Fresh Start ... Wait, What Day Is It?

Here I go, blogging again. This time, in a new, improved, chunkier format!

What I’m reading >>
I just finished Deep, by James Nestor, which I promise you will devour even if you don't like diving. Several months ago, I highlighted it in a Literary Escapes piece I was writing for Ensemble Lifestyles magazine. I would have read it sooner but a certain someone (you know who you are) stole the book from me and read it first. Now I know why. I can't help but mention the mass of people Nestor took time to generously thank in the acknowledgements at the back. It takes a village to write a book this good. Currently, I'm doing a lot of working out at the gym (more about that later) so I've switched to Audible to enable multitasking. If you turn the speed up to 1.5x, you can get in some awesome V02Max drills while you read. Seriously, it works. Right now, I'm two-thirds of the way through Algorithms to Live By, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. I know. I don't usually think of myself as a STEM gal either but this book is making me realize how often I use math to navigate my daily life. I'm thinking about pitching an article called "Algorithms to Travel By" that helps you optimize your immersions in other cultures. Could be fun, in a geeky kind of way. I've also started The Oxygen Advantage, by Patrick McKeown. So far, I have learned that I love the narrator's Irish accent and I'm breathing wrong.

Where I'm going >>
Yellowstone & the Teton Valley. That's in America, people. The US of A. Like many of you, I'm sure, I went there with my family when I was a kid. My parents fired up the Pontiac station wagon and we road tripped it across the country to see nature in all her glory. No, we did not have run-ins with grizzlies, elk, or baby bison. However, my brothers and I did play a lot of Go Fish. This was before smartphones and back-of-the-headrest TVs, so my parents had to bribe us to look out the window. "First one to see a snow capped mountain gets a quarter!" Dad was a former Marine so, when we got to the campgrounds, it was all business. He'd growl and we'd hop to it setting up the tent. At least, that's how I remember it. In actuality, there was probably a lot more whining and kid-wrangling involved. Anyway, in honor of that fine childhood experience and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, I booked a Backroads multi-sport tour that takes off from Jackson, WY this summer. The sports? Cycling, kayaking, hiking, rafting. My goal is to avoid the quitter vans and complete the hardest leg every day. Or as my permanently game-faced physical trainer says, "to W-I-N!" Did I mention I had brothers?

Currently working on >>
I’ll admit it. I got sucked into buying one of those self-help books because the online reviews were just so sensational. Younger Next Year for Women is a follow-up to just plain Younger Next Year, which was apparently a big hit with men. Reading this book is like listening to that relentless friend you have who thinks she can fix everything that’s wrong with you. It’s a steady barrage of what-your-problem-is..., you-can-do-its, you-must-do-its, and such. Usually, I would smile politely and go get another piece of chocolate but the aforementioned sporty tour, and maybe a few algorithms, clouded my judgment. So I joined the local gym and committed to two hours of weights plus heartache inducing cardio six days a week. Six! My Fitbit is very happy with me. Oh, and, bonus, they have Canadian kayakers there. One of them even talked to me. I feel younger already.