Hardcore Mind

June 11, 2015

Life’s a bitch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 1:09 pm

When people lament over the problems in their lives, they often say “Life’s a bitch”.

Now there are two common meanings to the word “bitch”. It used in reference to a female dog or it is used when talking about someone who, intentionally, complains, gives people a hard time, makes things difficult, etc. This implies intent and life has no intent. Life doesn’t care if you’re fat or skinny, if you live or die, it is just life.

I think that life is far from being a bitch.

I think life is, at best, benign.

Life is pretty much equal parts of the things you can control and the things you can’t.

The things you can control, control.

What you eat, what you watch, what you do, whom you associate with, etc. These are all in your control. If you fail to control them, that is your fault, not the fault of some unseen entity called “life”.

But what about the things you can’t control? While you can’t control some things that happen to you, you can control your reaction towards them. Your attitude.

Let’s be honest here, sometimes shit just happens. But even that is pretty even. Everyone gets shit on sometime during their lives. But some people just don’t let it crush them.

Stephen Hawkins is one example. Stricken with ALS, he is considered to be one of the most brilliant men on the planet. Yea, he got shit on, big time but it certainly didn’t stop him!

Triple amputee doing a Spartan race. Why is he wearing a mask? To make the race more difficult!

Do these kids look sad because they have some sort of disability? Nope, ah the innocence of children! But adult can also choose to be positive about their circumstances in the same way.

Regardless of your current situation, I can guarantee that there is someone, somewhere, that has it worse. And likely are handling with more dignity, than you are.

Or if not dignity, having more fun!

A life without problems is a life lived without challenges and challenges make you strong. Defeating obstacles in your life, gives you the skills and grit to take on bigger obstacles.

When you get knocked down by life, and you will, jump back up with a shit-eating grin on your feet and push forward.

Every morning, when you wake up, you have a choice as to how you will greet the day. Yes, you can choose to be positive or negative. A negative attitude will make the day drag on longer, will impact your performance and will, in general, make everyone around you miserable. And regardless of your attitude, the day will still have the same 24 hours, it is up to you how you enjoy those hours, or don’t.

A positive attitude will help you find the joy in your life. The work you do. The people you work with. It will help you enjoy your family and friends. It will make obstacles look smaller and easier to defeat.

Sometimes it is a matter of perspective. What is a challenge for one, is fun for another. Take this bit of military humor….

Military Shit

An Army grunt stands in the rain with a 35-pound pack on his back, 15 lb. weapon in hand, after having marched 12 miles, and says, “This is shit!”

An Army Airborne Ranger stands in the rain with a 45 lb. pack on his back, weapon in hand, after having jumped from an airplane and marched 18 miles, and says with a smile, “This is good shit!”

A Marine lies in the mud, 55 LB pack on his back, weapon in hand, after swimming 10 miles to shore, crawling through a swamp and marching 25 miles at night past the enemy positions, says with a grin, “This really is great shit.”

A Navy SEAL, up to his nose in the stinking, bug infested mud of a swamp with a 65 LB pack on his back and a weapon in both hands after jumping from an aircraft at high altitude, into the ocean, swimming 12 miles to the shore, killing several alligators to enter the swamp, then crawling 30 miles through the brush to assault an enemy camp, says, “I love this shit.”

The Air Force NCO sits in an easy chair in an air-conditioned office, and says, “My e-mail’s out? What kind of shit is this?”

If your goals in life are to have the latest gadget or date the prettiest girl or handsomest boy, then you will never be happy. If you obtain those goals, there will always be a newer and shiner gadget or a better looking boyfriend or girlfriend.

But if your goals are tied to self-improvement such as learning new things, getting healthier and stronger, just becoming a better person, you will be happier. Working towards these goals is more fulfilling than any shiny gadget could ever be. And at the end of your days, people will remember you for what you did, not what you owned.

Nobody reads books about people whose quest is for the latest IPhone, they read stories that inspire, about people that strive to do great things in their lives. Reading about people climbing to Mount Everest is much more interesting than reading about somebody going into debt to buy a new car.

Be defined by what you do, not by what you wear or how big your house is or what name is on your clothes.

And whatever you do, have fun! Here is a personal story that turned out pretty cool but it could have been pretty miserable. The only difference was our attitude towards the circumstances.

I was working for a company that send me to Sakhalin Island Russia for a short job. I was with two men from the UK and we were put on a POS Russian boat to gather borehole samples. It was about as bad of living conditions as you can imagine. Roaches in the galley and saltwater contaminated potable water supply.

We had two choices. We could moan and groan about our conditions or we could look at it as an adventure and have fun. And we had fun. Made up songs about what we were going, joked, etc. we had fun under lousy conditions. The conditions didn’t change, but our attitudes did. I still have fond memories of that job.

If you haven’t seen Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”, this reference may be lost on you.

“Carpe Diem” or “Seize the day”. Unless you are in a coma, if which you won’t be reading this post anyway, you have a wonderful variety choices to make. Choose the positive ones, choose the paths of energy and happiness.

 

Rip the negative from your life, destroy it. Hit the floor so full of self-confidence that even the devil himself will get out of your way.

Here are some steps you can take from David Rutherford at Team Froglogic:

  1. Have a positive attitude
  2. Exercise and live healthy
  3. Motivate yourself and others
  4. Earn respect
  5. Set goals
  6. Live with integrity
  7. Mentor others
  8. HAVE FUN!

Now I will admit that for some people, doing these things may seem fake at first. It may seem as if you are acting but guess what? Do it long enough and one day you will realize that you are no longer acting. That you actually do have the self-confidence that shows in your body language. You actually are healthier. Your positive attitude is real, no longer a front. And that yes, you really are having fun!

Choose. Live in the past or life for the future.

The choice is yours and yours alone.

June 6, 2015

No safety nets, no crutches

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 2:07 pm

What if there were no safety nets in your life? No crutches to prop you up when you are a bit lame.

No welfare programs, no food stamps, no modern medicine.

Would you live your life different than you are now?

 

Some examples of what I’m talking about.

If you knew that there was nothing like what we call “modern medicine”, would you be more likely to exercise and eat right? Would you take better care of your body? If you knew that if you were overweight and more likely to have problems like diabetes and heart conditions, but there were no “quick fixes” to keep you alive after you developed these things, would you take better care of yourself to avoid them in the first place?

If there was no welfare, food stamps or unemployment benefits, would people work harder to stay employed or find new work?

If there was no Social Security, would you have saved more money for your retirement?

Something that is recent to the USA (in terms of overall history) is PPO/HMO type insurance policies. Used to people pretty much only had major medical insurance policies and a trip to the doctor came out of your pocket. I would argue that people tried to avoid those expenses by not running to the doctor every time they got the sniffles and took a bit better care of themselves.

If you had to pay for all your medical expenses out of your own pocket, what would you do different in terms of taking care of yourself?

I think these various “safety nets” have become crutches for a lot of Americans. There is a time and place for a crutch but if you use it beyond a certain point, you only get weaker. You only use the crutch to give your body time to heal, not as a replacement for a limb (in most cases).

Know when to throw away the crutch, don’t depend on it forever.

The safety net of modern medicine is profit driven and focused on disease management rather than cures. The cures to what ails you comes from your body’s ability to heal itself. There are points when you may need the intervention of modern medicine but it shouldn’t be your first go-to.

The safety net of retirement funds are great and even Social Security beats the heck out of nothing but wouldn’t you rather be healthy at retirement age to enjoy those things rather than feeble and bed ridden?

Trapeze artist usually have safety nets to catch them when they fall but it is the last resort for them. They train, exercise, etc. to become skilled and strong so that they can do their show and not use the safety net. It is there if they need it but it isn’t their first go-to.

Live your life as if there are no safety nets to catch you when you don’t take care of yourself and get sick. Use them when all other options fail, but not as your primary tool for wellbeing.

March 20, 2015

Anomaly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 1:40 pm

I was talking to my wife a few nights ago and she said I was an anomaly. To give this context, I was talking about my plans for training that I’m doing in preparation of the Spartan Spring May next year. She said that most men my age, I’m 59, would not be planning on doing something like an obstacle race.

 

Now I took this as a compliment and she meant it as one but then I got to thinking that if I’m an anomaly compared to men in my age group, that is actually a pretty sad statement on current American males.

When you look at history, our current cushy lives are a blip on the timeline. Most of human history is filled full of struggles, adventure, failures, triumphs and strife.

To some modern men, adversity is when they can’t get their email or their Wi-Fi is not working. Or they can’t get a close parking spot at the mall and have to walk 100 yards in the cold, heat, whatever.

To our ancestors, strife was missing that shot at that animal that you need to kill in order to provide food for your family. Strife was working all year on crops that failed to produce a harvest. Strife was having to go 20 miles into town to get medicine for a sick child. But to them, this was normal, it was their lives and they knew little else.

Truth be told, 200 years ago, I would have been considered a wimp. Running a 3.5 mile race with obstacles would have been easy compared to getting up a dawn, working in the fields all day until it became too dark to see. Or walking across the US mapping out our new country. Or dangling off a rope to build a damn

And it wasn’t just men either, women were tough, tougher than most American men are now. Up at dawn, build a fire in the stove, cook breakfast (all from scratch), see to the children, hand-wash the clothes, often hand make the clothes, etc.

And it is still much like this in some parts of our modern world but those days are pretty much gone in the USA. Most modern farmers have modern machines that do much of the work that was done by hand before or with animals. Ranchers herd cattle with helicopters and ATVs. A child’s illness is taken care of with a quick trip to the corner doctor and then the pharmacy drive-thru for the medicine.

The people we call tough were just regular people back not so long ago.

So are there no tough people left in the US? Sure there are. US Navy SEALs, other elite special operations groups. There are elite athletes who run ultramarathons over 100 miles long, sometimes several times in a single month.

But they have become the exception rather than the rule.

The reality is that America has largely become a society of homogenized humans that bear little resemblance to your ancestors.

Days spent shuffling from a climate controlled, and artificially lit home to a climate controlled, and artificially lit office or cubicle, has taken the individuality out of Americans.

Gone are the days of rough men (and women) exploring rough lands and pioneering new frontiers, welcome to our civilized country where no Wi-Fi is cause for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And if refusing to conform to this new American mold makes me an “anomaly”, I’ll wear that label with pride.

Senior citizen my ass!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 1:33 pm

I’m 59 years old and it seems like what defines a “Senior Citizen” is different than it used to be. Now senior discounts are offered at 50! What the fuck?!

When I was growing up, seniors were old, I mean really old. Like 75 and older old. 50 was still young.

Seems like we are dumbing down everything in the USA, including what defines a senior.

And where is it written that once you reach a certain age, you have to slow down? That your health and physical fitness has to decline? It seems to be just accepted that we will just fall apart once we reach a certain age.

Guess nobody told some of the people below.

Like this 70 year old raw vegan, Annette Larkins

Or this 100 year old industrial climber, Dorris Long

Or this gentleman that did a marathon just weeks after his 101st birthday

Or this 102 year old French cyclist

Or the late, great Jack LaLanne who died at 96 but was still working out until his death. Here he is at 94

Now don’t get me wrong. If you were running a 4 minute mile at 20 years old, you likely won’t be running a 4 minute mile at 60 years old. You will likely slow down a bit as you grow older, perhaps a lot. But there is a difference between slowing down and stalling out.

Slow down if you must, but don’t ever quit!

Linda Barber, 74 years old and running in a Spartan Sprint

Did Linda Barber finish first? No, did she finish? Yep! And it wasn’t her first, or likely last Sprint that she will run in.

So what is the point of all of the above?

It seems that in modern America, we are told, on almost a daily basis, that our bodies are flawed. That once you reach a certain age, you have to slow down. That we can’t do this or that. That we must sterilize everything or we will get sick. We just have to take this pill or this injection to help our flawed bodies, our flawed immunity systems, avoid some horrible death dealing bug.

But what if this was all a lie, or perhaps just a huge mistake? What if our bodies were designed to be self-healing for the most part? What if we are not a flawed design, just a design that is supposed to be used or fall apart from disuse?

That is my theory anyway. Like I said, I’m 59 years old, don’t take any medications, don’t go to the doctor and I’m training to do a Spartan Sprint in May with some of my kids.

And this blog, will be my chronicle of my journey towards the Spartan Sprint and beyond!

 

October 17, 2014

Tomorrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 9:16 pm

How many times have you said that you would start doing something tomorrow? Diet, exercise, meditation, whatever.

How many times have you heard somebody else saying this? “I’ll start dieting tomorrow”, “I’ll start exercising tomorrow”.

Ever seen a sign like this one?

Easy pledge to make because in reality, tomorrow never comes. When the clock strikes midnight, it is today.

Forget about tomorrow, do it today.

Each day you delay is another yesterday of regret. Another day that you will look at as a failure in your goals.

Do it today.

Start eating healthy today.

Start exercising today.

Start changing your life today.

September 20, 2014

Anomaly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 11:19 am

I was talking to my wife a few nights ago and she said I was an anomaly. To give this context, I was talking about my plans for training that I’m doing in preparation of the Spartan Spring May next year. She said that most men my age, I’m 59, would not be planning on doing something like an obstacle race.

 

Now I took this as a compliment and she meant it as one but then I got to thinking that if I’m an anomaly compared to men in my age group, that is actually a pretty sad statement on current American males.

When you look at history, our current cushy lives are a blip on the timeline. Most of human history is filled full of struggles, adventure, failures, triumphs and strife.

To some modern men, adversity is when they can’t get their email or their Wi-Fi is not working. Or they can’t get a close parking spot at the mall and have to walk 100 yards in the cold, heat, whatever.

To our ancestors, strive was missing that shot at that animal that you need to kill in order to provide food for your family. Strive was working all year on crops that failed to produce a harvest. Strive was having to go 20 miles into town to get medicine for a sick child. But to them, this was normal, it was their lives and they knew little else.

Truth be told, 200 years ago, I would have been considered a wimp. Running a 3.5 mile race with obstacles would have been easy compared to getting up a dawn, working in the fields all day until it became too dark to see. Or walking across the US mapping out our new country. Or dangling off a rope to build a damn

And it wasn’t just men either, women were tough, tougher than most American men are now. Up at dawn, build a fire in the stove, cook breakfast (all from scratch), see to the children, hand-wash the clothes, often hand make the clothes, etc.

And it is still much like this in some parts of our modern world but those days are pretty much gone in the USA. Most modern farmers have modern machines that do much of the work that was done by hand before or with animals. Ranchers herd cattle with helicopters and ATVs. A child’s illness is taken care of with a quick trip to the corner doctor and then the pharmacy drive-thru for the medicine.

The people we call tough were just regular people back not so long ago.

So are there no tough people left in the US? Sure there are. US Navy SEALs, other elite special operations groups. There are elite athletes who run ultramarathons over 100 miles long, sometimes several times in a single month.

But they have become the exception rather than the rule.

The reality is that America has largely become a society of homogenized humans that bear little resemblance to your ancestors.

Days spent shuffling from a climate controlled, and artificially lit home to a climate controlled, and artificially lit office or cubicle, has taken the individuality out of Americans.

Gone are the days of rough men (and women) exploring rough lands and pioneering new frontiers, welcome to our civilized country where no Wi-Fi is cause for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And if refusing to conform to this new American mold makes me an “anomaly”, I’ll wear that label with pride.

September 18, 2014

What we think, we become

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 8:16 am

Wake up in the morning, pain in your side

Take pride in your weakness, nothing to hide

To the computer, post it on Facebook

And list all the medicines that you took

 

Had a bad day at the office, feeling too sad

Must post this on the internet, “I feel bad”

Sympathy from your “friends”, “Likes” a plenty

Ones and zeros only, not worth a penny

 

Your words make you needful and weak

There is impact to what you speak

The impact is to yourself and your goals

What these words are, you can control

 

Negative thoughts breed negative actions

Steer you from your goals, all are distractions

“You are what you eat” and old saying but true

“You become as you think”, I say unto you

 

Do not name your illness or affliction

Treat is as a fable, nothing but fiction

Pain means you are alive and able to feel

It tempers you, like fire does to steel

 

Your internal dialogue, you alone control

It can tear you apart or keep you whole

The choice is yours and yours alone

To change your life, you don’t need a poll

 

Don’t fear the reaper, who cares when he comes

Don’t worry about the end, the sound of funeral drums

Don’t fear getting hurt, cuts and bruises will heal

The scars to be proud of, over muscles of steel

 

Do as you can, get better everyday

Embrace adversity, from your goals do not stray

Fear is an emotion, emotions you can control

Don’t let your emotions keep you from your goals

 

 

 

April 27, 2014

A majority of Americans on at least one prescription medication

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 12:49 pm

70% of Americans are taking at least one prescription medication, 1 in 5 are taking 4 or more prescription medications.


This does not count OTC (Over The counter) medications and I don’t think it includes vaccinations.

My response:

 

 

70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication

 

 

April 26, 2014

“Reward” meals or days

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 6:21 pm

I have heard of people saying that they are going to “reward” themselves with a reward meal or day after a period of time of eating healthy and exercising. Now these people are usually the types on Weight Watchers or some other flavor of conventional wisdom diet. Usually involving processed foods in small quantities all conforming to the USDA diet guidelines and recommendations of the various alphabet so called “health care” groups, American Heart Association, etc.

Now the whole paleo/caveman/primal way of eating is becoming very common and I’m not going to get into the specifics of it in this post. The information is out there and much better put than I could do but suffice to say that I follow the primal way of eating and living. I exercise in the functional fitness sort of way, etc.

Do I ever “reward” myself for eating clean and exercising? No, I do not but I do cheat at times.

What is the difference?

I’ll give you an example….

You have spent weeks or months eating clean. Lots of fresh and organic fruits and veggies, grass fed meat, etc. You have exercised and busted your ass to do the right thing.

Then one day you decide to eat that pizza or drink that beer or eat that fast-food meal.

Call it what it is, it is cheating.

Eating clean and living healthy then feeding your body processed foods full of chemicals is hardly a reward but it is cheating.

 

And if you want to cheat, fine, do so just be honest with yourself as to what you’re doing.

I love a decent beer or nice bit of Scotch whiskey. And I’m not telling myself that I’m rewarding myself when I do imbibe, I’m cheating.

Now if I want to reward myself, which would be in the form of a nice meal out in a paleo friendly restaurant. Or new clothes or piece of workout equipment. Those are rewards, they are positive. Beer is not a reward, as tasty as it might be, it is still not good for me and I realize it when I drink it.

 

If I do have a cheat meal, my body tells me about it. My body is not rewarding me by eating shit, it is rebelling against it.

And if you do fall a bit off the wagon, don’t let yourself be dragged behind until all your skin is peeled off, get back on. If you have a handful of M&Ms, get over it and move forward. Don’t tell yourself that “well, I blew that, there is no reason to put forth any effort the rest of the day”.

Yes, I know the fine looking lady was not needed to get that point across but, tough shit.

Eye bleach anyone?

Once you get into the habit of eating clean and exercising, the rewards are in the way you look and feel. Each time you go to the doctor and get a glowing bill of good health, that is a reward. Every time you drop a dress or pants size, that is a reward. Every time you hit a new exercise goal, that is a reward.

Stuffing your face with crap is punishment to your body.

Cheat if you must but call it what it is, cheating and cheating will punish your body, just the opposite of a reward.

April 8, 2014

Do something

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randal @ 7:33 am

Do something today to improve yourself….anything!

Get up from your desk every hour and walk and stretch for 5-10 minutes.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Park at the furthest part of the parking lot and walk to the store.

If you don’t have a huge amount of bags, hand carry them back and forget about the basket.

Unless you are a quadriplegic, you can do something today to improve your health and physical fitness.

Getup 15 minutes early, go for a short walk.

Just do something!

Walk your dog a bit further.

Walk around the block with your spouse and/or kids.

Move, stretch, get off the couch!

It isn’t about finishing, it is about starting.

Lift something heavy, push something big.

Learn a new skill, brush up on an old one.

Cut one crappy thing from your diet and replace it with something healthy…just one thing.

 

Put yourself out there in front. Commit, publically. Commit to changing yourself; let others help you be accountable to your commitment.

Don’t die at the end of a wasted life full of regrets, live a life full of adventure and risk. Let your life be remembered for generations to come.

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