Luck is important and so is discipline

writing journals

written by john c ashworth

Recently, the idea of self-discipline and self-management has surfaced in my daily reading and notes.

I read a ton down here in the the ash flash workshop. I have a multitude of notebooks jammed into bookshelves and into the corners of almost every room. All of them with some really great stuff; and I’m finally finding a way to focus my daily efforts so that I can share all of it with you.

You should see this place. It’s fantastic. A dream cave where I hide-away and pursue my passions, and especially my writing.

I still remember a conversation I had more than twenty five years ago with one of my favorite graduate school professors and mentors. We were discussing all the time I was spending in the library at San Jose State University researching and writing papers on topics related to exercise physiology. I absolutely loved that time.

In describing this pursuit of knowledge and the satisfaction gained from it with my mentor, Dr Greg Payne, he said something to me that I’ll never forget.

“Well, John…It’s a good sign you’re in the right place.”

Back then, daily trips to the library were necessary to gather all of the information I needed for the work at hand. Today, much of that can be done right here in heart of the ash flash workshop. In fact, today the process can be a lot more overwhelming and distracted at times, because from right here, I can travel anywhere and do almost anything.

More recently, I’ve been able to find more focus and discipline in the pursuit of sharing this knowledge and expertise I’ve accumulated over the years on a variety of different subjects; and also some new ones that I’ve begun to explore.

The trick is to find your thing, pursue it with passion, and then find your owned unique way of sharing it with people. Whatever that might be. For me, it’s here on the ash flash and in all my writing.

…but if I can establish a habit of writing every day. That’s it. One simple goal. One simple mission. That’s all I need.

One simple path that will lead me where I want to go.

Writing every day will take me there.

In his book on writing, Stephen King said that, “writing can bring you freedom.”

I think he might be right.


PS I hope you’re enjoying the ash flash. That you are learning from it as much as I am and that you find ideas and inspiration that help you improve your life and your business along the way.

writing journals
…a few of those journals full of gold I have lying around 🙂 -john c ashworth

This idea that you don’t like to exercise has NEVER made any sense to me…

john c ashworth pullups october 2019

written by john c ashworth

This idea that you don’t like exercise, or you don’t have time, or you just can’t find a way to get it done has NEVER really made any sense to me.

Here’s why

To me, this is the equivalent of saying, I don’t want to feel good, and more powerful. I don’t want to feel stronger and more energized. I don’t want to age well. I don’t want to look good. I just want to curl up in this little corner over here and pretend that it’s easier to avoid it.

Three to four days per week, I go to the gym at lunch time. Most of the time, I go for a swim. Sometimes I lift weights. No matter what, I go. And I’d go every single day if I didn’t have dog duty one or two days per week when my wife is at work and Allie is home alone.  

One day per week is devoted to my weekly pilgrimage to the chiropractor. Another essential ritual of recovery. Usually on Mondays following a weekend of yard work, more exercise and strength training, and lots of walking. But even on Mondays, I go for a walk after I get adjusted. My blood needs to move. I want to thrive and this is how I do it.

Every single time I go, the experience is cathartic. I walk in one way, and walk out in a completely new dimension of time and space. My own little twilight zone where I emerge as a superhero. An energized human being firing on all neurons again.  

Feeling more alive. More alert. More powerful. More effective. And more influential.

Yeah…I just really don’t understand that idea that you just don’t want to do it.  

Can you see why?


[video] I use this Move as a bench-mark for my personal fitness over 50 program

new shoes on the ash flash

produced and written by john c ashworth

from the fitness over 50 files…

Today, I put together for you a short history of an exercise move I like to use as a benchmark for my fitness program. I’m currently working on another article and post about the importance of bench-marks in your fitness program, but wanted to get these videos up first.

I find it interesting to note the comparisons. I first recorded this bench-mark in 2013. I definitely look stronger and fitter three years later in 2016, and also today in 2019. I definitely look a little leaner in 2016. Some work to do there 🙂

My body feels differently today for sure, but I appear to have made some nice incremental improvements since 2013. Unnoticeable until taking the opportunity to compare these videos. Pretty cool.

Especially for those of us committed to fitness over fifty, personal bench-marks are important. That article I’m working on, along with all the chores, is in progress and I will post either later today or tomorrow depending on how the day goes. If you want regular updates about the release of articles like this one, you can subscribe to the ash flash. I would love to have you 🙂

Don’t let yourself slip backward from where you are today, and when you do, take immediate action to correct the trend. Focus on that daily action, and not you failure to maintain it 100% of the time. You’re human and life is tough some times. Do what you can and establish fitness bench-marks that you can keep for the long run.

Imagine for a moment how cool it will be if I can still do this when I’m 60, 65, 70+…

I like to use a variety of movements as bench-marks to keep me on track and to help me guide my fitness progress and progression. Those will be revealed in that next article.

First, here’s yesterday’s Box Jump – higher than in 2013 and about even with 2016, I think. Although a little more unforgiving prop so the risk was higher.

John C Ashworth – fitness over 50 expert

Here’s what the box jump looked like back in 2016

And here is what the box jump looked like back in 2013.

john c ashworth
laura ashworth walking with allie
Laura & Allie on a hot summer walk in the neighborhood

from the exercise database: Box Jumps

My Sunday Walk

hawks landing golf course madison wi

My Sunday Walk:
2.55 Miles in about 58 minutes.

Frequent stops for Allie during this Sunday walk. Allie is my aging Labradoodle who does not like the warmer weather. Still about a 22 minute per mile pace. Not bad. Didn’t want to push too hard. Still gotta mow the lawn today.

RunKeeper said it was my 68th fastest time at the 2-4 mile distance. This means very little in that I can’t access the rest of the data unless I become a paid subscriber. Still resistant to that.

I do have almost 2,000 walks tracked since December 2010. So, at some point it might be interesting to take a closer look. For now? I walk.

Some good hills on this course.

Look me up on RunKeeper.