For the first time in more than a year, I spent the weekend knee-deep in web development. The project is a site for an alumni organization for which Samantha serves as a board member. It is somewhat therapeutic to tackle the entire project, from creating PSD mock-ups, breaking it down into HTML/CSS and incorporating it in a WordPress install. I get to do everything related to launching a Web site other than those three things at my day job, so it was good to make sure I had not completely forgotten how to do things. I keep making small tweaks to it every time I sit down in front of the computer, so I know that it is hitting a plateau. It should be ready to launch after the content is loaded and any remaining issues are tracked down.
Also somewhat therapeutic was today's jog through Shelby Park in East Nashville. I have managed to run in three 5K races so far this year, with the fourth coming up next weekend. I have been skipping the whole "training" part of race preparation for a while, and I think I have been missing out on more than just shaving a few minutes off my time. For a fairly un-athletic guy like me, a run is a lot like a argument with my body. I set out to say "four miles? piece of cake," and take off with a long stride. Half a mile into it, my body files its first complaint, so I slow down to a walk. I argue back by trying to keep up the pace, and it gets more and more insistent. Shortening bursts of running, followed by longer spans of walking. By the end of the run, my body has mostly won the argument by either cutting the run shorter than I would have liked, or making me pay dearly in the morning.
The real benefit, aside from not being 400 pounds from leading a sedentary lifestyle and having a lousy diet, comes from being outside and alone with my thoughts. I try to think through projects from work, problems in society and even do a little personal reflection. The time it takes me to finish the run or the distance traveled is not nearly as important if I can hit a breakthrough in any of those categories. I am not sure if today was one of those days, but maybe I am getting closer to something.