Friday Inspiration 390

IMPORTANT: Sunday (July 30th) is the last day to pre-order one of the Practice Maximum Enthusiasm hats by rnnr —see the bottom of this email/post.

This is a fun short (and of course scenic) film about the Hardrock 100, with one very touching moment with the race director, Dale Garland, when he’s talking about why he’s there to greet every runner when they cross the finish line. [I discovered this on Wednesday in my friend Ed’s newsletter, Good News from the American West, which is exactly what the title says it is] (video)

screen capture from The 2023 Hardrock 100 Endurance Run- traditions and community through wild & tough conditions.


I know this is a lot harder to pull off than just saying to your friend, “OK, what if there was a website that was just an endless scroll of images of rotating sandwiches?” But I like to think that’s where this started, and someone had the vision and persistence to stick with it. And listen, if you’re like, “That doesn’t sound that interesting,” you know, just give it a try. It will cost you nothing but 15 seconds. (via

I mentioned this trip in last week’s newsletter, but prices go up on Monday so here’s one last reminder: Alpine Running Guides (who will also be guiding my Freeflow Institute trail running + writing workshop this September) has spots available on its six-day Winter Running Retreat in Tucson the first week of January 2024. If you are thinking about planning things for Future You, who might like some sunshine and dry trails in the dead of winter, maybe these phrases sound good: a) eating healthy chef-prepared meals, b) staying in a quiet mansion near the base of Mt. Lemmon, c) casual running on technical Sonoran Desert trails, d) not being at work for a week. Also, 2022 Western States 100 champion Adam Peterman will be joining for some of the runs. And I didn’t say this last week, but if Adam has to bail for some reason, I’m going to try to convince the folks at Alpine Running Guides that I should take his place.

I somehow never get tired of hearing about people’s creative processes, but this one really hit home for me, at this point in my life: Author Paula Cocozza on writing a book when you don’t have time to write a book—something she knows how to do because she just did it. One of my favorite bits from the piece: “Since all I had were unreliable, untimetabled scraps of time, I also felt less pressure to produce something amazing. I ditched all word count targets while I wrote my book and let myself feel excited by any small achievement.”

If you have even a passing interest in hip-hop, you can probably spend a solid hour or so of your life poking around this New York Times interactive presentation of interviews with 50 hip-hop legends. Very interesting cast of characters here—a few folks I’d never think of including in this, but who were pleasant surprises (Vanilla Ice, Violent J from Insane Clown Posse). Also, I found it kind of hilarious that, this being the New York Times, they basically bleeped all the curse words with “[expletive].” (thanks, Mario)

OK so these photos of fireflies are amazing and beautiful, but the reporting here on how Pete Mauney manages to capture the images also just paints such a lovely image. I mean, there’s a guy in upstate New York who just goes out on summer nights and stands in dark places, shooting photos of bioluminescent insects—doesn’t that just make you feel good?

The headline here kind of says it all, but the essay is hilarious too. I mean, that kind of stuff would never happen to me, because I’d be different/better at this whole thing, right? LOL WRONG A Camping Trip With Young Kids, As Imagined By Me Before Having Kids

I always thought that the practice of complaining about how professional and college basketball players commit traveling violations was this thing you aged into, like one day you just become an older person who watches players’ feet closely because you enjoy pointing it out when they travel. I have not noticed this behavior in myself yet (although my basketball watching is basically limited to clips I see on social media), but for some reason YouTube served up this brilliantly concepted video titled “Travels but they get increasingly more outrageous.” They really do get more outrageous as the video goes on, like I was laughing out loud at the last couple of clips. The top comment: “As a kid, and still an adult, it always baffled me how professionals got more leniency with violating their craft by traveling than 9 year olds in a public league”


Practice Maximum Enthusiasm RNNR Hat

These hats do not physically exist yet. They are available for pre-order for $34.99 from right now until 11:59 p.m. July 30th, which means:

  • When you order a hat, it will be created by the folks at rnnr
  • It will be shipped to you the second week of October (yes, they ship internationally)
  • These hats are otherwise unavailable—we are not making a batch of 500 hats and hoping we can sell them. We are making a batch of 67 (or however many pre-orders we get between now and 11:59 p.m. on July 30th), and sending those 67 (or however many) hats to the people who ordered them.
  • One size fits most (adjustable from 56 cm up/22 inches)
  • They’re only in the color pictured
  • You do not have to run to wear one (but you can run in them)
  • Click here (or on any of the hat images) for all the info: 

Practice Maximum Enthusiasm RNNR Hat multi view