LAJ ARTICLES

Pivoting me. Ironman without a smartphone

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I wrote a post about two years on my personal pivot. I went from Fat to Lean. It was the startup of me. This is a postscript to that. It is a “whatever happened to…?”
I remain determined, rigid with my diet and exercise. My weight moves between 158 and 172. That wide band is due to my participation in ultra-Ironman relay events. When I am about to begin preparation for an Ironman I have learned to let my weight drift up a bit and then, when I have the itinerary set and it goes from theory to action, my weight drops like a lemming off a cliff. Fat comes off. My energy levels, in deference to one of my favorite business books, goes from good to great.
The last run I did was not a relay. I missed that cutoff and my schedule and body were inflexible. I did the run by myself.
It is a unique experience, very humbling. The body is easy to manage. It is a car. The mind is much harder to manage. It cannot be vacuumed, shampooed, tuned up and polished, driven to excess and then resold. My difficulties were not getting my legs to fire, pistons do what they are told. I am not particularly physically gifted. I am slow runner, my running form is like a toddler chasing a ball.
I was without a phone, computer, battery, anything electronic. I ran with only what I could carry. The heaviest baggage was my thoughts.
I can’t say that I learned anything. Thoughts went into my head and some of them were epiphanies, but those miraculous realizations can fade. f something is learned, then forgotten or not acted upon, is it learning?
For the first few hours when your running you might think about past or future conversations or events. You can time travel back and forth. After lots and lots of hours that reservoir is emptied. Your mind goes deeper, nt here or there but where you are now.
I permitted myself to become addicted to my smart phone, all its apps, its texture, the user experience, the smooth scrolling, the weight of it, the tint of the screen. I wrote in my first post, embedded below, that sugar and salt are both ‘like’ drugs. They do things to me and I can tell the difference between before and after.
My phone is like that also.  Its connectivity to too much noise, Facebook, Twitter, et al, is a room with no windows, just the glow of the screen and a few buttons. Rather than productivity gain, it squanders my time. Rather than acquiring information I lose it in my leaky bucket. And, rather than closing the distance on people, places and things, it moves me further away.
I remembered, during a long uphill, a scene from the original Star Trek. I don’t remember what episode this scene was in (does that matter?). Someone was describing the operation of the teleporter, that it takes you apart ‘here’ and then reassembles you ‘there’. A person teleported is a reproduction.
Reproductions are always degraded from the original.

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