Why you should take up an endurance sport

I’m a sprinter. I’ve probably referenced this before. When I play volleyball, the only thing that matters is how fast I can get to a place on the floor within the gym. 

When I do things in life, I want similar results. I want immediate feedback. As a scientist, I like to perform controlled experiments that usually have predictable outcomes. 

But that’s not life. That’s not reality. Reality is so full of confounding variables that it’s very often difficult to tease out the things that most impact our success. 

Thus endurance sports are important to experience and understand. Nevermind the evolutionary argument that our bodies were primed over thousands of years to do endurance things. (It was a method of hunting for millennia; look it up.) Start running, swimming, cycling, or something that takes hours to accomplish so you can better understand the things you experience in life. (I suggest cycling. You go fast and see lots of things.)

Life is a multi-stage cycling race. Some people like to say marathons, but marathons are too short. Life is far more comparable to the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, or the Tour de France. 

Everyday we get on our bikes and ride to reach and accomplish goals. Every trial is a stage or series of stages. We have battles we fight every day and they drag on and on and on. A marathon is over in five hours. One cycling stage might be, but then the cyclists have to recover and prepare to to the same thing again the next day. 

So take up and endurance sport. Do something you enjoy, but do something that requires a significant time commitment. And take time as you run, hike, swim (boring), cycle, whatever to ponder how the things you do and are learning affect your life and your future. 


The primary song goes “I love to see the temple, I’m going there someday.”

It’s true. I love to see the temple. I am going there someday.

The way I’ve felt the past several weeks though is, “I love to see the temple, I’d really like to have the peace that comes from it. But I can’t motivate myself to go.”

It’s been really hard to feel that way. It’s not that I don’t want to go, that I’m unworthy to go, or anything else. I just can’t get myself to go.

When I realized that I lacked the motivation, I was forced to question whether I’d fallen into another depressive funk.

That was scary.

Being forced to consider that you struggle with something you thought was a one-time, mostly environmentally-influenced thing is scary. I never want to be in that dark, dank, dismally depressed place again. I don’t want to consider it as an option, but as my desire to go to the temple strengthens, my motivation to go decreases.

And that’s as scary as considering what Hell is. Because that was as close to Hell as I’d like to ever come.

So struggles happen. I still experience really dark times. I’m considering some things that should really help me get out of this funk. One of them is going to the temple.

I’ll get the motivation. Even if it’s convincing a friend to drag me there. The peace of the temple is worth it. I want–I need–to be there and benefit from the strengthening power it provides.

The sun will shine again, and temple worship helps me see a glimmer of light along this path I tread.

The light along the path

The difficulties of being a gentleman

This post could also be titled:

“The biggest dating mistake Lee J ever made” or “Why won’t he hold my hand?”


I really like touch. I think it’s the greatest sensation. If you’re a love languages person, you’d say, “Lee J, touch is your primary love language.” And you’d be 100% right. 

Here’s the difficulty: I rarely initiate touch when I want to deepen a relationship. So when I’m most interested in a girl, I’m less likely to make the first move toward holding her hand or putting my arm around her. (There have been a few exceptions to this, but only due to incredible ignorance (I’ll get there soon) or strong inspirational influence.)

This has left several women I’ve dated quite confused early in the relationship and has been the reason I never dated several others. 

The way I mentally see it is 

The more interested I am, the more I need to respect her, and my past experiences (mostly one) taught me I need to be a gentleman and only do what the girl wants me to. 

So that leads to a lot of difficulty, especially early when women often want “romance,” “surprise,” and whatever else. I’ve got not problem with those things after I’m comfortable with her, but I’m scared to repeating past mistakes. 

A girl kissed me kind of out of the blue (looking back I should have seen it coming) when I was 16. I liked it a lot. A lot more than I expected to and a lot more than I liked her. It was a good learning experience. 

A few weeks later, I was asked to a dance by a friend of a girl I went to seminary with. Her parents were extremely conservative and only allowed her to go to the dance because they knew I was LDS and similarly conservative. 

Things went pretty well as far as I thought and (in typical fashion) I could only assume other guys at the dance were in a similar situation I was (catholic girls school dance). So I misread the social cues when all the guys and girls started kissing after the dance. 

Major error. Like in my worst top ten of all time. I realized as things played out I had basically brought shame upon me, my parents, my ancestors, my church, my pets, my cows, and anything else I might have been able to bring shame upon. 

So I resolved never to make that mistake again. 

I haven’t. 

I’ve had some less than natural first kisses (girls don’t always want you to ask if it’s ok, btw), and I’ve had more than my fair share of missed handholding or cuddling opportunities, but I’ve never made that mistake again. 

I doubt any of you will end up being the one this matters most to, but if I haven’t held your hand after a few dates, and you wonder why, this is it. So if that’s something you want, say it with words or actions. We’ll both be thankful you did.

Lost time

Sometimes I get distracted. Last semester was an example of that. My life kinda went out of control after the last blog post. But I’m in a better place now. I suppose that type of thing happens to everyone.

But I don’t have that time back to use better. And now my final semester of grad school (I hope?)–next semester–will be harder than it could have been had I not gone off track last winter. But I wouldn’t really trade anything else in my life for where I am now.

I believe I know where I want to go. I know where I’ve been and I like it. I also know many of the roads I can take forward. Many of them I don’t like.

I’m grateful for revelation and inspiration as I try to find the paths Father has set for me. I’d prefer to have it laid in front of me, so I will worry less. But if it were, I could blame God, and He doesn’t work like that. I have to be responsible for my own choices.

It’s part of enjoying the journey.

Season of thanks: Examples of friends

I like to spend time with my friends.  Some friends I want to spend more time with than with others.  It just makes sense.  :)  I have one friend I’d like to spend more time with than I do, and I hope the feeling is mutual.

A few nights ago, we had a chance and I indicated as much while talking with her.  Essentially, she said, “I’ll see you a different time.”  She chose instead to attend the temple that night and spend time with her family.

Although I may have been slightly disappointed, I have to be grateful that I have friends who have solid priorities and place them first.  As I try to be better, I realize I must have my priorities in a similar order: God, family, friends.  (School might fit in there somewhere, but finals are over and we won’t discuss school for a while.)

I, therefore, am grateful to have one friend remind me of priorities and where mine should be.  Mine may not have been far from that, but spending time together would have altered hers and I didn’t intend that when I suggested we spend time together.  So, friend, thank you for (possibly unknowingly) sticking to your priorities.  I appreciate your example and what you taught me.


And so school begins anew. There’s not much more to say than that. Basically time is split between good and better things.

Life is always easier when I prioritize. Best thing to do: wake up early (like 530) and read scriptures. For me, everything follows very easily after that. When I put the most important things first (chronologically) in my day, the rest of it flows pretty much perfectly after that. Not that there aren’t flaws that creep up, but all my priorities are straight.
So then I go to work. Laundry is so much fun. :) (Yes, of course that is sarcastic.) I work till my first class starts about 900 and then it’s off to the races.
The Lord blessed me a lot this year and so I am living one of my dreams: I am coaching a high school volleyball team. Like as the head coach. Yeah, crazy, eh? Crazier still when it takes about 20-30 hours of my week. But I love it. It gives me something to do and forces me to plan and execute my plans well. I get a lot more done when I am constantly busy. But then, doesn’t everybody?
Genesis really has nothing to do with anything but the first line of this post.
But a fun scripture in Genesis gives insight to what God looks like. (Yeah, whoa! God looks like something?)
Yup, Genesis 1:26-27 read: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . . So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
How can God create something in His image if He doesn’t have an image after which to form us? He can’t; it’s impossible. Even for God. So the logical conclusion is God has an image and likeness. This isn’t completely conclusive that God has a physical body, but mix it up with some NT scriptures and you gotta believe it.