Sunrise from Indian Lake, Manistique, MI

Sunrise No. 216 of 1,600+

  • Sunrise time: 6:30
  • Azimuth: 64°
  • Did the sun rise: Yes
  • Was the sun visible: Eventually


  • Felt like: 52 ºF
  • Air Temp: 52 ºF
  • Humidity: 98%
  • Wind: 2 mph


  • 35mm
  • f/22.0
  • 6 sec
  • 50


Indian Lake, Manistique, MI

63.8 mile commute

📍 45° 58' 6" N, -86° 21' 13" W

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Musings [483 words]

Do hard things

An acquaintance in town, Todd Poquette, has a mantra he lives by, “Do hard things.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that mantra lately. I have never completed 225 mile bike race, or a 100 mile bike race, or even participated in a bike race. I’ve never raced a marathon, a 5k, or even participated in a running race. Not an organized one at least. The last running race I recall goes back to the Lansing days when I challenged Brian to run from our office to the 300 S block of Washington to get some lunch.

Doing hard things doesn’t have to be a physical feat, but for me, I’m learning how to swim for the first time. What’s harder than learning to swim, is admitting that you don’t know how. That’s been a hard ting I’ve done for decades, all wrapped under this statement of “the most embarrassing thing about me,” and it was something I withheld from nearly everyone.

The breadth of doing hard things is as wide as the galaxy. Getting outside before sunrise every day is hard. Outside of basic bodily functions, doing anything every day is hard. And I mean every day, not every day you feel good, not every day *weather permitting. Every day.

Do hard things means…

  • Calling a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in years
  • Having a difficult conversation with your children
  • Reaching out to a friend who has lost their chid
  • Putting down the bottle (or phone)
  • Logging off Facebook and Netflix
  • Putting on the old ice skates
  • Picking up the bike after a year
  • Going to therapy
  • Sitting down to write your book
  • Volunteering for a local charity
  • Sitting down to feel and be present with your emotions
  • Talking with a significant other about a subject you’ve been avoiding
  • Replacing ice cream with a few more vegetables
  • Cooking a homemade meal
  • Saying hello to a stranger

What’s hard for me may be easy for you. What’s hard for you may be easy for me. And what’s really hard is that we forget this, we all forget this. We assume that what’s easy for ourselves should be easy for others.\

Even writing this list (which is mostly, but not entirely about me), it is hard to come up with hard things that other people experience in daily life. Empathy and sympathy, and truly putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is difficult. Yup, empathy is another hard thing.

This year I picked, becoming a morning person and spending more time outside. When doing hard things, it’s important that we’re deliberate. When you consciously act on that hard thing, it does get easier. And maybe this year I’ll jump off Black Rocks and maybe I’ll gather a group of grieving adult men to talk about feelings

Find a hard thing. Focus on the hard thing. Do the hard thing.


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