Friday, August 22, 2014
Day 131 Update: Sneak peek at 10+ Fitness Minutes Mini-Book
Hi Everyone – hope you are having a great Friday! Today is Day 131 of my 10+ fitness minutes streak. I just came in from doing mini-trampoline in the sunshine to cross 10 minutes for the day so far.
I’m excited today to give you a chance to read the 10+ Fitness Minutes Mini-book if you are interested (reading it takes about 30 minutes altogether).
Here is a link to view the PDF:
I’ll be putting together a survey soon if you’d like to answer questions about this, and feel free to shout out any comments below or send me a sparkmail.
Hope everyone has a great Friday and weekend. I should be around the site this weekend some.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Today is Day 127 of my 10 or more fitness minutes streak. About 25 minutes so far today to keep the streak alive. Today I increased my number of lunges just a bit. I’ve learned the hard way to never increase lunges too much or you end up with lunge legs the next few days and can barely walk. Of course, that’s a great way to look at this in general – just keep increasing one step at a time.
Thanks a bunch for all the great comments on my last blog that was a tribute to Robin Williams. We have done surveys and a surprising percentage of SparkPeople members have some form of depression/anxiety, so I hope to do more to help with this.
Hope everyone had a good weekend and is ready for a positive week ahead! This weekend was the last one before our kids go back to school this Wednesday. So, I took the family and my brother to a San Jose Earthquakes MLS soccer game. Originally, I was going to take them in September if their fitness streak hit 50 days in a row, but I have to travel on that day, so moved it to this weekend as a reward for them hitting 25 days in a row. They really like this and my oldest especially gets excited about tracking his minutes.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t go so well and the home team lost to Dallas FC 5-0 and even missed a penalty kick that would have at least given the kids the excitement of seeing a gooooooooooooooooal. But, we still had a great time.
It was a bittersweet day for my wife because she used to go to Earthquakes games as a kid with her Dad and brother way back in the 70s. He was born in Germany and loved soccer and coached her teams when she was a kid. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago and his birthday was yesterday, so she thought this was a good way to honor him for us to take our kids to their first professional soccer game. I played soccer from age 6-18 and it was a great sport for fitness and leadership (though I wish I hadn’t done so many headballs!).
I’m super-excited at the moment because we’re working on a partnership with a fun organization that might include the 10 or more fitness minutes challenge in their program!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Today is Day 122 of my 10 or more fitness minutes streak. About 20 minutes so far today.
Today I want to reflect on the passing of Robin Williams for a couple of reasons.
First, his movie Dead Poet’s Society is one of the top movies that moved me to take action (and of course, was only one of his masterpieces). I remember watching it at the suggestion of my friend Rob sometime in 1996. I can’t remember for sure, but this was either just before or just after we both left our jobs to become entrepreneurs and we eventually built eBay’s largest competitor together (later adding 2 partners and a computer engineering intern named Josh who is SparkPeople’s CTO today).
If you haven’t seen this movie for awhile, I’ll share a few of the classic scenes with some commentary. If you haven’t seen it yet, it might be best to not watch the last video because it’s the end of the movie – and instead go watch the whole movie! I can’t wait to show this to my kids at the right time (maybe soon).
This first scene sets up the whole movie:
After you watch this, think about how it can relate to your life. For example, try to equate “poetry” with everything in your life that goes beyond the very basics of surviving day-to-day. Think of “poetry” as everything that makes or could make your life joyful, exciting, and full of hope. Next, just like they did in this scene, visualize ripping out everything that is holding you from your goals and dreams so that you are free to move forward.
One of the best quotes from the movie: ”..that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
What will be the verse or verses of your life? There is still so much to be written for you and all of us together.
Next, here is one of my favorite scenes showing his natural ability to inspire people who might not even know they want to be inspired. Williams was such a great fit for this role. I can still trace back my goal to inspire other people to his incredible ability in scenes like this:
After you watch this scene, think about how Mr. Keating brought something out of Mr. Anderson that he probably had no idea was in him. Apply this to your life. This scene is real and goes far beyond poetry. I can just about guarantee you that there are many skills and abilities that are inside you that haven’t seen the light of day yet. This is why I really started SparkPeople and am excited about projects like the 10 or more fitness minutes challenge: because I know these are really just tools to help replicate Mr. Keating’s skills and bring out the best in millions of people.
This is another great teaching/inspiration clip that builds to the finale:
How can you look at life in a different way?
Besides the finale of the movie, I’ll make this one the last clip:
Hard to miss the message of this one. What will you do to seize the day? Most people reading this will likely be older than the boys in this clip. But, don’t let that be an excuse. You are never too old to “make your lives extraordinary.”
Finally, here is the finale:
Wow. It was hard to watch this scene without getting tears even before he was gone, but now...
"O Captain! My Captain!" from all of your fans, Mr. Williams -- and thanks for your amazing verses.
The second part of this blog is that it’s hard to understand (accept?) someone like him taking his own life. But, having grown up with anxiety and having had depression for a short time as a teenager, I really do understand how it’s possible. Depression can be a little like getting cancer – where you can take actions to prevent it and treat it and hopefully cure it, but some people are more prone to this disease. And once someone has severe anxiety or depression, thinking they can “just snap out of it” is about the same as thinking someone can just snap out of having cancer.
Even though most people have used SparkPeople primarily to lose weight and get fit, the underlying program I originally developed is just as much an anti-anxiety program. For example with the 10+ fitness minutes challenge, both exercise and reaching one small goal at a time form a potent mental and physical punch that can be part of fighting anxiety and depression. Especially when then combined with other areas like nutrition, stress management, and other healthy habits.
While this is small now in the big picture, after originally watching Dead Poet’s Society, I always had a small goal to eventually work with Robin Williams in some way to help people. Now it’s a bummer knowing that some of what SparkPeople does could possibly have helped him to some degree.
If any of this happens to relate to you, please get help from friends, family, and professionals. And then also continue giving your SparkPeople program a great effort. I know from experience that these small steps can conquer big issues.
Here’s an example of this in action from a member comment on my blog yesterday about going to the amusement park – just imagine how her life has changed and how this might impact the rest of her kids’ lives!
Love your blog!! I remember the days I would never fit in the seats for rides or I would need the seat belt extender sitting in my seat in the airplane. Now I can ride and fly without issue. Thanks to you and SparkPeople I have a new, much improved life!! Also with your son jumping rope - How awesome is that!! We all compete in 5K's today. The last one in June the whole family ran. One of the coordinators said "Mom you should be proud. Look at you all go and being healthy together. Way to go Mom!" That was a profound moment for me. From a person who could barely walk to the mailbox to jogging 5K's now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! Moni
What are some of your favorite memories of Robin Williams?
Carpe Diem. Let’s all seize the day and start writing our verses today!
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Hi everyone! Today is Day 121 of my 10 or more fitness minutes streak.
Yesterday was a fun day in the streak. I took the day off work and we went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for my youngest son’s 8th birthday celebration. He took his best friend and his big brother as guests. So, I got to spend most of the day riding fun rides with 3 boys. I’ll remember this one for a long time because it was the first time that both boys were tall enough and brave enough to ride just about any ride in the park. I was a little surprised that I was able to convince them to ride the Double Shot for our second ride of the morning. This ride has your legs dangling in the air and then shoots you 125 feet up in the air and then you free fall back down – and then back up and down again. This one even scares me a bit. It was a fun day to be fit to be able to hang out with your kids and remember for a long time. I love days like this because then you can visualize these memories when you are having tough days, or in the dark of winter – great way to stay motivated to then build more memories. Here’s a quick 30-second video if you’d like to see this ride!
Overall, this amusement park has really good rides, but not world-class rides. But, what it does have is an amazing location right next to the ocean. Here’s another 90-second video shot from the ride above if you want to see a good view of the park and ocean.
Ok, enough of rides, here’s the reason for the title of this blog…
My wife and kids were watching one of those exciting survivalist TV shows where experts try to survive an adventure out in the wilderness. One thing they did was boil hot water in a regular thin plastic water bottle (one of the cheap bottled water containers you’d get from the store). My wife commented that while this is a neat trick, they probably don’t realize they are likely causing chemicals from the plastic to leach into the water by boiling it. This made her comment that we are urban survivalists because we’re trying to reduce the number of chemicals and other toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis from all kinds of products. I’ll eventually write more about this – it’s such an important topic with all the processed foods and so many other products in our homes. Something has gone seriously awry with our society and it’ll likely be up to us to demand change from manufacturers – because it’s affecting our health and overall lives in profound ways.
One more quick update: if you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I recently taught my kids how to jump rope and that my youngest was quickly frustrated and gave up when he could only do 3 jumps in a row. Then, after a talk, he went out and practiced by himself and was able to do 35 in a row. On this past Sunday, I happened to look out the window and there he is doing jump rope WHILE BOUNCING ON THE MINI-TRAMPOLINE! He was partly motivated to do this by a jump rope act he saw on America’s Got Talen that did jump rope on trampolines.
It’s always fun to see what your kids do when you point them in the right direction and they take one step at a time -- and it’s interesting to see how they are motivated by what they see on TV – which can obviously be good or bad.
Have a great night – SparkCheers!
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