Tag Archives: writing

Are You an “Innie” or an “Outie”?

First off, to be clear, we’re not talking about belly buttons here. My title refers to whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

I happen to be an introvert. I love reading, privacy, and thinking.

The Extrovert's View: "Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here!"
The Extrovert’s View: “Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here!”

I spend a lot of time in my head. I don’t like crowds and you may never see me at a party, because people drain me. I do not like chit-chat, but prefer a deeper interaction with others. I have a handful of close friends with whom I do life, but otherwise I recharge in silence and solitude. On the negative side, I can be viewed as shy or even antisocial.

Extroverts are at home in crowds. In fact, they are usually recharged by interaction with people. For example, I have a extrovert friend who has to have a regular “people fix” or he gets depressed. Accordingly, extroverts tend to have many friends but develop few deep relationships. Extroverts enjoy small talk, and often engage in chit chat just for the sake of communication. While extroverts can be thinkers and planners, they tend more to “thinking on their feet,” or going with their gut instincts.

One personality type is not better than another; they are just different. In a marriage, introverts and extroverts can balance each other. Unfortunately, our culture is oriented towards extroverts. We admire the quick-on-his-feet talker, the one who makes quick decisions, the guy or gal who is bold and outward-focused. We don’t want to wait for the introvert’s advice, even though his advice is usually more thought-out and therefore often avoids the risks of off-the-cuff, knee-jerk decisions.

In her fine book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain has a lots to say about introverts and extroverts. If you are curious, you can take a free online personality test that you might find helpful.

So which are you, an “innie” or an “outie”? And what are your thoughts about the two personality types?

 

 

HIIT It

Okay, it’s confession time.

I’m an old man. Some might even call me a fat old man (hey, I’m a recreational eater, okay?).

mountain-goat-1259297-640x480
Courtesy freeimages.com/Josephine Eber

So a few months ago I was at first a little hesitant when I was contacted by Chuck Johnson, the publisher/owner of Wilderness Adventures Press of Belgrade, Montana and asked to consider writing a fly fishing guide for the mountain lakes of Northwest Montana. The conversation went something like this:

  • Chuck: You seem to be pretty knowledgable. How’d you like to write for us?
  • Me: A fly fishing guide? I’d like to, but most of our mountain lakes are pretty brushy around the edge. A guy has to do some wading to be effective. Or be a pretty good roll caster.
  • Chuck: Get a float tube or a backpack boat.
  • Me: That would mean packing it in on my back. And I’m not a young man.
  • Chuck: Get a pack goat.

Well, I signed the book contract and I did get the boat. But I’m the pack goat. I guess this makes me an old goat (okay, a fat old goat).

Even though I’m a fat old goat, I do like to hike and backpack and so I try and stay in reasonably good shape. I’ve even overcome the boredom of the treadmill. But add 50 pounds of boat and gear on my back and hike mile after mile? I knew I was going to have to take my fitness to another level.

So I got on the Internet and for me I found the key: HIIT.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The basic idea behind HIIT is to alternate between short, intense training and very brief rest periods. HIIT as a training routine hits your hard. Real hard. However, the beauty of HIIT is that it’s so intense you only have to follow a routine for 10-20 minutes three days a week instead of the usual 30-60 minute workout five days a week. And when it comes to stamina and aerobic benefits, it yields better results for most folks. In this case, less really is more.

A guy can find lots of information on the Internet about HIIT and a superabundance of work out routines. But the problem I found with most of the work out routines is that they’re designed for young bucks, not fat old goats so I had to come up with my own version of HIIT. With all of this in consideration, I’m pleased to present my version of HIIT for old goats, fat or otherwise. My modified HIIT routine also works for young bucks who don’t care to swing a 20 pound kettle ball overhead. My routine uses the lowly treadmill, and is as follows:

  • 4 minutes of warm up:
  • 1 minute at 2.5 MPH, 6% incline.
  • 1 minute at 2.5 MPH, 8% incline.
  • 1 minute at 2.5 MPH, 10% incline.
  • 1 minute at 2.5 MPH, 12% incline.
  • Next, alternate for 10 reps each:
  • 1 minute at 3.2 MPH, 12% incline.
  • 1 minute at 2.5 MPH, 12% incline.
  • 3 minutes of cool down:
  • 3 minutes at 2.0 MPH, 0% incline.I programmed the above routine into my treadmill, which makes my HIIT workout a no brainer although still a strainer. Modify as you see fit, of course. I combine my HIIT routine with strength training but that’s another story.

Now for the inevitable disclaimer: always check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. There. I’ve said it. Now go HIIT it.

Comments, wagers on how soon I’ll croak, etcetera?

“In the beginning was the Word…”

By Mike Raether

Words. They can be spoken, written, signed, whispered, sung, and shouted. They can communicate love, comfort, and truth. They can inspire, challenge, and correct. And although words are sometimes misused, the truth remains unblemished that words were originally designed by God to be used for the good of mankind.

copyright www.sxc.hu, ID 1115823
copyright www.sxc.hu

In His wisdom, God created words to reveal truth to man. They are His chosen conduits of communication. When Jesus walked the earth, He used words to tell people about God’s love, to heal, and to save. When Jesus returned home, He continued to work in such a way that within a few hundred years the book we call the Holy Bible was completed, a book filled with words to tell us of God’s purposes and plans for man.

Why do you write? To help people become all they can be? That’s admirable. Do you write to make money? That’s OK, too, for Jesus said in Matthew 10:10, “…the worker is worthy of his support.” (NASU). I write for both reasons, and more. The convictions that fuel our writing are many and varied. And our convictions sometimes change with the seasons of our lives. But I believe that the important thing is not so much what we write and why we write, but how we approach our writing that counts.

You and I have a gift. We have the ability to communicate truth with words, the talent to sway men’s opinions and thoughts, to even change the courses of their lives. It is a God-given talent, a special ability not entrusted to many.

We have been given much – and much is required. Writing is a gift that is oft admired, but you and I know that writing is not as glamorous as it seems. It’s often a whole lot of hard work. And with the gift comes responsibility; responsibility to develop the gift of writing to its fullest potential, responsibility to be professionals, and responsibility to put our best efforts into everything we write.

From the beginning, God used words to reveal Himself and His ways to the world. And God made us partners with Him, using the medium of words. Our gift may find expression in many ways, but it is the gift of God nonetheless. As the apostle Paul once told the Corinthians, “…What do you have that you did not receive…” (1 Corinthians 4:7, NASU).

God has created us all different. No two humans have ever been created the same. We are, as Scripture says, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” And yet, we humans share many of the same likes and dislikes, and our preferences spill out into our relationship with God and the way we relate to Him. Take worship, for example. Some of us prefer traditional hymns; others like contemporary praise choruses. For some of us worship must be deeply personal, quite, and reflective. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who celebrate God corporately with clapping, swaying, and uplifted hands.

And then there are writers. As writers, can we not approach writing as an act of worship, a special pathway of connection to God?

The next time you sit down to write, make writing an act of worship. Pause and reflect on the gift that has been giving to you. Take a deep breath and breathe out a prayer of thanks. Pick up the pen or rest your fingers on the keyboard with reverent awe. “For in the beginning was the word…”