Best Friends ∆ – An Awesome Wave

It was 5:40 in the morning when I got on my bus to leave Falmouth… and totally lost it. I had held it in long enough, and as the bus started moving … I cried.
Not only had I just finished an amazing day/night full of hanging out with some of my favorite people in Falmouth, but I had just said goodbye to the two people who have been closer to me than anyone over the last year, and when I really think about it… probably just as close as I have ever gotten with anyone.

Matt and Sarah.

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My partners in crime – the other two sides of the triangle. The 8-hour bus ride from Redruth to the Victoria Coach station was absolutely excruciating, with waves of emotion coming over me constantly, including the first outburst, which lasted roughly 30 minutes. I wrote most of this post in my head during that journey, because I wanted to capture the emotions in their most raw form.

We spent the night out at our favorite local watering hole, Jacob’s Ladder.  There was something about the ambience this night, the melancholic tone of Dan Chapman’s songs really had me at a breaking point. It was reminiscent of the dramatic music before the climax of the movie, you just know it was coming. I was trying to keep myself straight, because every time I looked around I just wanted to break down and cry.

I was only in Falmouth for a year, and it might seem odd that three people could become so close in the course of a year.  Until it happened to me … I would have thought it odd as well.  At one point early on during my final night, Matt and I were sitting in the living room of my house. He looked at me and said, “Dude, I’m really shit at goodbyes, but… you know.” I looked at him and just said, “Yeah man, I know… I know.” That’s how our friendship is, we always just know.

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While I got the stare of death from Sarah daily, there was nothing but love here.

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Matt had my back since day 1

I met Sarah my first day on campus, and we instantly became friends through some of the best banter I’ve ever had with another human being, the type of exchanges usually only had by siblings. There was something about her strong presence and sharp intellect that made me want to be friends with her, and I never regretted it for a second. Matt came along a couple weeks later, I met him for the first time in Jacob’s Ladder, where we proceeded to have the first of many Old Rosie nights. Matt is probably the most kind-hearted and thoughtful person I’ve ever met, he is the type of guy that no matter how hard you try (and I don’t know why anyone would), you can’t not like him.  I think that when I met them I saw these amazing qualities that in some way I wish I had. In a way, I think I looked up to them.

I was sitting on the bus trying to think about the time where we officially became a “threesome”, but I have no idea when exactly it happened. All I know is… it happened. We worked together, hung out together, made meals together, went on walks and excurions… we did everything. Throughout the last year we all went through ups and downs, and every time one of us was down, the other two were right there to pick them up.  I can think of explicit times where each of us was sad or upset about something, and the other two would just envelop them in a blanket of comfort.  Sometimes it needed a drink or two, sometimes it was a relatively silent cup of tea.  Regardless, when one of us was going through something, we never felt alone in the struggle.  If that’s not family – I don’t know what is.

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This picture sums up our friendship pretty well… 🙂

Being friends with them has made me a better person. I love them for that. I love them for the people they are and the people I know they will become. I have no doubt that they will each go on to be successful in everything they do, and I feel so fortunate to have had them along with me for this special chapter of my life. I owe each of you a huge debt of gratitude for putting up with me for an entire year.

10464152_10154251465480408_1060698423237819275_nSo… Matt, Sarah… thank you. Thank you for becoming my family, thank you for making me a part of yours.   Thank you for opening up to me, and for letting me open up to you.  Thank you for opening up your homes to me; Sarah , we crashed on your floor so many times after long nights of drinking, which meant you were stuck with s much of the next day as well.  You never hesitated, always accommodated.  Matt, your family invited me to holidays … Christmas in particular.  I can’t tell you how special that was, to spend such an important “family” day with your family.  Thank you guys.

Sarah, I know we always went back and forth giving each other crap, but you’re a beautiful person and I love you.  I’ve told you this a million times, you’re brilliant … just believe in yourself.  You have what it takes to do whatever you want in this field.  By the way, you know that some part of you is going to miss me clapping in your car!

Matt, you’ve become like a brother to me, I couldn’t have asked for a better dude to be my friend.  It literally started that first day in Jakes, and it will undoubtedly continue on forever.  You’ve done so many amazing things all over the world, what you go on to do next is largely up to you, not the universe – because you have all the tools to kick ass at a PhD.  I’m not good at these goodbyes, but… you know.

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This is a Matt sandwich

I know I didn’t always act favorably about your newfound romance with each other, but it was just because I was afraid you were going to have no need for me anymore.  I wish you both nothing but happiness, both in life and together.  However, just because I’ve left Falmouth doesn’t mean I disappear – you guys are stuck with me as a close friend for life, so don’t think you’ve truly gotten rid of me.  Until the next time we all meet up, I’ll miss our Matt sandwiches.

Three points where two lines meet – ∆ I love you two, it was an awesome wave.

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I’ll miss these people so damn much

Oh yeah … PENIS and BOOBIES!


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Thanks for taking the time to read this!  I blog here mostly about personal, life related stuff.  But I also blog for Conservation Careers about, as you might have guessed, conservation!  For science updates, and what I’m up to in general, check out my website.  Also…Follow me on Twitter: @sharkynichol

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The End Of An Era: Thank You Everyone

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a while now. I knew that my time in Falmouth would come to an end at some point, I just never thought it would be so hard.  I have truly fallen in love with this town, the people in it, and I’m happy with the person I have become since I arrived here.

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Our Kenya group is one that I’ll never forget!

I got here last September, not knowing what to expect; all I knew was that I was here to do a Masters, yet I got SO much more than that.  Sure, I gained useful skills, additional field and lab experience, and potentially a publication to add to my resumé, but those aren’t even close to the most important/useful things I have gained.

  • Friendships that will live beyond my time here in Falmouth.  Between my coursemates and my lecturers, this is the most impressive group of people/collection of minds I have ever been exposed to.  It has undoubtedly left an impression on me that will drive me forever.
  • Memories… Peer reviewing each other’s work, all day stats sessions, living in the library, nights out on the town, big breakfasts the next morning, KENYA, seeing Cornwall for the beautiful area that it is, countless conversations about anything and everything … so many memories, and it all started with our first night out, when we talked about how we were   going to all change the world…. after this year, that doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility!

I heard about the Conservation and Biodiversity MSc program at the University of Exeter through a chance Email, and it turned out to be one of the luckiest moments I’ve ever had.  Being based at the Penryn campus, as part of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation I was so fortunate to be taught by and interact with academic professionals at the top of their respective fields.  The taught component of this course didn’t only pushed me to my limits, it allowed me to define new limits for myself.  I conducted most of my research in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, which is a brand new, state of the art facility.  It was like playing in a brand new playground (playing while adhering to all safety protocols, of course).  Overall, the academic experience I received here was above and beyond what I ever could have expected.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the educators who have helped facilitate this educational experience, too many to name all of them.  However, in particular:

Professor Brendan Godley– the man, the myth, the legend.  He was my first point of contact and        encouraged me to apply.  As the head of the course, and someone in the limelight of sea turtle science, his name comes with a massive reputation.  He definitely surpasses that and is a real inspiration to any who want to work in science!

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We literally climbed mountains together! -Up on Mt. Kenya

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Kenya and Grassholm really did have some spectacular sights to offer!

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Dr Steve Votier– my supervisor, and the person who made my thesis possible.  He always set me up to succeed, and gave plenty of encouragement and constructive criticism so that my final thesis would be the best it could be.  Not to mention, the amazing trip to Grassholm, something I will always remember.  I can’t even express how much I appreciate everything he has done for me.

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Fieldwork on Grassholm was intense, but so much fun!

Finally, to my coursemates, who are truly too numerous to name, thanks to all of you.  I truly love each and every one of you!  This past year would have been NOTHING if it wasn’t for the fact that we went through it all together.  I wish all of you the best of luck on all of your future endeavors, and hope that we can meet up again (conferences maybe???).  I really hope we will all stay in touch!

The aura in this place is amongst the most amazing I have ever experienced; there’s a certain buzz that is always present on campus.  I hope that the next cohort of students to come and call this place ‘home’ for a year realizes what a special experience it is.  This is more than just a Masters program, it’s preparation for life.  It lets you develop as a person, as a human being.  Thinking back on it now, it’s almost like a dream that I’m about to wake up from.

My time here has been more than memorable, and has truly been life altering.  I have learned a great deal about myself, and I think I’ve become a better person throughout the time I’ve spent here.  My most heartfelt thanks and love goes to everyone I’ve met along the way.  In my usual style, I’ll definitely be leaving Falmouth the same way I arrived to it ….

Smiling and excited for what’s about to come!

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Thanks for reading!
Hint to the next post: “Three points where two lines meet”- With all of the amazing people I have been around for the last year, there are 2 that have become closer to me than I ever could have imagined – this next one is for you.


GOPR0275
Thanks for taking the time to read this!  I blog here mostly about personal, life related stuff.  But I also blog for Conservation Careers about, as you might have guessed, conservation!
For science updates, and what I’m up to in general, check out my website
Also…Follow me on Twitter: @sharkynichol

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Dad

When my Mom turned 50 last October I decided to write a blog about her and her impact on my life (check out that post here).

For my Dad’s 50th birthday (which is today, May 14) I wanted to do the same.  Now, when i set out to write the post for Mom, it was simple.  Our relationship was easy to characterize and describe, so the post pretty much wrote itself.  My mom has always supported me and we have always gotten along beautifully and things have always been “rosy”.  The relationship between my father and I has always been very different, mainly I think because we are so much alike.  So since October, (roughly 6 months ago) I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post… let’s see how I do.

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Dad and I lighting up a couple cigars after my gradation from Florida Gulf Coast University

I have many memories from various times throughout my life of doing puzzles with my father.  I was always interested in seeing how he went about putting the puzzle together, it is always precise and systematic.  Separate out the border, put that together.  Group together pieces of the same color and begin to assemble the smaller components of the puzzle within the border (landmark aspects of the photo such as the sky, a flower, or a boat).  I always wondered how he came to  do this in such a structured manner.

I have never doubted the fact that my Dad loves me, and I hope that he has never doubted that I love him.  With that said, we have never really expressed it to each other, it’s as if the fact that we cared for each other was implicit in our relationship.  I am the oldest of two sons, and being the oldest I have always tried to meet the expectations that my father had for me.  I always had to get the best grades, and when it came to baseball (which I played front he age of 6 until 18) failure was not an option.  Dad and I had many “spirited talks” after games where I didn’t perform well.  I never took constructive criticism well from him, and he never shied away from handing it out.  This led to many disagreements, which i always lost because I was the young son.  I think that these moments strained our relationship to a great degree, and for a long time kept us a certain distance apart.

Adding to that last point, I always took the disagreements between my father and I at face value, and at the time didn’t have the capacity to really think of it on a deeper level.  My Dad was a police officer for nearly 26 years, the last 10 or so of which was spent in homicide.  As a kid, I never considered the impact that a person’s career has on other aspects of their life.  There came a time when I realized: My Dad investigated murders for a living, and it affected the rest of his life.  He dealt with the scum of the earth on a daily basis, and spent his days chasing after people who had KILLED another human being.  He was damn good at it too.  You didn’t want to be a murderer in Broward County when my pops was on the case.  However, when I think back, it makes more sense now.  The days where he would come home and be stressed, or would get upset at things that seemed odd (like the time it was 6:30, and we hadn’t had dinner, and eating after 6:30 was BAD… for that day at least).  The emotional baggage that he must have carried while he was a detective is something that I will never know, and I don’t know if I could have dealt with it like he did.  After realizing what he was juggling in his life: chasing after murderers by day, being a father to two boys by night… it’s understandable that stress from one would leak into the other.  In all honesty, I don’t think anyone in the world could have handled it better than he did, and I have a huge amount of respect for him just based on the fact the he made it work.  Most boys who are fortunate enough to grow up with a father idolize them to the point where they don’t look at them as humans.  They are “Superdad” and can do no wrong and can’t be hurt or affected by anything.  This simply isn’t true, my Dad is a human, and he is susceptible to stress and bad days … especially when you consider the job that he had.  I understand that now.

Now that my Dad is retired, I can see the relief in him.  I can see the change in his overall demeanor, he has better body language and just seems happier than when he was working.  I love seeing him like this, he seems to be enjoying life more than he did before.  He does things around the house, runs around town all day doing random things, goes hunting, and… as always… still does puzzles.  We get along better than we ever have, and have really opened up to each other a lot more than we did previously.  Our relationship has grown a great deal in the last few years, and I’m excited for it to continue to grow and evolve as I get older.

My Dad has had a profound impact on so many aspects of my life, probably mores than he realizes.  Even the negative things have turned around and had positive impacts.

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he four of us… Pops always calls us his “Crew”.

I try now to embrace criticism, and build from it, instead of opposing because I’m too stubborn (I’m still quite stubborn though).

My Dad is a social butterfly, has many friends, and countless people who love him.  I attribute watching him as one of the main reasons why I am how I am today.  I used to be shy and kept to myself.  I have grown to become just like Dad, a total social butterfly who will talk to anyone and, more importantly, treats people with respect.  I look at how he treats my Mom, and how much he cares for her.  If I ever decide to go down the road of marriage (a big IF), I will undoubtedly take a page out of his book there as well.

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om and Dad

My Dad, more-so than anyone else, has inspired me to stop at nothing to do my best.  I never understood before why he was always on me to to better, but now it makes sense.  I set high hopes for myself, and absolutely refuse to accept anything less.  This is a direct result of Dad always pushing me to be better, maximizing my potential.

Being in research, I analyze things every day.  Situations, data, experiments… I have to look at it and determine the best way to approach it in order to solve my problem in the proper and most efficient way.  Watching Dad operate, putting the puzzle together, helped me learn how to analyze a situation.  Break it into it’s smaller components and attack it section by section.  Systematic, efficient, and complete.  I learned this at a young age, from Dad.  Anytime I struggle with my work, I can close my eyes and imagine myself sitting at the table watching Dad do a puzzle.  Everything makes sense after that.

My Dad is an amazing man, and without realizing it I have become just like him in many ways.  I couldn’t be happier about it.  He’s provided me with the tools I needed to get where I am at now, all by being just being around him.  He serves as the example that I have always needed, an example of how to get things done, and get them done properly. If, when I turn 50, I have had the kind of career success, a family who loves me, and the amount of friends who would do anything for me that my father has… I’ll consider myself a lucky dude.  He has shaped me into the man I am today, and even though we don’t always see eye to eye, he has no idea how much I model myself in his image.  I understand him now more than I ever did before and as a result… I respect him so much more.

It kills me that I can’t be at home to celebrate his 50th birthday with him.  I hope he knows how much I love him, and hope that he has an amazing day!  I look forward to September, when i get to come home and we can light up a cigar, watch a football game…. and maybe do a puzzle.  I will always consider myself fortunate to be part of my Dad’s “Crew”.

 

Thanks for reading!
Check out my website: http://mdnichol.wix.com/mnicholsondiscover
Follow me on Twitter: @sharkynichol

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Trashing the Earth reaches new depths …of nearly 15,000 feet

There is little argument against the notion that we have littered much of the globe:

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Marine litter, in particular, has garnered quite a bit of attention due to the problems that things like plastic bags and ghost nets cause for some of our “sexy” charismatic megafauna (such as marine turtles).  A new study published in PLOS ONE sheds light on just how far our litter has spread.  Data from deep sea trawling and imaging surveys spanning about 12 years revealed marine litter in each of the 32 sampled sites.  These sites ranged from 35m to a whopping 4500m (14,764 feet) in depth.

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-Map from Pham et al. (2014) shows all sites that were sampled.

They found that plastic bags, glass bottles, and discarded fishing gear comprised the majority of the litter and they report higher litter densities for the seabed than have been previously reported for the sea surface.  Debris was found over 1000 km from land and as previously stated, 4500m deep!

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-Some photos of the marine litter seen from the imaging surveys.  The SHALLOWEST of all of these photos was at 896m (nearly 3000 feet).


There is a definite knowledge gap with respect to the quantities of marine litter in out oceans.  This study opens the door for further work to be done.  Many people live with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, so the bottom of the ocean if far from the forefront of their thoughts.  We, as the dominant race of this planet (and the reason for this trash pileup), can not turn a blind eye to what is happening.  We must meet this problem head on and stop the spread of trash.  There is no realistic way to clean the sea floor when it it so deep, so we must simply stop adding to it!

The fact that non-fishing gear plastic made up a large proportion of the trash suggests that it came from the land/coastal areas and gradually made it’s way to the bottom.  This should reaffirm the fact that we much continue to reduce our use of plastics (especially bags!).  As easy way to help this is to bring your own bags when you go shopping.

High amounts of derelict fishing gear is another concern altogether.  Fishermen must take great care to not discard things like nets and lines.  They do nothing but wreak havoc when left to sink to the bottom:
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Hopefully this study will open up funding opportunities to survey more of the seafloor so we can gain a better idea of marine litter levels.  One thing is for sure, we must get better and stop hurting our oceans (and our planet in general).   This should open some eyes and help people realize the depths (literally) that our trash is spreading to.  Helping can start on a small scale, in your own home, and can grow from there.

Spread the word!
Let’s reverse the trend, and secure a positive future!

Thanks for reading!
Check out my website: http://mdnichol.wix.com/mnicholsondiscover
Follow me on Twitter: @sharkynichol

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How a non-religious person celebrates religious holidays— and a shout out for Charity Miles

Easter is yet another holiday predicated on religion, which creates an interesting situation for someone like me.  I am non-religious (probably some combination of a strong agnostic and a freethinker), yet I still celebrate these religious holidays (mainly just Christmas and Easter).  Some “people of faith” out there might be thinking, how do you celebrate these holidays without a religious connection, being that Christmas is supposed to be the birth of Jesus Christ and Easter is supposed to celebrate his resurrection?

First off… if someone is ever truly resurrected, sign me up because I’d love to witness that.

Moving on to celebrating these holidays…  When I was younger, they were days that I knew I was getting presents; either from a fat guy in a red suit or a huge anthropomorphic bunny.  Even though I was raised to pray and believe in God, my family did not really do the whole church thing and the religious aspect wasn’t emphasized too much during these holidays.  As I got older, they became something totally different to me, not any more about getting the presents you wanted so badly and then leaving them at home while you go spend the day with family.

Family, that’s what these holidays have become about to me.  While each one comes with its own set of traditions, be it pine trees in your house or colored eggs, they all revolve around family.  At this point, the names honestly matter very little.  Christmas… Easter, the could be called anything, and could be given any religious backstory … I would still view them in the same manner.

These are days set aside for family, and for introspection.

Suffice it to say, I love my family and appreciate them daily, however holidays, much like a birthday, are when I think we should celebrate that appreciation.  Have a big dinner, catch up with that distant relative that you haven’t talked to in years.  Play games together, share laughs.  If maybe you have been at odds with someone lately (or for a long time), use the holidays to heal those wounds and move past stupid things.

I also believe that these days should be used for introspection… self reflection…  Look at yourself in the mirror, how do you view yourself?  Is there a difference between the “you” that people see and the “you” that exists in your head?  How do you feel about life?  Reflect on yourself and either be happy with yourself or fix things so that you are.  If you need help, look to those closest to you, hopefully you’ll be having a massive meal with them today!

Another thing I think about is how do I treat others and could I be doing more?

I enjoy people, and want to be the type of person that others look to for a good example.  So this is where I shout out an easy way to help people by doing something that everyone does daily…

Charity Miles

Charity Miles is an organization that donates money on your behalf when you walk, run, or cycle.  You can download the app on an iPhone or Andriod phone.  To put your minds to rest…

>>>>IT’S COMPLETELY FREE!!<<<< both to download and to use.

Basically… if you have a smartphone and run, cycle, or walk (and nearly everyone walks!) you have no excuse not to use this!

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I used Charity Miles while I trained

It’s as simple as opening the app, choosing a charity from their list (they have quite a few) and doing your thing.  Bikers get 10 cents/mile and walkers/joggers get 25 cents/mile.  The money goes straight to the charity you selected.  They have an initial sponsorship pool of $1,000,000 !!  It’s a great setup and for amazing causes, I’ve been using it for over a year and have logged both of my half-marathons on it (and all of the training leading up to them).

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I also used it during races… and rocked my Charity Miles shirt (I now have 5 shirts from them)

As part of your Easter celebration… go for a walk and help somebody else 🙂

 

Happy Easter all, enjoy your day!!
Peace!

Follow me on:
Twitter: @sharkynichol
Instagram: Baldiewithagoatee
And check out my website: http://mdnichol.wix.com/mnicholsondiscover
🙂

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My Path to Addiction: Life as a Runaholic

My name is Matt, and I’m an addict, I am completely addicted to running.  I would compare it to being an alcoholic (without all of the negative aspects like ruining your liver and breaking families apart).  In the same way that an alcoholic uses everything as an excuse to have a drink, I do the same with running.

Good day? Go for a run.  Bad day?  Go for a run.  Happy, sad, excited, angry… you guessed it, get off your ass and run.  To be clear, I consider myself a “runner”, which is something more than “a person who runs”.  To me, a runner is someone who does it for reasons other than “I want to get fit”.  To be honest, I’m pretty sure there are many better ways to get in shape;  slow, constant cardio is not the most effective as far as “getting fit”, but it gives you many other things…

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After I finished my first half marathon in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

Growing up I always said “I can’t run distance, I’m just not good at it”.  For whatever reason, I lived with that thought until I was 24.  I simply accepted the thought that I wasn’t good at running and I never would be.  Then in late 2012, for some reason, I seriously got into running.  I told myself I would “get good” at it, and I’ve certainly made progress.  I went from a kid who had never run more than 2 miles at one time to someone who ran a few 5k’s, a Warrior Dash, and 2 Half-Marathons… within a year.  While this is probably no big deal for a lot of people, it was monumental for me.

Thinking about this caused me to ask myself a question:  Why do I run?  Running isn’t the best exercise, it really breaks your knees down badly, so why do I do it?

I run so I can pig out on carbs.
It is way more acceptable to take in a good amount of carbs like pasta, bread,potatoes, even beer after you have had a solid run.  Things that I usually try to limit in my diet.

I run to connect with the earth.
Running outside, particularly in minimalist footwear, really lets you connect with the ground.  You feel like a part of it, and get a true sense of belonging in the world we live in.

I run to get rid of pain.
Bad things happen in life.  Pain comes in many forms and exists on many levels of severity.  Running has become an outlet for me to clear my head, and deal with negative things in life that get me down.

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Running is a great way to get out emotions!

I run for the pain it causes me.
Yeah, you read that right, I run for the pain I feel during and afterwards.  There is something sadistically satisfying about the burn in your lungs when you are really pushing yourself.  Also, the soreness the next day: knees, lower back… ankles maybe.  It’s a humbling occurrence that really makes you feel human.  Feeling that pain lets you know that you pushed yourself, I live for it.

I run for “the nod”.
When you are in the middle of a run, passing by another runner (often traveling in the opposite direction) is a special moment.  It’s a simple glance to each other, followed by a slight nod.  No words need be spoken, but in that instant you tell each other “I know how you’re feeling, keep going, don’t stop, push yourself.”.  It’s unlike any other interaction I’ve ever had in athletics or sports.

I run for “natural” music.
When I started running I always had music in.  I thought that if I could distract myself from the feeling of getting tired, I could go longer. Once I got more comfortable and became a more capable runner I experimented without music.  The ambient noises as you run are like an orchestra, especially when you run through forests or by the ocean.  Birds singing, twigs cracking under your feet, waves crashing, it’s all a beautiful song and it changes everyday.

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Combining running and nature?? Yes please…

I run because it used to be something I couldn’t do.
Well, at least I thought I couldn’t do it. However, I train hard and work my ass off to keep improving.  I prove my previous self wrong everyday, and show myself that I can do ANYTHING if I work hard and dedicate myself.

In many ways, running is a lifestyle, an obsessive one at that.  It has reshaped my life in so many ways and I love the fact that I can call myself a “runner” and not just “someone who runs to try and be fit”.  Sure that’s part of it, but like I said, there’s so much more…

This is one addiction I think I’m just going to have to live with, cause there’s no kicking this habit!

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Runs to the beach seem to make me go faster…

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Decisions

I had a teacher in highschool … a Phys. Ed. teacher…. who would always resort to the same one-liner when it came to people not complying with something…

“Life is all about decisions”

Yes, yes it is.  In the years since I first heard her say it, I have thought back on that quote countless times.  It sounds so simple, but means so much.

We make decisions in our lives everyday, some of them are small, like what you want to have for breakfast.  Others are of a much higher magnitude, like moving out of the country, getting married, or even breaking up with someone.  No two decisions are ever the same, with each one having an exponential number of variables causing you to feel the way you do.  The hope is, that as you make more and more decisions, the easier they become.  Having past experiences to draw on often times can lead you to where you want to go.  However, past experiences can also cloud your judgement sometimes, and may prevent you from giving the decision the consideration it might truly warrant.

I live my life with no regrets.  Granted, I have made decisions that when i look back … maybe they weren’t the best.  Be that as it may, I don’t regret them.  The way I look at it, the “me” I am right now, at this very moment, is a product of each and every decision I have ever made in my life.  If I were to go back and change one choice, even something small … who knows what consequences that could have for the present-day me!  I make choices with a combination of head, heart, and past experiences … for better or worse.

A recent conversation with good friends once shed the light on me that whether or not you regret a given decision isn’t really based on the decision itself.  It’s how you deal with a given decision that will determine whether or not you regret it down the road.  That’s why, in my life, I make decisions and whether or not they are “good” or “bad decisions” I stick with them and believe in them.  This way, i can live without regret, and if you can live without regret, you can always be happy with who you are and where you’re at.

Don’t be afraid to jump head first into things if it feels right, and don’t be afraid to cut your losses on other things if that’s what you need to do.  The important thing in life is … whatever you choose … commit to it and don’t look back!

Life may be all about decisions, but it’s how we live with them that is the key.

England sure has taught me a lot so far! 🙂

WIth that, I’d like to thank each and every person who has every read my blog.  This post will likely put me over 1000 views, which even though it may not seem like a lot … it’s more than I ever expected.  I really appreciate those of you who take the time to read what I have to say.

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Stay Classy!

-Matt

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