Day 1,709 – Thankful for an Experimental Run, a Great Song, and Reminders of Why I’m Working on My Listening Skills

This morning I changed things up and went for a bonus run instead of hiking. I knew I wanted to be outside, but I wanted to get a little extra sleep. If I hike I have to drive 10-15 minutes there and the same back. By going for a run I still got my outside time and the benefit of a few extra minutes of sleep. Definitely the right choice.

Becky was lifting so I went on my first solo run in quite a while. I figured it’d be a good time to experiment so I used the session as a nice little running lab. Focusing on heart rate I decided to see how close to 137 I could keep it. That was more difficult than I’d expected as slowing down too much caused it to drop rapidly. Before the halfway point I decided to finish the run without breathing through my mouth – nose breathing only. That was wild! I was almost forced to maintain a pace that kept my heart rate below 138. All in all – it felt great to experiment and bring some freshness to my run.

There’s been a song stuck in my head over the last week and a half. I’ve liked it since the first time I’d heard it but our recent backpacking trip really enhanced it for me. The song is Frozen Pines by Lord Huron. You can check it out here: Fantastic song that gets me thinking about the forest we walked through in the Porcupine Mountains.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a few reminders of the importance of one of the behaviors I’m focused on in 2021 – being a better listener. I can get very excited about things and talk everyone’s ears off. I’m focusing on how to listen more often, more intently, and more actively. What I’m finding is that I’m often getting so much more out of conversations now and I’m enjoying hearing more about the lives of others. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m already seeing how much more joyful life is when I listen more often. I’m also realizing how much I appreciate people who already are talented at this skill. A seemingly perfect conversation is such a delicate balance and dance of getting all parties involved while all listening significantly more in proportion to the number of people. There is so much for me to work on, though I’m already seeing I’m much more often listening intently rather than waiting for my time to talk. Small steps forward but I’m very grateful for them.


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