Seth Lawrence

Fear of having Peaked.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as learning a new skill. At least for me. I'm not sure I could count my multi-month skill escapades on just two hands.

These motions were once natural; execution flowed outward, oozed. My self-consciousness stops that oozing. A nag at the nape of my neck, pulling me away from the blissful free fall of a mindless moment.

Pure execution.

Stop thinking. Do. If you begin to think about it, acknowledge that thought and let it pass.

It's tempting to argue for moderation. And that may be valid, if you're not doing the little things each day.

Do you trust that you're doing the little things each day? Have you earned that trust? How can you?

Genuinely, how can I earn trust with myself each day? By waking up. Hygiene.

By moving and by puzzling. By caring about yourself.

If you care about yourself, be proud for yourself. and I can too. About myself. For myself.

About and For.

Task: Describe the tone of each line.

Wary Gleeful Envious Thrilled Warning Advising Curious Assertive Loving Proud Dreaming

I want to work.

I ran a twitter account with significant following last week. You could do better than me, should you get the chance.

Lessons learned

Caring too much paralyzed me, while caring too little may have portrayed me as a clown. While I’d rather be known as a clown than sacrifice my opportunity, you might not feel the same.

The idea is much more exciting than the reality. Normalcy crept in quickly, the dozens of notifications becoming the new baseline. In fact, I found myself craving the dopamine hit, and not receiving it regardless of whether or not that notification count was climbing.

It doesn’t matter. Toward the end of my stint, I realized that not only do I not give a shit but no one else does. It’s a social media account on a platform known for uneducated depravity.

I found it difficult to be thoughtful, and tempting to be dismissive. I felt that I would get more engagement by ragging on someone’s opinion, rather than encouraging a thoughtful dialogue.

The idea of dialogue in open forum feels more high stakes, and I appreciated the accountability.

Challenges Faced

What to post. I was not struck with the inspiration I was hoping for. Ideas did not flow onto the account, and I was paralyzed at times.

Thoughtlessness is not creativity. Without an idea of how to spur engagement, I posted drivel. No one cared, including myself enough to think intentionally.

Negativity is met with negativity, while fun is not necessarily mirrored. I found moments of my good times were authentic, yet were only rarely met with engagement. Negativity, however, blew up my phone. The “So and So liked a reply to your message” notification is evil. It snuck into my dopamine hit as easily if not more so than positive engagement.

Future Plans

None. I don’t know if I want to be intentional about social media right now, and so I might just get rid of the platform. It did give me some anxiety, but was a welcome challenge in the moment. I supposed I’d like to end this section with something concrete. I would like that, but I would be coming to a conclusion for the sake of it.

I'd recommend that you try this out.

I'm certainly not worse off for it.

Where in this post does value lie?

Does it lie in what is delivered, or in the means of delivery?

And that’s what we call a false dichotomy.

This is my practice, the method of delivery being a craft I’m unsatisfied with.

Only when I have done something for me can I hope to do it for another.

And with that switch, the weight of the message increases. Only then follows cost of postage.

Well, I finally did it.

I missed a blog post.

Yippies and Hurray's, but no one cares. Maybe I do.

But not in the ~ traditional sense. I hold myself to high standards, and am afraid of rejection.


Safe opportunities to fail, like with these blog posts, are how I build confidence.

I was fortunate to have one such opportunity this very week!

One Page and Wine



The main idea? Reverse pomodoro's. I put quite a lot of thought into it.

Maybe I'll write about it Thursday. All I know is I'll be writing.

TL;DR – I admire the effect of Penny's CTA, but recoil at the instigation. I did a good thing, but fear it was for the wrong reason. I'm glad people took action, but worry those who didn't may be more set in their ways. When I disagree, will I be met with the same love?

Penny from the San Diego Superbloom made a huge call out thread on twitter that began with this message:

Your silence is violent. Your inaction, complicity.

What followed was a series of tweets calling for all cisgender, straight-passing men to use their privilege for Trans Rights Advocacy.

When I first saw this, as a cisgender, straight-passing man, truth be told I was defensive. I was annoyed by the threat. I was frustrated by the tone. And I was ashamed I knew so little.

It’s a feeling that can very easily spiral into inaction.

I’ve come out of it feeling conflicted. I’m not fond of the tactic, but I am impressed by the result. I have donated to a cause that, after some research, I found to be good, but I know I cannot feel pride in having done it.

Calls to action are an interesting concept, one that I have done far too little work on considering my investigation of advertising as a career path.

Some armchair philosophy: a good call to action promotes the reader to

  1. Perform the action

  2. Feel good about it

  3. call others to the same action

repeating into (hopeful) infinity.

Penny’s twitter thread executes 1. and 3. flawlessly, using brutal (and effective) cancel rhetoric to prey on the insecurity that our fragile majority wants so desperately to hide.

I can only assume that I am not alone on two fronts. I am more educated and opinionated on Trans Rights legislation, and I am more insecure of my position in a community of advocacy.

I may have said the “right” thing today, but will I do the same tomorrow… or the day after that? When my carefully considered opinions differ from the vocal community, will I have the strength to share those considerations?

Here is the link to Penny’s initial tweet, and to my reply.

Injuries suck. There's not much more to say. One day you're with your friends, no thoughts, head empty, and the next you're lost. An open sea, and an empty horizon greets you. You can hear sea shanties in the distance, but it's a siren's song. You must stay away. Recovering from injury feels like treading water.

## Then I broke my knee just over a month ago. I've been injured a fair number of times throughout my life, so I'd like to think I know how to handle it. I'd always bounce back, or be distracted by another pursuit. This time, it feels different. I know what I want to be doing, and my injury is consuming.

After some time away from playing Ultimate, I was anxious to play again. Excited, eager, restless. I decided I would go all out for a play, and I got the play. In getting the D, I lost my ability to walk for two weeks. Right before tryouts for Portland's Professional Ultimate Team, the Nitro. Then, adding insult to injury, I got sick.

When tryouts came, I played my heart out. My knee stung to the touch, but that wasn't going to stop me from laying out and hustling. I made practice squad. I'd like to say “that's pretty good for going to ¼ tryout days.” But I'd like to say that I made the roster even more.

I kept playing after tryouts. The stinging became normal, and I stopped noticing it. Your body has a way of getting your attention, if not now than eventually. After playing two hours of frisbee, my leg locked up. I couldn't walk. I couldn't get in a car without crying out. I broke my kneecap, and I couldn't deny it anymore.

## Now

It's been awful. I've missed out on being a practice player, connecting with my community in my usual way, and getting exercise. I feel like a bit of a bum, in all honesty. I'm worried that I've invested so much time into a null pursuit, and I am anxious to prove myself wrong. There's combat in my mind: acceptance and hustle, rest and recovery. I'm still learning how to join what I have been brought up to believe are antithetical.

Now, I am coping by journalling, constantly overdoing it or underdoing it, and hoping dearly for a miraculous recovery. It's hard to take responsibility for windfalls, good or bad. But my biggest respite has been coaching.

I think not being able to move quickly has made me more conscious of instruction, and of being decisive. It's brought up fears of inadequacy, moments of confidence, and pride in myself and the kids I am teaching.

Still, I see these positives as coping. If I could change everything, I would like to get out and play. Perhaps I do enjoy leadership more than being at the bottom of the ladder, but I never want to be caught without something to give to my kids. If I am to teach well, I must be learning. So let's get back on our feet.

## Soon

As I research this topic, I feel struck by just how commonplace my experience is. Some common causes for prolonged recovery times include, but are not limited to, inadequate rest and rehab, poor nutrition and hydration, and the psychological toll. In my own experience, I feel the anxiety to return to play, and I have been impatient. I have struggled with motivation to eat well, and my hydration habits have suffered. And quite frankly, I am depressed. I said it before and will say it again: injuries suck.

## What now?

I will cover each of the three hindrances mentioned above, and I will give a basic understanding of each.

### What is Adequate Rest and Rehab?

The first step to knowing what to do is to know what is wrong. If you don't trust doctors, and have been more or less scammed by urgent care too many times now, I understand. Ask your friends, ask your family, and stay within your trust. If you have good insurance, great. You might actually be able to afford specialized physical therapy in this economy. If not, don't worry; online resources are plentiful, and as long as you're doing something for it you're doing better than nothing (unless there's pain. That's usually a bad sign.)

Return-to-play protocol: progressive programs designed to reintroduce an athlete to play with minimal risk of reinjury

The term Return-to-play protocol is not something I've heard of before, and I think that's a shame. In a nutshell, it's a thoughtfully designed plan to get you back to being game ready.

There are four steps: 1. Injury Management: you're hurting, and the goal is to stop hurting. 2. Return to activity: Range of Motion, light cardio, and gentle strengthening. 3. Sport-Specific: Agility, balance, coordination. Do what you want to be doing in a controlled, low intensity way. 4. Testing and Clearance. S.T.A.R.T. when you're ready. Strength Testing And Recovery Transition is crucial to making the decision to step back on the field. You'll be confident when you're cleared. 5. Full return. Focusing on technique and body awareness, return to play gradually.

With a thoughtful implementation of these steps, even my dumb ass can figure out how to take care of myself.

Homework: Create a plan for each of the above steps that is specific to your own injury.

### Nutrition and Hydration

I'm gonna let the AI do this one: headlines and AI generated Images for the steps to proper nutrition.

Powerhouse Foods: Wholesome Grains, Vibrant Veggies, Lean Protein

Mighty Muscles: Fuel Repair with Diverse Proteins

Soothe Inflammation: Berries, Greens, Nuts, and Fish

Energize Recovery: Complex Carbs for Sustained Power

Quench Thirst, Boost Healing: Stay Hydrated Daily

Mighty Micros: Vital Vitamins, Minerals for Recovery

Optimize Repair: Post-Workout Protein and Carbs Combo

### Psychological  

Right now, I am no expert on this. I am doing the best I can, and often that means risking being a Debbie downers by just being honest with my friends and close ones. [There's a great Simon Sinek podcast that may strike home for you, give it a listen if you have the desire.](

## Sending love.

ChatGPT is gnarly. Creatives everywhere are: rejoicing, recoiling, cowering, and exalting. The program as an incredible milestone in tech with untapped consequences on the world economy. Entire industries from content creation to legal await the affects of the new technology on their livelihoods. Programs like these are getting much better, more each day. And with answers soon to be at our fingertips we will soon have a choice: do we let computers think for us?

I'd be lying if I haven't tried to get ChatGPT to churn out a finished product.

It is *so* easy. [Students at both Furman University and Northern Michigan University]( have already committed the sin of turning in AI generated work. Hell, I'd be lying if I haven't tried to get ChatGPT to churn out a finished product. Churning out well written, though uninspired, prose at massive volume, it can feel as though you're talking to an all knowing [singularity]( The thing about know-it-alls: they're often wrong.

... it provided five reference dating to the early 2000s. None of the provided paper titles existed, and all provided PubMed IDs (PMIDs) were of different unrelated papers.

Professors caught on to the infractions due to incorrect information. The AI has a tendency to assert falsehoods with incredible confidence (Business Insider). It's like any political news outlet far from center... that eagerly answers questions on complex medical topics. When researchers asked ChatGPT for references, the AI “provided five reference dating to the early 2000s. None of the provided paper titles existed, and all provided PubMed IDs (PMIDs) were of different unrelated papers” (Alkaissi). The AI produces responses with no intelligible trail to follow for fact-checking. This is a problem.

We solve it by sidestep. We can refrain from having it give us the “what,” and rely on it for giving clues to the “how.” After defining my thesis for this blog post, I created my outline using the bot. Because I roughly know how to structure a short essay, I can use ChatGPT as part of the creative process.

ChatGPT can provide the spark to the human engine

Think of ChatGPT as something that provides clarity. Don't think of ChatGPT or AI assist as something to do your job for you. Provide ChatGPT with your goals, and use it as a tool to give you a jump start. It is more important to get started than to be perfect, so feel free to use it for getting started. ChatGPT can provide the spark to the human engine. You.


Alkaissi H, McFarlane S I (February 19, 2023) Artificial Hallucinations in ChatGPT: Implications in Scientific Writing. Cureus 15(2): e35179. doi:10.7759/cureus.35179

Business Insider. “Professors Caught Students Cheating on College Essays With ChatGPT.” Business Insider, 26 Dec. 2022,

For the past few months, I've been coaching kids who have been playing Ultimate twice as long as I have. In this blog post, I'll be covering my (limited) experience as a coach. I'll go over basic structure of practices, my challenges, and my successes.

Humble Beginnings

I didn't expect I would become so involved as a coach. Having been captain last year, it was only natural that I try it out. When given the opportunity last October to begin coaching, I leapt at it. It didn't matter the pay, the time, or who I was working with. After a short trial run with a middle school camp, I jumped at the next opportunity: coaching a High School B-team. Now, I found myself working with premier club players and professionals. Jon Lee and Raphy Hayes, world's level players, were my guides.

If you want to master something, teach it. -Richard Feynman

While I wasn't given the creative freedom I once had as a captain, I found myself learning as I coached. I would listen to Jon and Raphy, having no idea what they were talking about, and turn around to teach the material. I took notes on what I learned. I answered questions I likely didn't have the right to answer. Everything Jon and Raphy said made sense, but I had never had the words or the opportunity to understand.

A Standard Formula

Coaching ultimate frisbee follows a pretty standard formula. You have them throw, warm up, and do a drill. Then you have them scrimmage in a game designed to test their new skill. You introduce a new skill, or revisit one, and do it again. Then, you run a standard scrimmage to end out.

I'm accustomed to college: expectations can be set high. Adults are making the choice to play, and they hold themselves to high standards. Middle school was a rout, expectations are completely pointless. At this age, getting them to play is the most important thing. Are they not crying? Awesome.

As the kids get older, they become more independent. They lead the warm-ups. They teach the newer kids the basics. It becomes easier to focus on the tactics. I like that part.


The goal of coaching younger kids is inspiring them to love the sport. It isn't improvement. As someone who fetishizes improvement, I found it difficult to refrain from criticizing. My job was to make sure everyone was having a good time first and develop their skills later. I suppose those become more synonymous with age.

My second challenge came in the form of deciding who would not make the team I was coaching. Coming from a DIII scho0l, that is unheard of. We accepted everyone, provided they came to practice. We would teach them anything, if they asked. Now, I had to play judge, jury, and executioner. For kids. I struggled with names, I struggled with feeling bad about turning away eager faces. I put more effort into rejection emails than any effort-minimizer would. I gave due consideration. If I had to turn away players, I would give them everything I could to keep them interested. Youtube videos, hand drawn drill diagrams, paragraphs. It was all a bit ridiculous, and the head administrator made fun of me for it. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

My last challenge, and one that I am still working on, is my own imposter syndrome. I watch the A-team from the sideline, and I worry: are my throws this good? Am I this quick? I'm 22, and I'm already afraid I am washed. I'd like to think this is a good thing: a little bit of fear keeps the gears turning. I'd like to label this fear as unfounded, that I can dumpster on these kids any time I chose to. But I have struggled with injury the last couple months and am recovering from a broken knee. It'll be a time before I am confident enough in my body to let loose. This is a fear that I will have to master, a fear that I will need to use as motivation. And I won't have any evidence that my efforts are working, for now.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

I've made the practice squad of a professional team. I am still intimidated by high schoolers with double my experience. I choose to laugh at this, because it's funny.

Embracing the Small Wins

Coaching has given me the opportunity to gain confidence. My advice led to improvement. When I see one of my players put in place something I mentioned to great success, their success is mine as well. When they explain to another player what I explained to them, I've done my job. When they say “I don't know” to something we haven't yet explained, and they seek guidance, I have done my job well. Leadership is strange in that its results are like dominoes, rather than a scoreboard. I'm learning to enjoy that.

The culmination of our season was last weekend, at the Seven Hills Invite. My team, OYU B, was seeded the worst performing squad at the tournament. We were. But we improved. We scored more than the game before without fail, and we did so against better teams. A spectator labeled us as “disciplined” (and boy did that make my heart soar). We worked the disc up the field, stringing passes together like a work of art. Athleticism and power beat our squad of freshman and sophomores, not clean play. We could have set flat forces, or given away easier under cuts, and a whole host of other things. There's always more to do. I am proud of the work our squad put in, and I am impressed by how we tied together the quickest club season I have ever seen.

Wrap Up

Coaching is not something I expected to love so much, but it has become a highlight of my week. It's brought both my strengths and weaknesses to the forefront and has caused me to grow. All I can conclude is that I will keep doing it when I can.

Contribution in a tweet

In this blog post, I explore how the philosophy of Essentialism can help me prioritize my health and focus on small wins during my recovery from a broken knee. #essentialism #health #recovery

At the moment, I find myself stifled. Immobile. Bored, and unsatisfied.

I’ve been taken out of my passion and primary social outlet of Ultimate Frisbee with a broken knee. I struggle to stay focused on my job due to the loneliness of remote work. I feel insecure in living at home, while I sort out these aspects of career. And I simply feel like I am not doing enough.

I’ve rushed it, these last few days. After feeling marginally better physically, I’ve pushed myself too hard and have had the pleasure of a (hopefully) visiting numbness across my kneecap. Back to the bunker.

During this time of being forced to do less, how can I make it my own?

Essentialism offers not a solution, but a philosophy for these questions. In short, it goes as follows:

  1. Priority — What matters most?

  2. Identify obstacles — Which obstacle, if removed, would make the most obstacles disappear along with it?

  3. Small wins — create signs of visible progress, and use that progress to build momentum.

  4. Stay present — let go of worry by focusing on the task at hand

  5. Optimize your routine — free up your mental energy for what really matters

  6. Say no — value your time by its effect on your purpose

  7. Stay mindful — relate it all back to why you’re doing it in the first place.

My Application

What single thing matters most?

It is incredibly difficult to give a single answer to this question. In short: it is my health. My brain is gnawing at me for not choosing career, not choosing independence. In reality, my health is the biggest obstacle in the way of achieving those things, and so it is also my biggest priority.

What obstacles are standing in the way of my health?

To name a few: my need to socialize, my craving to exercise, my inconsistency in icing, elevating, and my hesitance to medicate, my personal space being perhaps ill-suited for work. Conveniently, I believe my priority obstacle is also first on this list. I find myself craving small talk, talking to people on the bus, or asking the receptionist how their day is going. Call me crazy, but I love it. Perhaps I'm an extrovert, though I am still in denial about it.

How can I make the small wins obvious?

I'm recovering from a broken knee, which means my shit is kinda fucked up. I'm at roughly a 90 degree comfortable bend at the moment (a little less), but all my strength still feels there. What I am most keen on is flexibility, so am I to take a protractor and measure where I am at throughout the day? One way to make that regular is by lifting my knee until gravity and my inflexibility match, preventing any further movement. I could tape a piece of paper to my wall, recording the height of my knee at the edge of discomfort.

How can I focus on the present?

I recently got let onto the idea of lovingkindness meditation, and so I could be incorporating that into my routine. Mantras such as “Can I be the best to my knee as possible?” and “Can I take the time to properly heal?” feel like good guiding questions to prioritize my rehabilitation.

How do I optimize my routines?

A good change in routine is a small one. One thing I can certainly do is be sure my favorite ice pack (what a concept) is in the freezer as I go to bed.

What do I say no to?

While it hurts, I must say no to playing frisbee. A single point is too much. I can toss, but I will not run. I'm also not dancing. That would suck.

How can I be mindful?

I like to journal. A reflective question at night and some affirmations in writing in the morning would do well to keep my mind on my recovery.

A Recipe

If you're feeling inspired, do as I did. Here are the questions you may ask yourself.

Essentialism: the worksheet

  1. What single thing matters most?
  2. What obstacles are standing in the way of my pursuit, and which obstacle is the most impactful?
  3. How can I make the small wins obvious?
  4. How can I stay present, letting go of worry?
  5. How can I optimize my routines to make my pursuit more effortless?
  6. What will I say 'no' to?
  7. How can I stay mindful of the choices I am making?

I find myself asking too many questions.

Optimize, explore, incorporate; if I were to add more words to this list, all would lose meaning.

This is the way of perfecting. A never ending recursion of new problems to solve. This is, in a strange way, helplessness.

As I write this, I find myself asking too many questions. I lose track of what is important. Simplicity of process is the answer, and it hurts.

Tools are beautiful. They let us accomplish wonderful things that we otherwise would never have even set our eyes on. They allow us to build, sculpt, imagine, and remember. They also allow us to become distracted.

Tools come with a promise: use me and do what you have to (easier)(better)(faster)(-er). They promise more for less. What they often fail to divulge is the energy and consistency required to see benefit. They fail to divulge the time commitment away from your work they consume.

I procrastinate by buying into these promises. The promises of technology, the promises of technopoly. I procrastinate by delegating responsibility of my dreams to the promises of tools.

The real question is this: how can I know what tool I need if I have not done the work?

In what world am I an expert on my own craft when I am yet to make it? Who am I to test the untested when I myself am untested? I frustrate myself with novelty, and all that I can do to fight against it is frustrate myself with outing it. I spoke of simplifying in my last post. I praise it again here.

I find myself asking too many questions, about what does not matter. I hope to reduce my ability to find these questions, rather than resist my urge to answer them. This way, I limit myself only to what I truly care about.