PATRICK STEPHENSON

Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

Solid Soul

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A song about the demands of adulthood, one of my favorites of 2009.

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December 31, 2009 at 10:03 am

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Spaceman for a Day (or Two)

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December 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

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Winter Viking

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I haven’t posted in awhile, but the crux of my life lately is biking. In August, I bought a Surly Steamroller—my first potential fixie, but I flip-flopped it to a single-speed because I can’t give up coasting—and gained a new addiction: commuting by bike. My route is 8.5 miles each way, from the Macalester/Groveland area of St. Paul to OLSON on Loring Park, at the edge of downtown Minneapolis. Naturally, this led to winter-biking. I’ve joined that crew of Minnesotan crazies who, occasionally, you see on the roads in winter, layered the hell up. “Winter viking” is the name my friend Zach and I have given this endeavor, and because I’ve made it to January 2010, I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Spring, here we come.

Last night, during a four-hour bike ride in -4º weather—while navigating my studded-tire Surly over ice-bumpy sidewalks—I passed another cyclist, and waved to him. “HOW YA DOIN!” he said. “GREAT!” “DON’T YOU LOVE IT?” “YEAH!!!” He laughed. I do love it. I’ll post on my gear, decided upon after much trial and error, soon.

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December 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm

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Picture 1

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August 2, 2009 at 11:09 am

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In the Summertime

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August 2, 2009 at 7:48 am

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Duathlon Training: Week One

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I’ve been at this for a week now. Last Saturday was difficult and, as I wrote in the last entry, shocking. Running sucks. Who cp1_0801091407knew? I worked out at the gym four of the last seven days and worked out otherwise on the remaining three (I biked a hell of a lot; I ran Hennepin Ave.; I practiced intervals at Lake Harriet with Weez).

The pinnacle of the meditative moments I previously mentioned took place on a curb outside the hardware store across from Whole Foods. I was wiped out from biking up, down and around Summit Ave., and with a bottle of water in hand, I sat on the curb and drifted out. Drifting out is something I don’t do well. Part of my personality is that I’m highly aware of what’s around me—traffic, people; it makes me observant and intuitive, but it means that being anywhere is an intense experience unless I can shut that down. Briefly, on that curb, it was as though I existed outside the non-stop engagée. Outside time, I’m telling you. Detached and at peace. I like that I’m engaged, but a vacation from it’s relaxing.

A Chuck Palahniuk quote I read this week perfectly describes the way I felt: “Being tired isn’t the same as being rich, but most times it’s close enough.”

Progress-wise, I made a treadmill breakthrough on Wednesday. I’m accustomed to intense biking and elliptical workouts, but I’ve never been a runner. My stiff-legged running last Saturday had me thinking, “Maybe I am not meant for this.” But on Wednesday night, as I watched Keanu Reeves chase a Ronald Reagan-costumed Patrick Swayze on my treadmill’s TV*, it felt like my legs were breaking out of a cage, Forrest Gump-style. Suddenly, there wasn’t pain, and I could run as much as I wanted. It was tremendous. Today, I ran faster and farther than I ever have, and it felt good.**

*Point Break: Awesome movie. **One side effect: Working out this much means my testosterone level’s pretty high, and I have to work at not being an asshole.

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August 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

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Duathlon Update

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The training’s going well, but: On Saturday, I went to the gym with my friend Zach and there discovered—whoa!—running is hard. I’m accustomed to that easy-on-the-knees elliptical. Treadmilling is hard on my legs. They start to stiffen up and the rigor makes running difficult. My shoes might be at fault. I need new shoes. Honestly, I don’t know that I’ll be ready by #duothon time and might settle for spectating; still, I’m trying to get ready and that’s getting me to the gym. I’ve found a good workout induces a sort of involuntary and unforced meditative calm, and with work being so stressful, any sort of meditation is valuable.

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July 29, 2009 at 8:29 am

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