I am coming off of what has been arguably one of the greatest weekends that I have ever had. Me, Amanda and the kids took a long weekend to Chattanooga to go stay with her mom and dad. We laughed a lot, ate good food, visited both the freshwater and saltwater aquariums,  I got to beat up on my 9 year old on xbox, and we ran the Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race in the Prentice-Cooper Wildlife Management Area. It was the prettiest scenery that I have ever viewed. The race was as difficult of any 10 mile stretch that I have ever encountered, but it was far from “treacherous”, just technical. There were lots of steps, and roots, and rocks, but even more was the big boulders that you had to maneuver. There was much talk about a “rock garden” which we would have to go through in order to finish the race. I ran through what I believed was about a dozen rock gardens before finally encountering the “rock garden” to which people were referring. I don’t know if my description would be a “rock garden”, but more like a “big pain in the ass with a sh*tton of enormous boulders as obstacles”. We made it through it eventually, but there would be no “running” that area. There were many areas which were not runnable for my skillset, but there was so much beauty that the speed of my running took a backseat to my pleasure in the moment. Every part of my body felt really good, and I am not sure what to attribute that. My hips felt relatively good and strong, and everything just felt well oiled and assembled. It never really felt like a run, but more like a nice trip. The entire trail felt like a ride at the amusement park, and it ended about the time that I was ready to get off. I was able to get that “all is right with the world” feeling that I chase so desperately. Everything about this race was great and I am so glad that Amanda signed us up. We met a nice lady from outside of Atlanta named Vanessa. She had only been running for about three weeks, but was motoring like a champ through the tricky terrain. She had formerly been into olympic lifting, but suffered an injury and had chosen running as her medium. I always enjoy meeting new people and learning a little bit about them on these races. We discussed Lift Heavy Run Long, and within a couple hours of the race, she had ordered a tee-shirt. HOW FUN! I hope that Vanessa reads this and sticks around the group.

I was texting with a friend of mine about my weekend run and he was telling me about how excited he is about his run next month. He is running what is hyped as the most difficult 50miler in North America. WHOA! He said that his wife told him that he runs and kicks in his sleep, like a dog. I told him that he acts much like a dog while he is awake, and he said that his wife would probably agree. ANYWAYS, it got me to thinking. It got me to thinking about how most of my friends are really just big, dumb animals, with very few distinctions between them and that of a dog. Most of the happiest people I know are much more like dogs than stereotypical humans. The happiest people I know seem to enjoy wandering around, and playing, and moving, and eating, and just living. Most of the happiest people that I know like to be outside, and don’t have many plans apart from getting outside and going from there. The happiest people that I know are aware of the fact that they must provide for their family, and need the basic essentials in life, but do not invest all of their time now into something that they hope will pay off in the future. Dogs don’t plan too much for the future. While I was driving my kids to school and making the comparison between dogs and friends, I started thinking about a painted sign that I saw for sale at an outdoor market in Chattanooga this weekend. The sign read, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”, and I really, really like this quote. I don’t like structure, and I don’t like being told what to do. I have never technically “had my sh*t together”, but I don’t consider myself lost either. I know a person who recently had a very close friend inherit a lot of money. With the inheritance, her and her friend quit their jobs, sold their condo, and are traveling across the world until the money runs out. I think this is a wonderful idea, and I one hundred percent approve of what they are doing. Not that they need my approval, or anyone else’s for that matter, but there are no shortage of opinions on how they should be handling their situation. I certainly don’t know if taking an inheritance and blowing it at one fell swoop is the “right” thing to do, but it sure does sound like the “fun” thing to do, and it most certainly sounds like the kind of thing that I would do. I have pissed away an incredible amount of money, and I have had tons of fun. There is plenty I would do different, but there is plenty that I would keep exactly the same. Dogs don’t put this amount of thought into anything. When a door opens and they want outside, they just haul ass. When they have the opportunity to eat food from a plate, they eat all of it, and don’t worry about how they will look on the beach that summer. I understand that dogs do not possess the rationale to make these kinds of decisions, and I am not saying that we should all live like dogs, but I am saying that they do have some interesting attributes. I am also saying that sometimes our “intelligence” can be what makes us stupid or at least prevents us from having any fun. We should all “work hard now, so that you can be comfortable in the future. Invest in your future.” It seems like the “future” would be about the most uncertain and risky investment that anyone can make. I really don’t hear much talk about investing in the now, which is the only thing really built on a solid foundation. I could most certainly be setting myself to look like a fool as my decision to focus more on the now, turns into the past, and the future becomes the present, but if I am right, it will have made for an extremely interesting life. I enjoy living like a dog. I want to play as often as possible. I want to take care of my basic needs, but have all the rest be set aside for relationships and fun. I want to entertain my impulses with at least a little rationale, but I don’t want to overthink every move either. Anyways, the sun is out, the weather is nice, it is time to get outside and enjoy all the fun stuff that the world has to offer. I hope that you will let me know what races and activities that you have going on, and just keep me up to date. I really do enjoy getting to know you all.

If you haven’t already, get signed up for the #goalgetter challenge and let’s walk into summer with a purpose.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Beefcake

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