When not to ask me about Indiana politics & other thoughts from running a half-marathon

Runs With Politics

“What do you think about this new law in Indiana?” The man in the white hat asked.

I was on mile 9 of the Charlottesville half-marathon. And although I had spent much of the previous week speaking about the RFRA law my home state had passed and even more time dealing with people boycotting the state (and an organization I’m a part of), I did not want to talk politics.

You know, I really don’t like to talk politics with strangers at any point in time, but most definitely not while I’m running up a hill during a half-marathon for which I only ran five training runs. Another runner near me wasn’t sure what the man…

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636 miles from “The Girl”

“I wish I could do better by you,
’cause that’s what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
In order for this to work.

While I’m off chasing my own dreams
Sailing around the world
Please know that I’m yours to keep
My beautiful girl”

- City and Colour

I’m in Northfield, MN, 636 miles from Muncie. Tomorrow I’ll stand on a stage and share my stories with a few hundred students at Carleton College. None of it would be possible without the girl.

I could be the King of Sap and rule over Sapland with all of my sappiness, but I try to avoid that. Annie is “the girl” for me and she knows it. She allows me to chase my dreams, sail around the world, and I’ll always be hers….

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Where Am I Speaking: Winter/Spring 2015 Edition – Champaign, Dallas, Kingsville (TX), Northfield (MN), Rock Hill, Chico, Terre Haute, Gainesville, Springfield (MO), Ft. Wayne, Portland (IN), Daleville (IN)

These are my winter/spring dates so far. A few other events are pending. If you are nearby, stop in and say hi. I’ll buy you a beverage of your choice unless there are like 15 of you and then, well, I’ll sit beside you.

2/25 – 2/29 University of Illinois

I’m going back to college! Well, at least for a week. I’ll be chatting at and with students each night, and I’ll be living among them. Fingers crossed that I get my own bathroom.  I still suffer nightmares involving the bathroom in my freshman dorm.  I’ll be talking about both of my books, how I got started, the Facing Project, and about the Axis of Awesome.

2/7 -…

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Ball State Students, Want to Come to Costa Rica With Me?

Who wants to go to Costa Rica? Yep, like everyone.

This summer I’ll be joining a Ball State Class from May 21-28 to visit banana, pineapple, coffee, and cocoa farms in addition to just soaking up all that Costa Rica has to offer. The class is a Summer I program and will include a few weeks of class using my books WHERE AM I WEARING and WHERE AM I EATING as the course texts.

Seriously, this is like the best class ever.

The last time I was in Costa Rica, I spent all of my time working on a banana plantation and visiting with banana workers. I met some great people, but there is so much of Costa Rica I didn’t get to explore. So…come and explore it…

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What 36 feels like

Today I turn 36.

Gone are the mid-decade milestones: the 16s, the 21s, and the 25s (rental car). Now it’s all about the decades, until social security, which will be at least 67, but probably later.

Retirement? Never!

I used to tell my Grandpa Wilt that I graduated college and then retired. That I was living life backwards and traveling while I was full of questions, curiosity, energy, and the capability to sit and stand in one place on buses, planes, and boats for obscene amounts of time.

And when I was working, I was SCUBA diving. I joked that I was going…

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The 4 Best Ways to Trust Your Food

In her book Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety, Marion Nestle refers to the current food regulatory system in the United States as “breathtaking in its irrationality: 35 separate laws administered by 12 agencies housed in 6 cabinet-level departments.”

Nestle calls the fact that more of us aren’t dropping over with food-borne illnesses “nothing less than miraculous, a tribute more to our immune systems, the benefits of cooking and food preservation, and plain good luck than to federal oversight.”

Our food system is a mess. Don’t even get me started on imported food. We inspect barely 2% of the food that enters our country. Organic anything from China is laughable. So, something needs to change.

President Obama’s new 2016 $4 trillion federal budget seeks to address this:

The Budget proposes to…

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9 Things I learned living 1 week in a college dorm at age 35

Last week I was the guest-in-residence at the University of Illinois’ Allen Hall. In other words, I lived in a dorm.

The last time I moved into a dorm was half my life ago. I turn 36 on Friday, and I was 18 on my last move-in-day. On that day, Mom and Dad moved me into a quad with three other guys. It was cozy, if not awkwardly tight. Our beds nearly touched when we pulled them out of the wall.

That year I played my first drinking game and attended my first frat party. I politely turned down my first joint. I walked in a herd with fellow freshmen because that’s what freshmen did….

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Why I couldn’t see today

Vacationing in South Haven, Michigan

I was driving the family to South Haven, Michigan, for a family vacation when the right side of the world disappeared. It just gradually faded away to nothingness. I decided it would be best if Annie drove.

I sat in the passenger seat, closed my eyes and imagined all the ways I was going to die. Surely it was a stroke. If not that, then an air bubble from the time I got the bends while SCUBA diving had broken loose and was about to kill me.

And then it got better and we were on the beach in Michigan in August, which means we were wearing sweatshirts…

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I’m in Urbana-Champaign all week

This morning while I ate breakfast a strange man walked by the cinnamon rolls wearing only boxers and a T-shirt.  I couldn’t help but stare. Part of me wanted to take a picture.  

Now, I’m really not into men in boxers. I thought maybe I just wasn’t seeing right, and that after a few cups of coffee maybe the site would make sense. We do live in an age of jeggings, skorts, and other portmanteau crossover fashions that a fella from Indiana just can’t quite understand.

But I suppose this is just a normal occurrence of dorm life in Allen Hall at the University of Illinois.

Still, I stared. Was he wearing…

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The Thank You notes that I carry & carry me

Last week I Skyped with a class at the Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, Kentucky, that read WHERE AM I WEARING? I’m always happy to Skype with classes reading one of my books. I often do these Q&A sessions for $0, but payment comes in many forms.

Last night after returning from two days in Ferguson seeding a Facing Project, a package from the class was waiting on me. There were pajamas for the kids because I shared that each night after bath I have Harper check the made in label on her pajamas. There was a moleskine with an awesome quote followed by a message from Amanda Staggs, the class’s teacher.

 

Every gift was thought out and full of meaning. It’s…

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