My wishes get me nowhere. My dreams get me anywhere. My actions get me there.

 

After owning two businesses for two decades, I finally got a real job... dream job actually! Combining my passions of technology, education, and skydiving, I was hired in January 2017 by the United States Parachute Association as Director of IT. Sadly, I am no longer taking on new web programming projects, but I'm still skydiving and teaching certification courses through Xcelskydiving and of course writing! Also, I am still available for public speaking events... just email me. This blog site serves to display my numerous previously published works as well as satisfy my continued urge for sharing my insights... you know, those thoughts you have at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Forming Habit by Being Lazy

Rule Number One: Be Lazy

My new job has me with set office hours, so even though I'm sure I'm still getting some exercise, I have struggled with feeling more sedentary. But how do I ride this change without ill side effects?

I bought a treadmill desk.

Yep, from a guy on Craigslist, at 25% the going price, from what he called a "regret" sale. Someone just changed their mind. So here I am at one full week now with this big thing. I toyed with the idea of setting it up somewhere other than my office, so it could be an escape from sitting. Then I thought, why not? I'm all in! So I moved my desk and chair out of my office and completely replaced this setup. (The dog does not like this, by the way. He no longer sits and accompanies me all day despite his favorite pillow staying in the exact same place.) I figured the best way to make this change is to have zero outs for retreat.

So first, if I want to work hard wired into my internet and not suffer this terrible wi fi I have right now, I have to be on the treadmill. Secondly, I do have an out but it's my less attractive option. I still have my airline seat chair, moved it to right by the window in the living so it's cozy, and use the pull out tray table as my "desk." But I have only rarely used it. Also, in the mornings or if my daughter joins me, I can also work on the bar in the kitchen. So I do have outs, but I'm more likely to use my new desk.

I've only been at this a week, but already have noticed a big difference in how I feel. (And hopefully my man will tell me also in how I look when he sees me next!) The first day, I walked over 15 miles and barely noticed. I did feel it the next day, however, as my right ankle--the one I broke long ago--was swollen and I was sore. I didn't want it to stop me so I took more vitamins and wrapped it in ice. I moved my desk up quite a bit and that helped. I also changed my speed, increasing it to between 1.5 and 2 mph most of the time. That helped, too.

One funny thing I've noticed that also has helped is the drummer in me is helping the programmer in me. I have large amounts of data I'm moving right now and working in spreadsheets. I notice that I unconsciously have started to develop a rhythm in my typing and my copy/paste! It's hilarious, as if I'm laughing at someone who isn't me! But yeah, that's me. It seems really to help me keep going, faster overall if not even in the task itself. 

What is most remarkable is the risk I took to go all in. This is the first article I've published here on this blog since I got this desk, and this whole time I've been walking while I type. It's unconscious. Many times I step on the 'mill and work on something, look down at the timer and I've walked for 30 minutes without even noticing. Because it's in my office, it's easier than other options. And it's really beneficial! I am super excited to apply this concept of being lazy to help me with other areas of my life that I want to improve. 

  • 5 June 2017
  • Number of views: 634
  • Comments: 0
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Rule Number One: Be Lazy

My new job has me with set office hours, so even though I'm sure I'm still getting some exercise, I have struggled with feeling more sedentary. But how do I ride this change without ill side effects?

I bought a treadmill desk.

  • 5 June 2017
  • Number of views: 634
  • Comments: 0
Risk Management vs. Risk Assessment

A skydiving student of mine remarked to me recently, “My non-skydiving friends just don’t understand why I skydive.  They don’t take chances with their lives.”  I replied, “That’s not true.  Do they ever drive on a two lane highway? When another car comes from the other direction, there’s a closing speed of 120 mph, same as our closing speed to the ground when we are in freefall, yet at a distance of only a few feet.  The difference is, I can see this huge planet Earth coming at me 10,000 feet away, but I can avoid hitting it at deadly speed simply by pulling a little handle.  On the highway, you never know what that guy in the other lane will do at the last second. He could be messing with his cell phone or under the influence… or eating his sandwich or texting grandma.”

What are the risks we accept unaware, without thinking? 

  • 19 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1091
  • Comments: 0
The only thing that stays the same is that things change...

After being DZO of Skydive Kansas for 21 years, I accepted a full time position at USPA as Director of IT. I'm still traveling to teach courses as an eXaminer with Xcelskydiving. But I have never believed in spreading thin or watering down. After much contemplation, I made the bittersweet decision to close my dropzone. In an email to regular jumpers, I explain by starting with:

The only thing that stays the same is that things change.

  • 11 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1428
  • Comments: 0
Programming Projects

Here's a collection of some of my best projects I developed throughout my work as JenSharp.com, web programmer. They included e-commerce, e-learning, data management systems, and high functioning websites.

  • 3 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1126
  • Comments: 0
The Kansas Lifeline Magazine

Here are some articles I've written for Kansas Rural Water Association over the years.

  • 3 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1044
  • Comments: 0
The Dunning-Kruger Effect

In the third century BC, Aristotle penned the timeless words, “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.” Since then, countless people in numerous time periods have restated this realization using various wording. Aristotle’s statement and the others like it are the hallmark of those who are recovering casualties of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, a phenomenon explored in a series of experiments by David Dunning and Justin Kruger at the Cornell University Department of Psychology in 1999. These experiments—reportedly inspired by a bank robber who knew that lemon juice could be used as invisible ink and covered his face in it thinking it would render him invisible—set out to test a human psychological trait many before have witnessed: People with below average skill or knowledge tend to grossly overestimate their own abilities.

  • 1 July 2015
  • Number of views: 1381
  • Comments: 0
Using Cue Words for Efficient Practice

In a coach certification course, a particularly verbose candidate felt compelled to spill his brains at every turn during a mock ground-prep session. A real student would have been overloaded with all the explanations and details and then simply tuned him out. How could I get this candidate to see how ineffective his words were? I made him a bet. I stopped the guided practice, stepped in as coach and asked the talkative candidate to count the number of words I said as I performed the mock ground prep. I guaranteed I would say fewer than 50 words. Naturally, he agreed to such a sure bet.

  • 1 November 2014
  • Number of views: 995
  • Comments: 0
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