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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve had a few “never quit” moments in my life. Not a lot, but a few. This is a story about my first experience with pushing past limitations and the power of the mind.

It happened on a backpacking trip in my early to mid-twenties. It was me, my younger sister, and her (now ex) husband and we had a 5 day trek planned for the wilds of Canada. This was back in the 90s before all this fancy ultra-lightweight gear really came into existence and my pack weighed 70 pounds. …

05:00 Alarm goes off
05:15 Drag myself out of bed 🙂
05:30 Make my first cup of coffee
05:40 Walk into my office and fire up my computer
05:45 Open my meditation app, start my 15 minute timer, sit, and count breathes
06:00 Read the day’s Daily Stoic entry
06:15 Open my Bullet Keeper planner and plan my day’s to-dos
06:30 Start crushing my to-do list.


I’m reminded of a passage from the book Resilience by Eric Greitens:

Growing up without a father, my dad swore he’d be a father to his sons. He often left the house around four-thirty…

I’ve had some sort of blog on the web since the early 2000s. It’s started, stopped, started again, and stopped again more times than I can count.

Consistent posting has never been my strong point.

Due to some recent changes in my life and my interests, I’m going to try to post more regularly. We’ll see. I’ve written many posts like this over the years.

Let’s see how it works this time.

“Why should we feel anger at the world?
As if the world would notice.”

- Marcus Aurelius

‘Overwhelmed’ page 78–79 of Jocko Willink’s ‘Discipline Equals Freedom — Field Manual’

Lately things have been a bit crazy. Some would say it’s been ‘overwhelming’, and they’d be right. Or, sort of right.

There have been a number of things starting to pile up on my mind and in my life. But, I’ve been working to line things up and knock them off.

It reminds me of something in Aikido called “Randori”, or more specifically multiple-person “Randori”. In this situation you’re being chased and attacked by multiple people, at the same time, in an unscripted way. It usually lasts for a few minutes or until the defender is overwhelmed and defeated.


I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.

— David Goggins

A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare go astray,
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate’er he sees me do, he tries;
Like me he says he’s going to be,
The little chap who follows me.
He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine;
The base in me he must not see,
The little chap who follows me.
I must remember as I go,
Through summer’s sun and winter’s snow;
I’m building for the years to be
That little chap who follows me.

  • Author, Unknown

Check out this great print by The Art of Manliness

Brian Timmer

utmsoft.com co-founder by day, Dad in the evening, runner, cyclist, lifter, and former martial artist.

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