"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Run Koenig Run

I'm belatedly beginning some physical training. While I tend to do just enough gym time to stave off corpulence, I'm gradually getting less and less in shape year after year, which is an alarming trend if extrapolated to the logical conclusion. As my father remarked the last time I visited, "you're looking rather prosperous, aren't you?" And he's got a point. I ain't getting any taller, so there's only one direction left to grow.

As a sort or rally-point for change, I went in with my roommates to run the Tough Mudder, which my hombre Frank recommended to me last year. I think the macho-attitude is a little over-the-top, but the event itself seems pretty cool, and my other friend The Girth ran it last year and said it was a good challenge.

However, I've never been a runner. Ever since I had some achilles tendon issues playing basketball as a young teenager, I've eschewed it as a form of exercise. However, I have been in very good physical condition before (thanks, Experimental Theater Wing!) and have maintained some of my cardiovascular savoir faire with my enduring love of the bicycle. I know that this is possible. I just need to be good about training for the next three months.

My first real run reveals that I've got a long way to go. My legs are in need of conditioning, my form is all over the place, and I don't know how to pace myself. I'm using Runkeeper to do a little self-data analysis, and my first time out was not terrible. I think maybe I over-did it with trying to go up a big hill to start, and we'll see what I can do with a little experimentation in the route.

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Belated Meditation on Turning 33

A few weeks ago I finished reading Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad" on the plane, coming back from a visit to New York. It was sort of the perfect book for the moment, an innovative interlevening of lives over time, a meditation on meaning and culture and music.

This is what it prompted me to write.

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Consider This

Consider the the times of our lives, this 21st Century.

Consider that it's never been the case in the history of our species for civilizations all around the world to be ascendent.

Consider that for the first time, we face a truly common set of challenges.

The story of our lives on this earth is about the integration of the people of the world in a way that was completely unimaginable to our grandparents. We are in the very early stages realizing our shared humanity in a meaningful rather than symbolic way. We are on the verge of recognizing the great common cause — the reality that we all share the same suddenly small sphere of organic chemistry hurtling through space at unbelievable speed around an enormous nuclear fireball — and embarking on an era of renewed purpose and discovery.

It is our nature to explore and discover. We look deeper and further into the material world and make great scientific and technological discoveries. We look within ourselves and discover greater virtues, and share ever wider the fruits of liberty, equality, community. This is what we are supposed to do.

Which isn't to say we don't have troubles. Clearly we do — but most of those troubles are within ourselves and one-another. They're solvable with time. The problems without are imminently manageable if we face them together.

There are more counterarguments to this than can be mentioned. It's true that sometimes it feels like we're squandering the moment on trivia and tripe, but some of that is just a feeling, and some of it is made real because the feelings exists in the first place. The beginning of something better always starts with believing that better is possible.

Consider that in our lives, there will be more literate, connected, free people than ever before. Consider what we might do together.

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