Not all who wander are lost…

But some of us are.

I have been out of the game for a minute. Lacking motivation, confidence, willpower, etc. My weight loss has gone (slightly) in the wrong direction. I’ve lost some of the gains in strength and stamina that I had

But, I’m back. I’m hitting the gym, thinking better, and re-gaining the drive for doing the best I possibly can, that has been gone for awhile.

I could lie and say that I am starting over and back on track, because today is the Baby Viking’s birthday.

But honestly, I’m just tired of not living my life at 100%. And that is reason enough.

But, it is the Baby Viking’s birthday today, so we will be accepting presents in the form of cash, precious metals, but coins, and outbursts of love and admiration.

Thanks for your time. Now come along on the journey with me.

Weekend Raid

What are Vikings most known for? Raids and perfect teeth.

*One of the above may be made up.

I have started referring to any adventure that the family and I undertake, as Viking Raids. A period of time where we storm the presence that is life, stealing every awesome moment we can from it. This weekend is a 2-for-1. Celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday, and head out to Topgolf for a few hours of fun. Competition, laughter, and my son’s first chance to view a golf swing. Good times, indeed.

What kind of Viking Raid are you going on this weekend?

APFT in September-ee

You know who probably knows a thing or two about physical fitness?

US soldiers.

So, when in Rome….

I initiated a challenge to several of my friends and some random people, to perform a baseline test of the Armed Physical Fitness Test (APFT), spend 4 weeks getting better, and then re-take the test to see how you have improved.  All of this will take place in September, hence, the title of APFT in September-ee…it rhymes.  And, we just finished with Day 4.

APFT Day 4

The beauty about this challenge, is that anyone can participate, and everyone has an opportunity to win.

How so, you ask?  Especially if your idea of exercise is celebrating a touchdown scored by your favorite team on Sunday?

Well, let me tell you “How so”.  Because this challenge is built on progress.  I barely broke 32 minutes in my 2 mile run/hustle/walk/cry method.  But you know what?  I have 28 days to improve my time, earning points with all the work I put in to win that improvement.  And, the scoring system is scaled.  The more you progress, the more work to get that progress, the more points you score.

So even someone like me, who isn’t an expert in fitness but has the drive to get into shape so I can live like a Viking Dad would, has a chance to win.

But you know what is even greater?  Seeing 26 other people getting out there and working toward a goal, instead of sitting on the couch.

You can find out more info if you like, over at our Dad Level: Viking group page at the following link:  Dad Level: Viking Facebook Group


August – A Month of Being Vikingesque

We are a little more than one week into August, and the possibilities are endless. A few examples:

  1. Get the kids back to school without too much fuss.
  2. Take a last minute summer vacation before the kids return to school.
  3. Or, do hard stuff that will make you harder to kill.

One of these things is not like the others…

I started a challenge for myself and a small group of friends, as a way to live more like option #3. 100,000 meters travelled in 28 days.

Simple, right? Here is the kicker.

  • You must travel at least 10,000 meters in week #1.
  • You must travel at least 20,000 meters in week #2.
  • You must travel at least 30,000 meters in week #3.
  • And…you guessed it…you must travel at least 40,000 meters in week #4.
  • The method of travel must be something that pushes you toward being a fit mofo. They include:
    • Rowing -very Vikingesque
      Rucking – again, very Vikingesque
      Running – maybe Viking-ish
      Skiing – did they have skis back then?
      Cycling – this one shouldn’t be in there, but I caved to pressure of all the cycle warriors.

    So there you have it. My devious plan to make people hurt, while lowering their resting heart rate.

    I could take the easy route and stick with the rowing…because that is what I do. But, as I said in the beginning of this post, I wanted people to work toward being harder to kill.

    So, I am going to both row and ruck. 200K in 28 days for me. That should help the ol’ RHR, and get my cardio up to a point of swinging an ax in battle (if required, for some reason) for longer than a commercial break during Vikings.

    What are YOU doing this month to make it harder on your enemies? Let me know in the comments.

    Dad Day Off

    9FD61968-D2B3-45E7-9FE1-4F568C3B5715What do you do when you have a night without the Baby Viking? Go to bed early* so you can wake up and watch some Crossfit Games replays with your woman, your dog, and your coffee.

    * “go to bed early” is code for other things… 😉

    #dadlevelviking #babyviking #evantheviking #crossfit #crossfitgames #mywoman #mydog #mycoffee #gotobedearly #winkwink

    Stoicism As A Viking Dad

    Around this time last year, I was introduced to the ancient Greek/Roman philosophy of Stoicism.  And no, I am not referring to the art of staring of into the distance wistfully, as I have been asked previously.  While the word “stoic” has in recent times been thought of as a person who is emotionless, the actual ancient art of Stoicism is far from emotionless.  In fact, it thrives on emotion.  The difference, is that you should not depend on any one emotion, especially when it comes from any action that one cannot control themselves.

    I started reading “A Guide to the Good Life:  The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy“, by William B. Irvine.  This book did a really great job of defining the history and principles of Stoicism, and then converting that information into practical examples of how the philosophy could be practiced in today’s modern culture.

    I followed that read up with “The Daily Stoic“, by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.  At that time, I started to really place the practice as a central part of how I ran my life.  Ryan and Stephen’s unique review and interpretation of classic quotes from some of the Stoic greats (such as Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus) really set the tone for how I wanted to control my life.  How to consciously engage with actions that I could control, and also how to disengage from events which I could not control.  The design of the book, set up as a daily reader with varying quotes and discussions for each day of the year, also kept the practice as a forefront in my mind, by maintaining my practice and review of the Stoic philosophy.

    The Daily Stoic cover

    I am sad to admit that I did fall out of practice for a while, and I saw a noticeable difference in my attitude and general mental well-being when I stopped thinking as a Stoic.  I have recently re-instituted this daily habit, and it has helped dramatically.  The purchase of Ryan and Stephen’s “The Daily Stoic Journal” has been a great tool for me, using the daily journaling as a way to set my mind up to be in the proper frame, from right after my morning workout and coffee.

    As a new Dad, I feel that patience is the key area for me to improve upon what I experienced with my father.  he had none with me, in most cases, and I always felt that it meant I was a disappointment.  I do not want my son to feel that way, so I plan to practice the improvement of my own patience on a daily basis, as a part of my Stoic journey.  An example is listed below:

    Example:  The baby is crying because no one will pick him up.

    For any new parent, the sound of their child crying can initiate a response that can be difficult to control.  We all know the sound our child makes when in pain, and also what sounds they make when they are mad, and resisting the urge to go and comfort them could be the difference between raising a relatively calm baby, and one who is spoiled.

    As a father, I feel that it is my duty to instill a sense of self-reliance in my son, even while he is so young, which means that I lean toward the notion that a baby should learn to soothe themselves at an early age.  This isn’t just so that I can get a little more sleep, but also so that my son learns to overcome his feelings of anger, hopefully, by realizing that someone won’t always be there to make everything better.  Stoicism 101.  My wife, however… has to fight a little harder to resist the urge to run and pick him up.  And that’s fine, it doesn’t make her a bad mother, or a good mother.  It just makes her a human being.

    So, as I make my way through the life of a new father, especially one who looks to reach Viking Level of Dad-ness, I will make Stoicism a part of my everyday life.  For my own good, and that of my son.

    Let me know if you have any experience with Stoicism in the comments below, and also, if you have any other philosophies that you use in the upbringing of your children.

    Thanks for reading!

    Dad Problems

    I’m tired.  I don’t want to get up to feed the baby boy.  Can’t he just grow up and go away to school already?

    I know what you are saying.  “You’ll miss this time before you know it!”.  Maybe you are right.  Screaming infants make it easy to forget that sometimes.  Good thing they are so adorable, for about 5% of the day.  And thank the Heavens for their natural intuitiveness, that lets them know when to smile or laugh when you need to see it most.

    But seriously…tired.  Coffee isn’t helping.  I don’t think that cocaine would even help right now.  Maybe I would have enough energy to get up and grab the remote, after a decent sized line.  Not sure, never tried it before.  The 80’s seemed to love it.

    One thing that I AM willing to take, is the bull by the horns.  Exercise and losing weight could help with my energy levels, I would imagine.  Men’s Health seems to swear by it.

    So, I have started a 45 day challenge to exercise in the gym, daily.  In times where I can’t be at the gym, body weight exercises will suffice.  Rolling off of the couch, sadly, does not count toward the daily goal.  Oh, and as an added bonus, that workout has to occur at 5:00 AM. Lunacy, I swear.  This is all as an ADDITIONAL exercise task, aside from my Rucking Program, Voyage to Lindisfarne, and 30 Day Wellness Challenge.  Can someone send me a shrink, please?

    Follow along as I start to try and get my Viking Bod on point.  Here is today’s exercise regiment (if you can call it that):

    Day 1:  Viking Bod Training

    Walk and Stretch: 10 min.  Think about donuts.
    Air Squats: 25 Squats.  Think about crying. because I don’t have donuts.
    Standing Dumbbell Curl: 25 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets.  Think about curling a drinking horn full of beer.
    Dumbbell Press w/ Twist: 25 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets.  Think about lifting my Viking (Incan) bride above me while in the throws of passion.
    Dumbbell Row: 25 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets.  Think about pulling my Viking Axe out of the skull of the vanquished.
    Dual Pulley Pull-down: 42.5 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets.  Think about pulling myself up a wall of a castle I am preparing to plunder.
    Walk and Cool Down: 5 minutes.  Think about donuts again.