Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

16 of the World’s Best Marathons

Completing a marathon takes determination and a commitment to months (and sometimes even years) of training. The sense of accomplishment, though, when crossing that finish line makes it all worthwhile, says Ewen North, head coach and director of Revolution Running in Boulder, Colo. “Not everyone in the world is capable of such a feat, and the dedication to training alone is an achievement in and of itself,” says North.

Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

9 Tips to Find Your Sport

When it comes to sports, the options are endless. From tennis and golf to running and cycling, there's something for almost everyone. But, how do you choose a sport that fits your personality? To help you figure this out, we asked a series of fitness and lifestyle experts. Here's what they told us.

Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing

Foot-Friendly Writing Techniques

I’m a messy, unfocused writer at times. I make lists, slop words on a page, rant, rave, and then try to make sense of the mess. As I regularly explain to my Composition students, writing is naturally messy, but the process of cleaning up the mess is when the real writing begins. In order to craft a piece that is cohesive, concise, and focused, writers need to find personal strategies and processes that produce perfection. For me, finding my focus involves an odd tradition that has worked for me throughout the past 10 years – I put on my tennis shoes. Read the rest at http://www.shannonphilpott.com

Blog, Teaching, Writing

No More Excuses, Whiners

No More Excuses, Whiners We are clearly a society of whiners. We whine when life seems unfair and we whine when things don’t go our way. We whine to get out of tasks we should do and whine when we are forced to do these tasks out of necessity. Even worse, when our whining loses its touch, we resort to excuses. I’m guilty, too. I’ll whine that I’m tired in the morning thus creating an excuse not to go for a run. My whine temporarily makes me feel better and my excuse justifies my lack of motivation. The task at hand loses value and my lazy butt stays in bed for an additional 30 minutes. Ironically, later, I’ll probably whine that I’m putting on a few pounds. While whining breaks down our resistance, our excuses enable us to head down the road to no-where-ville. Although I’ll admit to using excuses, at some point, I have to force myself to get over it, make a choice, look at my priorities, and either do the task or accept that I’m not going to do it. As week 13 of a 16 week semester winds to a close, I’ve expressed the same sentiment to my students. After 13 weeks of reminders, nudges, and blatant pushes to complete assigned essays and writing assignments, we’re past the point of excuses. I’ve heard them all this semester – from court dates, doctor’s appointments, swine flu claims, sick birds (yes, this one was the most unique), and car accidents to broken printers, crashed computers, and jacked-up flash drives – the excuses ran wild. There comes a time, though, when excuses are just that – excuses. We have to make a choice and ask ourselves some tough questions. Did I just plain forget? Did I just not feel like it? Do I even care? Without lying to ourselves, whining to others about it, and making excuses to others, we have to make a choice. Do I need to do this? – or – Is it important to me? If not, be honest, and save yourself some stress and heartbreak. If so, quit whining, challenge yourself, complete the task, and rid yourself of excuses. More than likely, it will take more time conjuring up an excuse involving a sick bird or an Internet virus that struck down the neighborhood computers, than it will to just do what you need to do. - Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: Nov. 23, 2009 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Read the rest at http://www.shannonphilpott.com