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Long and Winding Road

Music.

It always has been a part of my life. Whether making, listening, or discovering, it has been a constant.  I have a lot of memories related to music – good, bad, odd, different – but they show the deep my connection to music and my feelings.  Granted this is something that, for the most part, I keep to myself.  More on this later. . .

I started playing music formally in 4th grade.  Started out playing the flute.  I really wanted to play the alto saxophone, but the music guy said that I couldn’t with braces (even though my dentist said i could!) and my mom vetoed my second choice of trombone.  Played the flute for 2.5 years in my school band and then made the switch to what became my primary instrument – the alto sax.  I still took private lessons on the flute for a few more years, along with the alto.  I found something that I was good at.  Something that made me happy.  Something that people could recognize me for.  Something I wanted to have be a part of my life then and into the future.

Then high school hit.
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Kanye West Workout Plan

Today I was asked by someone, “What are you doing to get in shape?”

Normally, that is something that would be an unwelcome and impolite comment, however this time context totally matters.  Context here?  We were discussing my trip to Nepal.

Now, I’ve always been an athlete – I spent most of my grade school and Jr. High years as a three sport athlete.  Basketball in the fall, volleyball in the winter/spring and softball in the spring/summer.  When not playing on formal, organized teams, there were countless pick-up basketball games in my driveway, a lot of bike riding and swimming.  However, I’ve never been in what most people would call “good” shape.  I also suffer from what I lovingly refer to as “fat kids asthma” (always gets a laugh at the doctor’s office) aka exercise induced asthma.

What does this mean?  Anyime I exercise or generally do hard work, I am prone to shortness of breath and full-blown asthma attacks.  Now, in the upper midwest, this is compounded by high humidity in the winder and ubercold in the winter, but being near sea level I have never really seen how altitudes will impact my breathing.

In Nepal, I will be 3700 feet higher in elevation than I am in Minnesota.  I’ve only ever been near this altitude once before – the top of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii and that was only for a few hours.  This will be 2 weeks.  With a lot of walking. And some hiking. Oh yeah, and a visit to the Mt. Everest base camp. NBD, right?

Not.

So, in order to make this trip as enjoyable as possible for me I am going to take steps to build up my endurance and fitness.  I’ve been taking longer walks with Scoutie, went for the first bike ride of the season today, and looking for other ways to stay busy and active.  This is a win/win.  Why? I get to take advantage of the great greenspace across the Twin Cities, enjoy the fabulous weather, and also prep for a trip that will be amazing.

We shall see how this goes.  I’ve made a lot of positive changes in my life over the last few years, I hope that this one is as successful as others have been.

Simplicity.

Came across this post from The Dish by Andrew Sullivan in my Google Reader earlier today.

From the creators, Mixtape Club:

“When F5 commissioned us to do a short film conveying happiness, we thought what better way to express our happiness than to distill the essence of our craft, to serve up a creamy shot of artistic espresso? So with this film, we’ve gone back to the basics, the simplest of inanimate objects, and transformed them into a tapestry of playful, choreographed dance for your enjoyment. The musical accompaniment was composed as part of the filmmaking process by the lovely gentlemen of Huma Huma.”

To me, there is something truly awesome hiding in the simplicity of this video. It is so basic – featuring seemingly mundane items that we have around us – while at the same time being very complex.

What do you think? Does it convey happiness, or something else?

Hello, I Like You from Mixtape Club on Vimeo.