What is Your Resting Heart Rate? 34?

Invariably when I go to the doctor and a nurse takes my blood pressure and pulse, they start looking at me like I'm in a medical emergency. SIR, ARE YOU DIZZY, SIT BACK IN YOUR SEAT! It happens all the time. My heart rate is low, but my blood pressure makes them wonder if I'm alive. Yep, STILL CRANKING!
Invariably when I go to the doctor and a nurse takes my blood pressure and pulse, they start looking at me like I’m in a medical emergency. SIR, ARE YOU DIZZY, SIT BACK IN YOUR SEAT! It happens all the time. My heart rate is low, but my blood pressure makes them wonder if I’m alive. Yep, STILL CRANKING!

I am a fan of low heart rates. I know it’s weird – right?

Miguel Indurain before the Tour de France started some years ago, had a resting heart rate of 36 beats per minute I think it was.

My lowest ever was 38 bpm, but once I was measuring it and I was in the low 30’s. I got excited and it jumped up. Go figure, right?

Today I’m 48 years old and my usual resting (sitting) pulse during the day as I work, writing on the computer, is around 46 beats per minute.

My lowest recently has been about 42. Recently I got this 43 and that was pretty cool. It was just before 6 a.m. and I was still laying down.

I use pulse to assess in part whether I’m rested and how much I’m able to push myself that day as I run, climb, bike, or whatever exercise it is I have planned.

You’ve probably heard of Kilian Jornet, if you’re a runner. Especially a trail runner. Kilian is at the top of his game, and top of the world for running up mountains. His resting heart rate is 34 bpm.

Outrageous – right!?

Running 21 Miles for the First Time Ever

Runner - Ao Nang Beach, Thailand

Just about a month ago I talked about running fifteen miles for the first time ever. Then, ten days ago I did another fifteen mile run. Felt better the second time. Yesterday, I was close to not running at all. I wasn’t looking forward to running in the rain and cold (74°F). That is very cold for where I am in Thailand.

I couldn’t even decide that I was definitely going to run yesterday. I had planned a long run. I was hoping to get over to the mountain trail for an attempt at three times up and down, something I’ve never done. The couple days of solid rain put me off though because as it turned out my wife had the car and I was stuck with the motorbike in the rain.

That meant I had to go to the park to run. That meant, since a hard day was planned, I had to do at least 12 miles. Or so. If I got 12 miles done, I’d be happy. Thing was, it was so damn cold that I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Anyway, long story short, because the video shows most of what went into my decision to go work out, I went to the park in the pouring rain to see what happened.

I walked around a couple laps of the 1.25 km loop to loosen up. I was in no real mood to run until that point. The decision to run was a rather, ahhh, WTH, might as well run if I’m walking sort of thing. Once running I slowly got my entire body soaking wet. There were puddles completely across the path. The grassy areas I thought were  drier than the puddles turned out to be worse, with mud – sucking me deeper and making the effort three times as hard as if I’d just stayed on the wet path.

The first ten miles went by like nothing. I had one small Gatorade up to that point. Usually I’d have had two, but as I said, it was cold and wet and I really wasn’t sweating much – only when I put on the rain poncho in the very hard downpours and I was chilled to the bone did I sweat like mad because the plastic trapped the heat.

Splashing in PuddlePhoto copyright Jesse Millan at Flickr.

I grabbed my other Gatorade and stretched my hamstrings a bit, my calves a bit, hoping to avoid the tightness behind my knees which stopped me from going further on my first fifteen mile run, and kept going.

If you’ve never run long distances before, I hope my description of it helps you to do the same. It’s daunting to think about running twenty miles when previously you’ve only run under fifteen miles. I may have run up to fifteen when I was seventeen years old, but I honestly don’t remember. I didn’t keep track of my one really long run as a teen, but maybe I came close to fifteen that day.

A month ago was my first fifteen mile run since then. Then, ten days ago I did another fifteen mile run. Yesterday, doing twenty, I thought I could have done the full marathon distance. Problem was I ran out of time, and I hadn’t been eating anything to fuel me the next six miles. I just didn’t think I had it in me before I started, so I didn’t consider bringing food and salt with me to the park. This is the third time this has happened, so I’ll be bringing salt and food in preparation for all long runs in the future!

There is something that happens as you run beyond ten miles, if you’re properly hydrated and have put in some base runs of six miles most days of the week. You can run beyond ten. Maybe well beyond.

My base mileage has been low – averaging around 3-4 miles per day when looked at over the month. I tend to do six to ten miles when I can, and that’s usually a few times a week. I have been ill over the past couple weeks and wasn’t sure I was ready to do a real long run, but that’s the thing about long distance, slow running – you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re out there and doing it.

Running slow is so much easier than running near max effort. When you run enough miles in preparation, running slow over twenty miles is almost like sleepwalking. I mean, it isn’t, I’m exaggerating, but, it isn’t much different from walking. Once you’re at the point where you can have 3-3 breathing as you run long distance, you can maintain that for a long time until something starts hurting and you have to fix it.

So, that’s the state I was in after fifteen miles. I was just sort of mindlessly bumbling along the flat loop and getting rained on by inches of rain. I gave up trying to avoid the puddles after the second lap and just smashed through them.

Smashing through the puddles is great for a few reasons:

1. There is a floating feeling for a brief instant if you hit flat footed in at least 3 inches of water. That is a nice change for the feet that have been pounding asphalt for a couple hours already.

2. It cools the feet down a bit.

3. You no longer have to waste energy trying to figure out how to dance around them, you just run straight through and save some energy.

4. It feels carefree and fun, like it did when you were a little kid.

For three hours there wasn’t even one person at the park exercising. That’s strange because usually there are a couple to a few hundred others. Then a guy came with an umbrella and did two laps. Running in the rain gives you absolute solitude!

So here is a bit about what it feels like running from 15-21 miles.

Breathing is 3 steps in during an in-breath, and 3 steps for the outbreath. If it gets into 2-3 or 3-2 or 2-2 then I’m going too fast and I slow it down. Breathing is easy and smooth, and the least of my worries. Strength to run is also, the least of my worries because at such slow speeds it near enough to walking that it isn’t an issue at all.

The issue as you’re running long distance is monitoring the pain. That’s what I do the entire time. I make myself aware of any pain and I see if it changes – getting worse or better. That’s it. That’s long distance running. If the pain gets worse, I try to make it less. If it gets better, I try to continue whatever I was doing.

At various times during the long run yesterday I had pain:

  • in outer band of R knee
  • on top of L knee
  • in L quad
  • in L adductor
  • in head – slight headache appeared to be coming on during part of the run
  • in R bicep – from a pull that happened doing something non-running related
  • in both calves as they threatened to cramp
  • in arches of both feet as they too threatened to cramp

One thing you’re going to face, no matter what shoes you wear, is foot pain. For me, besides the occasional cramp in the arch, it’s just a dull pain that builds up very gradually over the miles. At twenty miles I wish I had another pair of shoes. I don’t know why I haven’t gone in search of another pair of shoes that are better suited to running on the hard asphalt, but I haven’t. I have suffered three times now, and not looking forward to suffering much past twenty miles without some decent shoes.

At the moment, and for the past couple years, I’ve run on the roads in the Nike Free 7.0 v3 I think they are. Maybe v2. They are minimalist, very flexible, very light, and have a 7 mm drop. During my long runs I’ve worn Nike Free’s and had no problem with blisters at all, even during heavy rain.

Nike Free 7.0 v2 Blue Shoes

Apparently what I need to help foot pain, if all the hype is to be believed, are Hoka One One’s. If you’ve never watched David Bowie in moonboots, you probably have never seen anything like Hoka shoes before. They have a massive foam pad that soaks up the energy of your feet slapping the road tens of thousands of times during a long run. Apparently their extra foam costs heaps of extra dollars. I just found them priced around $150 USD. I paid half that for my Nike Free’s.

Michael Arnstein highly recommends Hoka One One for ultra runs on the street AND the trails here. He says ‘running down hills in them is like running on wet sponges.’ He ran the Leadville 100 mile race in them.

Hoka One One Blue yellow Shoes

Still, there is no way in hell I’m paying $150 because the shoe has extra foam. Foam costs about 3c a pound. What are we – stupid?

I’ll have to research today to find an alternative. As Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Saucony, Asics and some other companies see Hoka’s success, they’ll also start making something similar. Price will be much less and again I’ll be able to pay just $75 to $100 for 3¢ of foam, 20¢ of rubber, and a nickel of nylon cloth.

Funny, we’ve come full circle with minimalism vs. maximalism. On the technical mountain trail I run in New Balance Minimus with a 4mm drop. They are excellent for that trail, but little else. I’ve noticed my foot strength has improved considerably and I no longer roll my ankles like I used to be plagued with.

So you can see, long distance running is basically pain management. If all the above came at the same time – I’d either stop for a while or stop the run entirely. Thing is, they come on one at a time, or in groups of 2-3 sometimes. When pain comes like that, it’s manageable. You can get through it.

There’s something about running long distances that’s great to realize. You need not run the entire thing. You can walk. People in marathons and ultra-distance runs – walk sometimes. It’s OK. It’s necessary sometimes. Don’t feel bad about it. You’re not cheating. Just walk if you need to. A short walk can do wonders, rejuvenating the body and giving you a boost that allows you to go further.

Something else to think about… nutrition. Besides fueling up with Gatorade or your carb drink of choice, eat something if you’re planning to run over an hour. Dates are great, and my favorite food for eating while I run over a couple hours. They are packed with calories and they digest pretty easily if you have some liquid with them.

Coke or some other soda will crank you up like nothing else when you need a kick in the pants. I had a red Fanta with ice from a vendor at the side of the road as I ran. Then, an hour later, a coke with ice. Both times, just ten minutes after drinking them, I felt great. I had energy, and after stopping to buy the drinks my body had  a slight rest, so I got the benefit of that too.

I’ve read countless stories from some of the great ultra-runners grabbing a coke during a race and it’s like having a shot of adrenaline for them. The effect is astounding, especially when you don’t typically drink the stuff. I don’t.

Michael Arnstein, one of the world’s premier ultra-runners, told his wife to begin eating within twenty minutes of beginning a long run. Apparently it’s that important to keep a steady stream of calories coming in.

Some people run listening to music. I haven’t tried that yet. I think that would take me away from monitoring the pain too much and I might miss something that is gradually getting worse. Then, when it’s too late, it knocks me out of the run. That wouldn’t be ideal.

Some people think and solve life’s problems while running big mileage. I cannot think unless I’m walking. Not sure, but there is a brain-short somewhere in my head that stops all ability to think about life while I’m running. I can only do a few things… 1) meditate. 2) manage pain 3) think about food.

What about you? Can you think when you run? What about after 15-20 miles – can you still think?

If you have anything to share about running long distances for the first time – tips, or whatever you want to share – comment!

Leading Cause of Running Injuries?

Runner’s World recently surveyed ninety-five runners with an average of 5.5 years of running experience and 35 kilometers (22 miles) of running per week. Survey respondents were asked what they thought the most frequent cause of injuries were among runners.

Here are their results, and I weigh in below.

  • not stretching (31 people)
  • excessive training (28)
  • wearing the wrong shoes for foot type (22)
  • inadequate/unbalanced diet (20)
  • not warming up (20)
  • lack of strength (19)
  • not respecting the body’s limits (18)
  • no professional supervision (17)

See full article here.

I think I have a pretty good handle on what the cause of my own injuries are, and I have a decent guess at what causes most other runner’s injuries. I’ve been a runner since I was six years old. I’ve had scores of injuries over the years. Most commonly I’ve had calf and groin muscle pulls followed closely by twisted, torqued, sprained ankles.

My own muscle injuries are almost always the result of pushing far too hard, too soon. My joint, ligament and tendon injuries are usually the result of hard trail running and not paying attention enough to the technical terrain.

I stretch very little, and guess what? I had many more injuries when I was young and stretching often, than I do now in my late forties. I push quite hard still, and I think not stretching has actually helped me considerably in avoiding injuries. I’m pretty sure of it. Sure enough that I don’t do any stretching except touching my toes sometimes just to see if I can. I can’t!

I think most other people that injure themselves while running do so also because the body is not ready for the effort they’re forcing on it. Slowly ramping up the miles is important to new runners, and I consider someone running for five years rather new. Mileage cannot be added in chunks. Adding it very slowly is the best way to go about it. I have to tell myself that often when I feel great on a run and I want to add another five miles or so, when I know I’m not ready for it.

What do YOU THINK? What are most of your running injuries the result of?

Best of Luck and Life,

Vern

There is NO Tomorrow…

Storm - End of World

You know, I’m not bragging, but I’ve always been a person that got heaps of stuff done. When the whole “Getting Things Done” idea came out, I had already been putting that in practice for decades. Once I left the Air Force and it was sink or swim in New York City while my wife traveled the world and modeled for magazines, I realized the world is a killer that already had a boot up my ass. I didn’t have mother to rely on. I didn’t have the Air Force and their housing allowance, free health care, meal card, and steady check to rely on. I knew if I didn’t start busting my hump, my hump would run dry and I’d be either homeless or sucking it up and begging someone for a place to stay.

I didn’t ever want to be put in the position where I’m begging someone for something. I’ve done that one time, and guess what? Help was not forthcoming. It’s such a very sad state to be in. You don’t want to ever go there.

I grew up on the poor side of middle income. My father gave my mother $300 per month to help support the three of us kids, and he gave the rest to his new family which eventually consisted of a new wife and three more new kids. My mother worked as a piece-welder for a huge metal furniture company in Pittsburgh called, “Haskells.” Mom worked her ass off because she too knew, though she had a mom that was still alive and some sisters and a brother, nobody was going to help her out. She needed to do whatever was necessary and pull out a “WIN.” Well, that’s exactly what she did. She raised us all the best she could, and eventually got a job at the US Post Office and more than doubled (or maybe even tripled) her salary.

While we never wanted for food, there was plenty of stuff we wanted and just never had. I found a newspaper route as soon as I could carry 30-50 pounds of papers in a bag on my shoulder. I walked up and down the hills of the neighborhood every day and made some extra cash so I could have some savings and spending money. I paid for most of my new Raleigh mountain bike when I was fourteen. I paid for a lot of my clothes and fast food with my friends. I still never felt like I had enough money, so when the choice came to attend Penn State where I was accepted into their engineering program, or go to the Air Force and make guaranteed money – I chose the Air Force.

This isn’t really a post about my life, I’ll stop here. I just wanted to give you some background about me to show you how my attitude came about.

The attitude I’m talking about is this belief I have, this mantra I have that,

THERE IS NO TOMORROW.

When I wake up in the morning before my wife and daughter at 6:15 a.m. every day, I say that phrase to myself first thing. There is no tomorrow. And in my mind, there isn’t. I have this burning desire to get things done that sets me on fire each morning. It has always been this way, and I’m happy to have it. I won’t say I’m grateful for it, I wouldn’t know who to be grateful to. I’m very happy I have this attitude, this belief that forced me to learn and do as much as I could to get ahead over my forty-eight years of life.

I repeat the phrase throughout the day as I face problems, tests, frustrations. It’s up on my wall behind my computer. It is on my phone display every time I turn it on.

There really is no tomorrow because all that matters is today. All that matters is how much I can fit into the few hours of daylight and night time that I’m awake. I always feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for me to complete all the things I want to get done. The things I NEED to get done. There is such an urgency inside, and it’s burning me up on a daily basis. As I write this it is 11:47 p.m. on a Thursday. I’m very aware that I don’t write well after about 8:00 p.m., and yet I feel like I’m doing OK here in this article because I had an extra coffee tonight about two hours ago. I don’t like more than one coffee a day, and rarely indulge, but today I felt the urgency of producing heaps of content for this site so I can crank it up to the high level I know it can attain.

If you say you can do it tomorrow, that’s a cop-out. It’s an excuse that allows you to relax a little bit today. I don’t want any excuses, so I don’t ever say that. I won’t admit to myself tonight that I will need to finish this article tomorrow. I’ll just go until I’m exhausted and my words don’t make sense. Already I’m having trouble typing capital i’s. I had to go back and try to type the same “I” about seven times. I’m slipping, but, who knows, I may even finish this. If I do, I’ll quickly move on to something else I had planned for today.

I’m living in Southern Thailand. The beauty of this place is on par with the Hawaiian Islands where I lived for just over six years. This province is the Hawaii of Southeast Asia. It’s horribly beautiful. There are a hundred fun things to do outside every day, and yet most times I am inside hammering something out at this keyboard so my family can eat after I pass on. I’m constantly in a race against death in my mind. I haven’t provided well enough for my family yet. I’m an idiot if I don’t do so. We have enough coming in now that they could live happily for a couple years, but what about when those book royalties fade away? What then? What is going to provide for them then? Something better, they’re my BLOOD!

Every day is a struggle – not just to exist – but to excel. To do all that I can do and to be all that I can possibly be. There is no time now, I’m forty-eight. I’m into the second half of my life. Probably well into it.

I might have another ten years where my fingers work well enough to type eighty words per minute. I might have another fifteen years of mental health and memory left. I might have another two weeks before prostate cancer tears me apart, for all I know. One thing I do know, is that today I’m busting my ass and pushing myself as hard as I can to accomplish something good for my family, and people I have never met in my life. Like you. You’re probably someone I don’t know.

Though I don’t know you, I give a shit about you. I don’t know where it comes from… this kinship with strangers, this fanatical need to help, but since I’ve had a decent life so far and taken care of a lot of my own problems, I now have the time and energy to help myself AND you. I think that’s one of our duties as human beings. I’ve always seen it that way. I had uncles that took me trout fishing and hunting, and aunts, neighbors and friends of the family that took me and my brother and sister to places we’d have never got to see with my mom.

People cared about us, and helped us because they could. Some people help others and don’t even help themselves. Why? It feels good. It feels great to help other people.

Though I strongly recommend you take care of your own pile of junk in your life that is holding you back from your ultimate bliss, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people that help others in spite of their own unfulfilled lives. Helping others helps to fulfill us. It gives us meaning. It gives us a feeling that we are worth something. We matter. We are important to someone else, even if the other person doesn’t realize it or admit it.

Maybe there is nothing more important than meaning something to at least one other person on earth.

I believe that.

So I’ll wind this down. Think about “There is no tomorrow,” and how it makes you feel. Does it light a fire under your ass? Does it eliminate excuses and force you to look at what you could best be focusing on today?

I hope it helps at least some of you pull it together and puts you in a frame of mind that fills you with motivation to do more than you usually do on a typical day.

If you feel like you have a lot of junk in your life that you can’t seem to straighten out, I may have a solution for you in the pages of this website. I may have a solution for you in the pages of my 200+ page book, The Ultimate Life. I may have a solution for a question that you haven’t asked anyone yet. You can ask me. I’ll respond and give it my best shot. Fill me in with as much background as you can, and fire away. I will let you know what I think.

Best of life and luck to you my friend!

Vern

Happiness Life Tip: 1 Way to Instantly Get Optimistic

Life is all about being as optimistic as possible. Being optimistic leads to success.

If you’re not happy 90 mornings out of 100 when you wake up, you are missing out on so much. I know that’s the reason a good portion of you are reading personal development blogs – for tips on making yourself happier and more optimistic when you’re down or not feeling quite up to par. Though I am almost always in a good mood, I notice that sometimes – for just a half-hour, or maybe for a few hours – I catch myself in a mood that’s “less than great”.

Happiness can be defined in terms of financial success, emotional well-being, spiritual connectivity, physical energy and wellness, success of projects you’re doing, both personal and work-related, family happiness and cohesiveness… or all of those together.

Optimism, which is about your future state of happiness and about the control you might have over events in the future, flows from happiness.

There are many areas of success and happiness that lead to optimism. If you are successful in one area of life, that can carry over into other areas or it may have nothing to do with your happiness in other areas of your life. It can go either way.

So, during the moments I catch myself in a mood that is too pessimistic and not positive, I might do this exercise I’ve outlined below. I find myself doing it about one time each week, but it’s good for every night before you go to sleep if you need it! I think you’ll find it easy enough.

Step 1:
Take out a clean piece of paper or a large notecard. Start writing everything you can think of that is a “positive” that is going on in your life since the last time you did this exercise. Write anything that has the power to make you happy – even if it’s just a little bit.

Step 2:
No step 2, that was it!

When you write – don’t write straight down the page or on every line. Turn that paper or notecard every which way and write large, write small, just write, write, write. It’s like braindumping all your happy moments onto that card.

When you’re really thinking about it – there are so many things that go well that we tend to gloss over. Write the smallest things that you can think of… something like, “I saw a sign for gasoline that was 2 cents lower today and filled up, saving me 26 cents.” Or, “I almost tipped backward on my chair and fell over, but I caught myself in time.” Or, “I had pizza yesterday, WOW that was so mind-blowingly delicious!”

There are so many things you could write down if you give yourself some time. I usually don’t need more than ten minutes before I find myself in a great mood remembering all things I’d already forgotten from the same day and the days past.

Write it all! EVERYTHING COUNTS. Don’t eliminate something because you think it wasn’t positive ENOUGH. If it was on the right side of the negative – positive balance beam then it was positive and write it down.

See how many you can come up with in ten minutes. If you don’t have twenty examples, no matter how small or large, keep going! EVERYONE has ten. Probably you can think of more. A positive might be that you didn’t come down with a cold or have an accident in the last five days – right? These are things we don’t normally think about when we’re depressed, but these are definitely positive things in our lives. Or, think about the fact that you didn’t lose your job, your wife, your kids, your wallet, your car keys, your mind! Or maybe you remember helping someone with some good advice. Anything you choose counts just so you can jot it down and remember the good feeling you had as you experienced this positive thing in your life.

BONUS
Now, here’s something I did only a couple times – when I was in a really bummy mood that came and went for a few weeks (after a break-up). I saved all of my notecards and put them up on one wall where I could see them constantly every time I sat down to my computer on the desk. Invariably, I’d be thinking about something and glance up at the notecards and something would catch my attention -and I’d remember some of those positive things again. It really has the power to pick me up and help keep me in a consistently happy state of mind. That’s a priceless tool you should duplicate if you think it will help.

My Example
As I sit here really frustrated because my hosting account dashboard at Godaddy.com is loading each page over the course of about 17 minutes and I’ve even turned off images so all it needs to load is text – This might be a good time to write my own notecard.

Optimistic Notecard: Write as many things that make you happy as you can fit. When viewed together these have the power to make you feel more optimistic, happier, and in control of your life instead of pessimistic and in a bad mood.

For me – this was all it took to get me feeling good again. It’s really difficult to be pessimistic or angry or sad about life when you have a notecard full of things in your life that recently happened that were positive. It works for me everytime. Try it!

Send photos or photoshop creations of your paper or notecard / index cards and I’ll edit this post and put them in here along with your name, email or whatever you wish. Or, let me know you’d rather keep them private and I won’t publish them.

Best of Life!

Vern

Want to Start Running? (A plan complete with mental gymnastics)

Boy running at beach.

Want to Start Running?

This article will answer questions like:

  1. What is the start-up process that will give me the best chance of success if I want to start running?
  2. What are some reasons people run?
  3. Why does Vern run?

This article will not answer questions like:

  1. Does “running away from something” count?

People start running for many reasons.

Most of us see running as a tool to keep us under a certain weight that we have in mind as a goal. Some people run to compete. Some people become runners to gain strength and endurance in other sports they’re playing since running has great cross-over benefits.

I’ve run most of my life. I’ve also run for many reasons. My reasons for running seem to change over the years.

I’ve been running since I was six years old. My mother signed me up to play soccer that year, and that set the stage for the next twelve years. I played on regular leagues during the summers and the fall. I grew up in Pennsylvania, so the winters were too cold to play, and a time of rest. I’m so glad there was a rest time!

Up until I was eighteen years old, I only ran when I played soccer. I ran nearly every day. If it wasn’t practice it was a game. If it wasn’t a game, it was a basketball game or an indoor soccer game that some friends and I put together. I didn’t run for pleasure because I ran so much for sport.

Running was an integral part of my life, though it wasn’t for fun, it was out of necessity for playing the sports I was involved in. The idea of running a marathon never entered my mind up to this point.

In my twenties I became a triathlete and competed in many races including bicycle and swimming races. I loved exercise, probably because I had already become pretty good at it since I already had twelve years of intense training behind me. In my twenties I really came to love the competition and running, exercise of all sorts became pure pleasure in itself.

In my thirties I ran to keep my weight down. I am 5’11” and my usual weight in my twenties was 165 lbs. In my thirties I crept up as high as 180 lbs. and I didn’t feel too good about me at that weight. I ran to lose weight so I could keep eating pizza and spaghetti.

In my late thirties and now – my late forties, I asked myself why I’m still running every other day.

The answer surprised me.

I’m not running for health. I’m not running to lose weight. I’m down to 155 right now and feel great about my current body weight. I’m not running to compete. Besides a yearly run up the mountain here in Southern Thailand I haven’t raced in years. I’m not running to look good. I’m not running to avoid death by staying healthy. I’m not at all concerned about death anymore.

My answer to myself for “WHY” I was running was really surprising!

I’m running because when I run, I feel a control that is entirely self-generated and self-perpetuating.

I love control. We all do I guess, but I really love it. I’m not speaking of control over others – I really don’t like to exert my influence over others if they have no want to change. I am a horrible salesperson. I don’t sell well.

I don’t like control over the person I love. In fact, I abhor it. I think that would be a horrible relationship in which I wanted to control what we did and when we did it, how much we did it… who we saw, what we ate, what movies we saw. That’s not a relationship to me.

The control I feel when I run is something entirely different. It is a very positive feeling. It is an experience where I have told myself what I’m going to do, I have scheduled it, and I am going to do it. There’s no doubt of that. I am in control of my mind that has its own desires that sometimes show up right before I go running.

Making myself run, insisting on running regardless of backlash from other thoughts I’m having, is a form of discipline I guess. I don’t accept the emotional mind’s excuses about the body being tired, a little bit sore, having better things to do, etc. There is nothing better to do because I already told myself I’m going to exercise. I like to show my emotional mind that my logical mind is the boss. I don’t want to hear any whining about what else the body could be doing.

It sounds almost schizophrenic, right? Hey, wait a second, I did have a great aunt that lost her mind in her eighties… So, well, maybe I’ve got that to face later on. I’ll think more about it then!

There is no question, the body is running every other day – whether it’s raining or sunny, hot or cool. It’s running. That’s what we do every other day. There’s nothing to talk about – no questions, no excuses. The body is running on that schedule until I decide it isn’t. It’s not a decision that will be made before a run when the mind wants to bail out ‘just for this one time.’  The decision to stop, if there ever is one, needs to be made with some advanced planning. I don’t think I’ll ever find a good reason to stop – so it’s likely to continue.

Beginning to Run

As you start to run, you’ll find out, it’s quite a game you’re playing. I think I have a good way for you to get started if you decide that is what you want. As I said you can run for many reasons. But, you only need one.

Before I start to run on a schedule I’ve created, I know the body might not feel like it. In fact, it probably doesn’t.

Why would it? It hasn’t been running before and it needs some time to get into the routine – to condition the muscles, ligaments, tendons, breathing system and energy stores to meet the demands of running.

I like to trick the body and the mind into it.

If my logical mind told “me” that I’m starting to run again, naturally, the emotional mind and the body will come up with excuses.

I don’t listen.

Instead, I convince the body and emotional mind that it’s nothing big. “We’re not really going to run,” I tell them.

There’s not going to be any competition. We’re not running races. I’m not starting triathlons again! The body is relieved at this. The emotional mind doesn’t believe it though because it has been through this charade before.

I then tell them… “We’re going for a walk in the park. That’s it. We’re walking. Any running that takes place is just a bonus. In fact, we’re NOT running unless everything is a green light and all three of us (Logical Mind, Emotional Mind, and Body) are ready to go.”

I go on, “There’s no reason to run yet. We’re starting out. We start out walking. Regardless if the logical mind wants to run 3-5 miles immediately like it used to, we are just walking the first couple times.”

So – going to the park is not in question.We’re going.

But, whether we run, and how much we run, that IS a question. And, it doesn’t really matter since the logical part of my mind already won the game by making us all go to the park when I said we were going to. The logical mind is in control and that makes it happy. It’s good for me to keep this part of the mind happy since it seems to be the one that is most responsible for my state of mind. I need to nurture my logical mind and make it smile more than the other parts.

We Arrive at the Park

‘We’ meaning, my logical mind, my emotional mind, and my body.

We stretch a little bit. We see how the body is feeling. Stretching the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, back, lower back, groin, triceps. We swing the arms a bit as if warming up for swimming. An inventory of the body is taken as I’m stretching lightly. If there is some pain or a lot of tightness in the legs or even in the neck – I’ll likely just walk that day. No sense pulling anything. Just starting out you can expect to pull some muscle, nerve, ligament… something, unless you’re very careful and attentive to the body.

I do make the body go somewhere, but I don’t make it do something if it’s not ready. Likewise when I was competing – I was very aware of every little pain in my legs, arms, back, neck. A little pain can quickly become a major pain that knocks you out of the running game for two weeks or more. Then you need to start all over and re-motivate  yourself. That should be avoided when at all possible.

So we’re at the park and we start walking. When I’m just beginning a new running program, I go to a place where there are very few people. Usually there is nobody around. That’s good for a couple reasons.

Number 1 – I am embarrassed that I’m not running five to six minute miles anymore. I’m running like ten minute miles now! That’s what it feels like anyway. I’m not sure exactly what my pace is because I’ve never timed myself running so slow. What is the point? I know I’m doing grandpa miles and I don’t want anyone to see me doing no better than a senior citizen.

Number 2 – I am walking. Sometimes I’m running. I’m running until I don’t feel that it’s fun anymore and then I’m walking until my Logical Mind makes the body and Emotional Mind realize that there’s really no reason not to just keep running. It’s FUN. There is nobody around to be critiquing my progress. I like that.

If it’s not fun then I’m walking. Seriously. You must make exercising fun. If it isn’t fun, then you’re doing something that you shouldn’t continue.

If you’re running – walk for a bit. In Thailand there is no shyness about this. They run 100 yards and walk 200. They might alternate like this for a mile or they might go five miles like that. There is no competition among Thais when they are at a public park running with a hundred other people. They aren’t embarrassed to walk for a while!

That’s where I got this idea, Thailand. If nobody else is embarrassed, why would I be?

No matter what, it’s fun to make yourself go to a park and walk around and look at people and give yourself some quiet time to think about things on your mind. It frees the mind up from doing work and logical things and gives it some space.

Your emotional mind is also happy because it’s seeing people and experiencing the outdoors. The body is happy because it feels like it is accomplishing something even just by walking one mile. The logical mind is happy because it knows this is all leading to something. It is leading to being able to run longer and longer distances and more feeling of control over the emotional mind and body! The logical mind is really psyched to be out there even if we’re not running all the time. It will come… it will come.

Don’t let yourself have any expectation about what you’re going to do when you go to the park. Tell your body and your Emotional Mind that you’re going to the park to give the brain a REST! Look at it as a positive – a reward. That way, you’re definitely going. You deserve a reward, right? That’s what I do… it makes it so much easier.

Just go to a park where there’s not three hundred runners and just walk. That’s it… walk. If you feel like it, run for a bit. Only run if it’s fun. If your mind or body is really rebelling and starts telling you – this is no fun at all, stop and walk. Don’t run again until you really feel like it and all parts of the body and mind are “GO!”

When you stick to a schedule of going to the park for a period of time you’ll notice that you’re running more and walking less. It might take a few weeks, or you might jump into it sooner. There will still be days that you don’t think all systems are “go” and you walk the entire time. No worries. You might walk for twenty minutes and decide that your body isn’t up to it. Maybe a muscle or one of your joints is feeling worse as you walk. No matter, go home. Don’t put any requirements on your visit to the park.

The whole thing about exercise is that it must be fun. Don’t do it if it isn’t fun. If you go at a very gradual pace, I think you’ll find it is fun. If you try running for two months and you just don’t like it – even if you’re running ONLY when it’s fun for you and walking the rest of the time – you might want to switch to a different exercise. Or, you might want to realize that walking can do it for you too. Whatever reason you had for wanting to start running – can be the same reason to get on a walking program instead. No worries, don’t set up something in your mind that says:

I MUST BE A RUNNER!

That’s ridiculous musturbation. There are runners, walkers, tennis players, racquetball players, bicycle riders, hikers, climbers, soccer players, swimmers, surfers, bodyboarders, windsurfers, kitesurfers, stationary bike riders, stairmasters, rollerbladers and skateboarders. Exercise is exercise. I don’t think it matters much WHY you are exercising – you can get the same things from any of the sports mentioned.

For me, running is special, because it’s just my body and mind against the elements. I am making the body run up hills, down hills, through woods, into areas I’ve not been. Running is adventure. It’s accomplishment. It’s power. It’s control.

Did you ever hear of fartlek running?

Parkour?

I’ll have to write more about those fun types of running in another article.

For me, running is pure bliss! I often imagine that I’m passing people as I run. I use this imagery that I’m passing all the people that I want to surpass with my business goals and my personal goals. I’m blowing right by them because some of them are standing still. They’re standing still because they probably don’t run. I see them up ahead of me and they’re going so slow… I’m going slow too – but you know what? I’m passing them!

This is another reason I like to run when there’s nobody around… I talk to them as I pass them, these imaginary business competitors. Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Hugh Howey, Lee Child.

I’m the master of this race… and there can be no other winner.

I am ALWAYS the WINNER!

Best of Life!

Vern

6 Tips for Managing Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD)

ADD / ADHD Stressed Eyes
During my psychology grad program back in 1995 I was stumbling around the internet and I found a web site with some psychological tests that could be used to test one’s self and see if any dysfunction was found. I had a few minutes, so I tried a short personality type test and found that it agreed with my previous results administered by a counselor in my program a year before. I was found to be “INTJ” personality type according to this scale which was a short version of the Myers-Briggs instrument for personality type.

Then I saw the “ADD” test for Attention Deficit Disorder. Hmm, I thought… my brother has ADD and to a severe degree. I never thought that I should get tested for it – but, let me take a look and see what kind of questions they ask.

As I sat there and looked at the questions, answering them in my head at first and then later, writing down every answer… I was mesmerized. These questions were describing a pattern of behavior that was E-X-A-C-T-L-Y me. I found it fascinating. I eagerly read each question and responded as truthfully as possible. I had no idea that ADD was this. Hmm…

When the test was finished and I totaled up my score I found that I had scored something like 77 points. Hmmm… Not bad, a “C” level I guess. I think nothing to worry about. Then I saw the “key” at the bottom of the screen. It said if you score 25 points or higher you may have ADD and you should be tested by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist… or some other mental health specialist.

Huh? 25? Wow, I tripled that. I sat there for a minute and re-tallied my score and re-read everything on the page about the test. Apparently I had taken it exactly the way it was intended to be taken. It took a few more minutes for reality to sink in to the squishy grey bulbous mass. I realized that having ADD probably for years and years, maybe over my whole lifetime explained a lot.

I went to a friend I know that was a mental health counselor. I asked her to give me the official test, whatever that was, for ADD as I wanted to make sure this was all true. She did, and the instrument showed I had a profound level of ADD or ADHD and that it was affecting nearly everything I did!

Wow. I knew that I wasn’t really like other people because I noticed that so many times I didn’t seem to fit in with the program. I get incredibly bored with common things quickly. I always seem to have a variety of things I’m thinking about at any one time. If you picture your mind as a dry-erase board where thoughts arise and go away… mine is full of every color of dry-erase marker. The white is nearly hidden because there is so much going on there, and more thoughts need to find a space to go. The mind starts to drag fingers across what was already written so it can write more. Yes, it’s that bad sometimes.

As I focus on something, some topic that I need to think about, for work or for school, I noticw that my attention span is in seconds. I was never able to concentrate much longer than ten seconds at a time on anything. To say this was debilitating is an understatement. Any paper I was taking notes on during class is filled with drawings, diagrams, jokes, ideas, and even pages for books I’ve yet to complete – none of it related to my lessons.

My whole life has been a whirlwind of events and activity (book coming soon). I’ve been on a rollercoaster of ADD for so long that I thought it was just normal. I thought it was just me. I thought that nobody could really concentrate for more than ten seconds at a time on any one thing. I thought that everybody got bored in a few seconds.

Anyway, this post isn’t about describing ADD and how my life has been affected by it. Suffice it to say that my life has been a direct expression of the ADD!

I wanted to write this post for a couple reasons, one being to show some of the signs of ADD and ask readers to at least take an online test to see if it might be an unseen problem in their own lives. The second reason I’m writing this blog post about ADD is so I could share with you some of the things that helped me with ADD and that might be able to help you too if you are suffering from it.

What is adult ADD/ADHD (with Hyperactivity) like?

In the book Driven To Distraction, Edward M. Hallowell described an experience of the “hyperactive” aspect of the ADHD disorder from a patient’s perspective:

…It’s like being super-charged all the time. You get one idea and you have to act on it, and then, what do you know, but you’ve got another idea before you’ve finished up with the first one, and so you go for that one, but of course a third idea intercepts the second, and you just have to follow that one, and pretty soon people are calling you disorganized and impulsive and all sorts of impolite words that miss the point completely. Because you’re trying really hard. It’s just that you have all these invisible vectors pulling you this way and that, which makes it really hard to stay on task.

Symptoms of Adult ADHD:

The Hallowell Center identifies the following indicators to consider when ADHD is suspected and recommends that individuals with at least twelve of the following behaviours since childhood— undergo professional testing:

  1. A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished).
  2. Difficulty getting organized.
  3. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
  4. Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through.
  5. A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.
  6. A frequent search for high stimulation.
  7. An intolerance of boredom.
  8. Easy distractibility; trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with an inability to focus at times.
  9. Trouble in going through established channels and following “proper” procedure.
  10. Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
  11. Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as an impulsive spending of money.
  12. Changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans and the like; hot-tempered
  13. Physical or cognitive restlessness.
  14. A tendency toward addictive behaviour.
  15. Chronic problems with self-esteem.
  16. Inaccurate self-observation.
  17. Family history of AD/HD or manic depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.


Here are My 6 Lifehacks for Managing ADD/ADHD:

1. Make lists and use post-its. There was a time after I found out I had ADD/ADHD that I was ‘list crazy’. Every morning I would wake up and write a list of what I needed to do for that day and what I wanted to do for that day, but that wasn’t essential. I followed that list every time I got distracted with something that became important in my mind because when my mind becomes focused on something – it’s very hard to get away from that. Focus comes rarely, but if it’s there – I never remember what else I had going on and I can lose hours doing something (sports usually) that takes time away from my other activities that I needed to do.

A person with ADD/ADHD has thoughts all day that pop into the head that require action. Unfortunately, a lot of times the action needs to be taken at a time in the future, and can’t be completed immediately as the thought comes. In order to keep up with all the thoughts in my head I had post-it notes of 4 different colors so I could write up a quick note and stick it to the pile of other post it notes of the same color.

I separated the notes by color to correspond with areas of my life… for instance: If I had a thought that I needed to study for my biology exam on Thursday instead of Wednesday I’d put that on a blue post it. Blue was for school. If I had realized that I had better run 8 miles slow instead of 4 miles fast because I hadn’t done enough LSD training (Long Slow Distance) I would put that on a pink post-it because pink was for activity/exercise/fun. And so on. I had post-its all over my computer, my wallet, in my pockets in my backpack, all through my books…

But, it made a difference since my level of stress went down a couple of notches because now – those thoughts weren’t just lost, as they would have been without the post-its. I HAD the thought written down, it was just finding it. Finding it on paper was much easier than bringing the thought back into my mind when I needed it. MUCH easier. So, post-it notes or some other list system might work for you.

2. Two words, Gingko Biloba. When I was studying for some of my graduate exams I used Gingko Biloba for a while and I experienced something I never had before… sustained concentration lasting for minutes… even up to an hour at a time. Not joking. This stuff is worked very well. I remember having to take it for a few days to build up a level in the system before it worked, but when I did so I found remarkable results. I couldn’t have been happier with the results. I’ve been away from the USA for a few years now, so I’m not sure what the health industry is saying about Gingko Biloba, but, if there are no real negative side effects I would strongly recommend someone with ADD/ADHD try this out as an alternative to Ritalin or other medications generally prescribed. Learn more about my Gingko Biloba experience here.

3. Take advantage of the time when you first wake up and you’re lying in bed awake, but relaxed. If you’re like me, even with ADD, this time when I first wake up in the morning is the time when my mind is nearly completely uncluttered with thoughts. I can think clearly for as long as I lay there, sometimes I do just that for an hour as it’s remarkable that the mind is in this quiet, anti-ADD state. I use this time to think about what best to focus on during the day and to resolve any problems that need looked at. I am amazed, and even to the point of being disturbed about the level of concentration that occurs during this time, it’s so unlike any state of the mind after I’m showered and running around during the day. Not sure it happens for everyone, but it’s worth a look.

4. Meditate! I meditated using a Vipassana type method where I just focused on the breath in and out and the feeling of it at the tip of my nostrils. After a while I found that the mind actually was able to stop during meditation. I had no movement at all. No thoughts existed. It was a cool state that I’m glad I found as it offered a lot of relief, whenever I sat I could either calm the mind or stop it. It’s a good feeling when feeling too frazzled or when the dry erase market board (mind) is overrun with 6 thought processes all trying to write on the board at the same time. The coolest tool I got from meditating is that anytime I choose I can stop what I’m doing and focus on a couple breaths – in, out, in out, in out, and the mind has calmed down remarkably from the state prior to watching the breath.

(If you’re interested in meditation, I wrote two books at Amazon, both are in the “Meditation for Beginners” series. Query with my name, Vern Lovic.)

5. Exercise. For me there are a couple kinds of exercise. There is competitive and there is solo. As I get older I prefer the solo type because I’m able to think a little bit as I do it. I especially find that LSD running or bicycling works well for thinking for extended periods of time. The faster I go, the less I am able to concentrate on anything except the movement – the exercise. This is also a good break for the brain and something that should be enjoyed when you can.

6. Try hard to catch yourself doing 8 things at once and eliminate 7 of them. Today as I write this I’m typing, listening to some Radiohead and other mixed music… I have drawing paper to my left that I pulled out because I thought I’m going to get this urge to draw something for a cartoon project I’m working on. I have the internet going in the background, though I’m not using it. I just made coffee and I’m sipping it occasionally. I’ve got all those things going on while I write, and since I’m used to this – I’m OK writing under these conditions. If I find that I’m NOT able to concentrate on writing, I’d eliminate the other things so I could better focus.

Persons with ADD/ADHD just naturally add things to their personal environment that causes new stimulation and pulls their attention away from what they really need to accomplish. If you can catch yourself doing this and eliminate all those extra sources of stimulation, you’ll be able to concentrate on what matters more easily.

I’ve never gone to a psychiatrist to seek medication for my ADD/ADHD. I am anti-medication, preferring to find lifehacks that work in it’s place. I fear relying on medication since I made it to age 29 without even knowing I had ADD/ADHD. I didn’t go insane during all those years, so as long as it doesn’t get worse – I think I can manage without medication.

OK! I hope these six lifehacks help some of you with ADD/ADHD!

Best of Life!

Vern

[Top image by English106 at Flickr]

15 Secret Lifehacks to Killing Common-Colds

I’m a very positive person 99.7% of the time. It’s just natural. I see life as a big game. I don’t take too many things very seriously. There isn’t much that brings me down emotionally, and if you know me, you’ve likely NEVER seen me in a bad mood.

That being said let me tell you about one aspect of myself that you may not know…

I am a whining baby when I’m sick. If I don’t have my wife around to take care of me, I might as well die.

So, I really don’t like getting sick. If my head hurts, glands hurt, nose is stuffed full of crud and my throat hurts, I don’t want to do ANYTHING.

Sick with common cold!Healthy person!
Vern is SICK ——— Vern is Healthy!

I don’t know how some people continue to come into work day after day like that. I am NOT going to work if I feel like that. There’s just no point. How can I focus on work if I can’t even breathe?

Breathing is necessary for work. I know this. Breathing is just barely necessary for sleep and so I usually choose to sleep.

Sleeping is not good for productivity. In fact, it’s the antithesis of productivity at work – yet, it is actually doing some good for the state of my body – so I sleep a lot when I’m sick. My addiction to blog is still stronger than any sickness so far so I still sit at the computer and blog for a couple hours, but mostly I just sleep.

I have some secret lifehacks for not getting the common cold. As I get older I get smarter.

These are Vern’s 15 secret lifehacks for not getting really sick with a common-cold:

1. I eat spicy food as much as possible. Living in Thailand for a couple years gave me a mouth that can withstand nearly any level of spicy chili peppers. I noticed when I was in Thailand I was only sick a few times in a couple years! I attribute it to some degree from eating spicy food every day and nearly every meal. It’s my own private logic – don’t question it. :)

2. If I notice my nose is getting stuffed up I will immediately change to this diet: HOT, SPICY SOUP for every meal. I’m not joking about this hot, spicy idea. I usually have onions, garlic, Thai chilis, and some noodles for carbs. That is my diet until I’m not sick anymore. “The Body” quickly works out that it’s not getting anything but this, hot coffee, hot water, and bananas which form the complete sick diet for this guy. There is something about eating hot and spicy that keeps the nose juice flowing. Nose flow is GOOD because the alternative is “nose no flow” which leads to sinus headaches which leads to being more miserable that a person has a need for.

3. If I notice I’m getting sick at all – I do not eat ANY dairy products at all. Zero. My friend in the Air Force had a saying… he made it up at the dinner table once as we were talking about what we do when we get sick. He said, and I quote, “Butter builds snot”. There is so much wisdom in what he said. I have noticed that it is entirely true. If I have milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice-cream or any other dairy product (are there more?), my nose condition instantly gets worse and worse throughout the next few days, regardless whether I have any more dairy. Now I don’t know if I’m allergic to dairy at some level, but when I’m healthy I can eat quite a bit of pizza – every day for months as I did in NYC – and no problems result. I think it’s only when I’m sick. Trust me on this one, I think it’s universal.

4. If I have exercise planned and I”m feeling the first stages of a cold – I GO exercise anyway. Unless I’m feeling soreness in my glands and muscles – as is the case with flu. Then I’ll wait a day and see what’s going on. On occasion I will purposefully go exercise when I’m sick with a cold – as it clears it right up during exercise and sometimes I swear it gets me on the road to recovery faster.

5. If I happen to be near the ocean I will go surfing, bodyboarding, bodysurfing, or swimming for a couple hours. Why? Invariably I swallow salt water and it gets up my nose a lot – especially while bodyboarding in Waikiki or at Bellows AFS on the Windward side. When that happens for some reason my nose clears RIGHT UP and either stays like that all day, or just doesn’t get bad again. Of course I need to blow my nose in the water about 19 times to get it all out – and I don’t make any friends on these trips, but it makes me feel VERY good.

6. If sex is a possibility – I try to set that up. Not solo sex, but involved with my girl friend sex. For some reason certain things really clear up how I feel. And, it’s something I’m giving, not receiving. I don’t know why, but during and after sex – my cold seems to disappear. Are you the same? I’d rather not get into exactly what the secret act is on this, you can figure it out from my one clue I think… Are you with me? ;)

7. Two words. Two very long words: Pseudophedrine Hydrochloride. Aka: Pseudaphed I think it’s called. These are small red pills – in generic or brand name form at the medication section of your grocery. You CAN take the $1.99 package of 24 pills in the generic form, because it’s all the same drug. Be careful not to take a pill that has any added ingredients because the ones they add make you sleepy. ESPECIALLY anything for chest congestion. At least they do for me. They KNOCK ME OUT if I take them. Be careful and just look for the 30mg small red tablets and read the label. I take one initially and drink a lot of hot water while I’m on them because they dry me out if I don’t.

8. I drink hot water and never cold. I don’t drink anything cold if I am beginning to get sick. If I do, I immediately feel much worse and it usually leads to a full-blown cold.

9. Ice-cream, as you can imagine – is the worst thing you could possibly have if you are feeling a little bit sick but it’s not full blown. I never have it if I feel anything except perfect, healthy, fit, and slim. LOL. But when I do have it, I could eat a quart of Haagen Dazs Coffee flavored ice-cream.

10. Do not under any circumstances marry or date a teacher, nurse, doctor, dentist, or cub scout leader. You are just ASKING for an extra 4 colds per year if you do so. Anyone that interacts with many people each day – whether touching people or not – is asking for it.

11. If I touch a doorknob or anything that others touch – I wash my hands, use the 99% germ-free alcohol gel, wipe my hands on my pants, and I’m very conscious about not touching my face – including blowing my nose until I’ve washed my hands. In the restroom I get some toilet paper in my hand before I hit the lever to flush. If there’s none available, I don’t flush. I’m not touching that thing without it. I then wash my hands. I then grab a paper towel or more toilet paper and open the restroom door, tossing out the paper into the trash that is usually right next to the door.

12. When I must grasp a door handle to open the door I try to grab it in a location where others don’t normally grab it. It’s difficult – and I look funny doing it – but I believe it helps.

13. My girlfriend doesn’t get touched or kissed as long as she is sick and for a few days after. This seems cruel, but she asked for it because she got sick. ;)

14. I keep myself warm when I’m sick. Too warm. I actually want to make myself sweat if possible. If there is a sauna nearby, I’m in it. If there is a jacuzzi – I’m there. When I sleep I put a shirt over my head so my breath stays hot while I breathe in and out all night. I don’t ever have a fan on when I’m sick.

15. Part of the reason I don’t like office-work for others is that they use the air conditioning too much. Even if I have air-con I like to use a fan instead, or open the windows up so they’re blowing. Air-con dries the sinuses and makes me ripe for colds. If I have a cold there is almost nothing worse than sitting in air conditioning eating ice-cream and cheese covered pizza for someone’s birthday party.

Those are the things I do to try to avoid a cold before I get it. Sometimes I still get one though it’s rare now. On average I get a cold 1 time per year. I don’t mean influenza, I mean a simple, common-cold that lasts 1-4 days. I noticed that when I moved away from the North USA (Pennsylvania and New York City) that I get fewer colds too.

Best of Life!

Vern

What are your tricks for avoiding common colds?

What about once you have a cold, how do you lessen it’s effects?

Do you know someone that NEVER gets common colds? What do you think is the secret? Can you ask them and write a comment on this post?

Motivational articles to help athletes push (crank) through physical and mental barriers to competition, as well as personal development lifehacks for the rest of us.