Show & Tell

August Roundup

Some of what I’ve read, listened to and watched over the past few weeks that I think is worth sharing:


What if America introduces a wealth tax? (The Economist)
The Minimalist’s Strength Workout (Outside Magazine)
Take Control of Your Learning at Work (Harvard Business Review)
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think (The Atlantic)
I’m in the 1 Percent. Please, Raise My Taxes. (NYTimes)
Inside’s Viscous Battle with the Feds (Wired)
Pushing the Limits of Human Endurance (NYTimes)
A Musical Prodigy? Sure, but Don’t Call Her ‘a New Mozart’ (NYTimes)
Wework Isn’t a Tech Company; It’s a Soap Opera (The Verge)
They became millionaires and retired at 31. They think you can do the same (The Guardian)


Capital in the 21st Century (Thomas Piketty)
The Danish Way of Parenting (Jessica Alexander & Iben Sandahl)
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (Shefali Tsabary)


The Evolution of Success (Rich Roll)
How the Hygiene Hypothesis Works (Stuff You Should Know)
Guide to … The Euro (Talking Politics)


Mr. Roosevelt (2017)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)


Show & Tell

Living An Authentic Self

For much of my life, I had a plan for where I was going and goals to chart the way. In my early teenage years, these goals involved racing motocross; in my late teenage years going to a good school and getting a good job; in my twenties, starting my own company. I was never the smartest or most talented person, but I could work hard and had a high threshold for pain, allowing me to continue on when most people would stop. Looking back, I can see how easy it was to get caught up in the goals and the process that made achieving those goals possible, with little thought or reflection as to the deeper forces that got me to that point. Grinding away and routine yield little time and space for reflection, and in many ways those are powerful sources of comfort and solace – a balm coating the deeper questions we could ask ourselves but do not, and providing us with a false-sense of purpose that yields a quality of inevitability to our soldiering on. In the rare moments we do find the time and space to question our path, often pressure and expectations – self-imposed or from the world around us – keep us maintaining the status-quo in our lives.

Show & Tell

Growth Manifesto

I want to be open, curious and fearless. I want to live in the now and to try new things. I don’t want to be a victim or hostage of my past.

I want to be positive and to see the best in people and situations, using each moment, interaction and experience to learn something new.

I want to fill my life with memories and experiences, not things.

I want to leave the world a better place than when I found it, starting with me.

The more I invest in myself, the more I can contribute to others.

I want to surround myself by people who support me and help me grow. I want to give in kind.

I want to give without expectation or desire for something in return.

I want to let go of my ego and its fear-driven need to judge, control and “be right.”

I want to be gentle, caring and kind.

I want to fill my life with love.


Previewing UTMB: 3 Days of Running around Mont Blanc

After speaking with a local in Girona who won his division at CCC in 2013 (one of the shorter distance races held during UTMB week), I decided that my last long training run would be a 3-day preview of the UTMB course. His advice was to run the course over 2-3 days in early August a bit faster than race pace and then to taper from there. He told me this was what Kilian did his first year at UTMB, and what he and others had done as well. Sounded great to me. Andrea and I had planned to stay in Chamonix for the month of August anyway, so this would give a bit more structure to the time there.


Race Report – Mont Blanc 90km

There are two big race weekends in Chamonix, France every year for ultra running, the Mont Blanc Marathon weekend in late June and UTMB week in late August. Bookends to the big mountain ultra-running race season in Europe, both events feature races of varying distances that take runners into the mountains in and around Chamonix. My “A” race for 2019 is UTMB in late August, a 170km race around Mt Blanc that climbs over 10.000m and draws thousands of racers every year, including top professional runners, from across the world. I had heard of the Mt Blanc 90km race, the longest race of the Mont Blanc Marathon weekend and figured it would be a great training race with its 6.000+m of elevation gain over the course of the 90km on some of the same trails featured in UTMB. While its sister event the 42km Mont Blanc Marathon is generally the more competitive of the races during this week, the 90km race still draws over a thousand runners every year including many top professionals. It is also known as one of the toughest ultra-running races in the world given its exposed paths, technical trails and numerous snow crossings at altitude. A heat wave in France during this year’s race made it only that much tougher.


Run of the Week: Queralbs-Nuria-Puigmal

This is not a fast run given the steepness of the climbs and the rock-hopping required along the way but incredibly fun, especially up top on the ridge where you feel wild and free. The descent from the ridge back to Nuria, with its more runnable terrain, is pure joy 🙂

Show & Tell

What brings you joy?

I don’t think I’m alone, or even in a minority of people, who derive happiness, self-worth and fulfilment from the world around them. “Success” is a centrepiece to American life, as is the need to quantify and measure it and everything that goes into it. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is a concept that has been around since the early 1900s.


Cow Trouble

Today I drove 90 minutes for a run in the Pyrenees. After about 500m of climbing, my path ran head-on into a pack of grazing cows, several not so friendly, insistent that I would not be passing. I’ve passed cows before on runs, but always separated by some fencing. I thought all cows were docile and friendly, which is not the case, demonstrated by the unwelcome noises and downright mean looks directed my way as I approached.

Life Abroad

Update #2

Today is our second day living in Girona – the city we picked, on paper, to live in while we were still back in Phoenix contemplating our move to Spain and brainstorming where best to live. After one month in Barcelona, one month in Blanes and the past four months in Banyoles – and a full 8 months since settling on Girona as the place we would live in in Spain – here we are. We purchased a small apartment on the edge of the “old” part of town with views of the Cathedral – a 5-minute walk to the train station in one direction and a 5-minute walk to the heart of the old town in the other direction (recognizable in several GoT episodes). We spent most of this week moving our items here from our rental apartment in Banyoles. While we don’t own many things, the size of our car (small) and the trips required (6) made it feel like we were moving a small village. 


Race Report – Transvulcania 2019

This was the first race of the season, and the first chance to test out my training. All I could think about in the second half of the race, especially as I began the massive descent for the final 15km or so was boy I did not train for this elevation! After 4.500m of climbing, my legs were dead and had nothing left for the technical descent to the bottom. I was hoping for sub 9 hour finish, so was an hour slower than I had hoped, but given the state of my legs and the stomach cramping I experienced for a couple hours that forced me into a slow walk/jog, I am happy overall with the performance and think I’m on track training wise for UTMB – my “A” race for the year. I’m skipping next week’s race in Madeira to get in a good training block with a lot of elevation before the Mt Blanc 90km at the end of June. Now that the snow is gone in the lower parts of the Pyrenees, I can head there for bigger climbing than offered here in Girona.