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  • Writer's pictureChris Toepker

Worldwide #March150 - let's Break Impossible, together

Chris, running in cirlces in Helsinki

Living at 60 degrees north, the March increase in sunlight is a big deal. We'll get a renewed ~150 minutes, stretching just 9.5 hours of daylight to 12. In just a few weeks!


To match this march of time, and to celebrate the sunny increase, I'm determined to run 150 miles (~240kms) between March 1 and 31. Maybe you'd like to do something similar? Try 150kms (~93 miles)? Or 150 minutes in the gym? Or, if you're like Michael, breaking 150 boards in your martial arts practice?


Of course, the increase in daylight is for those of us in the northern hemisphere. If you're waving goodbye to that daylight across the global south, #March150 is still for you!



Who's with me?!

If you'd like to join in, or just follow along, we've created a WhatsApp Community: Worldwide #March150.


The rules are simple:

  • Did a #run or #workout? Then post the stats. Receive praise!

  • See someone else's #run or #workout? Send praise!

  • There's sub groups for #running or #biking or gym, martial art, etc. #workout

  • Messages will disappear after seven (7) days, automatically, for better privacy.

  • This is a labor of love, so we reserve the right to take a few days to manage things!

  • NSFW images, messages or comments will all be summarily deleted. Likewise politics, current events and so on. No further notification or negotiation. Save politics, current events and other external issues for other spaces, other communities.


Consider the following: from the same spot, one taken in winter, the other in summer - both at about 10:00AM!



The WhatsApp Worldwide #March150 Community space is for recognizing personal journeys among fellow travelers. We'll save politics, current events and other external issues for other spaces, other communities. From time to time, Breaking Impossible (Michael or I) may post some article or research. The purpose is to provide information, and if you're here you already know: we focus on the science. Opinions are OK, take them or leave them. In the famous words of Lam, Chun Fai sifu: "Up to you!"


Why am I doing this?

I've spent the winter contemplating a number of items and issues. I've been reading up on them, and I felt the mental effort needed a physical component. It also needs some community. So, let's gooooo!


What reading? To name a few key ones that triggered #March150:


  • Jenny Odell's "Saving Time, Discovering Life Beyond the Clock" an examination and rejection of Taylor's "scientific management," work history and the feeling of modern doom - plus, what to do about it. I encourage reading the book, but here she is presenting her own work at the Long Now Foundation.

  • Steve Magness's "Do Hard Things," a reflection on what it means to be "tough," and practices that develop a more solid resilience through attuned attention, without fear. From the book blurb: " To better control how one responds to adversity, the author advises using practice to create "space between the stimulus and response so that we can better navigate what's going on," describing how brain imaging of experienced meditators shows that they can master their response to pain and lessen its mental toll." This is all a very practical way to generate "positive mindset."

  • Caroline Paul's essay"My Mother Got on a Bike. It Changed Her Life," which is a great match for Breaking Impossible's approach when reporting things like "Dr. Levy looked at data from a longitudinal study and came to this astonishing conclusion: Mind-set was the most significant factor determining individuals’ longevity." And "Yet when my mother went biking, there was something more: She was embracing attributes like exhilaration, exploration, awe, a little bit of recklessness. This provided the final pillar for healthy and fulfilling aging (and living!): Dr. Levy’s positive mind-set." (note added)

  • Liz Wiseman's "Multipliers," a look into what motivation is, and how to be one. From the book blurb (which, while a bit of Taylorism, is still useful): "In analyzing data from more than 150 leaders, Wiseman has identified five disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers. These disciplines are not based on innate talent; indeed, they are skills and practices that everyone can learn to use, even lifelong and recalcitrant Diminishers."

  • Molly Worthen's essay "What We Give Up Makes Us Who We are."Last, but not least, this piece from New York Times helped set my determination with observations like (emphasis all mine, to highlight what Michael and I are trying to do here at Breaking Impossible):

    • "'Being a guy, looking at a lot of these disciplines for self-denial, staying regimented — their goal is to cultivate masculinity in a lot of cases, whatever that means to a given podcaster or influencer, as opposed to becoming more attentive to your dependence and mortality,' Owen Rittgers"

    • "We live in a culture where you can have every comfort and an extremely high level of self-determination relative to history. You can do what you want with your time and money,” Tiffany Reed says. “In that context, taking on Lent is a powerful reminder that you’re a finite, weak creature who has to eat multiple times a day to stay alive. The true nature of our presence in this world is extreme dependence"

    • Yet, even so: "If we trust the patterns, they work, wherever you come from, whatever your background. They might, on the surface, seem like too much, or too oppressive, or ‘that doesn’t fit my personal story.’ But trust that this pattern is a living thing and can work with you. It is not a rigid, dead burden." (Indeed, this directly relates to Odell's work.)


Michael and I often remark: "We'll see you out there!" Now we want to hear from you too. Join us - you've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.


If you'd like to join in, or just follow along, we've created a WhatsApp Community: Worldwide #March150.


The rules are simple:

  • Did a #run or #workout? Then post the stats. Receive praise!

  • See someone else's #run or #workout? Send praise!

  • There's sub groups for #running  or #biking or gym, martial art, etc. #workout

  • Messages will disappear after seven (7) days, automatically, for better privacy.

  • This is a labor of love, so we reserve the right to take a few days to manage things!

  • NSFW images, messages or comments will all be summarily deleted. Likewise politics, current events and so on. No further notification or negotiation. Save politics, current events and other external issues for other spaces, other communities.




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