Sacre Bleu! She is running away…

In FlightYou want to hear something funny? This was supposed to be a travel blog. Like so much of life, it hasn’t progressed quite as originally intentioned.

Enter my trip to my second Tredecem.

I really didn’t ever plan to do another 13.1. I decided after the first that running wasn’t really my thing and would concentrate instead on biking and gym-rattedness. Oh Life, you are funny with your lessons to never say never.

A need for a post-double century “what’s next?” combined with a Delta volunteer bump credit burning a hole in my pocket crashed into my desire just to get away for a while. I have had the driving urge to shake up my routine. Go. Do. See.

So I built up my running miles over the last 6 weeks and off I went to the exotic locale of Madison, WI.

What? I’d never been to the badger state before…

[Read more…]

The Cycle of Linkage (3_25_12)

Beautiful riding this weekend. Gearing up (wah-wah) for my first tri next Sunday and hurt-loving myself in the process. Made it through the mountains today – quite the accomplishment for this flatlander. While I had many moments where I didn’t think I could take another tenth of a mile and my shoulders were up around my ears, I also had many moments (mostly on descents) of appreciating the lovely country around me and being thankful for my body and quads that got me up the hills. I have faith that I should be ready for the STP in July.

I also had the chance to see 3 bike-themed films last night as part of Athen’s EcoFocus Film Festival. All 3 were quite good but Riding Bikes with the Dutch was the crowd and my favorite (despite some video-film transcoding issues in the form of tearing which was rather distracting). Resolve to use my bike for commuting as much as possible and gave me one more reason to get my tukus to Holland. Lest we forget, this bookstore is the first reason.

Speaking of bookspaces, on to the links…


This big kid is super inspired to snuggle up with a tome against this recycled book wall to cultivate my love of reading and writing. (via @brainkpicker) [Read more…]

Why Reading Makes You a Better Writer

Graffiti BridgeYou’ve been saying something that you think is profoundly true for a while. You feel like you unlocked a great secret, hack or have an inside track on the universe.

Then either you can’t express it well or someone with a larger soap-box comes along and says it before you can,

You have a moment of “ah-ha! I really am so brilliant!” and then “Damn! but now I can’t take credit because he said it first.”

This affirmingly frustrating situation happened to me recently.

Good writers read.

I re-tweeted Jeff Goins the other night (MT=Modified Tweet, I changed his a little):

@CoffeeBooksBeer: Hear, Hear! MT @jeffgoins: Good writers read. It’s just that simple.

His article makes the case that reading makes you a better writer. Not exactly groundbreaking material here and I promise that isn’t my entire brilliant idea.

I got a response saying simply: “data?”

At first I was going to dismiss it (troll?!) but I reconsidered. Sure, there is abounding anecdotal account of reading influencing great writers but is it a truism or actually true? Is there data to show causality?

[Read more…]


Herein is the the thematic underscore to this site. The mission. The objective. The ideal.


Be In

That is it.

4 Letters. Believe me if I could have made it 3 I would have.

Ready for the longer version?


That is my message.

Go all IN.
Be IN it to win it.
Be happy/content/blissful/thankful/joyous IN the moment.
Be INto you.
Be the central hero or heroine IN your story.
Be IN.

The Why

For far too long I wasn’t IN my own life. I was living a life — a fairly good life — but it wasn’t mine. It took one resounding wake up call where I literally turned around to see who had made the statement in my own head to start me on the path towards change and a better life for me.

It took years to make adjustments and shifts to create a better reality for myself — and that process is ongoing — but I first needed the reminder that I am in control here. I belong IN the driver’s seat IN my own life.

It’s not too late.

You can make the choice to do the same.


Under that theme there are the routes: INspiration (coffee), INnformation (books) and INntentional enjoyment (beer).

There is great crossover but generally here is how I break it down:

Moments of INspiration (coffee)

Coffee LoveLike the coffee that starts your day, these are the fuels that light your fire. They come in the form of life experiences, lovely images, passionate posts of fellow bloggers, great conversations, great cups of literal coffee, interesting people or the latest workout-high creative inception.

What ignites your heart’s desires and motivate you to be IN and contributing to the world?

Make sure your life is full of them. Treasure them. Use them to kickstart your passions and push you forward.



INformation about varied and various paths (books)

342/365: BooksThis starts with understanding our own steps forward and steps back. I also love meeting and telling of the INdividuals I meet who are living the Be IN mantra.  If I can pinpoint or posit on them, I’ll share the keys to their engagement with their life.

My lit lover self also enjoys escaping into a novel, reading about a different life, and discovering different people, places and events through a good tale. It is this process that further INforms us as individuals and, by looking at others and having an emotional reaction to a story, INforms you about you.


INtentional enjoyment rounds out the triad (beer)

Craft Brew in candlelightAh yes, the beer. Drinking fully of life (and beer) but not to excess or to escape reality. The ideal is to be fully engaged IN where you are. To be able to laugh and be merry IN the moment (with or without beer).

I think that you can find experiences, observations, elements, opportunities and simple pleasures whenever that is what you want.

I strive for the positive spin and search for joy unbounded.

(and I like beer)


These three things contribute to a life of being IN.

The objective isn’t to “be different.” The objective is to find our own engaged and happiest normalcy.

We are IN when we appreciate and surround ourselves with the ideas and physical things that we are INto and provide ourselves with happy purpose.

We are writing our own story every day and have the choice to make and mold it to be what we want.

Whatever you are INto, you should be INto you.

I’m Joanna and CBB is let beginning of my process to share my story and be further IN myself. I hope you are able to find inspiration, information and enjoyment here as well.



A note from the (future) archivist: After working over this idea in my head for the last few months I finally googled “Be In.” Apparently Be-IN was a cultural phenomena of the 60s (what wasn’t?) that has seen some recent resurgence in the digital sphere. As I don’t disagree with their calls I’m sticking with mine.

Class dismissed.

Images via Flickr under CC license by yours truly and Magic Madzik (342/365)


The Universal FlinchI forgot my book when I left the house this morning so started “The Flinch” on the train into work. I arrived home this evening and I got into a very cold shower.

No, not like that — read the book.

I don’t know how long exactly I was in there but it was at least the requisite 5 minutes.

I listened to all of the screaming voices in my head saying that it was stupid and dangerous and pointless… and I did it anyway. Stepping into the spray. Shivering. Feeling the needle pricks on my legs over and over and over. Counting my breaths.

Even now as I am typing it sounds so foolish because it was so little.

Yes, the inevitable comparison to how others live: As I switched over to hot water I thought about all those that don’t have that option.

I also thought about how I wished I had just talked to the person on the subway platform instead (read the book). I thought about talking to my boys at the bar. It doesn’t really scare me to go into an unfamiliar place alone and sit and either be by myself or talk to someone.

I smiled at some folks on the tubes. Made space for someone who needed a seat. But “no problem” was the only conversation I made. While I know I could have done more, I flinched and talked myself out of it.

Lesson learned.

I also did do was more difficult for me: I came home and got in the cold shower. I’m glad I did. [Read more…]