Friday Inspiration: Nassbaum’s Morning Routine

I’ve long admired Martha Nussabum’s work in philoosphy, now I have to admire her work-out regime as well. Should I mention that she’s 69?


She divides her day into a series of productive, life-affirming activities, beginning with a ninety-minute run or workout, during which, for years, she “played” operas in her head, usually works by Mozart. She memorized the operas and ran to each one for three to four months, shifting the tempo to match her speed and her mood. For two decades, she has kept a chart that documents her daily exercises. After her workout, she stands beside her piano and sings for an hour; she told me that her voice has never been better.


Friday Inspiration – Skinny Dude Climbing v16

Speaking of skinny dudes, check out this amazing video of Adam Ondra* climbing two different V16 routes:

For those keeping track at home, Ondra is 5′ 11″, weighs a whooping 128 pounds and is all of twenty years old.  As is obvious from this video, he is among the best climbers in the world.  What he is does shares about as much similarity with what I do as playoff baseball shares with a summer softball league.*  These routes are all but impossible for mere mortals.  Look at the holds on the second problem,  Gioia, they’re like razor blades.

Insane, but inspiring.

To see someone as good as Ondra struggle and fight to send a problem shows us that no matter how good you get, it never gets easy.  I’ll keep that, and Ondra’s tenacity, in mind when I’m working the v3s this weekend.

*Go Dodgers!

Friday Inspiration – In the Mountains

Tomorrow E and I head up to Stowe, Vermont for some much needed R&R.  I’m looking forward to running the trails there and hopefully finally making the time to summit Mount Mansfield.

One of the largest ultra race in the world, the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, is also this weekend.  At around a hundred miles with about 9km in elevation gain, its a little bit more ambitious than what I have planned.

See what I mean?

Where ever you are, I hope you’re getting out there this weekend and enjoying the last days of summer.  I know I will be.


Friday Inspiration – Yurt Dwelling Ultra Runner Fantasies

Ever have one of those months where you’ve spent so much time in the office that you start to forget what the park looks like?  Where you’re barely squeezing in a run on a treadmill late at night? And suddenly while you’re eating dinner at your desk you find yourself watching a video of a Mike Foote, a hippie ultra runner who lives in a yurt in Missoula. He’s chopping wood, drinking beer, and running all the time and you think, “hey, that doesn’t look so bad.”

I’ve had one of those months.

Snows coming down in sheets here in NYC and there isn’t a yurt for miles. It’ll be another night on the treadmill for me.  But tomorrow is Saturday, it is supposed to be fifty degrees, and I don’t have to work (much).  I can’t wait to get out in the park.

Friday Inspiration: Two Great Climbers

Last weekend was my first time at the climbing gym in well over a month.  I was a little rusty, but happy to discover that I hadn’t lost all my fitness.  I’ll be back there on Sunday, slowly working my way back up to the level I was at this fall.  I’m involved in a lot of different physical pursuits, but climbing is perhaps the one that is the most pure fun for me.

Running can feel like work, push ups can feel like work, but climbing always feels like play.

This week, I found two interesting videos, one of Daniel Woods failing to complete a boulder problem at the unified bouldering championships in 2010, and one of Chris Sharma completing the same problem.  Fascinating to watch these two incredible climbers tackle the same problem.  Pay special attention to Woods incredible save.  That he can hold onto that sloper blows my mind.  I’ll never be that good – but that doesn’t mean I can’t be better than I currently am.