Can’t hide winter from @StioMountain new fall/winter line, too good :)

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At 42 you’d think the fall stoke for snow and winter would start to fade somehow.  It doesn’t.  This year, it is more powerful than ever.  Perhaps because of the following:

a. the last two sierra winters have been super bony

b. i spent 5 months in indonesia/asia w/ my family mar – aug this past year

c. i traveled A LOT in the last 3 years from the Truckee home base largely in big U.S. cities building my last company — but my latest start-ups are HQ’d in Truckee (more to come on this) — travel will always be required (and in some cases awesome/welcome) in what  I do, but I can see a big winter ahead . . .

It’s because of all three of the above really.  BUT, my general strategy of “pray for a long fall/bike/run/hike/trail season and a binary winter switch w/ minimal transition zone and ignore winter/don’t get teased” is getting thwarted by Stio.

Normally I just lock the winter clothing/gear away until there is adequate base/snow/etc. to rock it.  But Stio product and strategy are working.  The clothing really does cross over beyond pure “tech/snow/skiing/climbing” gear.  Tech and function and style.

It is all I am wearing for town meetings and trail runs and family/friend dinner meet ups and just lounging around the house (I actually have had to PURPOSELY take it off for winter prep chores / outside projects w/ sharp stuff and potential to rip/damage anything not made of modern chainmail — but more on that to come)

So, damn you Stio.  Tongue firmly planted in cheek.  How am I supposed to not pine for winter when all I wear — and want to wear (i.e. lightweight stylie pants/jackets for touring and mountaineering and skating/xc/etc. . .) is begging for winter?

All good, really, great stuff.  Favorite fall pieces for cross over town and activity are pictured and linked above  More to come on the more tech oriented pieces when I have a chance to put ’em through the paces, and for that we need some SNOW!!  All good, and in good time.

 

 

 

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Decompressed yet? Part X: I got your HIGH CLASS problem right here . . .

Per the INTRO, and Parts I – V, and VIVII, VIII, IX —  tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating.  90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam to come up w/ these nuggets! . . .  But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
Part X here we go, spraying on opportunity and how blessed (and paradoxically handicapped) we are . . .
Are you in the United States right now / a U.S. citizen?  Go kiss the ground you win. I’m open to all kinds of lenses and edge cases that say that is not the case just because you are born in the U.S. or live in the U.S. doesn’t mean you are happy or have it great relative to the rest of the world, etc. And sure for some peeps that is true. But the ability to pursue a dream, to use your freedom, to have access to capital and ideas and infrastructure, to get an education . . . it is all so tangible to me now.
So much I’ve taken for granted no matter how intellectually hard I’d tried not to.  Reading the Economist and/or just seeing numbers on paper does not do it.  Want a world view go live it w/ your kids for half a year dev nation style.
Back home — oooohhhh the challenges we face!!! Should I pursue awesome profession X or Y, start company b or c, should I make blah or 10xblah, how much should I travel for work, should my kids go to awesome school X or awesome school Y, should we build a custom house on our lands or stay in our awesome/amazing house, should Megan go back to work or not, should she do it for money or focus on money or not, should I race bikes more or less, should I mountaineer more or less, should we eat more organic or local or plants or . . . should I start another company, or join the team of a more established startup, should I focus on local economic development or save that for later, should I mow my own lawn and clean my own house or pay some other peeps to do it, what am i going to be for halloween!  . . . HIGH CLASS PROBLEMS.
Crazy, because the complexity of the privilege in many ways is way harder to manage the simplicity of the base levels of survival (shelter and food).  If “winning” is purely based on I fed myself/my family, reproduced, lived another day/year, etc. — at least that is black and white and we all know what we have to do.  Once it’s all about self actualizing and beyond the will I live or die, now it gets murky and wow maybe we just haven’t evolved fast enough to keep up w/ challenges of self actualization/etc. up the chain on maslow’s heirarchy of needs.
I remember the first quarter of my first year at Dartmouth getting shelled in an international government class.  It was out of my league/over my head.  C+ I think.  Had never even see those figures on a report card.  The prof, while banging on principles of deterrence and nuclear proliferation amongst nation states, managed to weave in a theme at all times that went something like “you all have no idea how good you have it you soft ass ivy wusses sweet jesus please recognize you actually have a RESPONSIBILITY not just opportunity to at least not be a random loser my god you are in the top .00001% of opportunity given in the world don’t be an idiot and throw it away at least try and do your best and hey maybe help make the world a better place because you are already rich, did i mention how good you have it and what stuck up wusses you are btw?”.
Thanks for the C+ bro :)  I earned it.

Decompressed yet? Part IX: What is shape?

Per the INTRO, and Parts I – V, and VIVII and VIII tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating.  90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam to come up w/ these nuggets! . . .  But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
Part IX here we go, spraying on getting out of and back into “shape” as it were . . .
The 5 months we spent traveling were by no means sedentary.  I wrote about how in many ways the adventure travel was the workout.  Especially with family/kids and the attendant gear and straight dealing.  And, when you don’t have a car, well, you don’t have a car!  Tons of walking, transport by bike, hauling bags, touring, exploring ruins, swimming — and SURFING.  Mixed in, my amazing wife schooling me on yoga, so rad.  In many ways even though I knew I was losing my endurance fitness, my body felt amazing, freed from general stresses of 12 months of mountaineering/skiing/cycling/etc. . . . Of course I also experienced a major rib injury surfing, was jacked up GI/internally for much of the trip (and still), had various 40+ year old aches and pains from the sheer rigors of adventure travel moving heavy bags and kids around in tight spaces (neck tweaks, blah, blah) and diff beds all the time and sleep and diet a constant adventure. So, after literally a lifetime (or 3 decades?) of some type of structured and regular athletic training and activity — and the last decade in super endurance adventure athlete zone — what happens when you take 5 months off and then re-introduce.  And as a data and biohack geek all the more interesting we are talking about a goon who had quantified and measured just about all of it while running the thing (my body) as close to an F1 race car as possible . . .
Regarding body composition: I lost muscle mass.  I gained body fat.  Duh.  I actually net lost weight (left at ~155 and came back at ~150 and probably varied from that +/- 2.5 pds throughout the trip).  Initially on the trip I was doing a ton of surfing and swimming, and also was waylaid bigtime by GI stuff, and boom the diet was super natural very few refined foods and low grains and red meats and massive % of calories from unrefined plant foods (fruits/veggies/legumes/soy/tempeh/tofu) and the proteins and fats were as much eggs and fish and local nuts and avocados as anything just what was around . . . legs got skinny-ish no real bike or climbing this was funny, lost 2.5kg, got a little rounder in the middle, built some more upper body muscle/mass I think.  I think I lost 5 pounds off my legs! And it was muscle.  My fat traditionally is ass/low back abdo/arms/face?
Aside-ish — I joked many times about the adventure travel diet.  Go somewhere and just live like the (skinny) locals and there it is.  This is not about image or weight or diet stuff.  It is about health and wellness.  Yeah, that ripped Laotian or Cambodian is probably NOT going to get cancer or heart disease (seriously, less than 10% of them die from those diseases, while upwards of 80% of Americans DO). Now, that doesn’t mean the ripped or “in shape” american is equally unlikely to NOT get cancer or heart disease or some other bad chronic issue.  I’ll pause here on this wormhole, a deeper topic.  But fascinating to live it, go native, feel it . . .
Late in the trip, in month 5, I climbed Mt Rinjani.  A serious 2 day endeavor.  Even if I’d been in great shape this would have been legit. I ended up suffering on the GI front unrelated to cardio fitness but had a great climb/descent on other fronts.  I was light. I was fresh.  The effort was 2 days.  This transcended anything else.
We got home on a Thursday afternoon after 1.5 days of plane/vehicle travel.  We were half a world away time zone wise.  We survived.
The next day, I did what I’d been dreaming about for months and months, riding my bike.  Not a 50 pound rented bike or city cruiser or rando piece of junk (which were all rad in their own right) and not figuring out where I was going or dodging a bazillion other bikes or cars or motos or whatevers and not w/ my fam or anyone else  — but getting on a sick piece of carbon fiber and out in norcal on a favorite route on some road or dirt I know and spinning and scopin and zoning and thinking.  So I did.  And SUFFERED LIKE THE WEAK WILDEABEAST BEEING TORN ASUNDER BY LIONS OR CROCS OR WHATEVER!!!
It was all new again, all of it.  It was a reset.  This was not a detraining or annual break.  I was back to square one or something.  All exacerbated physiologically by altitude (I live at 6500 feet, I’d traveled at zero feet) . . . so de-acclimatized and detrained to the max and all that and I should have in hindsight just thrown my bike computer in my jersey pocket and looked at the scenery and 2 months later done some sort of bulk download or something.
For real, if you are /  have been an elite endurance athlete and you take more than a month or so off, just forget about performance for weeks if not months and enjoy what you’re doing.  It was actually de-motivating to see and feel where I was.  I figured it out but there was initial friction.  I created a bike computer screen that showed speed, grade, and time and nothing else I had too the power and other deets were self-defeating.   I stopped wearing a HR monitor.  I ignored power stats.  I rode bikes for fun.  And it was/is fun.  I also hated being fat and slow and scared of routes/hours/miles/climbing that were part of my pre-odyssey game.
So what happened? Well, the jury is still out I think.  Many moving parts.  What I’ll say is after ~8 weeks something snapped back and how I felt and the numbers (power/time/hr) kinda started to look like some level of just being a fit dude doing stuff.  So my answer is it takes ~2 months to achieve something resembling baseline fitness on par w/ what you had after ~5 months off assuming during that 5 months you kinda did stuff / at least moved around on a daily basis.  Research says it takes 2X as long to regain what you had vs. time you took off . . . so that says it will be 10 months total to regain what I “lost” in 5 months.  Quotes are real here btw, I don’t know the right answer.  What is right, what is shape, what is well and fit . . . I’m swimming and running and enjoying “not” being on the bike for the hours and days I might have been in the past.  Hey, I can get a sick workout in 60 – 90 minutes!!! You know, the endorphins, the feeling.  But yeah as I gain fitness that is already fading the get a lot in a little time  — I know the answer is HIT (intensity) and rest days and what not but I’m just not good at that because the activity ideally for me has periods of zen/chill/zone/thinking — interspersed w/ zones of mad physical and mental challenge and interaction w/ nature and adventure and intensity — EVERY DAY  . . . (this is why surfing was/is a good thing for me!!!).
Traditionally my natural winter mountaineering zone has driven the right breaks and transitions but it’s all good now wrt the mix of things.  I didn’t come back w/ some bike objective in mind and the race season was basically over so that was easy to detach from training hours or objectives or anything else.  I had days where working on my yard or restoring bikes or building furniture or cleaning my house were for real all I wanted or needed on the physical activity front.  Rad, I don’t want to lose that.
But I also love seeing the nums and straight feeling the buzz now that say yeah I can do that 100 mile/8hr dirt race, huge one day road or dirt stage race, climb and ski the big peak(s) over days, race and roll and challenge at an elite level athletically.  And I feel better, all over, for it.  What a balance, indeed, we roll.
*In short, om With facebook and twitter and linkedin and social media in general and tech bringing all the deets and wins and losses in your life front and center for all to see(literally and in mad color and photos!!!)  it’s enough to make a cat self-conscious or somethin.  But the news flash is nobody cares.  In a good way.  Nobody is trying to hate on you or promote you or whatever based on your digital signature which is just a reflection of your life, etc.  This is good — but the net is don’t wig about being perfect digitally or anywhere else for that matter.  Yeah there might be some random who sprays this or that about a miss or a win or whatever but for the most part NOBODY CARES.  This is good, the peeps who care do care because you touch them and vice versa in ways beyond FB posts or blog posts or whatever.  And beyond that thankfully peeps are busy with their OWN lives.  The interwebs is not enough to suddenly make us all celebs, laws of attention and time will prevent it.  So, consider this your license to get out there and FAIL.  Cuz nobody cares, and those who do have your back, and those who wanna hate are busy too :)
Of course the broader backdrop here is when you’re blogging and spraying — being great is the enemy of good.  Blog style, good is good enough.  Timely and get it out.  Novel?  Be great.  Of course your “just good” bloggin’ might have some issues, and your parents will point them out, they will.  Cuz they read your stuff.  Others?   Not so much :)  Hug your parents. They care!

Decompressed yet? Part VIII: In a good way, nobody cares (except your mom and dad!)

Per the INTRO, and Parts I – V, and VI and VII tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating.  90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam to come up w/ these nuggets! . . .  But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
Part VIII here we go, spraying on how nobody cares (in a good way)!!
With facebook and twitter and linkedin and social media in general and tech bringing all the deets and wins and losses in your life front and center for all to see(literally and in mad color and photos!!!)  it’s enough to make a cat self-conscious or somethin.  But the news flash is nobody cares.  In a good way.  Nobody is trying to hate on you or promote you or whatever based on your digital signature which is just a reflection of your life, etc.  This is good — but the net is don’t wig about being perfect digitally or anywhere else for that matter.  Yeah there might be some random who sprays this or that about a miss or a win or whatever but for the most part NOBODY CARES.  This is good, the peeps who care do care because you touch them and vice versa in ways beyond FB posts or blog posts or whatever.  And beyond that thankfully peeps are busy with their OWN lives.  The interwebs is not enough to suddenly make us all celebs, laws of attention and time will prevent it.  So, consider this your license to get out there and FAIL.  Cuz nobody cares, and those who do have your back, and those who wanna hate are busy too :)
Of course the broader backdrop here is when you’re blogging and spraying — being great is the enemy of good.  Blog style, good is good enough.  Timely and get it out.  Novel?  Be great.  Of course your “just good” bloggin’ might have some issues, and your parents will point them out, they will.  Cuz they read your stuff.  Others?   Not so much :)  Hug your parents. They care!

Decompressed yet? Part VII: Same as it ever was

Per the INTRO, and Parts I – V, and VI tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating.  90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam to come up w/ these nuggets! . . .  But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
Part VII here we go, spraying on change (or not)
It might seem like things change super fast in the digital age but in general they really don’t at the business/culture/lifestyle level — like day to day experiences. So many peeps are scared of taking time off and doing something where they miss the next big thing and become irrelevant or something.  That is in your own head. It was in my own head.  We went to the developing world for a half year and came back and (in an awesome/cool/it’s cool way) things are kinda, uh, the same. I thought there would be a more significant change, really.  But all good, my point here is just that you should not NOT travel or peel out for a bit cuz you think the world will pass you by.  Nah.   Coming home, the things most likely changed are you. But that is up to you, of course :)  Adding experience and perspective and intel to all facets of our game via adventure travel is starting to look like a no brainer ROI equation.  For everyone.  Education for kids/development, career and personal development for me/Megan, etc.  The “excuses” for not doing this stuff are almost always around some professional/$$/education for kids/etc. opportunity cost.  More and more I’m not buying that.  There are a ton of awesome reasons to not do crazy family adventure travel, I’m just saying that some of the ‘practically’ cited stuff by most (present company historically included) around parents career stuff and $$ stuff and kids education stuff aren’t holding water for me right now.

 

Decompressed yet? Part VI: Cafe/resto hang time required?

Here is a $25 entree . . . really?
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Per the INTRO, and Parts I – V,  tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating.  90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam to come up w/ these nuggets! . . .  But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
Part VI here we go, spraying on cafe/resto/etc. patronage and value and why  . . .
  • Eating out is the default for so much of our social fabric and is a $$ and time rip off depending on your values/kid status/what you want to accomplish during the time of eating or hanging.  Morning coffee to wife date night to business dinner to lunch — sometimes it makes sense to pay for the context and experience that a cafe/resto offers.  But so overblown mostly what you are paying for is focused face time w/ your party and those around.  Not to hate on some of my favorite peeps who are awesome proprietors of great resto’s/etc.  Love it but wow such a ‘default’ decision most of us make w/out thinking that in many ways is not even the best fit for what you and others in your crew you are meeting want to accomplish. Pay more for less?  You are paying for food, food prep, and context/space to see peeps or “be in” solo.  What is your premium for those?  If you know/care about what you want to eat and how much you want to spend on it value wise and and maybe have kids or some other time premium, the resto is not the value play.  If you want special order food experience or special order social experience you can’t dial in at home or in some other public setting, then that is the sweet spot of resto/cafe.  But if you have kids, care about what you’re eating at nutritional level, are focused on $$/nutritional calorie/etc. . . the resto is not it.  This is not mind blowing stuff, but I find our culture just defaults any kind of date or meet up or business meeting to a resto, which is cool — but face time and nature as context a park a bench or a library or just walking activity are much more “free” — just being cognizant of the “why” you have to hit a resto/cafe/etc. for whatever you are doing is straight smart.  Hi, I’ll meet you at the park bench, the park, the viewpoint, the park, the playground, the bike store, the X store, who cares.  I’ll meet you at point X and we will walk to point Y (X),etc.  Facetiming the virtural world, we don’t have to pay a resto/cafe to hang, or sit on a bench or be in a conf room or chairs . . . we don’t have to make eating/drinking the foci around which we spend time (which is rad but not required) . . . the focus is the connection and the time, make sure you need a cafe/resto to make it happen

More to come :)

Decompressed yet? Parts I – V : Cleaning your own bathrooms is AWESOME [and four other MIND BLOWING observations from a re-compression]

Per the Decompressed Series Intro tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating.  90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam . . .  But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
So here are the First Five (parts 1-5) I’ve distilled.  Not ranked in any particular order, just ten things :)  Five more to follow . . .
  • Part I: Cleaning your own bathrooms is AWESOME.  Why? i. Stay grounded, stay humbled, stay connected w/ your family yeah I said it, but you know what I mean.  ii. Get your workout in by doin it like some bar/p90x/pilates/yoga/whatevs program if you want (I mean you’re supposed to get exercise every day right?) iii. Set an example for your kids iv. meditation, ritual, think time iv. And, about the time you are cleaning the 4th bathroom in your house, you’re kinda like wow do we really need all these bathrooms wtf . . .
  • Part II: We have (had) way too much stuff and mindful divestment of same has been rad.  Not because of some extra $$ here – more just taking stuff we weren’t using and giving it utilitarian life and usefulness for others.  All those crazy markets and gear hackers and ZERO waste (except for littered coke cans and junk food wrappers) in the developing world just stuck . . . having stuff that was useful to someone and not getting it in their hands suddenly became a crime against humanity — it exceeded shame or guilt it was a crime! Giving stuff you don’t want/need away to strangers in person is really, really cool.  Selling it over the interwebs, eBay and Craigslist, etc . . . liberating yourself from stuff you don’t need/use.  Get light. Make someone else happy. Wade around in the transactional morass of the 21st century for real.

Somebody else is stoked to jack the rock, pass it on, Megan has decided she has all the guns she needs :)  Seriously, I haven’t touched this is in at least 10 years pass it on yo …

 photo 2 (5)

  • Part III: I love water.  Like, being in water.  Learning to surf and spending so much time in the water for 5 months was awesome and I found myself missing it greatly . . . not about the exercise of swimming (although that is also cool),  but more about being in the medium.  Mix it up.  Get comfy in an alien environment — water.  Or not comfy. Be uncomfortable.  Comfy is relative.  We don’t have gills . . . we used to, and from water were we born right.  Something in there.  And in the water — no headphones, no computers, no horns or cars or words — just you, suspended, gliding, thrashing, floating, sinking and an incredible world of color and sound and feel to explore on its own. A tri wetsuit and open water swimming and lap pools and goggles and whatevs.  Can’t stay out . . .
  • Part IV: Living simple in the U.S. is crazy hard.  Everything is big and nice and clean and wonderful on a relative basis.  Planet Luxe like I’ve said.  Friends, cars, streets, stores, restaurants, services and goods left right and center. But that comes w/ a cost and price in complexity and dollars.  Of course the U.S. didn’t get it 100% right, maybe not even 50% right!! —  and seeing the opportunity the developing world has to get it “righter” is inspiring and motivating and as an entrepreneur the number of business ideas inspired around what I’m calling the reverse nexus (when tech let’s us reverse engineer our mistakes to how it woulda/coulda/shoulda be if we could build from scratch).  So what do you do about the bits you don’t agree with and a desire to live simple in a rich/complex society?  I tell ya I’ve fought urges to grab my family and run for the hills :) But ultimately this is the world we live in.  Communities, careers, schools, friends, families.  Straight fighting it is counter productive at least for what I have to offer.  But my Socrates and an unexamined life is not worth living are so top of mind that piece of the rejigger is just awesome.
  • Part V: I miss reading books.  On the Odyssey I read 50 books in 5 months.  Mostly health/medical/wellness/biohack and sci fi  (blurry line yo :).   And since back, for shame.  I’m reading — magazines and articles and emails and business plans and pitches and contracts and blah, blah.  All good but books are freaking BOOKS and straight turbocharge your mind and your soul at a different level — like working out a whole different muscle group (in fact, yeah you are working out a different part of your brain).  I digress.  BTW when I say “book” I include ebooks/kindle/etc.  That is how I read 90% of my books.  I’m not talking format don’t care/doesn’t matter.  That said, the battery on my kindle is freaking dead right now for shame pissed.  A top ten fear I rolled around with on the Odyssey was “what if my kindle battery dies and I’m not somewhere I can charge it!!??”  Pardon me while I go charge my kindle, stop spraying, and start reading, a BOOK.