first time this morning.

I took it to the Apple Store to see if a Genius could figure out what was wrong with it. I had already paid several hundred dollars to get this laptop fixed in college — don't fall asleep with your laptop open on your lap, kids — and I really didn't want to pay to fix it again.

Plus, the laptop was filled to capacity and slooow as all heck. I just wanted to see if I could somehow get my photos, music and other files off of it so I could transfer them to the new laptop I'll be purchasing soon.

This is a friendly reminder to back up your files on an external hard drive, kids.

Can I just say here that the University Village Apple Store is kind of scary? It's giant, first of all, and there are approximately a million people in there at all times. There are employees running around with their eyes glued to iPhones and iPads. There are children bouncing around on beanbags. There are dogs. Why are there dogs?

I took my seat at the Genius Bar with trepidation. My Genius did not offer me a vodka-soda with lime, which is when I decided that this was the lamest bar I'd ever been to. But he seemed friendly and didn't scoff at my dirty white laptop that had clearly seen better days (2005 — a good year), so I settled in for a nice, long computer chat that I probably wouldn't understand.

First, the Genius plugged his own power adapter into my laptop. Then he turned it on. Wait, he turned it on?

"So... what's the problem with your laptop again?"

The problem was that my power adapter was bent a teeny, tiny bit out of shape and wouldn't charge the laptop enough to turn it on. This was clearly evident by simply looking at the adapter and remembering the time that I fell asleep with the laptop in my lap and it fell to the ground and broke and also bent the adapter out of shape. (Don't do this! Don't do this!) The bent adapter had worked for a while — if you turned it juuust right, which I became an expert at doing — but it had finally had enough in February.

It shouldn't take a genius to figure this out. In this case, it did.

My Genius tweaked my adapter for about five seconds and got it to work again. He was a gentleman and didn't even call me a big freakin' idiot for not realizing how simple the solution was. Then he assured me that no matter which Apple laptop I choose to buy next, it will be a million, trillion, gazillion times better than this gangster one that I'm typing on right now, even if I buy it stock, because this one may as well have been cobbled together by cavemen shortly after the wheel.

(I'm still going to buy a new laptop. In February, my net worth was thousands of dollars in the negative zone, and I didn't have a spare penny to toss into a well and wish for a new laptop. Since then I've waited and saved and waited to be able to afford a new laptop, one that's smarter, better, faster, stronger, one that has enough memory to hold the musical stylings of Daft Punk and Kanye West. I'm excited.)

I love my Genius. I want to marry him, or any one of those other Geniuses I spotted at that bar. My mom has always told me that any guy I meet at a bar is sure to be trouble, and she's actually been completely right, up until today.

Geniuses make miracles happen. Geniuses save lives.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tequila shots that don't kill you will only make you stronger

What I failed to mention in my skydiving post was the violent ear-popping I experienced while hurtling through the air toward certain death. It didn't occur to me that this would happen, but in hindsight it makes perfect sense.

It didn't detract too much from the amazing overall experience, but I had a headache for the rest of the night. I was also completely exhausted — all the heart-racing anticipation, last-minute adrenaline pumping and insane flipping through the air while free-falling can do that to you. So I went to bed around 9:00 that night, content to sleep in and take it easy the following day.

Just kidding! I did go to bed early, but got up at 7 a.m. on Sunday to the sound of buckets of rain pounding the skylights above my bed. We had a 5K to run, people!

Don and I dressed for a theme we thought appropriate for the Fremont Oktoberfest Brew HA-HA 5K: partying! His subtle-yet-effective shirt is from the 70s; my "This Girl Can Party" shirt was purchased at the mall shortly before my 21st birthday specifically to make my mom cringe.

It totally worked.

It rained so violently the entire way to Fremont that we thought the 5K run/walk might morph into a swim/paddle. Luckily the storm subsided right as Don, my mom and I parked the car. God smiled on Fremont that day, and the sun even started shining later on as the beer garden festivities kicked off.

Don had been training for this 5K for months and left my mom and I behind right away, as expected (he finished in 28:15). I stuck with my mom until about two-thirds of the way through the race; then, at her vehement encouragement, I pulled ahead to finish on my own. She came in a mere two minutes (35:34) behind me.

There were several people dressed up in Oktoberfest outfits, plus a trio of true American patriots (crazy wigs, shorty American-flag shorts, cropped tops with beer bellies on full display). Then there was the very talented guy who dribbled two basketballs while running the entire 3.1 miles; the group of guys dressed like Ghostbusters; the guy who ran in a full polar-bear suit to raise awareness for... something; and the guy who ran only wearing a sheer, pink thong.

The front view of the latter was beyond horrifying. Watch this video and check him out 25 seconds in.

I was definitely not one of the top finishers, but I thought I had a decent time (33:32) for my first 5K and for sticking with my mom most of the way when I probably could have gone faster. I have not always liked to run, and in fact have hated it more often than I've enjoyed it, but this was a lot of fun. I'm already working on running faster for the next 5K (or two) that I'm planning to do near the end of October.

It ain't where you start, but where you end up! Which brings me to the tequila story.

Over the summer, I played on a softball team. I was also working out more than I ever had before and building up unprecedented strength and endurance (for me). I could do — get this! — an all-time personal best of four consecutive push-ups. I was pretty darn proud of that.

One evening, during a post-win celebration with the team at the Ravenna Alehouse, I was gifted with a few shots of tequila by a creepy nice man as a thank-you for getting out of his way as he played pool (I was sitting directly in the way of most of his shots). My enablers teammates encouraged me to accept these gifts, and I did.

I can get a bit competitive after a few drinks, and, in the great tradition of Festivus-style Feats of Strength, I have been known to challenge people to arm wrestling matches. Usually I challenge someone who is much, much stronger than me, with the full knowledge that I will lose. But everyone likes to pull for the underdog, right?

This evening in particular, I decided to challenge a much-stronger (i.e. male) teammate to a push-up competition. After all, I had four solid push-ups in my arsenal! How could I go wrong?

I shocked everyone, including myself, by knocking out 12 push-ups before I collapsed. My opponent not only kept going, but started doing one-handed push-ups just to rub it in.

Defeat aside, I've interpreted this event as irrefutable scientific evidence that tequila makes me 3X stronger. Obviously.

However, tequila is inherently evil, and I now refuse to drink it (or shots of any kind, actually). The stench alone is repulsive, and only bad things (or really fun things — but mostly bad) come of its consumption. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits even includes this fact on his list of 20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life (item #18).

Instead, I've turned to a different method to improve my upper-body strength and my ability to do push-ups. Enter the One Hundred Push-ups training program. I found out about it — where else? — via the Art of Non-Conformity, where I read that Chris Guillebeau had managed to do 100 consecutive push-ups "by doing the final exercises in the Ulaan Bataar airport in Mongolia this summer, waiting to fly back to Korea."


My living room is a little less exotic than Ulaan Bataar, but it works just as well for doing push-ups. Before starting the program, I could only do three (with great, great effort). Now, at the end of week two, I can do eight solid push-ups. No tequila required!

I've got a long way to go until I reach 100 push-ups, but where you end up is much more important than where you start. And starting something is always much more effective than just thinking about it and doing nothing.

I don't want to be able to do 100 push-ups just for the bragging rights. I want to be able to 100 push-ups because it seems, to me, to be impossible.

I know from experience — from paying off my debt, for example — that once you accomplish something that you previously thought was impossible, the world becomes a much less scary, much more fun place to live.
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