Metabolizing Anxiety: Highlights from Ask a Mormon Sex Therapist (Ep 20)

If the mere mention of Ask a Mormon Sex Therapist in my bio hasn’t prompted you to listen, maybe these selections on metabolizing anxiety will.

Btw, these interviews are all Q&A based — usually two Qs per episode, this one has three. To get the backdrop on this metabolizing anxiety conversation, jump to the start of the third question and Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife’s answer at @ 22:00.

What follows are loose transcripts from the episode. I cut “you knows,” “I thinks,” and so on, and added content (in parentheses) that I believe accurately connects allusions to previously mentioned ideas so that it’s easier for you to follow the excerpts.


@ 34:33 – Giving people space to grow

To tolerate the discomfort of another’s discomfort is part of what it is to actually give people the space that they need to really grow, and to manage your own anxiety.


@ 35:59 – Metabolizing Anxiety

If you’re going to actually grow, you have to metabolize more anxiety within yourself and not use the people around you to manage what is your work, or what is your job, or what is your responsibility.

What is of virtue is to take 100% responsibility for exactly what your responsibility is — in a marriage, or in a family, or in any group — and 0% responsibility for what isn’t your responsibility.

That sounds very selfish, but that’s actually one of the most virtuous things you can do: to really do what your job is in any situation.

It also frees up other people to grow in the ways that they need to grow.

When we get in trouble is when we rush in to kind of get anxiety to go down in the moment, but then we stabilize and mature our destructive patterns.

The virtue in creating goodness is tolerating difficulty up front. That’s what sacrifice is: you take your difficulty up front to create something better ultimately.

It’s against our human nature (to do that, to sacrifice, to tolerate difficulty up front) — it’s natural man to not to do it (to avoid difficulty up front, escaping to an easier path). But what creates goodness and godliness is doing that (tolerating difficulty now).


@ 40:15 – When’s the time for metabolizing anxiety?

It’s when you’re having a hard conversation, and they’re pushing on those buttons on you that you like to react to, that you get all self-righteous about.

Instead of getting self-righteous and reacting, you calm yourself down and you stay constructive. That’s what I’m talking about in the “real time”: that you don’t (use) your losing strategies, which are the reactive things we do that feel good in the moment but that keep suffering alive.

You have to really track what it is you do (habitually) so that you can push yourself to do the better thing in the face of a lot of pressure to do the thing that’s familiar. (Catching yourself before you do the familiar thing) is what development is all about.


@ 42:56 – The effect of metabolizing anxiety

When you step into new action, or action that’s driven by a sense of what you believe is right, even if it’s hard, you literally expand your capacity as a person, and you expand your sense of self.


@ 43:52 – Metabolizing anxiety includes not doing the familiar thing to get validation

Many of us prefer to kind of just do and deal with the (familiar) things that (have, in the past, managed to get us) validation from the other person, and so we constrict our relationships (to doing just those things, even if they are losing strategies that perpetuate suffering) to our detriment.

We have to work against that natural-man tendency.


Ask A Mormon Sex Therapist is a sub series of the Rational Faiths podcast.

Have a listen.

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Metabolizing Anxiety

Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife


By |2021-01-15T15:37:22-07:00August 31st, 2017|Faith, General Life|0 Comments

Dating Feedback: Got Asked for Some and Said This Instead

Recently got a request for dating feedback.

Dating Feedback

A few things before getting to my response . . .

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][1]  I don’t think her request means anything about me, but I think it does mean something extraordinary about her heart, her desire and her humility. Not pathetic at all. All good things that I believe will serve her well generally in life and more specifically in dating and nurturing a relationship.

[2]  Pretty sure this has never happened to me before . . . that a date got vulnerable this way, asking for this sort of response. At least not at this early in the game. The rarity of the event is also worth noting.

[3]  The one and only date we shared was Tue, July 11. About an hour together. More like a casual meeting to determine whether a proper date would follow. Anyway, the math is then that her request came 7 days and a morning later. IMHO, a little long to ask, but that’s OK. No rules on that.

[4]  There was no communication between the end of our date and this message.


All right.


Why am I sharing the “dating feedback” I texted back?

I believe in sharing stuff that others may find useful.

I believe in writing my own story, including being clear on the ground where I choose to stand.

In November, I shared my first draft of The Pillars of Our Partnership and here’s a where-the-rubber-hits-the-road followup to some elements of that.

And because if I ever have the thought to ask someone after a first date / first meeting for feedback … I’m drawing a line in the sand that I won’t. And if I were to say to you or to my future self,

  • “I want to ask her why she didn’t call back . . . “
  • “I want to know why she blew me off . . . “
  • “I wonder what happened, it seemed to be going so well?!?!”

To all those situations, my present-self response to my future self is:

“Doesn’t matter. Continue the search, my search.”

It’s not that asking for feedback and pursuing learning about myself isn’t valuable. It is. And I would totally ask for feedback after several dates or well into a due diligence process. But I wouldn’t ask right off the bat because that sets up a situation where someone else’s POV and/or values become more important than mine.

Would I ask career advice from a recruiter who declined to grant me a second interview … and that was our only interaction?

Would I ask fruit advice from someone I ran into in the produce section who’s not a store employee and otherwise a perfect stranger?

Would I ask someone swimming in the lane next to me for pointers on my stroke, unless I were well aware of their approach to swimming and their history coaching swimmers?

Would I ask color advice from the paint clerk at Home Depot who hasn’t taken the time to ask many questions about my house/home/style/family?

No. No. No. and No.

In these situations and so many others, the other person has so little information about me and what I value that I would never put them in a position to suggest what I ought to be doing. They might know. They might have amazing advice … but asking for it at this stage is out of order! They don’t know me well enough. I don’t know them well enough. What’s most likely to happen in these scenarios is that I’ll get a summary of their biography, rather than seasoned, tested, sage counsel that is actually useful for me, given my situation and my values.

I recognize that through the voice of anyone the Holy Ghost can whisper important promptings, and I recognize an element of humility is willingness to learn from anyone. That said, I choose my teachers/coaches/mentors with discretion. I don’t spend all my time learning, so when I am learning, I seek learning from people whose lives I wish to follow, whose values align with mine, whose performance is consistent with what I wish to do, and whose followers/students/proteges conduct lives I wish to emulate or who are otherwise people whose company I seek.

So there’s that. I choose my teachers carefully and won’t ever expect someone I barely know to be aware of my values and therefore offer feedback / guidance / advice that works inside my value system.

And then there’s this:

I believe — and I think this is apparent in the dating feedback I gave — is that when I am crystal clear on what I am offering and what I am looking for (before going out to meet people and go on dates), then I don’t need dating feedback after a first date. I know what I want well enough to make a sound decision right away: “this isn’t a match” or “this is worth continuing to pursue.” YES I mean “this” rather than “she.” Why? Because I’m not acquiring a person. I am looking for a person who wants to work at “this” … a relationship. The “this” is the connection.

Also to Note: “this is worth pursuing” simply means I am clear it’s worth going to the next round of due diligence, or “getting to know someone”, or whatever label works for what is next. These are not the same as: “All in! Show me the dotted line, and I’ll sign today.” (When to do that, to formalize an agreement, is an entirely different conversation. This conversation is simply about dating feedback or other feedback being unnecessary at or immediately after initial contact.)

Said another way, I’m telling my future self that if I ever find myself wanting to ask for dating feedback at the early stage of a first date (or professional feedback after a first interview), my present-self suggestion is that doing so is a misdirected use of energy.

Instead of pursuing that angle, what I do and will do instead is use my “why didn’t this go forward?” energy to inquire more about myself and what I want/need/desire/am looking for so that I can make a sound judgment … “wait, what am I looking for? What am I offering? What am I looking for someone else to be offering? How will it be clear to me that that is what they are offering? What will they say? What will they do? How can I tell quickly and rapidly upon meeting someone whether there’s enough potential to pursue, or if it’s best to walk away?”

Enough. To my response.

My “dating feedback”:

Hey [her first name], replying here to your request for feedback. Mad props for your willingness and humility to open the door for it.

I’m hesitant to say much as I believe at the end of the day everyone writes their own book on love. Rather than feedback, I’ll tell you about my approach. I spent a good deal of time investigating what my values are. There are a lot of things I value, but I boiled those to a short list of what’s most important to me. These encompass my beliefs. That’s Part 1.

Part 2: also spent a lot of time considering my strengths. What am I good at. What am I inclined to do first or without thinking about it. What do I like doing. Because I value a relationship type & structure that is complementary in nature (vs reflective in nature — both being good at the same things), I also have a short list of complementary strengths I’m looking for in someone to date. I’m good at XYZ, she’s good at ABC…and together, we cover the whole alphabet. There are some behaviors that I watch and observe for as indicators of the presence of these complementary strengths I am seeking. And I trust my intuition and connection with God to help me see these in others, while also listening and looking for a presence of matching and similar values — AKA life priorities. What does she put first? Of all choices, where in the hierarchy does she place dating & creating her own family? (To me, this is a nuanced difference from participating and contributing to her nuclear family.) Is that position the same as mine?

So … I could tell you what I’m looking for. But it’s personal, and only valuable to me as I did the work to arrive there. Would be up to you to arrive at your own choices and short list. Also, I usually don’t share it as well because I don’t want to introduce observer bias … “I know that I am being watched for particular behaviors and because I know that and want to be seen as having them, I am going to perform them … but because I’m being watched and not necessarily because that’s what I what normally do.” You know?

There’s not a rightness or a wrongness about any of it. This is not a good-person bad-person situation. Or a “I like/ don’t like.” It’s a … “what’s the healthiest and strongest combination?” I’m impressed by the goodness of most people I meet, including you. And … that doesn’t mean that their strengths are a good match *for me*. Where I’m strong … I can help her. Where she’s strong … she can help me. If we’re strong in the same areas, we don’t need each other as much … and then we’re also mutually blind and weak in the same areas.

All I can really suggest with confidence is come up with your list of values for life. And put them in linear order … what’s #1, what’s #2. I max out at 5 right now. Everything else is on a tier below. No ties either, “these are equally important…” And then … think about your strengths. What do you want to contribute to a dating relationship / partnership / marriage … and what kind of strengths in a man would be complimentary to yours? What things would he not be good at (the things you are good at), so you can support him … as he supports you where you aren’t as strong.

Having that stuff crystal clear … what do I value, what are my strengths to offer, what complimentary strengths am I looking for … that’s all been a game changer for me. I meet people and I have a few things to look for rather than a huge picture of everyone else’s advice about what makes a good relationship work. And then I’m really clear and ok walking away from something or being OK if someone is non responsive or not interested. “She’s not what I’m looking for.” “I’m not what she’s looking for.” Or both. This is way more peaceful for me to handle than … “could this have worked?” “What happened?” “Why didn’t this go forward?” Or whatever other wondering thoughts I may have. Which I do have. Like anybody. And then I fall back on … “was she what I was looking for?” Or, “she gets to choose what she’s looking for. And it’s OK if it’s something other than what I’m offering.”

I don’t think I’ve answered your question. But this is what I have confidence in as a worthwhile response.

Fwiw, here is her reply:


By |2021-01-15T15:37:22-07:00July 26th, 2017|General Life|5 Comments

Neal A Maxwell: A Complete Chronology of His Talks and Speeches

In mid 2016, I read a book by Neal A Maxwell. Shortly after, I embarked on listening to his entire BYU Speeches archive, in chronological order.

I listened to many of these talks while making the long drive from Salt Lake to Heber City. At the time I was seeing someone who lived in Heber, and each time we made plans to get together I looked forward as much to her company as I did to the drive from my home in Millcreek, up Parley’s Canyon, past Park City and back down into the neighboring valley — my quiet, private time with Neal. The drive being an hour each way, I listened to one talk there and another on the way home.

In 2017, I started listening to the entire archive of his General Conference talks.

His perspectives certainly colored this piece I wrote, where I included just one of his golden nuggets.

I thought I’d put together all the speeches and talks of this man who seemed so well to maintain proper perspective for all life’s experience. For as he once said, “This world is not the one we are preparing for.”

The first book I read was We Will Prove Them Herewith. I think it’s out of print, but you can find it on Amazon.

Will update this with all of his Ensign articles, books, etc. I have a book that isn’t on the Wikipedia books list, so I think it will take some work.

I also recommend his biography, A Disciple’s Life: The Biography of Neal A Maxwell, which I finished fall 2017.

Neal A Maxwell - A Disciple's Life

From the Life of Neal A Maxwell

b. Jul. 6, 1926

1970 – Appointed Commissioner of Church Education

1970 – Feb. 23 – Spiritual Ecology – BYU/CES

1971 – Oct. 23 – Mormon Milieu – BYU/CES

1972 – A Time to Choose – Deseret Book

1972 – Apr. 27 – Freedom: A “Hard Doctrine” – BYU/CES

1974 – Jan. 15 – Family Perspectives – BYU/CES

1974 – Apr. 6 – Called as Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

1974 – Apr. – Response to a Call – LDS General Conference

1974 – Sep. 1 – But for a Small Moment – BYU/CES

1974 – Oct. – Why Not Now? – LDS General Conference

1975 – Apr. – The Man of Christ – LDS General Conference

1976 – Jan. 4 – Taking up the Cross – BYU/CES

1976 – Apr. – “Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King” – LDS General Conference

1976 – Oct. 1 – Called to the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy

1976 – Oct. – Notwithstanding My Weakness – LDS General Conference

1976 – Oct. 26 – Insights from My Life – BYU/CES

1977 – Nov. 8 – All Hell Is Moved – BYU/CES

1978 – Feb. – The Gospel Gives Answers to Life’s Problems – Ensign/Liahona

1978 – Apr. – The Women of God – LDS General Conference

1978 – Oct. 10 – Meeting the Challenges of Today – BYU/CES

1979 – Nov. 27 – Patience – BYU/CES

1980 – Apr. 21 – In This Time of Complexity and Challenge – BYU/CES

1980 – Oct. – The Net Gathers of Every Kind – LDS General Conference

1980 – Oct. 7 – True Believers in Christ – BYU/CES

1981 – Jul. 23 – Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

1981 – Sep. 15 – Grounded, Rooted, Established, and Settled (Ephesians 3:17, 1 Peter 5:10) – BYU/CES

1981 – Oct. – “O, Divine Redeemer” – LDS General Conference

1982 – Apr. – “A Brother Offended” – LDS General Conference

1982 – Sep. 5 – Meekly Drenched in Destiny – BYU/CES

1982 – Oct. – “Be of Good Cheer” – LDS General Conference

1983 – Feb. 18 – Try the Virtue of the Word of God – BYU/CES

1983 – Apr. – “Shine As Lights in the World” – LDS General Conference

1983 – Oct. – Joseph, the Seer – LDS General Conference

1984 – Apr. – The Great Plan of the Eternal God – LDS General Conference

1984 – Oct. – “Out of Obscurity” – LDS General Conference

1984 – Dec. 4 – If Thou Endure Well – BYU/CES

1985 – Apr. – “Willing to Submit” – LDS General Conference

1985 – Oct. – Premortality, a Glorious Reality – LDS General Conference

1986 – Feb. 7 – Good and Evil Spoken of Among All People – BYU Management Society

  • Address given at a dinner event of the BYU Management Society, Washington, D.C. Chapter.
  • Only exists as two print copies — no known recording or transcript. Print copies on file at HBLL Special Collections – Americana Collection, BX 8608 .A1 no.2968.

1986 – Mar. 30 – Joseph Smith: “A Choice Seer” – BYU/CES

1986 – Apr. – “Called and Prepared from the Foundation of the World” – LDS General Conference

1986 – Oct. – “God Will Yet Reveal” – LDS General Conference

1986 – Oct. 11 – Great Answers to the Great Question – BYU/CES

1986 – Oct. 21 – “Meek and Lowly” – BYU/CES

1987 – Apr. – “Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame” – LDS General Conference

1987 – Oct. – “Yet Thou Art There” – LDS General Conference

1988 – Apr. – “For I Will Lead You Along” – LDS General Conference

1988 – Oct. – “Answer Me” – LDS General Conference

1989 – Mar. 26 – “A Wonderful Flood of Light” – BYU/CES

1989 – Apr. – Irony: The Crust on the Bread of Adversity – LDS General Conference

1989 – Oct. – “Murmur Not” – LDS General Conference

1990 – Feb. 4 – The Children of Christ – BYU/CES

1990 – Apr. – “Endure It Well” – LDS General Conference

1990 – Oct. – Put Off the Natural Man, and Come Off Conqueror – LDS General Conference

1991 – Mar. 31 – “In Him All Things Hold Together” – BYU/CES

1991 – Apr. – “Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds” – LDS General Conference

1991 – Sep. 27 – On Consecration, Scholarship, and the Defense of the Kingdom (pp 12-21 in the PDF, printed as pages x-xix) – FARMS

  • The version linked to above is the transcription Daniel C. Peterson published in the Interpreter in 2003. Peterson got the transcription from Matthew Roper, who was present and recorded the speech, and then transcribed it on 5 October 1991, slightly more than a week after the event. As far as anyone knows, that recording (and no others) exist.
  • This speech is more commonly known by the title “Discipleship and Scholarship,” under which it was published in condensed and polished form by BYU Studies in 1992.
  • That he would speak at the FARMS annual banquet in the Wilkinson Student Center at BYU is reported in the Sep 1991 FARMS newsletter, INSIGHTS, page 5.

1991 – Oct. – Repentance – LDS General Conference

1992 – Apr. – “My Servant Joseph” – LDS General Conference

1992 – Aug. 18 – The Inexhaustible Gospel – BYU/CES

1992 – Oct. – “Settle This in Your Hearts” – LDS General Conference

1993 – Apr. – “Behold, the Enemy Is Combined” (D&C 38:12) – LDS General Conference

1993 – Jul. 4 – Provo 1993 Freedom Festival Fireside – BYU/CES

1993 – Aug. 25 – Wisdom and Order – BYU/CES

1993 – Aug. 26 – Out of the Best Faculty – BYU/CES

1993 – Oct. – “From the Beginning” – LDS General Conference

1994 – Mar. 27 – “Called to Serve” – BYU/CES

1994 – Apr. – “Take Especial Care of Your Family” – LDS General Conference

1994 – Oct. – “Brightness of Hope” – LDS General Conference

1995 – Apr. – “Deny Yourselves of All Ungodliness” – LDS General Conference

1995 – Oct. – “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father” – LDS General Conference

1996 – Jan. 23 – “Brim with Joy” – BYU/CES

1996 – Apr. – “Becometh As a Child” – LDS General Conference

1996 – Oct. – “According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts” – LDS General Conference

1997 – Apr. – “From Whom All Blessings Flow” – LDS General Conference

1997 – Oct. – “Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ” – LDS General Conference

1998 – Jan. 4 – The Pathway of Discipleship – BYU/CES

1998 – Apr. – “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” – LDS General Conference

1998 – Oct. – Hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ – LDS General Conference

1999 – Jan. 12 – Sharing Insights from My Life – BYU/CES

1999 – Apr. – “Repent of [Our] Selfishness” (D&C 56:8) – LDS General Conference

1999 – Oct. – Lessons from Laman and Lemuel – LDS General Conference

2000 – Feb. – Jesus, the Perfect Mentor – BYU/CES

2000 – Apr. – Content with the Things Allotted unto Us – LDS General Conference

2000 – Oct. – The Tugs and Pulls of the World – LDS General Conference

2001 – Apr. – “Plow in Hope” – LDS General Conference

2001 – Oct. – The Seventh Commandment:A Shield – LDS General Conference

2002 – Apr. – Consecrate Thy Performance – LDS General Conference

2002 – Oct. – Encircled in the Arms of His Love – LDS General Conference

2003 – Apr. – Care for the Life of the Soul – LDS General Conference

2003 – Oct. – How Choice a Seer! – LDS General Conference

2004 – Mar. 16 – “Free to Choose” – BYU/CES

2004 – Mar 19 – Blending Research and Revelation – adaptation of remarks made at BYU President’s Leadership Council Meetings

2004 – Apr. – Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been – LDS General Conference

d. July 21, 2004

Neal A Maxwell: A Man with Perspective


BYU Speeches by Neal A Maxwell

LDS General Conference Archive of Neal A Maxwell

More Interesting Neal A Maxwell Resources:

Maxwell Bibliography. An on-going project by Tyler Snow. Elder Maxwell’s lifetime cited works, grouped into Books, JD, HC and CHC, and then sorted by frequency of citations.

From “A” to “Z”: A is for Alliteration, Z is for Zion. By Don Duncan. 1997. (Working on converting this to a spreadsheet format.)

By |2023-01-04T17:58:08-07:00June 29th, 2017|Faith|64 Comments

“What should I do in New York City?” All Of This.

Since I lived in Manhattan for 5 years (New York 101: Manhattan is an entire island, and it’s 1 of 5 ‘boroughs’ that make up New York City), people often ask what they should do when they visit.

If you’re an American, you ought to know at least this much about NYC. “The City” comprises 5 boroughs. Manhattan is an island. Staten Island is one too, and a joke. The Bronx is up north, Queens clockwise from there, and then wrapped inside Queens between there are Staten Island is Brooklyn. Queens and Brooklyn are the far western end of Long Island (also an island, pronounced “Lawn GY-land”). That said, Manhattan is where everything you’ve ever associated with New York City is. And heads up, if you forget this is what NYC really looks like, you’ll get all whacked looking at the MTA Subway map which is completely out of proportion.

When in New York, do these things

Live Jazz: VJO Monday nights at Village Vanguard

Pizza: Juliana’s on Old Fulton under the Brooklyn Bridge, Motorino in the East Village, Don Antonio’s on 50th in the Theater District. If you want to venture beyond Manhattan for good pizza: Roberta’s and Di Fara are excellent. Di Fara’s is a legend. (btw, if you go to one of these places OUTSIDE New York you’re nuts if you expect the same experience)

Note on Juliana’s: Some people might tell you to go to Grimaldi’s on Old Fulton. Up until a few years ago, that was the advice you wanted. You see Patsy Grimaldi is one of New York City’s Pizza Godfathers. And, true enough, he opened a shop on Old Fulton. Then in 1998, someone convinced him to sell the business, including the rights to his name. The lure of retirement was sweet, so Patsy sold his name.

That person ran Grimaldi’s into the 2000s until 2011 when a little dispute with the landlord arose. By 2012 he was out, but not for good. He simply opened shop on the corner of the same block. He bought an old bank and, still owning the name, slapped “Grimaldi’s,” above the front door. To this day every tourist from Torrence to Tokyo doesn’t know any better, so what happens on Saturdays? A 2-hour line forms at Grimaldi’s doors and snakes down to the water.

HOWEVER . . . those who know, know that when O.G. Grimaldi got wind of the dispute between the landland and the owner of his namesake, Patsy started making moves. No one who loves food enough to open a restaurant ever truly retires. I mean really. Here in Utah the family behind Gloria’s Little Italy spent a couple years off the map and Florida and where are they now? Back in Bountiful with a pizza shop.

Patsy was restless. You bet he was making pizza from 1998 to 2012. And with the tenant of his shop on the way out, it was time. No way would he hold back … the original location, AVAILABLE! So move he did! Right.Into.His.Original.Shop. Patsy rebuilt the oven, refreshed the dining area and set up a bar so guests can watch him and his proteges do their finest work. And just before opening, he christened his comeback with a new sign, emblazoned with the name of his mother: JULIANA’s.

Burgers: Shake Shack (handful of locations; there’s even one in JFK and Las Vegas and other places, so don’t go out of your way for this, but say you go to the Museum of Natural History, well, it’s across the street). If you have time and want to try a +$20 burger, start with the Black Label at Minetta Tavern. If you don’t have time, try your luck watching the bar like a hawk and snag 2 stools as soon as they open. Full menu service there.

Cookies: skip Levain, go to City Cakes on 18th and 8th

Pastries: Pretzel croissant (City Bakery, on 18th and 5th. If it’s cold, they have killer hot chocolate too), a REAL cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery (arrive an hour+ before the store opens to get a spot in line. The cronuts sell out once the store opens)

Cheesecake: IMHO it was Carnegie Deli, but they are now closed and only ship. Juniors is fine (it’s convenient). Looks like 2 Little Red Hens in the UES is worth checking out. Eileen’s is also good.

Asian: Oh my, how did I leave this out for months? Xi’an Famous Foods (original in Chinatown, convenient locations on 45th near GCT, in the UWS on Broadway and 102nd and elsewhere). There’s only one thing to get your first time: the N1, spicy cumin lamb with hand-pulled noodles. Never seen another noodle like this anywhere. Yum. This is NOT a sit-down restaurant. You MIGHT find a spot at the counter to put your plate and eat while you stand or sit on a stool. Make plans to eat it hot and fresh. It’s better that way.

Korean BBQ: KOKO Wings opened around the corner from my front door and man alive I was a frequent customer. Small combo for 1, medium for 2 or large if you’re starving. Sauces: half and half every time. Sides: 2 words . . . kimchee coleslaw. You can also jaunt over from Herald Square a block and zigzag your way from 35th to 31st (btwn 5th and 6th) poking your head into just about any storefront there and find yourself some delicious Korean BBQ.

Broadway: Try your hand at a lottery (that link or Google ‘playbill student rush’) OR if they offer a “rush” option in the morning, show up 2.5-3 hours before that ticket window opens with a cushion and a good book. You’ll be first in line to get, typically, a front-row ticket.

Dinners: Buvette (West Village), Westville (couple locations)

Fancy-A Dinners: Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Minetta Tavern, The Modern at MoMA, Per Se, Blue Hill, ABC Kitchen, L’Artusi (or any of these)

Don’t miss: the grilled corn-on-the-cob at Num Pang Sandwich Shop

Comedy: EastVille Comedy Club or Comedy Cellar on MacDougal. You never know who’s gonna show up that’s not on the bill.

Experiences: sauna/steam/spa at the Russian-Turkish Bath House in the East Village. Walk The Mall in Central Park and finish at Bethesda Fountain/Terrace. Top of the Rock. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Take the Staten Island Ferry (once it lands in Staten Island, don’t get off … just get right back on and go back to Manhattan. Ain’t nothing to see in Staten Island). The Highline. World Trade Center plaza, 9/11 Memorial. Take the N/Q or F/D to Coney Island. If you go when it’s warm, take the LIRR from Penn Station to Long Beach.

As you can see it’s ludicrously easy to entertain yourself in The City of New York.

New York City - Nat Harward - Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall – 6th (Avenue of the Americas) & 50th – a few minutes before Bon Iver in concert

In part, that’s why I left.

But while you’re there . . . have fun 🙂

Questions? Looking for something else? Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

By |2021-05-06T16:58:44-06:00May 7th, 2017|General Life|0 Comments

Busted out the old drum pad

15+ years ago, James Sparling wrote the front end of this ditty for Nick Fields and Ross Patterson. Who then taught it to Chris Demuth and, later, me.

Then Nick and I blew it up for the high school variety show.

This week, my ward had a talent show and I figured I’d pull my quad pad of out storage to play something.

Here you go:

Smooth Jazz (on Argyle with a Banana Split on the Side)

Performed Solo, by the weaker half of Nick Nat Diddle Tap

Video Cred:

By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00April 11th, 2017|Music|0 Comments

Sang in General Conference

My stake and a neighboring YSA stake were asked to staff the choir for the Priesthood Session of April 2017 General Conference.

I sang T1. About 40 guys I go to church with each week spread themselves out across T1/T2/B1/B2.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Winmill YSA Ward Man Choir



We sang . . .

Rise Up, O Men of God


Jesus, Once of Humble Birth

(Made the camera on this one, around 0:48)


Redeemer of Israel



Hope of Israel


Great times. Hats off to our conductor Brett Taylor, music boss over at Mountain View High School.



  • There are 364 seats in the Conference Center choir loft.
  • Brett embraced his choir-geek music-nerdiness so much that it worked in his favor and won over the cooperation and trust of 364 mostly-amateur-singer dudes to sing with form and sound like a choir.
  • A teacher who loves what they do, cares, finds simple ways to convey and teach building blocks of technique, who provides lots of “this way, not this way” demos, and who provides lots of “see, you’re improving” feedback makes a world of difference in short time.
  • “The more in-tune that 5th is, the more truth there is in it. And thereby, the more the Spirit can testify of the truth of what we’re singing.”
  • “If you come to the performance unshaven and with unkempt hair, heaven awaits you . . . but the choir doesn’t.”


By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00April 3rd, 2017|Faith, Music|0 Comments

Export ROTOR FIT Files: How to get data off the app and into Training Peaks, Strava

As per my new whip write up, I upgraded to a ROTOR 2INpower MAS (pictured below) and it took some time to figure out how to export ROTOR FIT files from the app and get them into Training Peaks and Strava. I thought I could do it from the app on my phone, turns out (at this point in time), you can’t. A little wonky, but whatever. Here is the solution.

Export ROTOR FIT Files - 2INpower

Not really useful to have the data unless it gets to TP. And if it isn’t on Strava, it didn’t happen!


While I can sync the ROTOR to my Suunto Spartan Ultra via Bluetooth (which would then send watts to TP), only the total power number gets sent. The ROTOR app captures L/R power, OCA, OCP, torque effectiveness, pedal smoothness . . . a bunch of custom stuff that no watch is set up for (yet).

How to Export ROTOR FIT Files from the ROTOR App (iPhone + iTunes) [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][3:03]

If the video doesn’t display, view it here.

No idea what the Android corollaries are, but probably similar.

If this changes or you find some better way … leave a comment. Will update.

Power on.

# # #

More info on the additional data captured by the ROTOR Power app

Why I say use the ROTOR app then export ROTOR FIT files to another program

Left/Right balance

Different leg lengths, hip disequilibrium or simply stronger/weaker muscles in one of your legs lead to left/right irregularities. Here you have the chance to optimize your pedal stroke to the extent that both legs deliver 50% of pedaling performance.

Pedal smoothness

This function demonstrates the fluidity of your legs’ movement. It’s the relation between average and maximal force during a pedal stroke, measured in percentages. Pedal Smoothness is simply average power versus maximum power.

Torque effectiveness

The ratio of total torque versus positive torque. During a complete pedal rotation, data gets sampled to measure force and crank velocity. Resulting values will determine your torque effectiveness.

Torque 360º

Represents your distribution of force throughout a pedal rotation. This metric reveals how your force is applied to the pedal during 360º of pedaling and yields your Optimum Chainring Angle.

Optimum Chainring Angle

Your OCA value indicates the angular position where the work from pedaling is concentrated. This will help you understand how you pedal and will enable you to optimize the position of your Q-Rings.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00March 16th, 2017|Triathlon|9 Comments

Suunto Names U.S. Endurance Community Manager

OGDEN, Utah (Feb. 15, 2017) — Suunto, a global leader in sports watches, dive computers and precision instruments, has appointed Nat Harward as endurance community manager in the U.S. In his new role, Harward will be responsible for working with coaches, clubs, athletes and online communities to forge deep relationships in the multisport community.

Suunto Endurance Community Manager - Nat Harward

In addition to his role at Suunto, Harward will continue to work as a marketing strategist, consulting with organizations to produce content, websites, courses and events. Immersed in the Salt Lake City triathlon community, Harward is also a dedicated multisport athlete, finishing Ironman Maryland in 2014 and competing at the USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Age-Group National Championships in 2015.

“Growing and nurturing communities has always been a big part of the projects I’ve worked on,” says Harward, who has also been an integral part in the growing triathlon community in Salt Lake City. “I’m excited to take that energy into my role at Suunto.”

As Endurance Community Manager, Harward’s primary role will be to identify and connect with influential coaches, local triathlon and run clubs, and athletes in key markets in order to establish Suunto in the endurance community.

“We’re thrilled to have Nat on board,” says Bryson White, Suunto’s brand marketing manager for the Americas. “He brings a lot to the table, both in his marketing expertise and his involvement in the triathlon community.”

Suunto Endurance Community Manager - Nat Harward

About Suunto

Suunto was born in 1936 when Finnish orienteer and engineer Tuomas Vohlonen invented the mass production method for the liquid-filled compass. Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and sports instruments used by adventurers all over the globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.

Suunto’s headquarters and manufacturing plant is in Vantaa, Finland. Employing more than 400 people worldwide, Suunto products are sold in over 100 countries. The company is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation along with its sister brands Salomon, Arc’teryx, Atomic, Wilson, Enve and Mavic.


By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00February 15th, 2017|Triathlon|0 Comments

1994 XJ Heat Not Blowing – Diagnose and Fix

XJ Heat Not Blowing? Mine wasn’t either . . .

A year ago I bought a Jeep. She’s a 1994 Cherokee Sport (XJ) and my build thread starts here.

I call her Rigby.

1994 XJ Heat Not Blowing - Rigby

A few weeks ago the heat went out. Yeah, in the middle of January. Same time I had a cold.

#perfectiming for an XJ heat not blowing problem to kick in.

I did what I do whenever something happens to her: jump on the Google and the Jeep forums to diagnose what could be the matter, watch a bunch of YouTube videos and decide whether I have the parts, tools and guts to go for it.

First choice: swap the motor that blows air through the cabin and the resistor that allows the motor to blow at different speeds.

Did that . . .

And I seemed to get a LITTLE bit of air blowing, but nothing happened when I flipped the switch on the dash.

So I kept researching all forms of “xj heat not blowing” to diagnose the problem, find tests to run and spec out possible solutions.

Lots of people in the forums say the Blower Switches on the dash — the wheel you use to select low, medium high — are prone to melt. So prone to melt, in fact, that people who check XJs in junk yards for their switches say that typically 4 out of 5 switches are toast.

Fine then. Replace the switch is up next.

After doing the motor and resistor, it seemed it would be the last step.

I removed the dash and sure enough the switch was fried. That for sure would cause the classic XJ heat not blowing problem.

Like so many XJ’s before mine, another melted switch:

Pre-97 XJ Heat Not Blowing - Fried Blower Switch

The part nearer my wrist is a plastic housing that’s supposed to have 4 female metal clips that slide nicely over the copper male posts of the Blower Switch, between my fingers.

I look closer and noticed my fried switch wasn’t the original . . . it’s at least the first replacement . . . the 4 wires coming off the switch are spliced into the wiring harness. I assume the original would have been wired right in. So not only did I have the XJ heat not blowing problem, one or more of Rigby’s previous owners had the XJ heat not blowing problem too.

When I first took the old switch out, I clipped in front of the splices, which you can see here.

1994 XJ Heat Not Blowing - Switch Already Replaced Once

Getting the new switch attached to the back of the heat/ac plate that you see on the dash was easy. Two simple screws.

The new posts look so good compared to the old ones.

XJ Heat Not Working - New Switch Clean Posts

I got the switch from my local O’Reilly’s. I didn’t think about wiring when I got it, so after getting the new one on I went back to see about a replacement for the wires + wire clips + plastic housing to fit over those posts. We didn’t fit the original setup in stock, nor did it appear in the system for order. Seems no one makes them anymore … well someone ought to make a kit given how often the switches melt.

Either way, no problem.

My O’Reilly man Ben, who also drives an XJ, says “Get wires with the right-size clips, plug them right on and seal it up with grease. The plastic would melt again anyway.”

He finds a relay plug + wires for some other application and removes the wires from the plastic housing, and that’s what I buy, along with a wire stripper and a pack of butt splice connectors (how to video) to splice my new wires into Rigby’s wiring harness.

UPDATE: There are kits. Here’s one and it comes with the resistor. The harness is for the resistor specifically, but I’m pretty sure it will work on the switch. Either way … since the plastic is prone to melt again, my suggestion is to get a relay plug, pop the wires out of the plastic housing, connect them directly to the switch terminals, and plug the connections with dieletric grease. The grease isn’t going to melt. The plastic probably will. Again. Here’s a 2-pack of the plug.

I trim the old splices off and splice all the new wires in. Strip about 1/8″ of wiring insulation from harness end and plug end, feed both into the butt splice connector, crimp the connector and wires together, and heat it up with a lighter until the blue material shrinks, sealing both ends.

This was my first time doing any electrical work, so we’ll see how everything holds up.

You can see the finished splices of the yellow and green wires below, along with the clip for the yellow wire without a plastic housing to sit in. Each of those clips went right onto the new switch posts.

XJ Heat Not Blowing - Direct Wire Splice New Switch

With the four new wires spliced in, I coated the clips with silicon grease and slid all 4 onto their proper posts, then gobbed a lot more grease to coat the posts and clips entirely.

The grease will help dissipate heat and will protect the connections from moisture, dust and other interferences.

I have no idea what the heat thresholds are for that grease . . . will it liquify and drip off? Maybe, I’ll check how it looks the next time I run the fan on high for awhile. I have no idea at what temp it smokes/burns, but I assume it won’t because this is the same grease that you squirt into your distributor and spark plug wire connectors. Any fire hazard there would be no bueno.

UPDATE: Nov 2017 — grease hasn’t melted away, all is good.

Did I take my XJ heat not blowing problem and turn it around?

Have a look:

If the video doesn’t load, watch it here.

NOW . . .

What I found after replacing the fan and resistor that would have helped me properly diagnose, from the beginning, that my XJ heat not blowing problem resided in my switch, had I studied it closely:

The Pre-97 XJ Heater Blower Motor Wiring Diagram

XJ Heat Not Blowing - Heat Blower Electrical Diagram

Word to the wise.

Whenever dealing with diagnosing anything electrical, FIND THE WIRING DIAGRAM.

The diagram reveals the circuit logic which you can follow to pinpoint where the circuits are breaking.

Which is smarter than replacing everything in the entire circuit.

In this case, that wasn’t costly. In other cases, why pay to replace something that’s working?

And so now I present . . .

XJ Heat Not Blowing and Other Problems: How to Diagnose in a Pre-97 XJ

Take your car to a quiet place so you can hear things turning on and off without the distraction of road noise.

[1]  When you switch the Climate Mode Selector (the top sliding bar, above temperature, on your dash) from “OFF” to ANY of the Vent/Heat/Defrost options AND the Blower Switch (the wheel) is at THE BOTTOM (low), do you hear a fan start and can you, in at least one of those options, feel any air blowing out of any of the vents?

[A] If you hear no fan and have no air blowing from any vent on any option, either your Climate Mode Selector Switch is busted, your fuse is blown, or the Blower Motor is out. Check the fuse first, that’s easy to replace. If the fuse is fine, pull the plug to your blower motor, run power to it and see if it works; if battery power doesn’t make it turn, replace the motor. If the fuse and motor are fine, it’s your Mode Selector and for that it’s probably easiest to pull an entire climate control unit from an old XJ that to fix just the one slider.

[B] If you DO hear a fan turn on and can feel air blowing from at least one vent on at least one option, go to [2]

[2] In Vent, Heat or Defrost, move your Blower Switch (the wheel on the left) from bottom to top. There are 4 modes. If you can’t feel all 4 click, your switch has at least a mechanical failure. You may also have an electrical failure. As you go through the 4 modes, listen for changes in fan speed.

[A] LOW only :: your switch is busted. Look at the diagram. There is a line that runs from the Climate Mode Selector directly to the resistor. This is “low.” So even if your switch is busted, your fan (when heat is turned on), will turn on low.

[B] HIGH only :: your resistor is busted. Look at the diagram. There is a line that runs from the Blower Switch directly to the blower motor. So even if your resistor is busted, your blower motor will work on High when you move the Blower Switch to High and complete the circuit.

[C] ALL FOUR MODES WORK :: you’re good, duh. Why are you reading this?


NO LOW :: at least the “low” resistor coil is gone

NO M1 :: either the M1 switch wiring is out, or the M1 resistor coil is out, or both

NO M2 :: either the M2 switch wiring is out, or the M2 resistor coil is out, or both

If any of the resistor coils are or could be out, replace the resistor and retest.

If LOW doesn’t work after a new resistor . . . it shouldn’t be working at all. Must be a fault in the wiring that runs directly from S217 to C242 (the resistor).

If M1 doesn’t work after a new resistor . . . replace the Blower Switch. No reason to do part of it, just change the whole thing.

If M2 doesn’t work after a new resistor . . . replace the Blower Switch. No reason to do part of it, just change the whole thing.

If your blower motor works, and you change the resistor and the Blower Switch . . . and you STILL have a mode that doesn’t work:

Then your problem is a fault in the wiring for that mode. That’s over my pay grade. Good luck!

TL;DR :: the way I see it

The resistor is cheap (about $30), the Blower Switch with the copper posts that attaches to the back of the Climate Plate is cheap too (less than $30). Accessing either requires removing the dash. Since the Blower Switch is more prone to failure (melting) but the resistor is easier to replace, then I say that if all this has you suspect EITHER, just REPLACE BOTH. One trip to the auto parts store. One time to open your dash. Refresh pieces of a coordinating electrical system together for even wear. Etc. Annnnnd unless you know the age of your blower motor, do that too. It’s like $40.

Note: when you buy the Blower Switch, also buy just about any 5-wire relay plug for $10 that has the same size clips. Pop the clips out of the plastic. You only need 4. Also get a box of butt splice connectors (less than $5, get more than 4 because you’ll probably mess up at least 1) and use those to splice into your harness and connect to the Switch.

With the 5th wire from the relay plug, use that to ground your blower motor. Strip a little insulation from the open end and feed that into one of the screw that holds the blower motor against the firewall. Then drill a small hole in the clip and into an unpainted piece of metal on the body. Attach the clip to the body with a small screw.

“OK, Nat. So I’ve done all that and now my ‘XJ heat not blowing’ problem is a ‘XJ heat NOT hot’ problem . . .”

Cool. This is what I’m gonna try soon to see if my heat will get hot faster:

Backwards flush the heater core.

The heater core looks like a radiator, but it’s buried way the freak between the firewall and the dash and apparently is a beast to get to. So replacing them is a J-O-B.

But before replacing, a backwards flush may do the trick to loosen up, blow out or release whatever is slowing or stopping coolant from running back there. When the coolant doesn’t flow, then you have just cold or lukewarm coolant trying to heat up the air getting blown over the heater core and out your vents.

Here’s the coolant flow diagram for AMC’s trusty high-output (HO) 4.0L straight-6:

1994 XJ Heat Not Blowing - Heater Core Coolant Flow Diagram

How to do a backwards flush of the 4.0’s heater core:

Remove the skinny hose from the thermostat housing (flows into the heater core) and feed that into an empty container large enough to catch a bunch of coolant. Say 2+ gallons. 5 would be great.

Then remove the skinny hose from the passenger side of the water pump (flows out of the heater core), and take a garden hose with a nozzle, shove the nozzle into that outflow hose and turn the pressure up to force fresh water into the heater core in the reverse direction it normal flows. The water you spray in will then travel the reverse path through the core, out the inflow hose, and drain into your empty container.

Keep the water on until the exiting water looks clear or you fill your container.

Let the plain water drain out of the hoses.

Reattach the hoses.

Refill your radiator with coolant

Start the engine.

Get hot air faster (fingers crossed).

If there’s no change and your air stays cool even after the engine is fully warm, you’ll probably need to replace the heater core. Have fun with that.


This is #xjlife.

Really happy to own Rigby. Learning a lot . . . from how to fix XJ heat not blowing to cleaning my differentials to replacing a fuel pump AND perhaps most importantly: that the more I nurse something back to her best, the more endeared to her I am.

Last word: Jeeps are Legos for adults. Happy trails.

By |2021-02-12T13:54:21-07:00January 26th, 2017|Jeeping|16 Comments

When’s the last time you did something for the first time?

Thinking about 2016 and how many firsts I had. First time something happened to me. First time I went somewhere. First time I did something. First time I attempted a new skill.

There’s something amazing about Shoshin, the beginner mindset.

And other research shows mixing up routine with new tasks is good for your brain and overall health.

Say what you will about 2016.

Heartache, catastrophe and the unexpected will ever continue, and at increasing rates.

Both literally, because there are more people on the planet each day and therefore greater probability of something tragic happening to those people.

And as a matter of perception, as every day you and I become aware of more of those people and more of those tragedies.

If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. — Thich Nhat Hanh

I do new things in part to increase the immensity of my river.

Each new thing gives me capacity to absorb external events and continue on in pursuit of my priorities.

First time walking the new Hoover Dam bridge


Lots of car stuff:

Bought a car
Got car insurance
Got a Utah license
Replaced driveline U joints
Changed my own oil
Replaced an air filter
Replaced an engine temp sending unit
Aligned a set of front tires
Flushed my radiator + engine coolant
Replaced a tie rod
Replaced a battery
Took old car fluids for recycling
Bought car tires
Went to a junkyard
Pulled a transfer case
Bought a breaker bar
Replaced a fuel filter
Replace a fuel pump
Started a car w/starter fluid
Treated an engine w/Sea Foam
Drained and replaced power steering fluid
Drove with 4WD
Went rock crawling
Forded a river
Got stuck, figured it out, made it home


Lots of marketing stuff:

Used/learned Ontraport CRM
Figured out embedding Ontraport forms into ClickFunnels pages
Built an online school with Teachable
Produced and launched courses on Teachable
Used Zapier for real: Teachable <> Ontraport integration
Built a website from scratch with Squarespace
Programmed forms on a page to autoredirect to a new page after submission
Used Squarespace’s custom CSS injection
Used/learned Google Tag Manager
Setup Google Analytics goals based on firing of tags in GTM
Used Webflow to manage a site’s content
Used UTM parameters … like really
Used/learned ConvertKit


Went to/through/across . . .

Lake Powell
Sedona, AZ
The new Hoover Dam bridge (walked)
Oquirrh Mountain Temple
Logan, UT
Bear Lake
Oregon Coast
Antelope Island (the one in the Great Salt Lake)
San Antonio
Downata Hot Springs
An indoor gun range
Western Grand Canyon Rim
Tibble Fork Canyon
Forest Lake
Uintas via Midway
Pine Canyon (drove)
Butterfield Canyon (drove to the mine lookout)
Millcreek Canyon (ran, rode)
Old Ward Canyon (drove)
Farmington Canyon (drove)
Cedar Canyon (drove)
Allred + Robinson family sites in Spring City
Three Sisters Lakes + Sunset Peak (ran)
Clayton Peak (hiked)
Mt. Olympus (ran)
Catherine’s Pass + Alta-Brighton loop (ran)
Little Cottonwood Canyon (ran)
Big Cottonwood Canyon (ran)
Lambs Canyon to Brighton (ran)


Saw David Copperfield perform

Bought a Mac

Moved to + lived in Salt Lake City


Stepped into Alum role and mentored current BYU students in their nascent comms/marketing/entrepreneur journeys

Took a long-term commitment to volunteer at a hospital

Co-hosted a little party in Watch Hill, RI next to T Swift’s place

Did a via ferrata

Summited Mt Olympus in the snow

Ran up a mountain with Yaktrax

Volunteered for RAGNAR

Volunteered at the Peak Series

Used social media to get considered for a job

Joined Circle, by Squarespace

Went to a funeral for a former roommate

Was the one to break up a dating relationship rather than be the one broken up with

Listened/watched/read the entire BYU Speeches archive for a single speaker

Sold something on the street to a complete stranger

Passed out giving blood

Shopped at Costco . . . on my own membership

Joined a tri club

Did a blood-sampling lactate test to determine my heart rate zones

Raced a tri at elevation (6400′)

Won my age-group outright in a regular-format sprint tri (swim -> bike -> run)

Did one of those escape-the-room challenges

Did the Utah caucus thing

Voted 3rd party

Played tennis 4 days in a row

Got a Suunto

Started running on Newtons, with Sofsole inserts, Balega socks and Skratch nutrition

Bought my own kickboard, paddles, buoy, fins and snorkel

Trained with said snorkel … man alive, that’s tough right now

Trained with power on the bike

Shipped a pallet across the country via an LTL freight order

Paced a runner

Ran a stand-alone marathon (twice)

Took caffeine pills before the second marathon (oops)

Raced as a sponsored/supported athlete

Coached someone thru their first tri

Finished 26 books

Got evacuated from my residence for one night by the police (SWAT extracted an active shooter from my former next-door neighbor’s house)

Listened in on a police scanner (about SWAT extracting said shooter)

Launched a personal website (this one first, then five months later)

Blogged once a month

Took a photo class

Discovered the awesomeness of quick video chatting via Snapchat and Marco Polo

BBQed ribs in the oven

Made world’s best chocolate chip cookies

A number of mental/emotional/spiritual firsts that have been intensely personal

I live by semesters so this will continue.


OH AND HOW COULD I FORGET?!? I won my fantasy football league … against all guys who played ball while I was in marching band.


What’d you do for the first time in 2016?

Even if your first thought is “not much,” I bet if you think about it your first-time-in-2016 list will surprise you.

By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00December 26th, 2016|General Life|2 Comments