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Filtering by Tag: deliberate dudes

Two-Wheeling to Work

Seth Strickland

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By Seth Strickland

Biking to work is fun. It's also great for all your muscles (including your heart!), it'll drive you to make better diet choices, and it'll give you a good chance to take a break from the ol' automobile. 

Citi bike has grown steadily more popular, as well as various bike sharing  programs, so it's easier than ever worldwide to get your hands on a bike without having to actually buy one. But, chances are, there's a yard sale down the street, a recently-unexplored garage, or Craigslist, whereat a lonely bicycle is waiting, like a puppy, for you and only you. 

Where to begin riding? Think about your work commute. Is it feasible for you to bike to work? Look for perhaps previously undiscovered bike paths in your community - chances are, if you live in a bicycle-friendly community or an urban environment, there are bike trails all around you. Get in contact with your local bike commission for a bicycling map.

 I'm not advocating, though, that you pick up a bike tomorrow and set off on your 18-mile commute. Unless you do this already, I'm telling you that you're probably not going to make it. Plus, if you do make it, you might, through your tears, wish that you hadn't ever laid eyes on a bicycle nor been born or something foolish like that. But, if you have a commute of three miles or less (or more if you want to!), think about taking a day or two next week and biking to work. See how it feels. 

Think also about the quick run to the store. That store, unless you are suburb-bound, is probably not far away. A backpack and a bike can make that secret exercise. 

Why to begin riding?  Your muscles are something like 50 times more efficient, on average, per calorie, than your car. And, since every gallon of gas you burn releases a pound of carbon dioxide, your pedaling is more efficient and releases next to no carbon dioxide. Plus, there are all those healthy reasons I told you about before. You'll do your body and your surroundings a lot of good.

This week, dust off the old Schwinn, buy a used road bike from your Local Bike Shop (LBS), or teach your kid to ride. This week, pedal deliberately. And wear a helmet.


Valentine's Day Ideas for Dudes

Seth Strickland

By Seth Strickland

This Valentine's Day is a great time to step it up, deliberate dudes. It's clear that the cascade of hearts and pink champagne and chocolates is the face of this holiday, but it's easy to let it be all of the holiday. Too many guys buy a big heart box and hand it in like some sort of half-forgotten homework. This Valentine's Day, put a little more deliberation into your celebration. You're seeking to live deliberately, so here's a chance to show it. A few ideas for those in relationships:

Newbies:

If you're in a new relationship, or not yet at the place where you feel comfortable uttering the word 'relationship' out loud, here are a few ideas based around getting to know each other:

  • Play your favorite record for her & have her play hers for you. Challenge each other to see who can find the sappiest song. It's a fun activity that can help you get to know each other, set the mood, and potentially help you find "your song."

  • Take her to your favorite local BYOB restaurant and have her bring her favorite wine.

  • Go on an adventure. Ask her what her favorite sort of shop or activity is, and find a nearby unexplored spot & get to know it.

Oldies:

If you've been in a relationship for a little while (or a long, long while), take this year to refresh a memory. Think back to one of your first great dates or memories, and build your activity on that. Even a dud the first time around can brighten with a second visit. A few suggestions:

  • See if any of your favorite bands are playing in your area or check out the lineup at your favorite venue to find something new.

  • If you are musically inclined, learn your partner's favorite song & sing/play it for them – everyone loves a little creative effort even if the end result isn't perfect. Too cheesy? Check out a comedy show for some good laughs.

  • Revisit a restaurant dear to both of you but which you haven't visited in a while. Alternatively, hit up a farmers' market & cook an old favorite. 

  • Go on an adventure. No reason not to. Make a new tradition; try something for the first time.

For ye single dudes, celebrate the love of friendship. Most of the dearest people in the world are simply your close friends. Take Valentine's Day to have some killer bro time. As Michelle wrote, love is selfless. Don't take Valentine's as an excuse to go on a self-pity bender – give something to someone else. Give time, give effort, give words of encouragement. Invite a group of friends over for a movie or board games – or take all your single girl friends out for ice cream. Give the gift of a good example: it's vital to act in a way those young guys who look up to you can emulate.

So, in the face of gushing romcoms and be-hearted teddy bears the size of, well, bears, take this Valentine's Day to be a man. February 14th is more than a Friday this year; it's more than a girly chocolate holiday: it's an opportunity to give something meaningful to someone very close to you. Take that opportunity by the horns, and give deliberately. Give love.  

No-Waste Gift Ideas: Give a Hobby

Seth Strickland

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by Seth Strickland

This Holiday season, as always, there's a lot of pressure to give gifts, and if you have a lot of friends, it can be difficult to make the cut - who gets gifts? Who doesn't? Instead of buying all your buddies an ESPN key fob this year, introduce them to your favorite hobby. 

One of my friends, Alex, has just started brewing beer. This is a great dude hobby to pursue for reasons I won't enumerate here, but Alex suggested that we make beer sometime and that if I helped him, I'd get to take some home. This great gift idea has both the benefit of time spent together and a frills-free gift for your friends. The cost-per-beer is very low, especially if you already have the brewing equipment, which means that it's a good economic choice. There's no wasted wrapping paper but also no tactless unwrapped present. A simple but good-looking invite card can serve as the physical object which you hand out at the office Christmas party or the weekly squash match. Some Saturday, brew for a few hours, and four weeks later, get together again to bottle it. 

It doesn't have to be beer. Any skill you have or hobby you pursue which your friends or brothers or sons or nephews lack is an opportunity to teach, to share, to spend some time this holiday season. The gift of amateurism (the pursuit of something for love, rather than gain) is priceless, often costs little, and strengthens the beneficial bonds of friendship.

Leave comments below for other great hobby gifts & how to start them.