Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
[SB 204] Enduring habits, joggers rule, the value of bookstores
Hi, I’m Matt. Welcome to Steady Beats. If you like to walk for a better life, and also like Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” you just might like this newsletter.
I have to level with you.
I was on vacation two weeks ago, and then spent last week in the wilds of Canada with the Write of Passage product team planning our next Cohort. Now, I’m back on vacation, and fueled tonight by fresh whitefish and two glasses of cabernet.
My brain is fried and back in vacation mode. Not exactly the scenario Hemmingway-level prose is made of.
So, it’s a lighter-and-breezier edition this week, tapped out on my laptop from the shores of Mullett Lake in Northern Michigan.
Falling out of—and back in—to strength training
Last week, I wrote about finding gyms when traveling to keep your fitness habit going.
Then I promptly skipped the gym for seven days. Turns out rural Canada doesn’t have many Crunch franchises around.
I did other things: canoeing, kayaking, hiking, jogging (so many hills!)—but no focused strength training.
And it’s fine.
That’s the thing about building a long-term habit. Even with a week-long gap, there was zero doubt I’d snap right back into my normal strength training routine. Because if you stay after this fitness thing long enough, the stakes get higher:
Once you have the habit in place, it becomes hard to break. Even with a week layoff.
Make jogging great again
Once upon a time, jogging was all the rage in the United States. It was the cool thing to do.
But then “jogging” became some kind of insult:
“Somewhere along the line, ‘jogger’ became pejorative,” says Mark Remy, a former Runner’s World editor and the founder of dumbrunner.com. “It became associated with dilettantes, beginners—people who went on very short runs or very slow runs, usually both, and who didn’t really care about how far or fast they were going.”
This is such BS.
Jogging remains popular today. But it’s entered the Witness Protection Program and came out with a new identity called “Zone 2 Cardio.”
A jog should allow you to have a conversation without getting breathless, he says, and should be sustainable for a long period of time.
That sounds suspiciously like Zone 2 cardio. (It’s exactly the same thing, actually.)
I am a jogger.
For me, jogging is about good health, but also reducing stress, thinking, and enjoying music or podcasts.
I’m content to run 4-8 miles at a low-to-mid 9-minute-per-mile pace. There are no triathlons, marathons, or ultramegathons in my future. Experts such as Peter Attia recommend 3-4 hours of Zone 2 cardio per week. Or, you know, jogging.
So here’s to those of us who go slow, jogging and slogging our way through hours of Zone 2 each week.
Be proud. We know Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett approve.
Petoskey is one of my favorite towns in Michigan. Situated on Little Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan, Petoskey, with it’s meticulously maintained homes perched on rolling hills, and its thriving downtown, is an insanely beautiful place in the summertime.
Petoskey is also home to one of my favorite bookstores, McLean and Eakin Booksellers.
I read books almost exclusively on my iPhone Pro Max using the Kindle app. The convience—on the go, or in the dark at night—can’t be beat.
But McLean and Eakin is a great place to stumble across books I would never find otherwise, especially books about Michigan or written by Michigan authors.
That’s the enduring value of physical bookstores — random, algorithm-free discoverability.
Besides, books makes the best trip souvenirs. Next time you travel, find a local bookstore, and buy something you wouldn’t otherwise find.
Thank you for reading.
Let’s keep the Steady Beats going. 💚
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