Quitting Is Okay

I quit

Quit school, quit your job, quit the race; “quit” has joined the ranks of unspeakable four-letter words. We’re always told to finish what we start, it’s drilled into us as we grow up: finish your homework, finish the game, finish your peas. And as kids, we need that. We start out as need machines driven by pure ego, and have to be taught how to focus, how to fulfill our commitments and do our best, and that we do in fact need to eat things that aren’t made of pure sugar.

The problem is, as we get older this mindset persists, even though the lessons are learned. We continue on the path we think we’re supposed to take because we were never taught how to quit. Not only is our thinking narrowed and stunted by never considering the alternatives, but when we do fail, we often get so hung up on the fact that we failed, it makes it that much harder to learn from why we failed. Our day-to-day lives all so often become victims of our ingrained sense of satisfaction at persisting.

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I’ve Always Wanted To Try That: Surfing

The best way to look awesome just by standing up

Photo:haniamir

If you live anywhere near the ocean, odds are there’s at least a small surfing community in your area. People who will go to great lengths and brave temperatures and conditions in the water most people would only consider dealing with if, say, the ground were on fire. This unconsciously affiliated band of people, men and women, old and young alike, seem drawn to water as moths to flame, not just wanting waves but needing them in their life. You have to wonder, what do these people know that I don’t? What is so powerful a draw that ties them to this sport?

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You With The Phone! Step Away From The Internet!

The never-ending list of things you don't actually need to know

In a recent conversation with a friend, we began talking about the issues confronting a sustainable world from a seminar she had recently attended. At one point in our discussion we touched on the the inherent problem with a democracy: people can be told what to think and still consider it to be their idea, thereby shaping the policy of a nation by those who control the information. The fact that we now have unprecedented access to a dizzying amount of data doesn’t actually help this; if anything, it makes us less able to decide for ourselves, but more likely to think we’re making informed choices. This then started me thinking deeper about the issues of this deluge of info, including why it was such a problem, and what might save us from death by information.

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The Doldrums

Photo: sickan85

Idle periods are an inevitability. Be it due to weather, injury, lack of money, or even just the inability to really motivate, there will be downtime in our lives. As I type this I’m in the middle of one myself, recovering from surgery to repair a torn tendon in my left shoulder from snowboarding in Canada. Given my shoulders seem to have a certain gravitational attraction to the ground, this was not my first time putting my arm out of commission; the moment I rolled over on my back, my shoulder spiking pain, I knew I was in for a long period of sitting around. And I was not looking forward to it.

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Quick Fix

Quick Fix

Photo:slopjop

While a first aid kit is never a bad idea, honestly there’s many situations where you really just need something to hold you together because, like Jesse “The Government Body” Ventura, you ain’t got time to bleed. For this, I’ve picked up two basic components during my climbing career that should keep you in one piece while you’ve got better things to do, like limp to the car.

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United States of Awesome: The American Stereotype Overseas

United States of Awesome: The American Stereotype Overseas

 All politics aside, Americans as fat, loud, cocky, gun-loving idiots is an image more readily accepted around the world than Mastercard. While the rest of the world is by no means safe from its own stereotypes, America tends to dig its own hole by broadcasting to the world endless clips of its citizens failing to find entire continents on a map or fighting over their babydaddy in ill-fitting lycra with all the poise and aesthetics of sumo wrestlers attempting to figure skate while being pelted with live chickens.

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The Local: Sydney, Australia

Beer, it loves you too

Traditionally, the neighborhood pub has been a place to gather to socialize, have a pint after work, and maybe get some dinner. The nearest pub therefore is simply referred to as “The Local”. In this series, I’ll be giving a review of my top “locals” by region and my favorite drink to have there.

Along with its beaches, BBQs, and strange, cuddly, and often dangerous creatures, Australia is well known for being a country that likes its beer. Neighborhood pubs are a standard fixture for social and family get-togethers, and while there are a fair number of imports to be found, Australia also has quite a number of well-established breweries scattered around the country turning out some quality brews.

Sydney being the size it is, a comprehensive list of quality venues is fairly impossible, but as with any large task, you have to start somewhere. And really, there are worse undertakings.

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