Getting Past Athletic Depression

Every night, my son likes me to have a stuffy to keep me company.
The love of children is a special gift.

For medical-grade depression, best to see your doc.

My condition, for most of 2021, is better described as “the blahs.” I was fully functional, grinding away, often angry and rarely engaged.

I wrote about what we were going to do in our marriage HERE. 20 weeks later, it worked far better than I expected – schedule time with those you love.

I have proven judgement about what it’s going to take to make things better. Just need to get off my butt and follow my own advice!

This piece is about three small changes I made in my life. The payback was in a strange currency => I’ve been repaid by feeling better.

I’m feeling better because I’m not fixated on the negative.

Happier is the absence of…. [whatever was bothering us, I guess].

HRV is the addition I wish I made earlier

Tracking my heart rate variability has proven to be a game changer.

I’m giving HRV a lot of credit but before y’all head out and buy another gizmo, I want to share something Scott Molina once told me

G-Man, sometimes you simply need someone else to tell you the same thing.

We were talking elite ironman training protocols but, like everything, it applies to everything.

Once I heard HRVs “message”, I was able to see it elsewhere.

What I perceived as a problem with my life situation was, mostly, a recovery issue. My emotional state was being screwed up by excessive fatigue.

HRV, and periodic misery, got me to change.

The change is what nudged me towards better.

I wasted a lot of time thinking I needed to change _everything_ when the solution was a bit more sleep and not making myself “more tired when tired.”

Turned my watch alarm off, and shifted load as I wrote about two weeks ago.

Remove time in your worst environment

The cherry on top was spending $75 a week to retire from driving my kids.

Driving, itself, wasn’t the issue.

I noticed my worst moments were happening in my car.

Change the environment, change the result.

I stopped hanging out in my car, I felt better.

Over 20 years, I’ve redirected my environment => one choice at a time.

Mount Crested Butte – this ski season saw a simple game. Try to hit ten resorts.

Simple project, visible feedback

I have a habit of rejecting the part of my personality that craves external feedback. I pretend I am above external approval, I’m not.

I brought back external feedback by way of my return to Twitter.

Playing a low-stakes game where you get random, positive feedback => surprisingly useful.

I am going to repeat that… if you have the blahs then you should try…

  • A low-stakes game
  • That pays out randomly
  • With positive emotional feedback

I shouldn’t be surprised! Before I left Private Equity in 2000, I had a message board (pre-Facebook) where we used to shoot the breeze just like Twitter. Loved it, met some great people.

My Twitter Game => seek to help a stranger daily.

Huge leverage, near-infinite niche opportunities.

Previous simple games: improve aerobic run performance, and log daily training minutes. These two games kept me engaged for over a decade!

Simple games work because they offer a focus different from my negative fixations. They are most powerful when attached to a system of daily rewards.

Another game was inside my advice to the Big Units… breakfast after one positive step.

The purpose of the game is neither to win nor to finish.

The purpose of the game is to keep me from getting fixated on something with the potential to ruin my life.

Teaching Kids To Smoke

Growing up, I spent ten idyllic summers at a YMCA camp on Howe Sound.

When I worked my way up to Senior Staff, I learned part of the camp’s Oral History => prior to the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking, the camp used to sell cigarettes in its Tuck Shop.

My boss at the time, told me it went further.

We used to teach kids to smoke.

Keep in mind the camp was run by the Young Men’s Christian Association – these were good people, trying to help a wide range of kids.

The story reminds me to keep my eyes open for obvious harms, accepted by everybody.

Current practice can be completely clueless.

Vaping “it will shift people from smoking” is an obvious example. A handful of entrepreneurs hooked a generation of young people before anyone noticed.

Less obvious is the introduction of electronics, and social media, into the lives of our children. My kids have been staring at screens since preschool. COVID institutionalized screens into the daily lives of our children.

Here’s what I’ve told our oldest, now in Middle School.

  • You don’t want to spend your life doing sexy dances for strange boys and men (TicToc) => who’s on the other side of the screen?
  • There’s no such thing as digital privacy – it does not exist
  • You will need to make a choice => do I want to get stuff done, or stare at screens (IG, Snap, Among Us)
  • Your mother and I saw what it was doing to us and stopped
  • Exercise makes you happy – I point this out after every good workout

Similar to conversations I expect to be having on sex, drugs and alcohol… I had to get my own life in order before I attempted to teach my kids.

Who am I really trying to impress? Following a path of external approval creates a never ending cycle of “more” (likes, followers, stuff, money, food, victories). Where is “more” going to take me?

Fastest way to boost health and self-confidence?

  • Positive Action => a habit of daily exercise
  • Via Negativa => ax the Social Media

Right now, your mother and I are making smart choices for you. Soon, it will be up to you.

Choose Wisely.

Little update on my 2021 tech initiative.

  • January saw me cut my screen time in half. Pretty impressive from a single workflow change and deleting two phone apps.
  • My eyesight improved.
  • Less eMail/Twitter is far easier than less “news”.