When I was a little kid, I would run away from home on a regular basis. No one really worried about me, likely because growing up in rural North Dakota meant there was nowhere to run to.
I would declare my intentions, pack a lunch and stroll down the long gravel driveway, stopping to take bites out of my PB & J as I went.
I had a destination in mind.
Even the middle of nowhere is somewhere to someone... especially when it means getting away from everyone.
I would walk to Big Rock. Big Rock was a big rock in the ditch. (Hey, I was a kid and I called ‘em as I saw ‘em.) It was a quiet place to escape to – and to plot revenge from – a place to think about things, and to eat a sandwich, if there was any sandwich left by the time I got there.
One day, my mom called and told me that my rock was missing.
A literal touchstone of my youth, gone. In it’s place only a redundant crater in a ditch. My mom thought she spotted it in a memorial garden in my hometown, but I don’t want to find out if it's really there. I like to remember it where it was. Big Rock still holds a big place in my memory.
Besides, I have a new Big Rock here in my adopted city. I remember a flash in the corner of my eye one day when I was driving along Portage Avenue near Assiniboine Park. That flash was the spark that alighted my obsession with Agassiz Ice.
I love the setting for this sculpture by Gordon Reeve, near the century-old park’s footbridge. I love how the piece accents its environment like a piece of jewelry – one that goes with everything, in every season’s wardrobe. It's different every time I see it, from reflecting the pinkish hue of a summer sunrise to the gunmetal blue of a winter sky.
If the park is my church, Agassiz Ice is my altar.
As you, and anyone not living under a rock may know, the NHL lockout has been lifted. The first Jets home game is against the Senators this Saturday and there is a definite buzz around the city.
I am not a season ticket holder, and quite frankly probably never will be. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier that the Jets are playing this year. I will spring for the occasional ticket, and when I do, it is always worth it, but my happiness for the lockout coming to an end spawns from the morale side of things. Our city needs the Jets like I need another pair of shoes. Do I need them? No. Will I love and appreciate and look forward to seeing them? Obviously. When you live in a city that is bitter cold, with wind that bites and snow that blinds, I think that it is, in this case safe to say that we need the Jets because we need something to look forward to in order to survive these God awful winters.
A few years ago, I trained to run a 10k. During that time, I wound up with some super-tight psoas and hip muscles that kept me from running the way I was used to. So, I frantically went to my sports therapist friend to see if she could help me get back to my normal flexibility and get me back on track. She ran me through diagnostics and asked me what my life looked like, my history of injury, my work setting, my outside of work setting, etc.
I thought that my issue was for sure going to be caused by the way I was running or the frequency… but to my surprise, it was my desk job that was keeping me from running! We figured out that I was spending a good chunk of my day sitting at my desk, usually one leg crossed on top of the other. How ironic that the stillest activity of my day was keeping me from the most active part of my day!
A desk job can actually be one of the most injurious things for your body. Slouchy backs, unsupported lumbars, desk and chair heights causing wonky shoulders, wristy aches from awkward keyboards or constant mousing, and tight hips! Oh my.
I ended up getting some awesome physical therapy (thank-you Amanda!) and stretching exercises to do on my own that rehab'd me back to my normal running self, but this took me about 6 weeks.
The good news though, is that there are things we can do to prevent the desk injury before it happens. Simple stretching or a mini yoga session is a great way to do it. I'm not saying you need to switch into Lulu's and roll out a mat to make it happen, but that's awesome too. Whatever you're comfortable with, just get moving, stretch out the tight bits, take a mini walk and get the blood flowing.
Go online and search for yoga stretches for the office. There is no short supply. Or do yoga with one of my favourite yoga teachers:
I just had to squeeze that in here somewhere :)
One of the reasons why I like working for Fusion is because they see the value in what I'm talking about. Weekly yoga sessions have been a part of this gig for a while now. We not only have creative ideas, but stretchy hip flexors too!
DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES (I hope they don't mind!)
For some reason, this is the year that I feel confident in making change in my life. (Perhaps it's all the lifestyle and habit changing apps I now have on my iPhone.) I have set some serious goals and intend to pursue them vigourously. I’m surprised at how long I have been getting nowhere with some of my greatest dreams, while still believing that I am pursuing them.
An interesting article in the Winnipeg Free Press by lifestyle guru Meghan Franklin suggests that we “Ditch the resolutions” in January and start our big changes in any other month due to the likelihood of failing and starting off the new year on the wrong foot. I am ignoring that advice and taking Shawn Parr's.
I came across this post in Fast Company from an industry colleague and am posting it here for you to read. I want to follow this plan, except for the “butcher a pig” part and a few others. Good advice here.
It’s from Shawn Parr, CEO of Bulldog Drummond, an innovation and design consultancy headquartered in San Diego.
1. Grab the year by the ears Look back at 2012 and celebrate your successes and identify your failures. Map what you learned from both and think about what you want to change in the year ahead. Define what success looks like for 2013, setting audacious and achievable goals. Envision what you want the year to look like, literally. Write a list by month, write a year-end letter to yourself, or build a dream board, but don't go into 2013 without knowing what you want success to look like. Map out how you'll get there and what resources you'll need.
2. Values are valuables Revisit your values and what's important to you on a personal level. These foundational principles should guide decisions around how you live and work. List the principles that are central to who you are and guide how you think and behave. Put your values to work daily throughout the year ahead. If it feels like we're walking away from the founding values this country was successfully built on do what Gandhi advised and, "be the change you want to see in the world." Decide what you really care about and the role you can play in helping make a positive change in the world.
3. Gratitude is the attitude It's a universal truth that grateful people are happy people. Start every day with gratitude and thanks for the chance to live your life in a country that promotes freedom and the opportunity to be your best. Say thank you often and mean it.
4. Trash the small stuff Like most people, you probably waste too much time on the small, insignificant, time-sucking, going-nowhere stuff. Make a list of the things you do that waste time every day and list what you're going to do to change your behavior.
5. Don't make money your god The sage father of my first girlfriend gave me some very simple advice that is as relevant today as it was then. He said, "Never make money your god." I've been asked many times this year whether the purpose for a company is to make a profit, and my answer has been the same every time, "Making a profit is the by-product of a clearly defined purpose." As individuals we know money creates choices but it doesn't answer our need for purpose. Make sure money is not the reason or rationale behind what you do.
6. Everything you do matters You are the sum of all of your parts, relationships, and actions. The advent of social media has highlighted the age-old truth that every action you take, and every conversation you have, matters.
7. Be yourself and be courageous You don't have to follow the crowd. Take courageous steps to define the brand of you in 2013, reminding yourself of who you are, what makes you tick, and why you get out of bed every day. Don't feel compelled to follow the crowd. Be courageous and be proud of being yourself.
8. Surround yourself with smarts Don't surround yourself with “yes people” and fans. Friends and mentors should help make you a better version of yourself. Make sure the people around you are smarter and different than you. Have people in your life who will call you out and hold you accountable.
9. Time is like gold, so spend it wisely Time is the most valuable commodity we're given. The weeks and months fly by, so plan your time carefully and don't waste it. Spend it generously with people who matter. I get up every morning at 5:15 a.m. to surf. I do it every day, and it's my time to reflect, exercise, and connect with nature. Design time into your day that is only for you, not for work or for anyone else. A time where you think about your life and the role you're playing in it--and pursue something you love. It's the best gift you'll give yourself.
10. Do something new for the first time Learn to butcher a hog, ride a horse, run a marathon, write code, or play the guitar. There's nothing like the excitement and learning that comes from doing something completely new for the first time.
Fusion is a full-service agency providing clients with marketing, advertising and branding strategy in
Winnipeg and beyond. Have a look at our work and case studies
to find out why more companies are choosing Fusion for smart advertising and marketing solutions.