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Archive for the ‘Running’ tag

Embrace Grit, Enjoy the Journey, and Always Be Reading (Sunday Reads #11)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

Getting Creative Work Done

If you struggle to declutter your magazine pile, a technique called ABR – Always Be Reading may be for you.  As someone who spends many hours a week focused on helping people read more (with a Kindle preferably) this approach sounds interesting, and is actually pretty aligned with what I personally do.

Are you a manager?  Your late-night or very early-morning emails may be hurting your team.  Being always-on hurts team results in a big way.  I’ve been in the habit for years of delay-sending the email I write after 6:30pm on Friday or over the weekend until late Monday morning.

If you’d like to form successful habits, you need to know what motivates you.

A recent study showed that heavy cellphone users report higher anxiety levels and dissatisfaction with life than their peers who use their phones less often – and another showed a correlation between stress levels and the barrage of alerts and notifications.  This app automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone or iPad each day and helps you set limits.

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Written by Mike Torres

March 22nd, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Creative Work, Stress, and Being “Ready to Run” (Sunday Reads #5)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.  I’m posting this on Saturday this time to make sure email subscribers get this on Sunday.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

On Creative Work

How many times have you found yourself thinking “that really didn’t need to take an hour”?  Brad Feld has some experience with that.

“People sitting at messy desks are less efficient, less persistent, and more frustrated and weary than those at neat desks.”  I find it easier to keep my desk clean than to actually clean it, so at the end of every day I take 20 seconds to reset it before I leave the office.

18 Habits of Highly Creative People pulls together some great recommendations for how to do incredible things.

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Written by Mike Torres

January 31st, 2015 at 9:22 am

The Unconventional Gym Bag: 5 Cool Things You Don’t Use

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After more than 16 years in the gym, I’m finally starting to train smart.  Quality over quantity, strength over mass, and health over ego.  Fitness is a lifelong journey, something I fully expect to be doing until the day I’m no longer around these parts.

Cat in gym bagI’ve learned a lot of great things through training, been (mostly) able to keep exercise as a habit over the years, finally created my ideal home gym, and even branched out and tried all sorts of new stuff like running, swimming, kettlebells, and different martial arts.  It’s been a fun ride to-date.

So what prompted the recent change in intensity?  I don’t really know.  But it’s been building for some time and, starting with the birth of my son last year, everything about my training got more… well, focused.  Could it have something to do with the fact that I’m now a role model for a little boy who looks kind of like me?  Maybe.  Probably.  I really don’t know.

One thing that’s clear is that my gym bag these days looks quite different from years prior.  My training itself has gone back to the roots.  I don’t use any sort of machines at this point; I stick to dumbbells, kettlebells, and fixed bars.  Yet I’ve become more interested in using toys like the ones below to help me progress, and I like to have them with me all the time at the gym.  It’s the geek in me.

In order to benefit from any of these items, you need to already have a base of both knowledge and fitness.  Don’t jump right into any fitness program without doing the obvious stuff first like talking to your doctor and ramping your training up over a period of months.

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Written by Mike Torres

April 16th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Become a Runner to Think and Feel Better

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A couple months ago, I made the decision on a complete whim to become a runner.  After years of self-identifying as an “athlete”, “martial artist” or a “lifter”, I dove into running with everything I had and studied it like I studied plant biology back in high school.  I’ve learned a ton and feel like I may have found a new escape for myself.

If you’ve never run a mile, or if it’s been years since you laced up running shoes, keep reading.  And if you’re an old pro, you might learn something new here, but I kind of doubt it 🙂

The obvious caveat is that all of this advice is coming from someone who’s probably a lot like you and not some ultra-marathoner or Tarahumaran.  I’m not a “real” runner… yet.  I haven’t finished a 5k (my first race is July 31st) or written a book about running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days.  But ultimately that shouldn’t matter much, because unlike learning how to hit a 90mph fastball or drive a car, running is about overcoming the resistance to move more than anything.  And that’s mostly a mental game… it shouldn’t take years of experience practicing impeccable form until you can run well enough to impart wisdom, it requires the will to get yourself up off your ass and onto the street.

That isn’t to dismiss the fact that running, like most physical activities, is something you can dissect down to the most minute detail.  Ankle inversion, foot pronation, stride length, heel vs. toe running, etc.  But I’m not at that level yet – probably never will be – and my guess is that you aren’t either.  We’re just two wanna-be runners right now… so let’s start with the basics together.  I’ll give you some links to follow when we’re done to learn more if you care.

First, a little background: I’ve always hated running.  Loathed it with a real passion reserved only for instant chocolate pudding.  There have been times in my life (college, mostly) where I ran pretty regularly but it’s been something I’ve dreaded the whole way through.

Yet running is the world’s oldest and simplest activity.  Most everyone is born a runner… it doesn’t require a gym membership or any special overpriced equipment (like, say, biking does).  Ear buds, running shoes, headbands, and special socks aren’t required in order to run.  You just need two healthy feet and a bit of willpower and determination.  I mean: you don’t even need to have a destination in mind, you could run in circles around your block and feel better.

And boy will it humble you.  Running will teach you more about yourself than most other sport or activity.  Mostly because it’s you against yourself and you’re in your own head most of the time… but also because it’s just plain hard.  Exercise is meant to give you progressive resistance in order for you to improve, and running does that in spades.  There’s always a new goal to be had no matter how accomplished a runner you are.

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Written by Mike Torres

June 23rd, 2010 at 2:15 pm

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