A few notes on simplicity

Hello internet, how are you? How did you end up here? Who knows, but I’m happy you’re here. I think there’s some good stuff for you to read here, but maybe I’m a bit biased.

Wanted to kick this off with a post on simplicity. Why? Because its essential to understanding my posts. There’s beauty in simplicity. Life should be simple. Don’t muck it up by complicating things.

And boom there it is, my life’s philosophy in just a few words.

“Dude, I just want read about how to save money buying bikes and get free training plans. What is this? I didn’t sign up to read your armchair philosophy?

But you did sign up for this. Well, not literally, but by visiting this site you have. It’s because of this philosophy that I can provide you this malarkey-free advice. Consider it the cost of attendance, since you know, I’m saving you money out of the goodness of my heart. Where’s the fun for me in saying “just buy this .” I need to keep things interesting.

OK, back to business. Let’s look at a couple examples:

Example 1, Backpacking: Anyone who suffers from buying-too-much-unnecessary-stuff syndrome should go on a backpacking trip.  You are forced to plan for days of survival with all of life’s core necessities on your back – food, shelter, clothing, protection. That’s it. Your house, bed, kitchen, pantry and closet are all in this 30lb sack that you can carry with you. Let that sink in. Your entire life on your back. That’s amazing.

Planning a backing trip is a constant trade-off between what you need and what you want. – “hey this <heavy overpriced thing at camping store> would be cool, but it would add 5lbs to this heavy backpack that I’m lugging around.” Maybe I don’t need that after all.1024px-011214-N-2383B-534_Learning_to_WalkEach item that goes into your bag should be scrutinized, every meal portioned and even bowel movements are planned accordingly. I’m serious, crapping in the woods requires careful foresight. If an item is not necessary then you don’t add it. If you threw it in the bag you’ll realize it was dumb exactly at the time your back starts hurting and throw that thing off a cliff. Balance achieved.

We need to realize everything beyond necessity is a luxury. And luxuries are, by definition, inessential.  Very few of us really wants to permanently live in a tent and eat boiled ramen out of their one cup while sitting on a log but understanding this concept can help you evaluate whether an item is needed or if you’re just programmed to think it is.

Example 2, Running: Most able bodied people have been running in some form since they were young (gym class, neighborhood football, hide and seek).  For those of us who are not professional athletes, chances are your middle and high school mile times are faster than what you can do now.  Chances are better that you didn’t wear a heart rate monitor or GPS watch to run the 800 during second period.  If you were me you were running in shoes from Value City and not some over-engineered crappola supposed to make you run “natural.” Why were we so much faster then? Yes, father time is a jerk, even though Tim Duncan tried his best to prove otherwise. We were faster because we spent our time running around doing stuff. It was fun. Becoming fast was a byproduct of generally being active and not by sitting in a cubicle reading about optimal shoe lace weight.

Think about when you were a kid riding your bike. Did you care about your components or if your water bottle cage was made of carbon? Unless your parents were pro cyclists you probably rode some piece of garbage from Toys-R-Us and loved it.  As a cyclist, getting on a bike brings me back to my childhood. I had a happy childhood. Things were simple back then.

I try to keep in that way.