Friends came for dinner. A public-interest lawyer, noticing I was bigger, asked what I’d been up to.
“I'm really into lifting weights right now,” I said. “Trying to get strong.”
The lawyer’s wife, a marathoner and family therapist, appeared startled, as if concerned about my emotional state. She looked me in the eye and said, “Why?”
I’ve been trying to motivate myself to join a gym lately. My goal is to get a six pack. I’m aware that this is typically accomplished through diet, but lifting weights would make me look well rounded, not malnourished.
This article spoke to me as someone who has identified as a marathoner for the past 10 years (and continues to do so). While I may secretly want to look like a professional wrestler, I also don’t need to gain 50 pounds of muscle.
Just like basically everything else in life, there is a spectrum between cardiovascularly fit yet scrawny, and strong beyond belief yet can’t run around the block.
In total, Winegard estimates that mosquitoes have killed more people than any other single cause—fifty-two billion of us, nearly half of all humans who have ever lived. He calls them “our apex predator,” “the destroyer of worlds,” and “the ultimate agent of historical change.”
When our troop would go to a week-long Scout Camp in northern Minnesota, we always chose to stay in the Voyageur side of the campground. It was the most rugged of the offerings, where we had to cook our own food and sleep in military-style, open flap tents.
These green mesh tents were essentially a giant World War 2-era parachute string across a structure of three connected pieces of wood.
Part of our responsibility as scouts was to bring mosquito netting.
I spent many summers in my early youth across the lake at Family Camp with my mom, sister, and cousins. One year, though, I was just about old enough to stay with the scouts, so my parents had me back a bag for an overnight excursion.
I grabbed whatever supplies I could find in our camping closet, including the mosquito netting, and embarked for the trip.
As I was in the camp ground setting things up, I pulled apart the netting and realized that it was full of holes. They weren’t too big, I assumed, noting that they ranged in size from quarter-shape to softball-shape.
That night was one of the worst nights of my life.
In the silence of night, all I could hear were mosquitoes buzzing in my ears. Tormenting me. Biting me.
I must’ve spent half the night swatting at the air in vein, desperately trying to fall asleep and get some relief from all the bites.
It got so bad that I opted to climb under my tent mate’s netting and sleep on the tarp rather than my cot with a mattress and sleeping bag.
I say this with zero hyperbole: I hate mosquitoes more than anything on this planet. Even more than people who flick their cigarettes out of their car window.
My mindset has always been that life is a series of things you Have To Get Right or face the consequences of being a Big Failure. That has led me to put immense pressure myself and on many of my individual decisions, including minor ones. As a consequence, I ended up with unreasonably high expectations for myself and others.
My neck hurts from nodding along so aggressively with this self-analysis.
This article has some solid advice if your neck hurts too.
Until very recently, Dropbox had a technical strategy on mobile of sharing code between iOS and Android via C++. The idea behind this strategy was simple—write the code once in C++ instead of twice in Java and Objective C. We adopted this C++ strategy back in 2013, when our mobile engineering team was relatively small and needed to support a fast growing mobile roadmap. We needed to find a way to leverage this small team to quickly ship lots of code on both Android and iOS.
We have now completely backed off from this strategy in favor of using each platforms’ native languages (primarily Swift and Kotlin, which didn’t exist when we started out). This decision was due to the (not so) hidden cost associated with code sharing. Here are some of the things we learned as a company on what it costs to effectively share code. And they all stem from the same basic issue:
By writing code in a non-standard fashion, we took on overhead that we would have not had to worry about had we stayed with the widely used platform defaults. This overhead ended up being more expensive than just writing the code twice.
Say it with me: "write once, run everywhere" is a terrible long-term approach for building mobile apps.
One of the biggest reasons we lose leads is because people are swayed by the promise of having a single codebase that runs on iOS, Android, and the web. Solutions like Xamarin, Flutter, and React Native are touted as these golden solutions that will save you time and money.
These solutions, however, introduce a layer of overhead that end up making it more expensive than it would have been if you did it the right way from the start.
If you are looking to build custom mobile software for your business, learn from Dropbox's example and build your apps using native frameworks from day one.
Oakland resident Dan Stevenson was never the type to call the cops on drug dealers or prostitutes in his neighborhood. He took a lot of technically criminal behavior in stride, but he drew the line at piles of garbage people that kept dumping across from his house. When the city installed a permanent traffic-diverting median at the intersection next door, no amount of signage seemed able to keep litterers from dumping all kinds of waste on this new raised concrete divider.
So Dan Stevenson and his wife Lu discussed options and decided to try something unusual: they would install a statue of the Buddha. When asked why they chose this particular religious figure, Dan explained simply: “He’s neutral.”
Unlike most 99PI episodes which I find can be cynical and dark in tone, this episode was quirky, unexpected, and gives you a bit of hope in a world that often feels dark and cynical.
If you are not already making $500,000 compensation in your job, there are five steps to getting you there.
(1) Do everything you say you are going to do.
(2) Manage your boss and colleagues — don't make them spend time managing you.
(3) Proactively help the organization.
(4) Be positive (don't complain). Be a “yes, and” person.
(5) Report to someone making over $500k.
The summary is helpful for reference, but Auren Hoffman’s entire reply is quite useful if you would like to make more money doing what you do.
Inventor William Cubitt subscribed to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. His “Tread-Wheel,” which was described in the 1822 edition of Rules for the Government of Gaols, Houses of Correction, and Penitentiaries, was presented as a way for prisoners to put in an honest day’s labor. Prisoners used treadmills in groups, with up to two dozen convicts working a single machine, usually grinding grain or pumping water, sometimes for as long as eight hours at a stretch. They’d do so “by means of steps … the gang of prisoners ascend[ing] at one end … their combined weight acting upon every successive stepping board, precisely as a stream upon the float-boards of a water wheel.”
Given a treadmill workout and nothing, I sadly choose nothing all too often.
However, it is fantastic that we have the option, and I’m glad the technology is evolving to make treadmill runs feel more like “real” runs.
I do wish, however, I had one of those treadmill desks. I could see myself easily getting 30,000 steps a day if I had one of those bad boys.
I spent the past year telling myself I’d make changes. I told myself that I’d rather be in a much larger body and competing healthy, than in a smaller body and be broken standing on the sidelines. That “looking the part” of an athlete doesn’t mean shit if you are too injured to even get to the start line. I knew these things. And at times, I thought I was succeeding in changing things.
But with the fourth stress fracture two weeks before Barkley this year, I hit bottom. With sport taken from me, I looked around at all the things that had propped up my “management” of the eating disorder, and realized my disorder was all I had left.
I’ve been fortunate enough to never have to deal with something like anorexia or bulimia, but I find myself constantly struggling with my body image and eating habits.
I know logically that people don’t look at me and judge me as fat or pudgy... in fact, I would venture to guess most people don’t give my appearance a second thought.
But as someone who deals with me and my body every single day, it is hard to sometimes silence that voice in your head who tells you that you have to eat those 8 cookies, and then turns around and tells you that you’re getting fat again.
Anyway, I’ve looked up to Amelia Boone ever since I heard her on the Tim Ferris Show, and we were lucky enough to have her on C Tolle Run as well. Her performances speak for themselves, but the vulnerability she displays in this post makes me respect her even more.
If you’re struggling with an eating problem, talk about it with someone.
I am an unabashed fan of thoughtbot, and I have long felt like I'll have "made it" if I woke up one day and had an agency that was like theirs.
This podcast gave me the reassurance that I am on the right path.
If thoughtbot can make $20 million a year, then JMG can definitely get to $10 million.
There is one thing that you’re better at than other people: being you. This is the only game you can really win.
When you start with this mindset the world starts to look better again. No longer are you focused on where you stand relative to others. Instead, your focus and energy is placed on what you’re capable of now and how you can improve yourself.
Life becomes about being a better version of yourself. And when that happens, your effort and energy go toward upgrading your personal operating system every day, not worrying about what your coworkers are doing. You become happier, free from the shackles of false comparisons and focused on the present moment.
I think this blog is quickly turning into a spot where I can look when I need some internal motivation, and this is a perfect post for that future time.