Monday, January 17, 2011

Simplicity Minimized or is it Minimalism Simplified?

This post is kind of a two-fer.  I realize that is not very simplistic.  It should be one post One main idea.  Keep it concise.  I am still a work in progress...

Over the past year or so as I have examined every facet of my life one re-occurring theme prevailed:  Simplify.  Looking back it was fairly obvious that I punched my card and myself right out of the rat race.  I know, the scruffy running beard and my affinity for bandannas over shoes is kind of a give away.  I run into people I have known for 20 years but have not seen in 2-3 years or less and they never recognize me.  I am traveling mighty light these days.  Lightness of spirit, lightness of waistline, lightness of stuff, and sometimes a little light in the wallet. 

Jerimiah Johnson.  He gets it.

One thing I am not light in though is a sense of peace and purpose that I know I am on the correct path.  I am building my life completely on my own terms.  To many it may seem unorthodox.  Some think I have started to slip off the deep-end a bit and they would not be surprised if I up and left for the mountains one day and never came back ala Jeremiah Johnson.  Guess what?  Neither would I.  It is all part of my evil plan for world domination.  That is really a part of the plan.  Seriously.  My world dominated on my own terms.  I get to make all the rules.  Guess what?  No rules exist that were not made to be broken in Daveyland.  So here is a little more on my process and some things I am doing to take action to create my perfect world.

My loft is almost this sparse.

Overall my belief system is anchored in a minimalist lifestyle that is focused on experiences, not stuff.  Let’s deal with the stuff first.  When I moved this past summer I used it as an opportunity to only take with me absolute necessities and a few other choice items.  I did pretty well considering how much stuff I had accumulated over time.  Over the last 4 months I have tried to carry out one full grocery bag of stuff I do not use or need each week.  Sometimes it happened sometimes it did not.  Even after all of the purging I have done I was still able to disperse the following items from my charge just a few days ago:

10 belts:  I kept 3.  One black,one brown, and the one I wear my bad-ass m f’er 100-miler buckles on.
13 ties:  I kept 4.  I have not worn a tie in over 3 years.  Odds are these will be in a sack by my front door soon.
19 Polo/golf shirts:  I do not play Polo and I do not play golf. 
10 pieces of hunting apparel:   All bought 5 years ago and never worn.  Sold on Craigslist.
14 ballcaps:  I kept 4.  This collection used to be over 50 strong.  Most should be burned.  Being offset by bandanna additions.
3 pants, 2 shorts, 2 sweatshirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 sportscoat with a fake Master’s logo.
1:  Robe that was very luxurious and made me feel like Henry the VIII when I wore it, but alas…
17 books:  Sold at Half Price books for a whopping $6.00.
1:  Docking station for a laptop I have not owned in over 8 years. 
All total:  95 items 

Let me put it this way:  My couch, matching chair, and recliner all are very unsettled right now, and with good reason.  Don’t tell any of them, but the recliner is on Craigslist as we speak.  I think you get the picture on this note.

It is uber-comfy.  I'll make you a great deal!

Another action I have taken towards a more simplistic, but fulfilling lifestyle is to minimize all of my monthly expenses.  I do not have cable or satellite.  Waste of money and a waste of time.  I watch little if any TV.  I have 1-2 shows I watch streaming on my laptop occasionally.  Recently that has been Dexter and The Office.  Instead I run more, read more, and write more.  My mind and my body are engaged with life, my life.  Constantly scheming and working out the right angles and moves to create my ideal scene.  I believe this is a superior choice to letting my mind and my body turn to mush with the utter nonsense that is most television programming these days.  One word:  idiocracy.  Another expense I have managed to avoid is internet.  I have a jail-broken iPhone that acts as a hot spot and broadcasts a wi-fi signal.  Sticking it to the man!  Between that and my home office away from home office, Starbucks, I have all the bandwidth I need for the perfect price:  nada!

All your body needs is right here!

You have read about my endeavors for an uber-clean diet of semi-Veganism.  The reality is I eat lots of unprocessed whole foods.  Think produce section at Whole Foods.  Some people believe that eating this way is expensive.  I say BS.  The only people who really say that are the ones who are too lazy to break away from the center of the grocery store where all the nutritionally void, processed foods are.  Pound for pound and calorie for calorie I guarantee you I spend less than most people do even while burning massive calories training 100-150 miles a week.  And because it is close to impossible to eat really healthy in a restaurant, I do not waste extra money there either. 

This shiny object will replace three other shiny objects and simplify my life.

Because I have turned my back on consumerism and do not have to have every shiny new object that Madison Avenue hoists upon society, started to sell off most of my possessions, and limited my monthly expenses to the bare minimum; I have put myself in a more flexible situation.  I do not have to earn as much, hence I do not have to work as much or take a job that I loathe because it pays really well that will only really serve to re-complicate my life.  I get to say no thanks! 

So as I strip my life down to a very Spartan-like existence I am now looking at how to maximize the quality of my experiences around my passions and tie those into income streams.  Basically I am now going to endeavor to use a very simplistic approach to earn a living from my passions.  Work and play will be so completely blended I want the rest of the world to think I am either unemployed and homeless or a trust fund baby.  It is a three-pronged attack:

An experienced-based existence means I can play here more often:  Pike's Peak

Running, Writing, and Coaching

I do not think anyone who knows me, especially over the last 2 years, is surprised by this.  The most important step in moving on creating this life is to start DOING!  Now!  Do not wait for the tomorrow-after.  So I have taken this sage advice and I am taking action.

Running:  I obviously run a lot.  I read about running.  I talk about running.  I talk to and seek out people way more experienced about all things running than I am.  After 2+ years of immersion in this and using my body as a human lab kit I have quite a bit of expertise I can share with people.  Writing:  I am writing this blog.  You are 1,185 words into this piece and still reading.  I must be doing something right. I have always been stirred to be a writer.  For the longest time I did not know what I would write about.  Now I know.  This blog will be the jumping off point.  Coaching:  I love to help people.  I have always had the heart of a teacher.  There is a strong lineage of people in education/coaching on both sides of my family.  People see how passionate I am about running, they see the health and peace it has created in my life, and they seek me out for answers, advice, and guidance.  As much as I may be inspiring them, I find it hugely inspirational to see others commit themselves and fight the good fight.  If they can get started I can keep going.  You get what you give.

In February I am launching my first two trail running training classes.  Trail Running 101 will be an intro to the trail for those who are tired of the rat race of the road race or just want to find their hidden Thoreau out in the woods.  It will be all about fundamentals and the proper way to build endurance while enjoying beautiful places.  The Trail Race Prep Course will help a runner gain confidence and ability on the trail while building endurance and proper hydration/nutrition strategies to complete a 50k/25k trail race.  Go to my new Facebook page here or contact me directly if you are interested.

Another running, coaching, writing, human on this planet told me this past week that the X-factor of making this work will be me.  I am a runner.  I am a runner who is passionate about sharing this gift of health and peace with others.  And if you want to hear all about it, I will write a little story about the wonderfully grand journey called life that happens along the way.

Me out doing what I love to do.  Come join me!