Category: Sports and Fitness

Get Dirty

Between yesterday and today I plowed a couple of fields, operated a dirt excavator, mucked around in fields and marsh, played fetch with a smart little cattle dog, and rode, groomed, and fed horses. I’ve come home dirty each night. And it feels amazing. On city days I would come home tired, but not really […]

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Tips for Feeling at Home In the Gym

Gyms can be intimidating for the newly-christened strength trainer. So many machines, so many types of weight exercises, and lots of buff dudes walking around who seem to know exactly what they’re doing. I’ve spent most of my life avoiding them one way or the other. I was only a halfhearted participant in physical education […]

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Sports Literacy and Male Friendship

Want instant male friendship? Join a pickup game of football. The other day I came across one such game on the field of the Citadel. I was out there for a volunteer event, but some dudes wisely capitalized on a lull in the action to start a game. And I joined in. We didn’t need […]

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If You Want to Train Well, Train *for* Something

After I ran my first half-marathon this year, I went through a bit of a dry spell with running. Short runs felt anticlimactic (to be honest, they still do) and I didn’t see much reason to get out and run. Habit is not my strong suit, so just telling myself that I should run twice […]

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Get Your Blood Pumping To Get Your Courage Up

There are few things that give me more confidence than insane physical exertion. There are few things that *require* more confidence in me than approaching an attractive girl and asking for her number. Today I learned that it helps to do the “insane physical exertion” beforehand. My friend and I had just finished a day […]

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My Weird Trail Running Playlist for Trail Running Weirdos Like Me

Any kind of distance running is a psychological game, and music is one of the great mental hacks. So as I’ve gotten deeper into running – and now trail running – music has been an important ally. Given that our brains are motivated and stimulated by a whole range of things that music can provide […]

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7 Ways To Gain an Extra Energy Boost on a Long Run

If you’re going to try distance running, you’ll need to become a pro at generating energy when you feel like your reserves are spent. Here are a few tried and tested ways to gain a second wind on a run” 1. Listen to motivating music – This one should be obvious enough. There’s nothing like […]

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My Trail Running Origin Story

How did I get into trail running? It all started with Last of the Mohicans. See, when I was growing up my Dad and I watched LOTS of historical fiction war films. This film adaptation of the French and Indian War novel was one of the all-time greats. And the protagonist Hawkeye (played by Daniel […]

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Make Coaching a Part of Your Life

Running is a sport full of coaches. At any race, you’ll find 20 people who will freely give you advice if you ask. And in my journey as a runner, I’ve had several people who were influential in giving me the confidence to run far. One ran my first 5K of distance with me. One […]

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The Joys of Unsuccessful Hunts

Today I went on two unsuccessful hunts. In the morning I missed a shot at a grazing doe (a deer, a female deer). In the afternoon I sat with little activity on a dove hunt – with missed opportunities and three misses on the single dove at which I *did* shoot. I’m not even mad. […]

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Being in Two Zones at Once

Somehow near mile 2 of a trail run today, political philosophy entered the picture, and I spent the rest of my run (including the most difficult uphill portion) exchanging ideas on the state, liberty, and culture with my trail-running partner. Before I knew it, I was in the zone – or rather, I was “in […]

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3 Reasons You Should Get Into Trail Running

  Love running? It’s natural to start with flat surfaces – maybe in your neighborhood or a local park. But if you’re looking to add novelty and adventure to your running practice, you might want to check out trail running. Here are a few reasons why: 1. It’s dangerous (and therefore fun) Trail running requires […]

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Don’t Wonder If You Could Have Done It

Jumping, running, dodging, lifting, fighting, throwing – one day I will never be able to do these feats again. This sort of realization (among others) helped to make me a disciplined athlete for the first time in my life. I took up running in part because I didn’t want to find out one day that I had […]

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My Favorite Running Trails in the Southeast: Atlanta and Charleston

Running isn’t just about exercise, or about mental conditioning. Half of the fun of running is seeing beautiful places for the first time at high speed. Here are a few of my favorite scenic runs for your next running outing: The Charleston peninsula This historic old town has been the site of some great runs for […]

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The Absurd Humor of Jiu Jitsu Sparring

Cooperative fighting (AKA voluntarily letting someone hurt you) is such an absurd idea that it’s bound to contain some funny and interesting moments. This is true of jiu jitsu – when I’m rolling, I get a few unique enjoyments that don’t come up elsewhere in life. Here are just three: Seeing someone kick your ass in a magnificent […]

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Don’t Forget the Joy of (Real) Competition

When’s the last time you competed in a sport? Do you still remember the starting gun, the cheering crowds, the nervous energy before an event? Do you remember the buzzer sounds, the camaraderie, the triumph of victory? Most of us leave these things behind in high school. I never (besides in theatre and quiz bowl […]

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How To Transport Yourself 3,826 Miles In One Morning

First, you wake up before the sun. Darkness still covers everything, and everyone is still asleep. You drive quietly down dark roads, past fallow winter fields. You step out into the cold, and open a gate into fields of cool, wet wind that hits you as you walk. You sling your rifle over your shoulder. […]

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Why Running Is The Best Way To See a City

The cities of the world already have “walking tours,” “carriage tours,” “cruise tours,” and “Segway tours.” The thought occurred to me yesterday that someone ought to make “running tours” a thing. Turns out many entrepreneurs already have. Running might be the best possible way to see a modern city. First, let’s talk about perspective. If you drive through […]

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The Foggy Facemask of (Fake) War: Paintball, Tactics, Skill, and Luck

Today I went to a paintball course for what must have been the first time since my elementary or middle school days. I found myself just as fired up as I’m sure I was back then (if not more so), with all my military history and tactical knowledge bubbling up. As I watched teams play […]

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The Trouble With “Listening To Your Body”

There has been a trend I’ve noticed lately in the (largely healthy) world of American literature on self-compassion/self-knowledge/self-care. We are told that our culture by and large ignores the needs of the body, and that we need to “listen to our bodies” more. To a large extent, this critique and this advice is right*. But what does […]

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The Bond of Action: Why Friends Should Sweat Together

I was never really an athlete in my younger days. Sure, I played some flag football, played some pickup games, and the rest. But dedicated, hard-going, competitive and cooperative training? Not so much. The shame is that I missed something most athletes know: the bond of friendship that comes from shared action.* Acquaintances who sweat together become […]

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Moral Philosophy and Deer Hunting

Set aside the ethics of hunting itself, and you find that *within* the act of hunting, there’s a whole world of right and wrong. Tonight I sat in a tower stand for hours without seeing any activity from the deer population. Then, right as darkness fell, three deer came out. All of a sudden I had […]

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The Deer Hunter’s Experience of Time

My father and I climbed into a tower overlooking our farm tonight and sat waiting for deer to appear. And like any good hunters, we waited. My father is probably the hardest-working person I know, and he’s trained me to work hard, too. But in times like these, we can’t do much but sit in (relative) silence. You […]

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Normal 5Ks, I’m Leaving You for Terrain Racing

I’ve never reviewed a 5K before, but that’s not going to stop me. Speaking of things that don’t stop me: the amazing, grueling terrain/obstacle course assembled by the team at Terrain Race this weekend at Lake Lanier in North Georgia. In almost every respect, this race blew away normal 5Ks in both difficulty and entertainment value. […]

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You’re Probably Overestimating Your Self-Defense Skills

If most guys are like me, they all think that they could hold their own in a fight. “Sure,” they say, “I might not be a karate master, but I know how to throw a hard punch.” If most guys are like me, they are hopelessly wrong. It’s easy to convince yourself that fighting is […]

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When Exhaustion Plays Mind Games

When I used to go for regular routed runs in my old neighborhood, I would notice that the last parts were  especially hard for me. Granted, I’m not the best runner in the world, but this was interesting. I was only running about a mile in distance. Maybe it was pacing. Maybe it was that I […]

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Free Business Idea: Roaming Sports Rentals

Discovering amazing new places can be frustrating sometimes. Maybe you stumble on a great biking trail while out for a run. You walk past the Old Fourth Ward skate park and want to try out some boarding. Maybe you’re driving near the beach somewhere and wish you could get out on the water. In all of […]

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Running As Prayer

“And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”  I know it’s not reverent, but I still chuckle when I hear this quote. These words are from Eric Liddell, the Scottish runner and Christian missionary celebrated in the movie Chariots of Fire. I’m no Eric Liddell, but when I run, I kind of understand where he’s coming from. When you’re running, […]

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The Counterintuitive Art of Teaching a Skill at Scale

I started occasionally attending jiu jitsu classes several months ago. In all my time so far, no one ever sat me down and told me the rules of jiu jitsu. There has been no theory, little top-down explanation of terminology, and in fact no “classroom portion” at all. I’ve had none of the things school taught me […]

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5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Swing Dancing

If you’re going to learn one style of popular partner dancing, east-coast swing is surely the most versatile. You can use it for dancing to swing and big band music but also for boogeying to blues, Western swing, and rockabilly. There’s a wonderful community around this kind of dancing, and it’s simple enough that you can easily teach […]

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