I KEEP WAKING UP AT 4 A.M.  This morning I had the brilliant idea to get up and go to the gym at 4:30 a.m.  I mean, I was awake anyway, so why not make good use of my time.

The gym is pretty empty at 4:30 in the morning.  I did my usual thing, running on the elliptical, some TRX, and then spent a minute or so on this torturous moving ladder thing.  

It is pretty much an endless ladder.  You climb and climb and climb.  Keep in mind that I woke up around 4 a.m. and went straight to the gym.  I reapushed myself, and the end result was after the Jacob's ladder torture, I sort of just sat on the floor of the gym, trying to breathe.  I'm glad the gym was fairly empty.  I just can never seem to manage graceful or suave.  

Did you know that this week is the Hour of Code?  It is a week to celebrate and introduce people to coding.  If you go to any code websites - code.org, or tynker, or codemonkey or code school, they've got TONS of free lessons.  If you want to dip your toe in the pool of coding -- go to a site made to teach kids how to code -- baby steps!

Of course my favorite place to learn code -- is Khan Academy.  They teach true coding and do it in such a way that even a chucklehead like me can learn it -- if you give me enough time!  

I've really come to love the beauty of coding.  It is so pure and clean -- you write a line of code for a spefic purpose.  Each line of code commands something to happen or not happen.  There is nothing superfulous or messy.  Code is beautiful, direct and clear.  Computer engineers are artists.  They can seemlessly build and destory worlds -- they can see the path to lay out everything you experience digitally.  Once you learn even the smallest bit of coding - it makes you really and truly appreciate how much work goes into creating even the smallest things.

I know.  You are thinking that you could never learn to code.  It is toif I o complicated.  You are too old, or maybe too young.  I thought that, too.  Necessity put me in a position to learn -- I had to learn to write code so that I could teach it to my students.  I discovered that I could understand it, but more than that -- I learned that I could really enjoy learning something new and complicated.  I learned that I could enjoy something even if it wasn't easy for me, or even if I wasn't perfect at it.  I could enjoy it for the sake of the experience.

We miss out on that feeling a lot.  America is all about first, best, fastest, most amazing. We aren't about hard-working, nose-the-grindstone, consistent and steady.  No one ever screams to their mom in the crowd, "We're NUMBER THREE!!  We're NUMBER THREE!"'  I'm number three at whole bunch of things.  Heck there are some things that I wish I could work my way up to number three!  But even if I am not the best, or amazing, or perfect that doesn't mean I should quit.  I can do something just because it interests me.

Which is why I guess it is okay that my sad attempts at the Jacob's Ladder left me sitting on the floor gasping for air, and feeling a little bit dizzy.  I can excercise because I enjoy it -- I don't have to run 15 1/2 marathons, and fix myself a bowl of kale, do I?  I can work my through the coding lessons on Khan Academy at a slow and steady pace.  I can enjoy learning, exploring and trying new skills because I am fortunate to have access to thousands of free lessons, and to live somewhere that my choices are fairly unlimited.

So, what about you?  You ready to try something new or complicated?  Go ahead.  Give it a shot!  I'll cheer for you, even if you are number thirty-three!

-- Jen