Manayunk Mile

If you live in or near Manayunk, and will be here tomorrow, you should sign up for the Manayunk Mile!

  • It starts at 8:15 AM on the corner of Shurs and Main.
  • You run down to Green Lane, turn around, and end on Main Street.
  • It’s $25 to enter.

5280 LogoI was looking to run a 5k this weekend, and through my searching around, I found the 5280 Race Series which runs two one-mile races; one in Media and one in Manayunk. It couldn’t have worked out better, as I can walk right to the start line from my house.

Living in Manayunk is nice because as an up-and-coming area (or so it seems), events happen right in our back yard. Events like this are fun. I have no problem sacrificing a Friday of drinking to do this.

And hey, if you really want, you can still go out tonight and run this tomorrow. It’s the perfect way to cure your hangover.

Jackass to Jackman

A Facebook friend from my high school, who is a power lifter, shared a video of Hugh Jackman joining the 1000 club (combined weight of your bench press, squat, and deadlift exceeds 1000 pounds) yesterday with a caption. This bothers me so much. See below.

Power Lifting

 

He’s sharing Hugh Jackman’s video specifically to belittle his accomplishment of joining the 1000 Club with the comment of “This is adorable.” because (I’m assuming) he can do much more. What a prick.

Hugh worked hard and did something that he is proud of. Regardless of the accomplishment, it’s a goal he set for himself, and he achieved it.

What type of person criticizes someone for accomplishing a goal they set for themselves? Sure the 1000 Club might not be a high standard for power lifters, but the vast majority of the population could not do what he did.

It would be like me sharing a video of someone breaking 5 in the mile for the first time and making fun of them. I would never do that. It’s bad for the sport of running, and it’s bad for humanity.

People so desperately want a sense of superiority. No one cares if you can lift more than Hugh Jackman. The only thing that sharing his video and saying “This is adorable.” accomplishes is making you look like a dick.

 

Aging

On Saturday, a big group went to Frankford Hall for Gourlay’s farewell party.

You probably think this post is going to talk about how Gourlay moving away is a benchmark for the fact that we’re all getting older.

At Frankford Hall, there are two ping pong tables. I haven’t played ping pong in a while, I’d say over a year. But on Saturday, I probably played 15 games. It was awesome; until I woke up on Sunday.

My right arm was sore from ping pong. Well, that’s kind of funny I guess.

Then I woke up on Monday and my arm was more sore. I went on a run, and almost had to stop right away because I could barely swing my arm back. Holy shit. I’m this sore from playing ping pong. “Yeah, I had to take Monday off from running because my right arm was sore from too much ping pong.” That is the lamest story of all time.

Is this what happens when you get old? You do anything out of the ordinary and your body just says “Whoa whoa whoa, what do you think you’re doing?

I’m freakin’ 23. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like 10 years from now. Ten free throws? Broken arm. Pogo stick? Torn ACL. Word search? Eye patch. Good game.

Explain the Pit

I’ve been to a good amount of concerts. Yesterday, at the Radio 104.5 8th Birthday Show, I saw something that I HAVE seen before, but still don’t understand.

Our seats were on the lawn at the Susquehanna Bank Center. As we watched performer after performer, we noticed that the pit right in front of the stage was damn near motionless. These people paid $100 – $150 to stand right in front of the musicians, and they didn’t seem pumped at all.

Occasionally people would throw their hands up, and people generally clapped along when instructed, but aside from that, they were rocks.

I honestly felt bad for the performers. You look out and see thousands and people, but the one or two thousand directly in front of you don’t seem into it at all,

When I saw Muse, I was standing on the ground in front of the stage, and it was wild. People were dancing around like crazy, and it was freakin’ awesome.

This was the total opposite. The show was great. We had an awesome time and the people on the lawn were rockin’, but the people in the pit were not.

Why does this happen? Is it the group mentality of “Well no one else is jumping around or dancing, so I’m not going to either“? That’s the only explanation I have.

Quality Control

Tom and I have long said that comments make the blog better. I still believe that to be true.

Laura’s most recent comment on my blog was this:

“I was going to comment but everyone else’s comments make me not take this seriously.”

People are less likely to post real comments because of all the other comments that are just trying to get laughs. For that reason, I’m going to do something I’ve never regularly done before on this blog, and start deleting comments (note – your comment will still post automatically, it just may be deleted later, I’m not approving / rejecting each comment before it’s published).

There’s plenty of room for humor in comments, but as of late, I agree with Laura that the comments have been too much and I have to draw the line somewhere.

It’s nothing personal, and I appreciate that people even take the time to comment, but some recent comments don’t contribute anything and scare off others from commenting. To those who have recently posted “good” comments, thank you and keep going. Comments make the blog fun. 

The Fault in Our Stars

I watched the Fault in Our Stars last night.

I’m not a cry-er. I’ve cried at probably seven movies, and most were when I was young. Outside of movies, I really only cry when my cats die.

I cried at this movie. More than I would have expected.

It’s a movie about a girl who has cancer, and a boy who had cancer, and their small infinity together. It seems typical, but it’s told well, the characters are very like-able, and the story hits hard. I recommend it.

Movies that cause emotion are weird. Whenever I watch a scary movie, I just think “I’m going to stare at the screen from now until when the movie ends. Nothing will change if I look away or if I stare at the screen. An hour after the movie I’ll be total fine.” But in the moment, it’s hard to stare at the screen during a scary movie, because you get scared.

I thought the same thing about this movie. I’m just going to watch, and that’s that. I did watch, and I teared up a few times in the first 75 minutes or so. But the last 45 minutes had me going. An hour after the movie I was fine, but in the moment, the story got to me, and I cried.

That’s probably a sign of a good movie – that you become that emotionally invested that you cry. It seems illogical, but it’s kind of something you want to put yourself through. I thought the movie was great.

What movies made you cry?

Snoozefest

Hayley and I have different work schedules. I wake up at 7:45 on the dot every day. She wakes up between 5:30 – 7:00 almost every day. Therefore, when we sleep together, we’re waking up at different times.

Hayley snoozes her alarm. Most days she snoozes multiple times.

I get up on my first alarm 95% of the time. If I don’t get up right away, I lay their for a minute or two, and then get up. Snoozing isn’t an option for me. I’ve wired my brain to know that when the alarm goes off, I’m up. I also use a traditional alarm clock and need to actually stand up when I turn it off. This helps.

How do humans live with snoozing their alarms? Hayley and I have had this discussion many times and it leads nowhere. You’re wasting precious sleep time. I believe the record Hayley set was 9 snoozes. That’s like 40 minutes worth of constantly interrupted sleep. What the hell is the point of that?

To her credit, most days it’s only 2-3, but still. I find that the minutes between alarms causes anxiety. You’re half awake, half asleep just knowing that any second, the alarm will go off again. It seems like an unnecessary torture that you intentional expose yourself to, right?

Please, those who do this, help me understand. Have you tried the normal way? Are their any recovered snoozers who used to snooze, but have since changed? Or vice versa? My opinion is clearly stated, but I want to hear from others.

[socialpoll id=”2270154″]

Sibling Love

Do you know what I did when my blog went down? Nothing.

My thought process was this; “It will probably fix itself.

Then Tom texted me saying “Can I assume you don’t have a plan of fixing your site?” Bingo! Tom went through the process of fixing my site, and I thought to myself, “You know, that’s such a Tom thing to do, to assume that I won’t fix it, and fix it himself. And you know what else? It’s such a Sam thing to do to not fix it, and assume Tom will fix it.”

From that I was inspired to write a post about my siblings.

Tom

As you can tell from my intro, Tom is the responsible one, which is typical of the oldest. He’s very driven to take Stortz Tools to the next level (realistic) as well as his blog to the next level (unrealistic (but not for lack of effort!)). He’s organized and on top of what he needs to do, and then he gets it done.

The motivation doesn’t stop with work though. Whatever he’s doing, he tries to do it well. Growing up, it was video games (I blame him for me spending so much time on video games), but as he’s gotten older, it’s spread to things like golf, chess, poker, stocks, etc.

For leisure, he’s a drinker, like us all. Always down for a good time and not too worried about the trivial things in life. A non-believer, like myself, who still manages to see the purpose in living a good and meaningful life. He was my role model growing up, and my life path has seemingly been a straight line following right behind his, just eight years later.

Laura

LauraI’ve always believed that Laura is the glue that keeps us siblings together. The most emotionally tuned of the bunch, and makes a constant effort to stay in touch. I envy that characteristic, because I should be more like that too with family as well as friends.

It was probably very difficult growing up as the only girl among three boys. We didn’t all exactly have a “loving” relationship as kids, but she made it through everything as a better person. She’s the person I think of when I just need to talk to someone about something. That doesn’t happen often for me, but when it does, she’s providing a helping hand.

She’s not the drinker that the males are which is probably a good thing. She’s likes yoga, reading, and eating healthy, three things I say I should do more often, but fail at doing. As described above though, I think she gets most happiness from helping others which is a quality that makes the world better. We could use more people like Laura.

Jeff

JeffThe free spirit of the bunch. Jeff lives life on the fly and does what he wants when he wants. He’s a dedicated musician and probably the most physically talented of all the Stortz boys (basketball is a good indication of that). He was the inspiration for me to get into running and playing guitar.

While many live their lives as a slave to the “man”, Jeff doesn’t. He road tripped through the US for four months with not much more than a tent, a car, a friend, and the dollars in his bank account. To then top himself, he lived in New Zealand for a year because you only live life once. These are things I wish I had the balls to do.

The general mind set of “I don’t have to live life the way everyone else does” is one that a lot of people struggle with, myself included. That’s something people go through life without realizing and when they’re old, they look back and wonder why they took it all so seriously. Jeff will not have that thought when he looks back.

Brookes

Brookes isn’t blood, but he is family. Out of the five of us, Brookes has the most practical skill set in life. Sure, I can run fast, Tom can drive the golf ball 325, Laura can do a headstand for an hour straight, and Jeff has a great jump shot, but Brookes is a handy man. He can build tables, fix things around the house, and has his own workshop in his basement for his projects. I call Peco when a light bulb burns out because I don’t know what to do.

A very analytical guy, Brookes thinks deeply about everything. He’s an idea man who thrives off of creativity and participation. When he’s set on something (bring Zlatan to the Union!), he gives it 100%.

But perhaps what drove him to Laura was the “help-out” mindset that they both share. He’s a giver who isn’t looking for credit, but just to help out with whatever he can. He’s the reliable friend you call when you’re moving out because you know he’ll be there. And if he’s not, he’ll build you whatever you weren’t able to bring to your new place.

 

American Odyssey Relay 2015

The relay is over. If you’d like a detailed recap, read Tom’s post about it. There’s no need to rehash everything.

Here are my thoughts about it:

  • teamWhen you put it on paper (200 miles, 36 legs, 12 people, stuck in a van for 30 hours, no showers, no sleep), it sounds like the dumbest thing in the world.
  • When you put it in reality, it is pretty dumb. You’re sitting uncomfortably in the van at 4 in the morning after two hard runs just wanting to get some sleep, and think to yourself “why the hell am I doing this?
  • There’s no good answer to “why do you do it?”. It’s an experience. It’s unique. It’s unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s memories. It’s something I’m glad I did and will probably continue to do.
  • The running was great. I felt pretty good and the weather was perfect.
  • SamWith that said, and Tom echoed this, if you’re not prepared for the running part, you probably shouldn’t do it. You don’t need to be running seven minute miles for all of your legs, but you need to be able to maintain your pace (be it 6s, 8s, 10s, whatever) for your three legs.
  • You bond with everyone in your van on a different level than say going out for drinks.
  • I’ve never been happier to just take a shower, lay in a bed, and eat something that’s not granola before. You realize what you take for granted.
  • Most of the teams are comprised of people I don’t know that well. It would be really fun to do this with a group of people I know really well (UCXC???).
  • It’s out-of-the-norm things like this that make life exciting. It’s something to look forward to and something to break up the monotony of working then decompressing on the weekends.

As I said, I’m glad I did it. I would recommend it to everyone at least once.