Quest Progress Report; “YOU KNOW WHAT, DUDE!”

PART ONE:  At this very minute, it is 5:43 AM, though it will likely be much later when I finish writing and posting this.  I have been up since 5:00 AM.  So what?  So, that’s progress, baby, THAT IS PROGRESS!  But let me start with why you haven’t heard from me in the last couple of weeks.

I ch-ch-checked a major accomplishment off my to do list last week.  Yeah, it’s a Biggie Smalls of a win for me.  In the last couple weeks I have finished my real estate hours and quizzes, passed the national and state exam – on the first try, and been in the process of getting licensed and settling in at a brokerage (for the sake of keeping my blog unfiltered, I will not be dropping the name of the brokerage I am with, if you would like to know so you can make a listing with me in the greater Seattle region, you can email me at alifetosummit@gmail.com).  I had to take a break from blogging and other things to get this done, but now that it is done, I can get back at it.

My little brother is in town this week and I was catching him up on everything that’s been going on with my self-development/improvement.  He seemed pretty blown away at the progress I have made since his wedding.  He, immediately, commented on how lean I was upon first seeing me.  I am down to 182 pounds (as of yesterday) and feeling fucking awesome.  After getting sick over the New Years, I have found it hard to gain weight back to the 190 pounds where I usually sit, but my strength is back up, I just, currently, have a really low body fat percentage.  When I was a kid my dad had jumped into glacier-fed Lake Chelan and joked that the reason he wasn’t cold was his extra layer of fat.  I never forgot that and have teased him about it since then, but now that I have lost my extra layer of fat, and I do get surprisingly way colder.

Based on actions of my past self, this week should be one that would have me angry or down in the dumps.  However, even though my computer mysteriously deleted all my files for no apparent reason – literally all of them, and even though there is a certain level of stress that coincides with starting a new career, my demeanor is confident, collected, and I am ready to swan-dive into this new venture.  I started writing a book about a month ago and one of the chapters I had already penned was one of the files I lost.  I had sent the other chapters to a friend to see if it was a book he would actually read, but Chapter Three had not made it to that, or any other, friend.  My new stance: It was probably a decent chapter, but maybe I can rewrite it to make it even better; it was good practice.

Alright, I am going to take a break, as it is now almost 6:00 AM, and I am going to hit the gym.

PART TWO:  Holy Moly!  That was a solid gym, sauna, meditation, and cold shower sesh!  I feel infuckingcredible.

Expanding on that, let’s get into fitness.  So, my gym routine is staying at a steady 4-6x per week for weights.  Cardio on occasion – I should do a little more running, and I try to get a session of yoga in once a week.  My problem is that I am having a hard time gaining my weight back after getting sick a month ago, as mentioned above, so doing additional cardio is not going to help that.  Also, I think that this ongoing shoulder pain is hindering my upper body gains, as I can’t lift very heavy on chest or shoulders at the moment.  I’m trying some rehab exercises, but if this persists, I am going to have to get into a specialist.  I was getting AT LEAST one ski day in a week, but that has subsided since I decided to put everything aside to finish getting my real estate license.  Now that that is done, I am hoping to get a couple days in per week to finish off the season strong, though it’s likely I may get too busy to do so.  Ugh, responsibility.

I, actually, have an awesome weekend planned out.  Tonight, one of my best buds is coming to hang out to go watch Robert Kelly with me at the Parlor Live in Bellevue.  If you don’t know Robert Kelly, he is a New York comedian from Boston (New York now, Boston is where he started) who runs in the same circle as Bill Burr, Jim Norton, the late Patrice O’Neal, etc.  He has a podcast called, “YOU KNOW WHAT, DUDE!,” which I used to listen to regularly.  He was also a regular on “Opie and Anthony” before the show disbanded due to Anthony Cumia being a racist douche on Twitter.  Although I have since unsubscribed from Sirius XM, I imagine he is still regularly on the Jim and Sam show (which kind of is the replacement for O&A), regardless there are plenty of podcasts that he is a guest on besides his own.  Anyways, Robert Kelly is hilarious and I have been wanting to see him LIVE for many years.

On Saturday, I am hoping to skate off to get a day of turns in at Stevens Pass, and then, in the evening, I am meeting up with my little brother, my sister-in-law, and some of his friends in Seattle.  And, lastly, Sunday is my youngest sister’s birthday party, she’s now 17, and we are all getting together at my father’s place to have a cRaZy celebration.  All-in-all, a kick ass schedule is laid out before me for the coming few days.

These kick ass weekends used to include alcohol.  When I saw my brother the other night, all my siblings were drinking.  I, of course, was not.  Thing is, I want to drink a beer, but thinking about it no longer weighs me down.  I am past needing to have alcohol at all, and had a rad time without it.  The only time I want alcohol is when I catch the scent of a beer I actually want to drink… I tend to love certain IPAs, sours, and, honestly, many others.  Truth is, I just like beer.  It tastes delicious, but my need for it is gone, and that is something I am pretty happy about.  Grateful, even.

Which brings me to my last point of the morning: Gratitude.  Gratitude is something I have struggled with, especially during hard times.  The reality is, there is a lot to be thankful for and trying to train my brain to realize what it is I’m thankful for has helped change my outlook lately, even through events that would otherwise put me in a negative place, like losing every single one of my motherfucking files and documents.  Whenever I’m ungracious, overwhelmed, or just indifferent, I can just go outside for a run, into the mountains for a hike, sit in a chair and meditate, etc.  The options are truly endless.  Finances can be fixed, relationships can (often) be fixed, being gracious is the antidote for the negativity that stems from your hardships.  It’s the fix.

So, what am I grateful for?  Here are five things:

  1. A girlfriend who has sat by my side while I have been sorting through my brain’s internal complications, personal bullshit, and career.
  2. The outdoors and the hobbies I have in them that bring me pure and utter joy.
  3. My new real estate career and the accomplishment of taking the first step to get started on a path I could actually dig.
  4. My physical health, and, increasingly better, mental health.
  5. Friends and Family that have my back 100%.

Now, what are you grateful for?  What are you taking for granted or putting a negative spin on?  Once you figure that out, all you have to do is make the decision to reframe your thinking… Not easy, but doable.  Get after it.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

a Sick Ass Drill

I bought a drill the other day.  No, that’s not a brag, more so, an admission of guilt.  I am not adding a cool new power tool to the man shed.  Nope, I bought a drill because unless someone just forgot one at my house, I have never actually possessed a drill or even went out seeking one.  Mainly, I’ve just had friends with drills that I know how to buy beer for when I need to hang a TV or fix some shit.  Although I will attempt to tune and wax my own skis and I am known to go on multi-night backpacking adventures that require some manly skillsets, in general I’m not a particularly handy person and definitely require a qualified friend overlooking 98.5% of any automotive work I decide to take on.  Having recently rented a fixer-upper that the landlords didn’t full fix-up, I have had to get better at jerry-rigging dishwashers, fixing clogged plumbing, and other miscellaneous handyman-esque tasks.

When I decided that I was indeed going to buy the drill – and, yes, there was a decisive moment – I passed this info along to my significant other who priced out the different drill options in the area.  I, of course, wasn’t fully convinced that she found the best deal so after peeping the Black & Decker option at Target that she told me was the best deal, I insisted that we at least check Home Depot.  Target eventually won over the Deep, as my girlfriend had predicted.  Good job, Brando.

Once I got that bad mammajamma (aka the drill) home I enthusiastically strapped on its first suitor, a circle saw I purchased to cut a larger doorknob hole in the front door, and proceeded to scratch the paint off a door that I was somehow unaware had been constructed of metal.  Back in the car I, again, headed to Home Depot to get some dowels to better stabilize the drill… that helped slightly with stabilization, but less so with widening the hole that needed widening.  That’s when my buddy, Nate, came through and told me that I had the wrong type of drill bit.  Back to Home fucking Depot my Durango vroomed to return the first bit and get another more toothy and aggressive bit which helped me remove more paint off the door.  Nate decided he shouldn’t let idiots operate power tools in his much more qualified presence, so, long story short, there was then a bigger hole with a new, semi operational doorknob and lock in it.

Eight trips to Home Depot later, the door is finally fixed to the standard I was hoping it to be.  After the first installation, it had to be replaced, again, because the deadbolt wouldn’t lock or unlock without the Hulk present to do it for you.  But why did I need to fix the door to begin with, you ask?  Well, that’s where this tale continues.

Last Wednesday with Christmas behind us, Nate and I were heading back to the gym to get a much-needed workout in.  As we walked out of the house, Nate closed the door behind him locking the bottom handle for safe keeping.

“NOOOOOO!!!”  I cried as he informed me of his actions and with my knowledge that the bottom lock doesn’t easily unlock.

I torqued the fucker, sprayed WD-40 in its hole, wiggled it, jiggled it, and then called some dickhead locksmith that thought it was okay to charge me $170 for fifteen minutes of, what was essentially, taking a sledge hammer to a door handle… it might have been a crowbar… a spade’s a spade.

By the time the door handle was removed, it had been an hour and a half since I had taken some pre-workout and beta-alanine and I needed to get to the gym.  If you have ever taken these types of workout supplements you know why getting to the gym was necessary.  If you have never had this lovely cocktail, imagine drinking two and half Rockstars and then finding an angry beehive to sting you repeatedly.  However, and this is complete man logic, since the beginning part of the pre-workouts effects were waning, we decided to take about another quarter to half scoop before we went to gym.

Our workout lasted about an hour before we retired to the sauna and steam room for 20 minutes or so.  When I left, instead of feeling the normal euphoria I feel after a workout and sauna session, I actually felt kind of ill and that my skin was still crawling. I couldn’t nap, get my body temperature to feel right, or get rid of nausea I was feeling until I took some ibuprofen.

Oh wait, ibuprofen gets rid of a fever, that’s why I temporarily felt better.  Five days later after shivering uncontrollably through multiple nights and following up those shivers by profusely sweating through my sheets, I went to urgent care for a fever that wouldn’t cease.  Turns out I dehydrated the piss out of myself, spiked my internal temperature and somehow got a urinary tract infection, or made an existing one much worse.  The doctor was concerned and confused why I had ketones, e-coli, sugar and protein in my piss and gave me a solid scare when she asked if I had diabetes.  I broke down the above story to her and after I informed her of the excessive pre-workout, lack of hydration, sauna and steam room escapades, plus my inability to piss, she seemed to somewhat agree with my theory.  Of course, there’s still the possibility that I had the flu coupled with everything else.  Regardless, I am now better.

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So that’s what I did through the New Year, got sick as shit and missed out on a powder trip to Idaho and British Columbia where the snow was coming down by the foot.  Coooooooool…  But that’s all good because today is my birthday.  Today also marks the third month of being alcohol-free and starting this quest of self-improvement.  With the New Year here and the first quarter of my quest successfully complete, I’m ready to get back on track from a week of sickness and conquer the damn world.

One last thing before I bow out for the night.  Yesterday I called back to the urgent care to get the results for the lab tested urinalysis and it was confirmed that e-coli was the culprit for my urinary tract infection.  I, then, for peace of mind, inquired how that happens and if it’s internally or externally contracted.  The medical professional on the line stated, “well, the butthole is next to the penis and if it came in contact with poop…”

Wait, did you just say butthole, doctor?  Who am I speaking with?  Is this a patient who accidentally answered the phone?!?  Jesus Christ Almighty, thank you for the anatomy lesson on where buttholes and penises are located.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~ Dane

a Kick Ass Weekend; This Coming Week

This weekend was pretty productive and well-rounded.  Friday night I spent the evening with my lovely girlfriendi at the movies.  Blade Runner 2049 was incredibly well done and kept me locked in through the entire movie.  I don’t say this about many movies, but I will definitely have to re-watch that one.  After getting home, I wrote in my journal until about 2 AM; I was pretty wired from having a coffee later than usual and wanted to get some thoughts onto paper.  I think I will publish what I wrote on here later this week.  I was letting the pen just run and found myself  touching on some ideas that came to me about humanity and the environment while I was watching Blade Runner.  Maybe I’ll add a little more to it first.

I started off Saturday with some writing followed by a solid upper-back workout at Gold’s Gym.  Soooo many pullups!  My overall strength seems to be climbing and I’m starting to up the intensity of my workouts.  I then followed some advice from Dr. Rhonda Patrick (if you don’t know her, Google her and check out www.FoundMyFitness.com) and made sure to sit in the sauna for 15 minutes afterwards.  I try to do this after every workout, barring the ones when I run to the gym because that seems really out of order and too damn sweaty.

I got cleaned up after I got home, did some chores and headed to my friend’s, Erik and Story’s, apartment where I spent the night having some awesome conversation while watching both WSU and UW smash their opponents on the football field.  Honestly, I’m not that into sports anymore so I was only half watching, but I had a blast yukking it up with my dude and dudette.  It was really fun to see them since I don’t get to very often.  Erik received a huge promotion at work and is now the Executive Vice President of his company.  I’m super proud of what he’s accomplished.  He also had some solid advice for this blog and my quest this year that I am pretty positive I will be implementing.  I’m going to think more about this and elaborate later as I make some further changes.

Today my friend Lauren and I went for a 15+ mile bike ride out to Woodinville, WA (from Redmond, WA) and back.  It was a pretty great ride except for the parade of children who were participating in a biking event and nearly got themselves killed multiple times by randomly coming into oncoming traffic.  Oncoming traffic being me on a bike.  I don’t know the math but I think 5 year old kid on bike meeting a 200 pound man on a bike going 30 miles per hour equals SPLAT.  It was less than ideal, but, to find the silver lining, it made the ride harder going from full speed to a near stop and back to full speed every quarter mile or so.  My quads will thank those lil’ rascals later…

Next week I have some things I need to get done in all of the five areas of my quest.  To help overcome areas where I am falling short, I have set five easy goals to help me get there:

1.) Time block 5 hours at least once this week for doing some sort of creative project or brainstorming session.  I did get some brainstorming done through journaling and conversation this weekend, and writing and doing this blog gets some points in that column, but actually getting into a 100% flow state is something I need to achieve and aim for.  Also, something I need to time block for as it’s not as easy to just get wrapped up in hours alone these days.  I think Friday afternoon could be a good time for this.  Monday evenings also, since it could set a creative mind state for the week.  Thought: Experiment with this.  I’ll start with Friday this week as I have a lot on my plate and will move it to Monday next week.

2.) Take care of loose ends and issues that I’ve been procrastinating on because they give me anxiety.  Face those fears and check the items off the list.  Taking care of some personal issues will definitely help with my overall mental health.

3.) Meditate daily, no exceptions.

4.) Yoga AT LEAST once per week.  This is the missing link in my physical health routine so far.  Diet could improve as well, but I’m doing moderately well there.

5.) Study.

Two more items I need to get to this week are rearranging the five key areas of my quest and giving this blog some structure.  The five key areas were well intentioned but they’re just not quite right to me yet and need to be further adjusted.  This journal style blogging is also not exactly what I want to do here, or maybe it is and I just haven’t quite found the right voice yet.  Either way, I am going to spend some time thinking about what I want to write as I go forward.

One thing I am looking very forward to this week is day hiking the Enchantments.  I did this last year and it may have been one of the hardest things I have physically done in my life.  With the craggy peaks and the neon yellow larches… It’s seriously like walking through the Lord of the Rings.

I would like to write more but I got tied up making dinner for the lady tonight and almost put this off entirely.  I’m getting quite tired now and want to get up early tomorrow to get a start on the week.  Goodnight world, I’ll catch ya soon enough.

🤙 ,

~Dane