Thursday, May 24, 2012

Run, Matt, Run!!!

For those of you that know me personally, you know that I enjoy running. For those of you that somehow managed to stumble onto this blog while laying in your bed with your computer, checking your Facebook, now you know.

Yes it's no secret that I like to run. I've ran 5k's, 10k's, half marathons, and full marathons. All of them present a different challenge depending on how big of a runner you are. I ran my first marathon with my dad who is also a huge runner. He's ran more marathons than Kim Kardashian's had boyfriends.Yeah, he's that rad. I can remember the thoughts I had while running my first marathon. At the starting line everyone just stand around like cattle until we hear the gun go off for the race to begin. The miles of the course go something like this:

Moo! Mooo!! Moo!!!!

  • 1-3: Yay we're all running, yeah this is fun! Oh man, look at that guy peeing in the bushes! haha!
  • 4-7: Woohoo, this is still fun, I can feel my legs really getting a good workout in. 
  • 8-11: What the hell, I swear I already passed the 9 mile marker. I need to take a crap, where's the next port-a-potty. 
  • 12-15: Alright I got my second wind, I'm halfway through! I just had half a banana, that should be enough for me to get though the rest of this.
  • 16-20: .....Why....why did I decide to do this? My thighs....I..I think I can feel them bleeding....
  • 21-24: Holy crap I just saw that guy barf up his banana. Where am I again? I'm feeling a little delirious. Is that flying jars of peanut butter?
  • 25-26.2: I can feel it, I'm almost done! The end is approaching. I can't feel anything from the waist down. How am I still moving? 
  • Crossing the finish line: Oh man, I feel bad for whoever is still running. What's that you sat? I was the last person? Oh...well, no wonder no one is here.
"It may have taken me 95 years to finish but damnit, I finished!"
It didn't end quite like that, but the preceding portion is all pretty much true. Especially the thigh part....that was bad. The following days after the marathons were the worst. My legs hurt so bad and the inside of my thighs felt like someone took a cheese grater to them. I just can't emphasize how bad my thigh's hurt, alright? I was walking down stairways like a 8 1/2 month pregnant woman. I forgot to put sunscreen on so my face got burned and I looked like Gary Busey. Yeah, things sucked for a while. Did I mention that I also had phenomena the week before? I'm really not making that up, it's pure truth. 

Wonder how this guys' thighs felt afterwards.
Seems like after something like that you'd think I would never do another marathon again. Nope, I still run them even though they're hard and they suck. The one thing I forgot to mention that goes along with all the post-marathon-pain is that you gain a huge sense of accomplishment. That might not be true for everyone who runs a marathon but for the majority of those who do, I would say they feel the same way. It's a test of your endurance both physically and psychologically. I can see if you didn't train and you tried to do it, you'd probably crap out at the 3rd or 4th mile. However, If you've trained and you're prepared, then the whole thing is just psychological. Your brain tells you that it wants to stop because it's bored and not really being utilized. Okay that might not be totally accurate but it's probably part of it. What do we do to solve that problem? We try to distract it with music, books of tape, talking to a friend, or other weird little rituals people do during a race. 

Now that I've given you great examples of why it's so fun to run, get out there and chaff up your thighs! Oh before I forget, here's a picture of Mario Cat to get you motivated!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This recession feels longer than a Michael Bay bombing scene

The more time I spend at work, sitting on this hardwood, semi-swiveling stool and hearing customers come in and say "Are ALL your pumps pre-pay?" the more I realize how much work sucks. That's alright though, I like to picture everyone hating their job at some point. The only difference is that I'm stuck working at a gas station while others are stuck being the CEO of Washington Mutual or J.P. Morgan.....oh whoops, too soon? Nah, they won't see this. If you do though, are you guys hiring? Oh shoot! Too soon again?

Sometimes, after I've ran out of Frosted Flakes and I've reached my limit of reading ESPN's millionth article about LeBron James, I'll get a little philosophical and ponder the sequences of life and how work comes into play.
  1. We all start off as the helpless little ball of goop, constantly dependent on our mom and stinking up the house. You cry, poo, eat, and.....that's about it. It's probably the most stressless part our lives and we can't remember it! 
  2. Then we move ahead to the young and weird my-hair-won't-stay-down phase of our lives. It's in this phase where not getting asked to the school dance by someone is the crappiest day of our life. I'm still waiting for my wife to ask me to this years prom, even though we're both graduated and I've graduate from college......the point it is, I'm still waiting and times a wasting. If you're like most kids  you probably had a part-time school job, unless you're me and that continues through college beyond. Awkward.
  3. Then we go into college life. Ah, good ol college life. You go to school, learn new things, meet new people, and are suddenly the smartest person in the entire world. There is no way that anyone, anywhere else knows all the things you know. Oh what's that you say? You've never heard of Pavlov's Classical Conditioning Theory? Well, allow me to educate you because I know everything about it. Yes, the college years pump a sense of self-worth into our systems, making us feel like we can do anything, and tackle any battle which should be good because then we can get a good job, right?
It's after college where life really starts to begin. You didn't know this but everything else before that was just easy. It's at this point where you wish you had a DeLorean and could go back in time. The baby boomers are getting old and they are mean and pissed off (except a select few). From my observations it seems that we have unqualified individuals in areas of expertise (Congress and CEOs for big corporations) that don't know what the hell they're doing while perfectly qualified people sitting at home collecting unemployment checks. Hmmm, maybe this is because companies don't want to hire anyone without a Ph.D. and 89+ years experience, which by that definition should make their ideal candidate about 154 years old. 

Recent college graduates who took out student loans are now suffering because they only have one half of what employers want. How do I know all this? I'm living proof! Only Clark Kent (Superman) would have been able to go to school full-time and gain all the necessary work experience that employers require. Then there's people like me who received degrees in the Arts and Social Sciences that go through a lamenting period where we realize we probably should have majored in something harder, like engineering or computer science. It's funny too because in all your introduction classes explicitly tell you how much money you can expect to earn with just a bachelors degree in that field. We still chose to stick with it though and now here I sit at my same gas station job, planning my next venture back to school. You can't get a degree in these sorts of fields and make a living off just that. You pretty much have to plan on going to graduate school of some sort or go back and get a degree that makes you money. In my research I've found that both serve up pretty challenging endevers, both leading to one thing.....More student loans.

So what are we to do about this dilemma? We'll just have to wait and see I guess. Even with pockets of employment are popping up here and there, it's not enough. There are millions of college graduates from 2010-2012 wandering around like zombies holding their degrees saying, "Hire me, Hire me, Hire me!!!!" Hopefully things will start to look up. In the meantime this recession is like a fat kid at McDonalds just eating away cheeseburger after cheeseburger.