Team SISU Podcast – Josue Stephens / SURVIVAL RUN™ / FUEGO Y AGUA ENDURANCE

SURVIVAL RUN™ is not an obstacle course race, an adventure race, an ultra marathon or a survival skills event, but an adaptation of all of these.

SURVIVAL RUN™ is all about adapting to the environment and taking on challenges that are part of the culture and location where the event takes place. SURVIVAL RUN™ does not pretend to be dangerous, it *IS* dangerous. That is why it is by application only and allows only those who are truly physically and mentally prepared to take on the extreme challenges.

Hacking your way through forests with a locally-sourced machete? Climbing a volcano? Slim chance in completing the event? Check, check and check. Responsible for one of the most arduous and notorious endurance events in the world today, Team SISU’s very own Cookie talks to the man that created this monster of an event – Josue Stephens.

LISTEN

 

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The Highway to Health

So I’m taking a course this semester called ‘Highway to Health.’
I know. It’s a jazzy title.
It’s essentially a survey course on topics in health: nutrition, exercise, sleep, relationships, spirituality, drugs, disease, etc.
You know. The basics.

 

To be honest, I enrolled in this course to fulfill a prerequisite. Since I’m not in the Faculty of Science, this was one of the only Health Science courses open to me, so I signed up.

 

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Doesn’t the Highway to Health look appealing?

Going into the class I was a little skeptical, and to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to learn much. I thought: “I lead a fairly balanced and healthy lifestyle — I’m not sure that I’ll learn much from this course.”

 

(I should know by now that there’s always, always something to learn).

 

While broad in scope, the textbook is highly personal, if you allow it to be. It’s set up, not as a document of facts and figures, but as a sort of guide. Each chapter concludes with a self-assessment and reflection on personal wellbeing related to a particular area of health. A lot of students skip these sections, but given my status as a part-time student, I always have that little bit of extra time to read them. I’m glad I do, as they’ve brought out a kind of curiosity in me!

 

As it turns out, the course is indirectly teaching me to question the components of my own health. What does it really mean to be healthy? It sounds like such a silly, fundamental question, but I’m realizing that the answer isn’t simple.

 

I’ll get more into that later, but for now I just want to share one of our assignments with you:

 

We’ve each chosen a small, sustainable lifestyle change to integrate into our lives over the course of the semester. Some people chose to drink more water. Others want to watch less TV. Some have chosen to exercise three times a week. Others want to go to bed earlier.

 

I hummed and hawed for days. There are a lot of lifestyle changes I want to make, but which one to choose? Which one is small enough to maintain and turn into habit, but significant enough to be a real, valuable challenge for me?

 

Finally, I settled on my big challenge: Reading before bed.
Okay, maybe that sounds weak to you, but it’s a big deal for me! I often struggle to fall asleep because I’m trapped in my own mind — there’s a lot swirling around in there! Reading allows my mind to slow down after a busy day, and it gets me out of my own head for a bit. I can get into someone else’s world, stimulating my own creativity and sense of curiosity.

 

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I’m at a time in my life where I often feel as if I’m just going through motions and adhering to structure — like I’ve lost my own ability to think critically and be creative. Giving myself just 15 minutes to read — to let my mind simultaneously deflate from the day and expand in perspective — is proving to be beneficial for both my mental and physical health. I’ve never really made time to read recreationally in university before, but now’s the time!

 


Wait. This is ‘Athlete On Fire.’ Why are we talking about reading?

As athletes, we boast healthy lifestyles, but sometimes we forget that healthy means balanced. While your physical health is important, your mental and social wellbeing are equally salient. Don’t forget about them!

 

Challenge: what’s one small, sustainable change you can make in your life today? Maybe it’s adding a stretching routine into your schedule. Perhaps it’s sitting down for a weekly family meal. Maybe you want to start writing in a journal before bed, or you just want to take the stairs more. Start small — pick something attainable that won’t fall apart. That’s your best chance at developing a new, healthy habit! 

Turns Out I was a Drug Addict…. What I did about it and the unexpected results

Clawing my way out!

My first step on my journey to “getting my groove back” was supposed to be conquering insomnia and getting a good night’s sleep.  But…  I stumbled upon a somewhat bigger concern right out of the gate.

You’re doing WHAT?  Are you KIDDING ME??

Too exhausted to even walk on the treadmill, the subsequent conversation with my trainer started the way it always did… “Why aren’t you sleeping?” “How’s your caffeine intake?”  “What about stress?” “Are you managing technology?” …  And then the big one…   “What are you taking?”

Karen's nightly drug routine

Karen’s nightly drug routine

I thought he was going to have a stroke as I recounted my nightly medication regimen. Yes, of course I knew that Advil Cold and Sinus tablets and Afrin are stimulants.  But, given a choice from staying awake from the stimulants or staying awake because I couldn’t breathe, I chose the stimulants.  Yes, yes, sure my doctor knew.. In fact, throw in a doctor-recommended double dose of Zyrtec and an occasional Benadryl for good measure as well – this in spite of the fact that the allergist declared my sinus issues non-allergy related.  And then came the question that knocked me over, “How long have you been doing this?”

No one had ever asked me that before ….

As long as I can remember; that’s the answer. As long as I can remember, and I’d not ever let myself think about it until that moment.  I’d been taking Advil Cold and Sinus, often multiple times a day, for over 35 years.

And, that behavior brought with it some pretty serious consequences.

“Insomnia and other sleep issues, headaches, constipation, dehydration, hormone imbalances, mood disorders, stiffness… possible major organ damage…”  Those are just some of the side-effects of taking the medications I was on for a prolonged period of time, and they pretty much summarize the major issues I’d been battling for years.  I think that somehow the fact that a medication is sold “over the counter” gives us a false sense of security that it is safe and a license to misuse it.

It was time to make a change

I quit cold turkey.  The first week off the medication was hell; thank goodness I was on vacation at the time.  My sinuses swelled shut, my head was pounding, I was only able to sleep about 3 – 4 very restless hours a night.  I developed a mantra that I would repeat to myself over and over as I lay in bed awake and miserable, “My body knows how to fix this; my body will fix this.”

By the second week of being drug free my headache was completely gone, and I was able to sleep longer, but still restless.  I went through 2 days of intense itching and period of time each afternoon when my head felt foggy and my throat would hurt a little.  This was my cue in the past to take a pill; it would clear me right up.  But, I wouldn’t let myself do that, and I just paced until the foggy feeling went away.

Unexpected Outcomes

I’ve been off the medications for over a month now and some of the results I’ve experienced have been quite surprising to me and very positive.  Almost immediately my chronic constipation cleared up and my sinuses have improved. One of the biggest gains is that my depression lifted; most of the time now I feel optimistic and well, … happy!

Hiking in Moab

Hiking in Moab

The biggest surprise though has been a quite notable improvement in my athletic performance.  My endurance and strength have both improved significantly; I’m running up the hills I always used to walk, and I’m enjoying getting out there again!

Unfortunately, I’m still struggling with some sleep issues. It could be that I just need to give it some more time.  The next steps I’ll share include participation in a sleep study, experimentation with meditation and a look at some holistic remedies.


Karen Adler is…

An educator by trade, runner, hiker and adventure-seeking fitness enthusiast by passion. She explores what it means to be fit after fifty along with the multiple joys and trials that come with age. She is truly an Athlete On Fire!

DreAllDay:05|06 Making it in Basketball & Selling Yourself

DreAllDay:05

Is making it in basketball hard? YES. Most players won’t ever make $1 playing basketball. Dre Baldwin shares both the business of why that is, and what you can do about it. DreAllDay is a part of the Athlete On Fire Network.

LISTEN

DreAllDay:06

Selling Yourself: we’re all doing it every day — it’s just a question of if you’re doing well or not. Most aren’t, because there’re not even aware of the fact they’re selling. Dre shares his tips on how and why to sell yourself, in sports, business, relationships, and everywhere else.

LISTEN

STSS 2: Resting Heart Rate

 

Endurance athletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate than the average person. What’s up with that?

SISU:RADIO:11 From special forces to OCR.

Originally from Nuremberg, Germany, Fabian left home when he was 17 to join the German Army Special Forces as a Supporter in their Operations Center and Training & Testing Center for about two years. A decade later he moved to California and now lives in San Jose, where he work as IT Security Analyst.

Among other events, he’s completed more than a dozen Goruck events, two of them 24hr Heavies, and two Spartan HH12HR events. Coming from a strong endurance base, he switched to speed in 2015 and managed to work his way up through the ranks in Spartan Race and finished the last race in the Top 10 of the Elites.

He shares his experiences and perspectives on Flow Not Force and compete on NBC’s “Spartan: The Ultimate Team Challenge”, which will air within the next few months.

One of the more quiet, and horribly underrated endurance athletes in the scene today, SISU catches up with Fabian to talk about how he trains, his plans and accents that aren’t American.

LISTEN

Making Peace With Winter

My name is Kalli Frissell, I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and I hate the cold.

 

I HATE IT.

 

Or, at least I thought I did.

 

Though I think winter is stunning, and I enjoy winter sports, I feel like I’ve always had a bit of a war with winter. You know. When you look out the window five minutes before you have to leave the house only to see a blizzard… and Old Man Winter is just there, grinning his stupid grin.
You know.

 

When I moved to southern Ontario for university, I thought I’d be good to go. Sure, London gets a lot of snow, but on the whole, it’s not as cold as my hometown, and the winters are shorter. Clearly my London friends had the same assumption about me:

 

‘Brrr it’s cold out. You must be used to the cold being from Edmonton, right? Haha’
‘Haha… yeahhhh…’
*…as I stand at the bus stop, frozen to my core, unable to think about anything other than the likelihood of me dying in the cold.*

 

(You get it. Always cold. A big baby when it comes to cold.)

 

It makes sense that I’ve always been one to hit the treadmill in the winter.
People actually run outside when it’s below 0 degrees celsius? Nope. Not for me.

 

…Until this year.
This past fall I instructed a Learn To Run clinic at the Running Room. It was an incredibly rewarding, 10 week experience from October – December. I enjoyed the program so much that I decided to sign up to instruct the 10k clinic, beginning in early January.

 

The first week of January wasn’t so bad, but then things started to cool off, and I started to question my decision. This is it. This is my nightmare. The cold is my worst enemy! I don’t know how to dress. How can this be fun?? I’ll probably slip on ice and die. How am I going to do this?!

 

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But, I signed up for this, so I put on multiple layers of the warmest gear I had, and headed out the door.

 

We did our 4k route as a group, and yes, I was cold, but by the end of the run, I wanted to keep running. So I decided to run some trails on the way home to keep the momentum going.

 

As I was running, I realized that I couldn’t exactly feel my legs (you know that tingly ‘pins and needles’ feeling?)…. But I also noticed that, for some strange reason, I didn’t really care. The wind was coming head on, and my face was frozen — but I just felt… good? Breathing comfortably, I started to relax and sink into my run. Focused on the quiet, snow-covered path and the foggy exhales in front of me, I thought:

 

So, this is what it feels like to be at peace with winter.

 

It was a beautiful run, but I know it won’t always be that way. (Actually, it’s probably going to get a lot colder). I know there will be days that winter will kick my butt. But it was such a great surprise to discover that we don’t always have to be at war.

 

Challenge: So if you’re like me and dread the cold, be brave, bundle up, and head out — you might surprise yourself! And, if you need an extra kick in the butt to help you get outside, our friends at Nike have a couple words of wisdom:

 

“The bad news? Winter is coming. The good news? You are not a bear. That means you don’t have to hibernate. You don’t have to hunker down, curl up, or stay in. You don’t have to binge-watch seasons 1-4. You don’t have to let holiday traditions trip you up. You don’t have to get cabin fever. You don’t even have a cabin. It’s the weatherman’s job to tell you what’s headed your way. It’s your job to not let it get in the way. You can’t choose the weather. But you can choose your winter.”

DreAllDay:04 The three things I really want to tell my younger self.

Dre Baldwin reveals 3 things he would tell his younger self if given the opportunity.

The three things.

  1. Start educating yourself outside of school ASAP. School is designed to create employees and you dot want to be one! So you need some other education. Find it.
  2. Learn how to sell. Everything is life is driven by sales, so it would be smart to get experienced and good at it. If you cannot sell or are afraid of selling, you’ll be stuck with the handouts life gives you, like hourly jobs.
  3. People skills are more important than book skills. So learn who to work with, talk to, and listen to people! Learn how to win friends and influence people. Make friends and build a network of people who know and like you. It will pay off for you later.

Listen

A master communicator who teaches people on how to better communicate their sales pitches, make connections and listen to others, Dre looks back on his high school and college years for what he would have wanted someone to tell him back then. You would be smart to listen up and apply this stuff. It works.

Connect with Dre —

Twitter@DreAllDay
Periscope@DreAllDay
Instagram@DreBaldwin
SnapChat @DreBaldwin

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DreAllDay:04 The three things I really want to tell my younger self.

Dre Baldwin reveals 3 things he would tell his younger self if given the opportunity. The three things. Start educating yourself outside of school ASAP. School is designed to create employees and you dot want to be one! So you need some other education. Find it. Learn how to sell. Everything is life is driven by […]

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The top 5%. Are you there yet?

In this episode, Dre Baldwin covers the 3 things everyone needs to place yourself in the top 5% of ANYTHING you do in life (It’s actually Top 1%, but Dre used 5% to make it more “realistic” for people who lack a certain amount of self-belief):   Have goals and visions and look at them […]

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What they don’t do. It’s a saturated world out there.  Saturated marketplace, social media, competition in athletics, and everywhere else you look.  It’s overwhelming.  It stifles creativity and work ethic.  There is an answer though.  It’s you.  Learn more about how to do what no one else is doing so you can rise to the […]

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AOF:146 Basketball, a lifetime sport and settling the “I’m getting too old argument.”

The American representative from FIMBA joins us today to talk about the organization that is organizing masters level basketball competition all over the world.  He got his start as a guard at Boston College in the late 70’s and his love for the game has never let down.  He shares how he stays fit for the game he loves as well as some entrepreneurial endeavors he has started in the space.

Things we talk about:

  • How he got involved with FIMBA
  • The longest he has ever gone without playing basketball
  • How he got started at the park as a 5 year old with a big mouth
  • What it means to see other men in their 70’s and 80’s stilling playing, and talking trash
  • What’s next for FIMBA
  • A quote that moved him from Nick Saban
  • What he created that may be the next or first big animated character in sports commentary.
  • His favorite country and quote
  • How to get involved in masters basketball

 

LISTEN

 

1968 JS in grade school- Early on in Jim’s lifelong love of the game.

JS speaking with Mike copy

Mike Raffone hanging with Jim.

 

FIMBA Italy 3

FOLLOW:

Jim’s Blog

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AOF:168 AOF:168 Chicken of the Forest, the adapting athlete, and a podcast launch.

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The top 5%. Are you there yet?

In this episode, Dre Baldwin covers the 3 things everyone needs to place yourself in the top 5% of ANYTHING you do in life (It’s actually Top 1%, but Dre used 5% to make it more “realistic” for people who lack a certain amount of self-belief):

 

  1. Have goals and visions and look at them DAILY
  2. Obtain books and audio tapes, aka personal development, and consume the content DAILY
  3. Become consciously aware of your habitual thought; learn to identify non-empowering thoughts and immediately replace them with positive, empowering thoughts.

Listen:

Dre emphasizes that the mental component you bring to anything will play a large part in determining your success or failure. As an expert in empowerment, confidence and the mental game, Dre is the perfect person to share who you can ling your goals and your mental game to get where you want to go.

Connect with Dre —

Twitter@DreAllDay
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