Who’s Running Scared?

Who’s Running Scared?

Are our streets a safe place to run or are you literally running scared? The onset of Autumn/Winter and the dark morning and evenings that accompany it introduces to some of us a most unwelcome barrier to our running plans.

What is the problem?

TrueSapien and ‘ExploreRunner’ Tim Caldwell addresses this issue and how fear of running in the dark may be overcome.

As a man, I don’t feel like I have to deal with anywhere near the same number of barriers that women face in today’s society when it comes to going out for a run. No-one seems to care what I wear, how I look, or that I am indeed exercising in public. No, I’m not looking for sympathy! I don’t go out feeling like I might be followed, cat-called, sneered at, spat at (yes, a running club member reported this!) or ridiculed for running. I also don’t worry that the clothes I’m running in might provoke verbal abuse. All of the above have been highlighted by women as having had an impact on their decision to run or experience of running.

How real is the threat?

Like every runner since the film came out, I’ve had the really original ‘Run Forrest, Run!’ shouted after me, but I tend to just take it as a sign I must be running at a good pace for the comment. My eternal optimism does have its good points!

For many of my fellow runners, often women, the possible environment and atmosphere is far starker. Every ‘blackspot’ between street lighting is a potential place for people to lurk. That person who crosses the road is a potential danger to be aware of. The cul-de-sac or other street leading to a dead-end is a big ‘no-no’ when running alone as a female.

The abuse I’ve heard reported by female runners from the general public, both men and women is sickening. I just don’t get it. Women who run are probably doing it for many of the same reasons I do: to maintain or improve fitness, for enjoyment and some ‘me’ time, to discover new places, to lose or maintain a healthy weight, to burn off the anger/frustration/problems of the day. Where is the respect for people aiming to lead a healthy life? I’m sure it comes down to jealousy, idiocy or ignorance. I find it deeply troubling in modern society, when we have so many ways to be informed citizens, that intimidatory practices such as cat-calling, shouting abuse, ridiculing people who exercise, or following runners is even a ‘thing’ that some people think it OK to do.

What can be done?

Changing the attitudes of the masses is highly unlikely in the short term. Whether out of jealousy, ignorance, sexism or a combination of all plus countless other undesirable attributes, it’s something that isn’t going away. We have to tolerate it and deal with it in order to pursue the way of life we have chosen.

Tim gathered some feedback and suggestions from friends and acquaintances on how to best deal with the dangers:

Headtorches

One of the major ways in which you can stay safe and be seen in the dark is by wearing a headtorch. Brighter the better! Anyone you’re running towards won’t have a clue what you look like. For people who may harbour an opportunistic threat, not knowing if you’re male or female may well be enough to put them off from trying anything.

Appropriate Clothing

If you’re female then more neutral colours are best. Why shouldn’t you wear what you like?! I agree with you – it is a sad state of affairs but one that needs exploring. If you’re wearing pink (and by the way, pink truly is one of my favourite colours), then an opportunistic low-life is likely to assert that you are highly likely to be female…

Trackable Technology

iPhone’s ‘find friends’ and Garmins ‘LiveTrack’ are invaluable and can give the user and your loved one’s additional peace of mind.

Run with a friend

Not always possible and sometimes defeats the object of the ‘alone time’ benefit so appealing to many.

Sensible location

Try to stick to busier, populated, well-lit areas to limit the opportunity for people to act in a disgusting manner towards you.

Time specific

This is one I particularly struggle with. Sticking to an amount of time which you agree in advance with your loved ones at home. ‘I’ll be home in an hour!’ I’ve been known to say, coming back maybe two hours later. However, this could well be useful for you to try.

Change your route

One of the things that opportunists might use against us happens to be one of our strengths – our discipline. We also tend to be creatures of habit, adopting and following the same well-worn path(s) on certain morning or night-time runs, or heading out at the same time on the same nights. Change things up a bit, become less predictable and as such, the likelihood of you suffering any issues will decrease too.

Ignore abuse

This one can be so difficult, but being in control of your emotions, channelling them into your running and looking where you’re going is so important. Horrible comments, shouting and swearing are incredibly upsetting and it is during these moments that you need to stay strong and focus on your running. Avoid the temptation to rise to the bait, knowing you can vent later in a safe environment of family and friends. As hard as it is, don’t let it get to you. Some people reported having people run alongside them. This can be so dangerous, particularly for the abuser, as they would tend not to be looking where they’re going. If this happens to you, my advice would be to ensure you keep looking straight ahead, avoiding eye contact and ensuring you can see where you’re going. In this situation, your safety is paramount.

Report it

Abuse like this will continue and increase unless it is challenged. The more that this is reported, talked about and publicised, the more society will understand and appreciate just how unacceptable it is. Tell the police, inform your running club or your family. Building a picture of what is happening could be valuable in enabling action to prevent abuse.

Education

The people who think it’s OK to hurl abuse at runners, mock them by running alongside them, shout from car windows, follow and intimidate, sadly are people who have families. They are known, they have friends, brothers, sisters, parents, children, just like the rest of us. If you know people who think this kind of behaviour is ‘funny’ or ‘a bit of a laugh,’ it’s really up to you to stand up to them and educate them. Schools already do so much to attempt to instil a degree of respect for others, so this education is more about society as a whole.

Flexibility (know your environment)

If something doesn’t seem right and you are able to do so safely, cross the road, turn around or take a different turning. It’s better to avoid a potential situation if you feel an instinct about it, than to regret having acted later.

Thanks to Tim Caldwell for such an informative post on a topical and sensitive issue. To read more from Tim, head over to his blog at Tim’s Running World.

Don’t Run Scared! Be TrueSapien Challenge Life!

5 ways to sort out your stuff

5 ways to sort out your stuff

I’m a hoarder, a hoarder of stuff. It has pissed off my my parents, it currently pisses off my wife-to-be and it’s starting to piss me off! With space dwindling in my home it’s time to get rid of the unnecessary. I’m not alien to this task, I’ve had a “clear out” man of times. Each time I do I find many reasons to keep shit I probably don’t need. I mean, I don’t need them for sure but they could be useful in the future. There’s that or I just like the item or think it’s a waste to throw out. However, if I want my forthcoming wedding to go ahead then I need to do something to reduce hard earned goods…or as my parents say “clutter”, or my fiancé calls “shit”.

hoarding stuff

As said, II have been here before. So I can’t just go through each piece of clothing, cable or accessory as I know what will happen. I’ll find more excuses. This go me thinking though. Actually, the TrueSapien philosophy got me thinking – what is it I really need? I’m not becoming a minimalist, as I can’t work miracles. It’s not about that either. It’s about letting go of the old and it’s about working towards a new. So what is it in my possessions that I really want and need?

5 categories of stuff

Essentially everything we have falls in to 5 categories:

  • Everyday living – clothes, kitchenware, consumables etc…
  • Everyday maintenance – white goods, cleaning, DIY & gardening tools etc…
  • Productivity & Efficiency – electronic devices, work materials, vehicles, storage & bags etc…
  • Entertainment – electronic devices, creative materials, toys/games, trinkets, art/pictures etc…
  • Essentials – (some) furniture, first aid and medical devices etc…

Firstly, I know I have missed out some things here but they should fit into somewhere (please let me know if you feel a bucket is missing). Secondly, some items are cross purpose and fit in many buckets. For instance; a mobile phone these days is both entertainment and a device for productivity. With technology evolving some people will use it as an essential medical device, e.g. for monitoring their pace maker. But everything we own, or at least everything I own fits in a bucket. If it doesn’t then why have I got it?!

…even for a nomad (or hiker)!

All of this stuff can amount to a lot or a little. Even a nights hike into the wilderness will see us pack a few items from each category. For example, we might at least want:

  • Everyday living – clothes suitable for the climate
  • Everyday maintenance – equipment to rustle-up some food
  • Productivity & Efficiency – mobile phone or maps for guidance and info
  • Entertainment – the mobile phone doubling up for an array of entertainment
  • Essentials – first aid kit and a tent

But my house is packed with this stuff. If we can get by in the outdoors with nothing but a backpack. I am pretty sure I can really reduce what I have in my house.

hike

A first world problem?

Maybe I’m an extreme example. As said, I’m somewhat of a hoarder. But are we not all guilty to some degree in the first world of having too much? I’m not calling out to rid people of their prize possessions. I’ve no interest in scapegoating those of us lucky enough to have the opportunity and ability to acquire clothes, devices or any item that helps us out or just puts a smile on our face. But it does seem we rely on that very buzz for happiness.

first world problems

We don’t take anything with us when we die. We use this stuff when we are here on planet earth. If we use it or if we love it then by all means acquire it. We aren’t bad people for being the privileged few who are first world tenants. But if we base our happiness on what we have, or we hold on to stuff because what might be then something has gone wrong.

A Purposeful Life

Being TrueSapien is to live a purposeful life. A purposeful life is to surround oneself with purposeful stuff. Whether it is to get us through each day, help us get things done, is something that makes us smile or is essential to our wellbeing. Our stuff should have a purpose.

So that’s my plan. Figure out it’s purpose. No maybes or loosely held attachments that only came about when I picked up the item for the first time in 3 years. Have a plan. I’m sure it won’t be the last of my clean outs, but I’m sure it will be the best one yet.

Stay Green

One more important note to self. Recycle, pass on and buy fairly. This world is damn important. I need to remember that!

learn from others

The Resentment Of The Lazy Majority

The Resentment Of The Lazy Majority

Most of the human race are lazy. Fact. Most of the human race are motivated by shallow, materialistic and meaningless goals. Sad fact. They don’t examine or question it because they gain a strange and distorted comfort belonging to the MAJORITY. They resent those that challenge this way of ‘life’ because they represent a more desirable version of themselves.

The Ride

It was about 7:30 am and I was nearing the end of an enjoyable early morning, pre-work bike ride. Something I’d do a couple of mornings a week. Roads had been fairly quiet as I generally avoid busy urban streets for such rides. It was a familiar route for me. As regular cyclists will know, routes you cycle regularly consist of favourable roads and not so favourable, depending on factors such as visibility, width, business (vehicles), scenery and road surface.

The Incident

I hit one of my favoured roads. It was wide, very flat and the surface was beautifully smooth and not one usually travelled by large commercial vehicles. I could comfortably travel at 23-25mph on this road, and car drivers, if feeling the need to do so, could easily overtake even with oncoming traffic.
After only 20 or 30 seconds my enjoyment was abruptly halted with two long, deafening blasts of a powerful air horn. WHAT THE FUCK! Despite nearly shitting my bib shorts, I managed to steady myself and glance over my right shoulder. A cab of an articulated vehicle was literally feet behind me attempting to overtake. I pulled over onto the pavement, fearing for my own safety to see the driver leaning across to his passenger window shouting, “YOU COULD FUCKING PULL OVER!”, followed by more blasts on the horn.

The Reaction

To say I was outraged would have been an understatement. I must have looked pretty fucking ridiculous in my lycra, shouting obscenities at an artic, challenging the driver to a fight on the pavement to settle the matter. Fortunately the driver continued on his way. Either he was in too much of a hurry, had deafened himself as well as me with his fucking air horn or, more likely, was an out of shape, lazy asshole that was nothing once of outside the safety that his vehicle gave him.

On Reflection

I was a bit ashamed of my reaction. I was angry. As I contemplated on the remainder of my ride, it wasn’t anger for my own safety. It was anger borne of frustration. For me, the behaviour of the trucker embodied so much of what is bad about our society. To him, I was a hindrance. A nobody. A faceless prick on a bike getting in his way and holding him up from his date with weak coffee and full English breakfast buttie at the next roadside café. I wasn’t a Father, a provider to four young children. A fellow human being, with many of the same challenges in life as him. Someone that would treat him as I’d want to be treated myself.

The Real Problem

Or maybe that was the problem. Maybe I represented what laziness or ignorance prevent him from becoming. His rage was incited by the fact I was doing what he knew he should be doing. I was in his face, making him confront his ‘nemesis’.
We can’t make people see that there is a better way, that there are meaningful goals and aspirations in life. Some will be inspired to change. Others will, over time. Others won’t because their attitude and beliefs are so deep seated.

The Answer

So what is the answer? There is only one. Continue to set and lead by example to those we can influence. Those closest to us. Make questioning life and challenging ourselves a way of life, so that it may become their way too. Be TrueSapien. Challenge Life.

The balance of Technology

The balance of Technology

Technology can get a bad rep and can also be what we love. We hate the big brother aspect of following ads, but we love the gadgets that help us monitor, track and evaluate our performance and activities. Fact is they work hand in hand. Start-up companies are popping up everywhere. New technology to further our abilities and know-how are continually being developed. These companies and products may have something we end up loving. Without the functionality the likes of Google provide we may never know they meet our needs or even exist.

An example of technology success

I’m a huge fan of my MOOV; a little-known company who developed an advanced movement and HR tracker like no other I have seen. I came across it due to some targeted ads as I looked for an activity tracker. I had searched several review sites and at the time it wasn’t even mentioned by others. But MOOV team donned their big brother stalker like hats on and managed to draw me into their site. Thank god they did, my running and swimming has come on leaps and bounds by reviewing the metrics and advice the little device provides.

But this isn’t a review…maybe I should do one? Another day perhaps. MOOV is an example of how I used my phone, laptop, targeted ads, online video and an array of websites to eventually improve upon my performance. It is also an example of how I ignored the living and engaged with the digital. I joined in the MOOV communities online. Yet I stuck my head in to my phone on public transport where real humans surrounded me.

Technology arresting your sould?

Am I technology detainee?

I’m hooked in. I’m that person on meme’s showing how technology helps us ignore the world passing by. One of those who’s soul is slowly being stripped away by digital media and gadgets. Well, I am if they don’t fit my ethos and interests. I connected online with like minded people online. Told everyone I know who would be interested about the device offline. The device itself pushed me outside to run and encouraged me to go swimming. My engagement with technology made me get out more not less. It made me engage more not less. So have I really become a detainee of technology?!

It’s what we do that defines us!

Fact is. Without technology I wouldn’t be airing my opinions here. I would continue to have poor running form (without expert advice), be less informed and would be stuck with what is in front of me. Technology teaches, inspires and liberates us. The problem in this first world isn’t technology, its our misuse of it. Before the dawn of the internet the phrase “life is about balance” was well known. Work and social life. Training and rest. Each one goes hand in hand.

use balance in technology as there is balance in life

Today’s technological age adds to this, and it especially applies to technology. Balance what you do online with what you do offline. But, more importantly; make sure we are moving forward. Mindless use of your life offline or online is misuse. TrueSapien’s technology is the same technology everyone uses. Just like one man’s life is the same meat and bones of another mans. But it is what we do that defines us!

Is Image is Everything?

Is Image is Everything?

It’s not a new concept, each era seems to have had it in some form or another. To give the world a view of oneself of what we believe society deems as powerful, successful or desirable. Then the internet came along and gave everyone a platform to showcase themselves. This seems to have supercharged the desire and gave some opportunities where they thought one wasn’t. Now image is everything and it is everywhere!

Image can be glorious

OK, this sounds negative already, but it really isn’t. Image is how we find others with the same interests and the internet allows us to communicate to those people no matter of geographical or social divide. Its allowed me to learn from a multitude or physical and intellectual disciplines and in turn talk about them. This furthers our connections with the right people, well, the right people for my interests and personality. Those whose image best fits mine. It’s a win-win right?!

Image can be uninteresting

So if that is true, I can just ignore those who do not match my image. Each to their own, right? I mean, I do not want to join a group to talk about the finer details of politics and the state of the economy in the 21st century. I don’t get excited with friends over the toils and troubles of Kanye West’s marriage with Kim Kardashian. I’m just not interested, it doesn’t make them bad people…OK, no one should give a shit about the relationships of over-paid celebrities unless you are a friend or family of them, but, the point is other peoples image is none of my business, but some you just can’t ignore.

Or it can just be bullshit!

It’s them, those are the ones that grind my gears. I mentioned celebrities, they are almost like gods to society. Friends, family and countrymen worship them like any alignment gives their image a boost. This itself means a person’s image is blurred. Throw on top a smattering technology and biological advances and now we don’t have to be ourselves anymore, we can take on a different persona, a different image. Not for fun, not for experimentation but purely for the fake image that they believe is perceived as the best.

It doesn’t stop, we lie, and we cheat, all in the name of image. You don’t have to use a filter on every fucking picture you take because your image must be of perfection. It’s not necessary to post vague Facebook posts to give the impression you’re living the dream. Why talk shit like you are the all-knowing all-seeing omnipotent force behind all things worth mentioning…wait…is that what I am doing?

Stop the bullshit

Maybe I am, is this not just as bad? Could be, but the fakery and deceit are what really pisses me off. It may have always been around but with recent advances mean its spread like wildfire. So now we have more responsibility than ever before. Not to tell others what to do and force our opinion down others throats, but to enforce our own image to be as real as possible and hopefully we teach by example much like many of us TrueSapien’s have learnt from others

Is Image Everything? - We can learn somethng from everyone

After all, image is multi-sided. We can’t ignore others because it isn’t black and white. Everyone can learn something from another. Plus, segmentation and borders have never been a good idea. When it comes to it, if they aren’t harming anyone then there’s no damage. So, whatever your image is embrace and share it. But please, please, please stop with the bullshit. It’s getting annoying and it’s not real…and while I am at it, celebrities are just famous people. You may love what they do, but it is just another human being. A fortunate, a skilled, an entertaining or just a hard working one, they are like everyone else – flesh and bone.

Motivation and how it is effected by seasonality

Motivation and how it is effected by seasonality

With summer over, autumn upon us and winter in our sights how does the change of season affect us as human beings? There are claims our brains are affected by seasonality such as huffingtonpost.com article How Different Seasons Affect The Way Your Brain Works, but does this relate to motivation?

Is SAD the only affect on motivation?

With exception of the New Year boost that is apparent from every gym around the world (from my limited view anyway) it seems it just might. There are plenty of articles about SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, where the shorter the days impact someone’s mood. Just check out the NHS page on SAD where the look at what it is, what the symptoms are and how we may treat it. It is without a doubt that it is a “Thing” and with a change of mood is a change in motivation.

Seasonality Affective Disorder on motivation

Avoid the Extremes…

In relation to your training days summer is by far the best time to get motivated, right? I’m not so sure myself. I am wondering if it is actually Spring and Autumn that are the best times of year to get motivated. After all, we aren’t battling the elements of extreme heat or extreme cold.

With winter giving short days and cold months you can see why it becomes that bit more difficult to have the “get up and go”. Summer on the other hand has the longest of days but with it comes the heat. On top of that there is the holidays and the temptation to join friends and family in social outings. This isn’t conducive to a prime time to motivate. Whereas Spring and Autumn days have a decent amount of sunlight. We have also not quite overcome by the buzz of summer or wound down in the dark months of winter.

…or embrace the challenge!

So, in relation to training and getting the most motivated it’s the less extreme months that allow us to start anew or push harder to reach goals. After all, the elements are in our favour. But Truesapiens enjoy the challenge, check out our “Be Truesapien” page. A run in minus temperatures is like waving a cookie in-front of a Sesame Street character; it just has to be done. It is a defiance of modern day living, its self-proof we can still brave the elements but most of all it’s exhilarating.

Keep it moving Truesapiens

It isn’t easy though when the cold gets bitter or it has been sweltering hot. I myself have fallen foul to the temptations of the temperature controlled gyms. Fact is perfect conditions allow perfection in performance which is great. Just like the invention of light makes us able to work and play at nights. With that said though, if we do not challenge our environment then why challenge ourselves. I’m a big fan of functional fitness but what is the point if I cannot test how I function the extremes!

The only thing I must stress is BE CAREFUL! Mother nature has no mercy and the likes of heat exhaustion or hypothermia is not something we should ignore. So gear up, fuel up and hydrate. Winter is coming and this may be when many may see motivation waver, but this is where TrueSapien’s can thrive!

Winter running

How To Survive An Ultra Marathon

How To Survive An Ultra Marathon

What is an Ultra Marathon? Even non runners will be familiar with the term Marathon but what makes a Marathon ‘Ultra’? How does it differ from a standard Marathon and what does it take to complete one?

Basically an Ultra Marathon is any race that is longer than a Marathon (26.2 miles). Some are several hundred miles long but most are in the region of 30-50 miles. Often off road or ‘trail’ based, popularity in these events has soared as they represent a further and enhanced challenge for se that have completed a standard Marathon.
Here, TrueSapien and ‘Explorunner’ Tim Caldwell kindly shares his experiences and insights gained from his first Ultra Marathon, a 50KM version of The NoMad Ultra earlier this year. Tim, a teacher by profession and a dedicated Father is a keen and avid runner and explorer (Explorunner!). He’s also deeply passionate about encouraging others to be active and to appreciate the great outdoors.

The ‘Ultra’ Challenge

Tim is a regular parkrunner and proud member of Long Eaton Running Club. He had previously participated in events from 5km up to the standard Marathon distance before committing to the NoMad Ultra Marathon that took place in June 2018. What additional challenges would this event pose?
“I felt fairly confident that my legs could take me to the finish line, as I had run over 50k in a test-run a couple of weeks beforehand, made up of a parkrun at Belton House and then an attempt to run home from there (70km away)” said Tim.

Navigation

“What I was less confident about was my ability to run/walk and navigate myself along the course, whilst remembering to feed and water myself appropriately along the way”.
Many Ultra Marathons aren’t fully marshalled, due partly to their distance and most aren’t on city streets like most Marathons. The additional requirement of good navigation certainly adds to the challenge! “After just 2 kilometres, a fellow Long Eaton RC runner and I had to shout towards the speedier starters as they’d already got lost, running away from the route and effectively about to join the path we were supposed to be running away from! Inside, I felt sorry for these runners, but also slightly smug that I hadn’t (yet!) got lost”.

The mental challenge

Due to the heat and terrain, even reaching the marathon equivalent distance of 42.2 km had been far more of a challenge to Tim than the Marathon he’d run only two months earlier. But Tim still had nearly 10km left to go….
“It was only the fourth time I’d travelled this far in one go, so it was no mean feat. What makes me smile now looking back, is that at this point, my mind was now going, ‘Great! You’ve probably only got 10k left now after you got lost and you can easily run 10k in 40 minutes, so a sub 5 hour time is still on!’ Yes, brain, thanks for that. Your optimism delights the sh*t out of me. However, brain, let’s get this straight. I’ve ALREADY run 4 lots of 10k, plus a bit more, and right now, I just want to finish.”

Beyond the Marathon

So how did the additional distance to his recently accomplished Marathon affect Tim and how did he cope? How much more difficult can 10k be??
Tim recalls “As I continued with those last 10 kilometres, it took sheer determination and a monumental effort to keep putting one foot in front of the other. My thighs were aching, almost feeling like they were detached from my bones and ready to fall off, onto the road. I was grunting like a warthog and it was getting warmer with every step.”Why is this the case? On the face of it an additional 10k should be fairly straightforward right? Wrong. Being an academic guy, Tim has this helpful theory for explaining the ‘actual required’ effort to cover this additional distance. “A 50k Ultra marathon is actually equivalent to 42.2km PLUS another 40km (i.e. 8 actual kms multiplied by 5 because that’s how it FEELS to your body). So in effect, you’re running 82.2km. Train for that and you’ll be about good to go and enjoy your 50k Ultra marathon!”

Other lessons learned

As well as this re-evaluation of the required distance for which to train, Tim also learned other valuable lessons. Regular calorie intake is essential to keep your body and your mind from shutting down. “The pink and white nougat bars that I’d brought with me were sensational. I’ve never enjoyed these more and I scoffed an entire one as I walked through a golf course on the route.” Another valuable lesson learned was that of effective hydration. At one point, inside the final 10km he realised he’d entirely run out of water! At that stage, due to the hot conditions, almost constant water intake is necessary. He’d failed to fully replenish his supplies at the last checkpoint! “I felt I had plenty left, so I’d just topped up conservatively. I won’t make that mistake again!”

Post race reflection

By their very nature, a true challenge should leave a permanent mark on you and improve you considerably as a person and be capable of inspiring others to emulate your achievement. What were Tim’s post-race reflections?
“I really challenged myself with this Ultra marathon race. I learned a lot from the process of training for it, getting and testing the right kit, talking to people, reccying the route, navigating using a range of different sources and seeing what I’m made of both physically and mentally. While I was disappointed with my finish time of 5:36, the fact that I’d finished it without anywhere near as many rests as in my training run was a big positive. I’d run further in one day than I ever have before and other than one navigational issue, everything else had gone really well.”

For a full account of Tims first Ultra Marathon and many other interesting running related posts please visit his blog page timsrunningworld.com

Be TrueSapien. Challenge Life.

Too lazy to take the stairs?

Too lazy to take the stairs?

People are lazy, me included. If it involves an easy way out or less effort, then this is doubly so. One recent example involved a trip down to the big smoke. Traveling from A to B, like many, I took the subway. Exiting a train I waited in line, London tube can be annoyingly packed, to get top-side. This queue was big and crammed but well organized due to some security guards keeping the herd in line.

There were stairs!

Five minutes in and I was frustrated enough (following the herds emotions) to question what the hell was holding us up?! Poking my head out the queue I just saw a thick line of flustered travelers slowly moving onto the escalators to take them to the top. One taking us up, one taking others down to the platform and a thin set of stairs separating them. The stairs stuck out like a sore thumb as it seemed like everyone was playing “the floor is lava” game with them and avoiding them at all costs. The security guards keeping everyone in line was ensuring we stayed on route to the escalators, so I thought that may be some annoying HR rep had the bright idea of banning their use to some pointless first world danger. Frustration kept building and with a security guard in earshot of me I asked him why we can’t take the stairs? He answered simply, “you can, just no one wants too”!

Too lazy to tak ethe stairs

Just plain lazy

Let me re-iterate; most in the queue, being a Friday as well, was flustered and frustrated as they. Like me, just wanted to get home. People need to chill. I needed to chill as we’ll get there soon enough but that isn’t my point. No matter how annoying it was standing in the queue not a single individual throughout the 10 minutes I had been waiting there wanted to take the stairs. NO. ONE. What the fuck is wrong with people! I wasted no time; heat of the tube station and the increasing packed space was already getting to me so taking on the steep and long set of stairs was a welcome break.

Maybe everyone else like me thought it was inaccessible for some bullshit reason but as I looked back half way up only a small of handful of people had joined me with the majority opting to wait. It was a long set of stairs, in my frustration I scaled them 2 or 3 steps at a time carrying three bags so perspiration was in full flow, but I was finally out and continued my way home in seconds.

Easy way isn’t the best way

Some people can’t do it, I get that. Most can though, yet I see stairs avoided in shopping centres in favour of escalators, lifts seemingly being the only option in offices and travelators full to the brim in airport so people can travel down long corridors without moving. Why? Because people are too fucking lazy to put effort into getting from A to B. A side effect of technology bringing efficiency to the masses and advanced capabilities is the dumbing down (for another post that one) of society and creating indolent individuals.

We all have times we want to be lazy, but don’t let it be a default state. In the same way as we should watch what we eat, we should watch what we do and be accountable. Whatever machine, computer or device you use to cut corners and make things easier use it to advance yourself. Use it to treat yourself. Don’t be another Sapien giving up…or simply put, don’t be fucking lazy!

Side note: travelators when empty is so much fun, just run down them and look to the side (watching your footing of course) and see how fast it feels.

The Perfect Workout Routine

The Perfect Workout Routine

There is no “one-size fits all” workout routine, but is there a blueprint for the amateur-athlete to ensure we can continue to strive in our goals and maintain healthy lifestyle? In general, yes there is; in a nutshell it is strength, cardio and skill training. No matter what you do, what your goals are you must ensure you have all three – after all, missing the right muscles for the job, without the heart and lungs being able and a lack of coordination, balance, movement etc… then no matter what your chosen discipline you’ll be falling short of where you want to be.

Eat, Sleep, Repeat, Repeat

There we have it; our perfect routine should ensure your workout is focused on your discipline and contains the right amount of strength, cardio and skill training. Of course, this includes correct nutrition, hydration and enough hours in dream world to recuperate and re-energise but it also must include repetition. Adequacy is easily attainable, anyone can put in just enough effort to take part. But we are TrueSapiens and we are not content with mediocrity. To be the best you can be, to be the master of your art, it takes a lot of time, effort and continuous work. Yes, we must challenge the body and mind with different techniques but that in itself is repetition: hone specifics skills or continually challenge yourself, perfection comes to those who engage in repetition.

consistency in your workout

It’s a Lifestyle Thing

You have most likely heard the words “Consistency is the key” a number of times and there is a plethora of motivational quotes to get us out of bed and back at it (one of my favourites “never stop, never stopping”). It’s a no brainer this one, but very much worth a mention. One point is to not look back, Improvement is something that happens, it is a future state so no need to dwell on what we did wrong or who is to blame. But when there is no motivation left be a routine – we are not always motivated to go to work but we do because it’s our routine and it pays the bills. Let your workout regime be your lifestyle routine, there no opting out as it pays you, which is as important as the bills.

The Missing Workout Element

Most of us with a small amount of knowledge know to warm-up and cool-down. We stretch, engage in mobility exercises and of course consume the right sustenance post workout. However, I believe the perfect workout routine is not in the hours a week where we put so much effort in to improve our performance, it’s in the day to day. It’s our day jobs, our social occasions and our downtime where we pick up our worst habits and bad traits. This is not to ban or constrain what we do, just to be more aware that we are developing outside the gym as well inside. The missing element is the focus to be better day in day out.

We can all be TrueSapien

None of this is primed for elitist only – to be TrueSapien is to be the best YOU can be. If you are stuck to a sofa wondering how to get fit again, if your merely wanting to play with your kids, get rid of an injury or

Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY?

Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY?

Accountability is a personality trait that is fast becoming extinct in our modern day lives. It is leading to serious health issues, rising crime figures and countless other social issues as our sense of self-respect and respect of others is fast diminishing.

A Learned Attribute

Accountability and responsibility is a learned attribute. Once passed down from generation to generation either by rules and boundaries (these days almost none existent) or by the example set by our parents, wider family and friends. This is where the problem lies. Rules and boundaries are now seen as a fucking infringement on our human rights and as a result either no longer exist or are so diluted and wishy washy so as not to cause offense to the diverse and spineless masses.

Self-Respect

I look around me in fucking despair, watching properties and entire residential areas falling into rack and ruin because residents have no self-respect. Gardens unkempt, paintwork peeling, windows dirty. And that’s just the outside. It might sound petty, but for me it demonstrates a complete absence of pride, self-respect and accountability. And what example does that set for the younger generation? They can’t then be ‘taught’ what is right and what is wrong. It just doesn’t work that way. It should be instilled by the subconscious example being set by their elders. What for the next generation, and the next…..?

Parenting

I watch unhinged parent’s curse, scream and hit at their misguided offspring. They then wonder why the same child shows no respect for them or displays an array of behavioural issues. Parents moan about how children are not given the right guidance and discipline at school and then in the next breath criticise teachers and other authorities if they dare so much as raise their voice in criticism.

Consequences

These days a child is subliminally taught that there are no consequences to their actions. Fat, lazy parents turn a blind eye to their equally wide and sedentary children or they again blame society or the Games Console (that they fucking bought them) for their poor state.
They practically force feed their kids processed fat and sugar because it’s convenient for them to do so. I mean, why should they go out of their way and make an effort to do the RIGHT thing for their children? Because it’s their fucking responsibility, they just refuse to see it!
They need to look in the mirror at the example they are setting and do what they are supposed to do.
LEAD and take ACCOUNTABILITY. It’s our RESPONSIBILITY.

Be TrueSapien. Reject Mediocrity.

In Pursuit Of The One Armed Handstand

In Pursuit Of The One Armed Handstand

Set your targets high, develop your strategy and commit to achieving. That’s the TrueSapien way.

Bodyweight and Calisthenics practitioner Richard Blakeway epitomises and embodies the TrueSapien spirit. He recently set his sights on achieving one of the ‘holy grails’ of his field, the One Armed Handstand. The parameters being that he must be able to hold the position for 10 seconds. His initial estimate, bearing in mind he can already hold a full (2 arm) handstand comfortably would be 8 weeks.
Will he succeed? Let’s take a look at the initial stages of his progress ….

Starting Point

Initially Richard did what most would do. Attempt to achieve the objective right away. When the expected failure resulted it created a starting point that allowed him to evaluate where improvements need to be made and how to make them. During his first session he was able to move from a standard handstand to one armed and back, only momentarily. It was clear that a strategy would need to be applied, with incremental steps toward achieving the ultimate goal.

Strategy

During his second session, Richard worked on reducing the transition from full to single handed by reducing the assistance on what would ultimately become the ‘free’ hand. He did this by using just a thumb tip rather than the full hand. His theory being that this would increase the load on his supporting hand to a lesser degree as an incremental step. By day 3, during a lengthy training session, Richard managed a maximum duration of 20 seconds using this technique. But his enthusiasm took its toll. The additional, recurring load on the right, load bearing shoulder caused severe soreness and Richard wisely took a rest day from the personal challenge to recover.

Progress

For the remainder of the first week of training, Richard decided to take away the crutch of the assisting supporting thumb. The resulting attempts caused a roller-coaster of conflicting emotions. Mainly frustration, disappointment and anger, interrupted by only fleeting moments of Joy and optimism. This is how Richard summed it up himself…

When I achieve my goal, for which I will have worked so hard and suffered so much, I will open up this little pot where I have stored all this frustration and by then the madness and rage will have fermented and turned into a beautiful butterfly of happiness….remember the route to success is always through persistent failure’

We will update Richard’s progress over the coming weeks. For more regular updates check out Richards Instagram feed (@richard_blakeway) which also contains details of his YouTube Channel.

Be TrueSapien. Challenge Life.

Be Jealous or Be TrueSapien

Be Jealous or Be TrueSapien

We have a choice. Either be inspired and achieve more than you ever thought possible, inspiring others in the process. Or be jealous, and live a shit, pointless existence in obscurity and mediocrity. It’s the difference between being average and being TrueSapien.

Let’s face it, it’s nigh on impossible these days to avoid noticing the achievements of others. Social media determines that. From coverage of the exploits of elite sports people, to friends or friends of friends participating in Marathons, Ultra Marathons, OCR events or Triathlons.

On some level, have you ever felt jealous of another’s abilities, what they have achieved and the attention, sometimes even adulation that accompanies it? Even if it’s some total stranger that you don’t know from Adam. ‘how good it must be to be able to run that fast, cycle that far, look so fit’ you might think.

Well, it would be no surprise and you wouldn’t be alone. It’s natural to want what others have, that you have not. This emotion evolved within us humans to inspire one thing. Action to Progress.

For the average though, the overwhelming majority in the modern age, it doesn’t inspire this action at all. Instead, in shameless fucking ignorance, they persist in idly and passively observing the exploits and achievements of the TrueSapiens. In a desperate attempt to justify their own lackluster half-life, the average even criticize and mock those not accepting of the same mediocre, inhuman existence. They continue, in blissful ignorance, to piss away their potential.

There is a fine line between jealousy and aspiration. The difference being how the feeling is interpreted and the response it provokes. For a TrueSapien, it serves as a healthy reminder or prompt to reexamine what is important, what we want to achieve and how we’re going to do it. It creates discomfort, enough to make us attempt to eradicate it, to avoid it and in the process live a life of challenge, a life of purpose.

Be TrueSapien. Reject mediocrity.

Sour Grapes. Curse Of The Average Human

Sour Grapes. Curse Of The Average Human

It’s deep-seated in our human nature that when stricken with failure, we pretend that victory wasn’t really worth it anyway.

Is this some lame way to save face in a world where we feel inadequate? Or a coping mechanism so that the hurt of defeat is more easily accepted and ignored?

The earliest public recognition of this inhibiting human characteristic was when depicted in a fable by Aesop some two and a half thousand years ago….

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on a vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, “oh you aren’t even ripe yet, I don’t need any sour grapes.”

The average and the mediocre fucking love the easy get out that this common attribute provides, and it also helps them with the perfect excuse to never set any aspirations or goals outside of their comfort zones.

My guess is that in Aesop’s day, although significant enough to be portrayed in a Fable, it was nowhere near as prevalent as in the modern day.
Now we see this occurring in our lives all around us, often going unnoticed so it’s regularity…..

The ‘suit’ that misses his promotion but then claims he’s happier in his current role (even though he spends all day fucking moaning about it), because it’s ‘less responsibility’ …

The grossly overweight dude that gives up on his exercise program because he’s ‘comfortable’ in himself just how he is anyway…..

The girl that dreams of running her own business, but after an early setback decides that being employed and working for someone else’s dream is ‘the more secure option’…

It is one of the most damaging and limiting human traits of all when it comes to personal achievement. It locks the user in to a cycle of mediocrity that is almost impossible to escape from. It prevents us from facing up to the hurt of failure, the same hurt that makes us grow, makes us hungry and makes us want to grab life by the balls and do something fucking great. Something that will inspire others, rather than presenting them with another excuse to be just as shit.

Learn to recognize this attribute of the average. Awareness could prevent you falling in to the trap yourself!

Be TrueSapien. Reject Mediocrity.

Injury sucks

Injury sucks

Injury sucks! They stop us from achieving our long term and short-term goals and at times, depending on severity, can completely disable our ability to do anything. Severe or mild, they often stress us out due to this inability to progress and / or move as desired. On top of that there is the crippling pain or annoying niggle that stresses us out even more. Well, they do me so I re-iterate; injury sucks…big time.

Injury is a stress…in many ways

That’s the rant over, now what can I do personally to ensure the impact is as little as possible and recovery is as swift as possible?! Well, I have recently had some niggles, some annoying and some pretty high impacting injuries. Regardless what they were, they all played some part to change how I go about my training and my daily routine. Repairing them is actually the easy part, or rather the easy to follow part: listen to the doctor/physio, treat at home with proven treatments (massage, ice / heat treatment etc…) and keep food & drink healthy to help the body promote repair.

As identified though injuries come with stress, and I have found a few things that help me keep focused and stress free. First and foremost, beyond all else, is I kept exercising. At my worst I was housebound for a while and struggled to sit up let alone move around the house. Any form of exercise seemed out of reach but that was short-sighted and the internet, here to the rescue again, had plenty of ideas to help.

Do something!

Using the mentality of yoga to focus on what we can do and to respect what we can’t, Kino Yoga review this with Healing injuries with yoga article, I sought out what was in my ability. When it was a niggle I used yoga to strengthen, something more then yoga helped free up the area of concern and at my worst yoga gave me something to do, even if it was some neck and wrist movements. It provided structure and helped develop patience and focus; a bonus quality of the practice.

The time I had free, rather than the time I was incapable (trying positivity), got me thinking about what I am missing in my training. Mens Health’s recent article Are you breathing properly? hits the nail on the head “it’s surprising how little we think about how we breathe”. It’s back on the agenda, as well as trying out apps like BreathGuru and Calm I also did a few breathing exercises such as those recommended by Dr Weil and they do not disappoint. Breathing is important and most of us, regardless of injury, can do this. It kept me training and kept me focused.

Its not all bad

Another though to mention was to embrace the downtime. With some injuries it is a a balancing act between pain and a drug fuelled mind from pain killers and it is easy to sleep (a lot) and just wait and moan away days (I’ve done this). But I am still here, I’m frustrated because I can’t do what I want to do now…but I know I will at some point. Patience! That’s what I needed to tell myself. Watch those documentaries, contact those friends and sleep if I need to…its part of the recovery process. Point I made to myself was this is indeed a process, I’m not waiting, I’m progressing and every hour that passes is progress. I keep hydrated, keep entertained and keep a smile on my face…the latter may be the hardest part but like Elbert Hubbard said “If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.”

Re-focus

Treating the mind isn’t as straight forward as treating the body, the mind is after all way more complex. They are however very connected! It is the inability to use the body that affects the mind. We can’t do what we want and that itself is debilitating and demotivational. Doing what we can will not only help with the stress induced from injury but can also be highly enlightening and even improve our outlook and improve what we once thought was a cast iron training routine.

Being injured does suck but can give us a new perspective, it’s an opportunity to reboot and change what we do for the better as it enforces some form of downtime. Focusing on what we can do is a way of dealing with it and possibly helps us venture into new grounds.

Thanks to https://quotefancy.com for the imagery.

The link(s) between Sugar & Sweeteners

The link(s) between Sugar & Sweeteners

Sugar is bad for you! That’s the top news of many blogs and dieticians and “wanna be slim” enthusiasts – The Guardian has a whole section devoted to stories related to sugar and it’s effect on the population. There’s no argument here, it is indeed bad for us due to the number of products that pile it in – check out the BBC story How much sugar is hiding in your food?.

Sugars

The temptation of sugar

With sugar being almost impossible to avoid unless you are a home cook fanatic it’ll be there in some degree in nearly every meal, snack and drink. NHS looks at how sugar in our diet effects our health? and Healthline’s blog post on 11 reason why too much sugar is bad for you and everything from social sites to next door neighbours daughter is now an expert on it and like Time magazines article Sugar is definitely toxic it is definitely the number one villain in the world of food and drink.

Some say the sweetest things

The world of marketing has been listening and diet drinks, sugar free sweets, low sugar meals, 50% less sugar sauces etc… etc… is quickly becoming prominent in our stores. So it’s bad for you right? So, this must be good! Remember though, they must sweeten it somehow and what they use is aptly named sweeteners. The NHS educate us again on the truth about sweeteners and fitness magazine take us through the most popular sweeteners on Get Sweetener Savvy and it doesn’t take long to realise that they aren’t a miracle cure to the devil that is sugar. Which leaves us, and Thrillist.com asking which is worse: artificial sweeteners or sugar?.

Artificial Sweeteners

So the shift moves back to negative about sweeteners with articles like those from the BBC asking are sweeteners really bad for you? and Harvard reviewing artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? when the whole reason we moved to them was to get away from sugar. So, may be the answer is we just eat too much?! Most of the advice comes down to one word “moderation”, and as we have found out todays society lacks that control in both ourselves and the companies that produce the food. Sugar is bad for us but instead of a solution we found a workaround which is also bad for us!

You are the answer

As much as we contribute to a society it is our own individual problem. Control what you eat, and others may follow…if they don’t at least you won’t be a victim to the sugar wars. As previously specified there is loads of advice out there from experts like the SugarScience website who breaks it down with How Much is Too Much? to blogs from chefs like Jamie Oliver who takes a look with a similarly titled How much sugar is too much? post.

In conclusion, be wary of what you eat as it is us who abuse it that makes it bad. Stick to natural unrefined where possible, choose a diet that isn’t focused on sweetness and stay away from fast food. You don’t have to be a health fanatic, you just need to be health conscious.

And another thing…

So we are the problem. We love it, it’s generally a natural ingredient and carbohydrates is our first source of energy. Sugar for those who work out at the right time can do wonders, just check out the Greatist blog post The one time it’s totally OK to eat a lot of sugar for some advice. Fact is everyone is different and on top of that we have different goals.

Workout On The Run

Workout On The Run

The challenge to maintain a workout routine isn’t easy. Our 9 till 5 work day is getting ever extended, and for some is a thing of the past. Working hours are longer, shifts disrupt routine and for me; travelling for work really messes with my plans. Travelling, although often seen as glamorous (and it is not without its plus points) does mean you leave your loved ones behind, your favourite evening rituals at home and your exercise regime out the window. For the former two there is not much I can do…and for that matter neither is there much I can do about my fitness routine in regard to there being a routine, but there is stuff we can do to keep up fitness levels or at least stop me from getting stale.

Workout while moving

When I travel I don’t travel light, I travel equipped. For my carry-on bag I load the backpack with power devices, my laptop, books, notepads, toiletries, power adaptors etc… The point is I keep it heavily equipped so one I am ready for a heap of delays if necessary and two its weight training. I go to the gym and do shoulder press, farmers walk, weighted lunges and the likes and have always tried to focus on being fit for purpose…well, here is my purpose; day to day life.

I try to use day to day life to further enhance my fitness to push me further to my goals. Every day I take the stairs, I walk the long way around, I park at the edge of the car park to get that extra bit of farmers walk training with the weekly shopping bags. Point is life is full of opportunities to improve, if only we avoid what we have built as humans (lifts, escalators and other short cutting devices) and use what mother nature built.

Workout on the run - take the stairs

Home workout in the Hotel

Travelling around on trains, planes and automobiles can mean a lot of travelling on foot too. This gives me plenty of opportunities to do all the above and with heavy bags in hand. Even better, a whole day or days can go by without being able to hit the gym or go out for a run so skipping those travellators to journey down seemingly endless airport terminals acts as a great replacement and is all in a day’s work!

These tips, however, just take the edge off. I generally do look for a gym in the destination around or in my hotel but time isn’t always kind and gyms can be closed, ill fitted or just stuck for time when I have 45 minutes to meet my boss in the lobby for evening meal. I have found the best solution is hotel room workouts. They truly are brilliant and to be honest, are now a part of my routine at home. The apps and online videos available are free, effective, quick, require little space and generally no equipment and all I need to do is follow the leader!

Online resources

Whether travelling, low on income, a gym-o-phoebe or just stuck for time or inspiration then check out some of these resources for high quality, result driven workout routines for anyone from beginner through to advanced:

  • Yoga With Tim – a wide variety of YouTube videos (235 at time of writing) as well as a Patreon option, Tim Senesi has 30 day runs and yoga routines to fine tune or rehabilitate and push you to your limits or pick any single video from a few minutes through to full 90 minute routines
  • Millionaire Hoy – a massive array of videos (911 at time of writing) for all levels of fitness Millionaire Hoy will boost your abilities whoever you are and whatever your goals. All this for free or subscribe to his Patreon page for a complete well-rounded program that puts gym PT’s to shame.
  • MadBarz App – Mad Barz has been around for years and primarily focused on calisthenics it is far more rounded that it ever has been. The app is slick, has no equipment options and great community and metrics to keep track of your progress.
No Self Motivation Required!

No Self Motivation Required!

Self motivation isn’t the key to achieving success. In fact ‘self motivation’ is often the cause of failure or a complete lack of drive altogether…..

It is widely believed that self motivation and it’s successor ‘self discipline’ are the prerequisites to success and achievement. Many a self help or personal development book from the recent past has backed this belief up, providing countless methods and strategies for developing and maintaining a resilient and unwavering self motivation and discipline.

The consensus seemed to be, that in order to achieve success, you needed to consistently coach yourself, convincing yourself of the future benefits. Like this was the essential ingredient, determining ultimate success or failure. The reason this falls down is that it is that it completely misses a VITAL factor. It isn’t based on YOUR BELIEFS AND WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE.

Constant motivation and self discipline is only required when you are trying to achieve SOMEBODY ELSE’S objectives, or if you’ve adopted aspirations created by the beliefs of other influential people in your life. Examples of the above are clear to see in our everyday lives. For instance, those of us in employment are ultimately working towards achieving the aspirations of the owners of the organisation for whom we are working. Everywhere we look we see people attempting to appear stronger, slimmer, younger than they are, which is an adopted belief to conform to a socially accepted standard.

Self motivation and discipline is required in bucket loads to achieve the above……and when that can’t be maintained depression, disappointment and failure is usually the result.

TrueSapiens live life differently. Whether intentionally or otherwise, TrueSapiens have questioned their beliefs and LIVE THEIR PURPOSE. If they work for others they do so not to simply keep a roof over their heads, but to provide a better future for them or their family. Gains and improvements are the result of living a life in accordance with their beliefs and passions, as they strive to be their PERSONAL BEST through a life of CHALLENGE,  not in order to conform to socially accepted superficial or materialistic standards.

Live your purpose and no motivation is required!

Be TrueSapien. Challenge Life.

The Pescatarian Challenge

The Pescatarian Challenge

A trip out with my better half kick-started a conversation about eating meat; the quality of meat we are eating, the morality around the methods of how we kill the animals for our pound of flesh and so on. Both being meat eaters it really was merely a general chat that got a little out of hand and ended up us daring each other to stave from eating meat for a month. As she gladly took the challenge (and to be honest, had no doubt she could do it) I had to follow suit.

Pescatarian for a Month

That was what initiated my pescatarian diet for a month and as we approached the start I felt happy to take the challenge on. I’m a fan of meat (big fan of pork and its plethora of varities) but love fish too so thought it wasn’t going to be too bad.

When I was home the variety was incredible. My better half (and this being one reason why she is better) went out and bought fish and seafood I had never tried before. From white fish to smoked variations, sea based to fresh water, meaty swimmers to sea faring molluscs, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have one meal with the same fish throughout the month. Looking into recipes (check out http://www.fishisthedish.co.uk/recipes) we found a mesmerizing array of fish dishes, take out any that included bits of meat was like taking a cup of water from the dead see to see the affect it would have on the salt content. A whole new world opened up to fish and seafood and the question left to us with is “why did we not know all this?!”. We knew the seas were plentiful with our watery delights but meat is prevalent, so widespread we’d just forgot…or just became the norm to go meat first.

Pescatarian diet has a wide variety

Things got difficult…

However, the month we had chosen to do the pescatarian challenge happened to be a busy one work wise and was travelling around quite a bit. It wasn’t long before I noticed what essentially became the biggest pain of being a pescatarian; eating out while on the move (of which happened a lot) is woefully void of fish options. Restaurants were OK albeit having a somewhat limited menu there was always, something to try and some places gave variety but the take-out restaurants, e.g. sandwich stops and the likes to keep me going while jumping on planes, trains and automobiles or just grabbing something quick and easy to take back to the office, was plane old boring. It was always some low-quality tuna or prawn-based meal with the biggest variety coming from the bread used…oh and pretty much always a sandwich or wrap. Some places did offer some better quality and variety of options, but they were far and few between, seeing 8 types of chicken, 4 varieties of pork and 3 beef options next to a damp tuna mayonnaise (eugh, mayonnaise) and prawn Marie Rose sandwich was becoming quite annoying by the third week.

So what did I really think?

At the end of the challenge, which we both completed, I was looking forward to some meat. I was very much looking forward to having choices again but the whole trial has left a lasting impression. Sushi was such a saviour in bringing some variety, excluding bread and not lathered in sauce fatty sauces that it has stuck as firm favourite for eating on the go. I now find myself reviewing the fish options at restaurants when eating out and salmon has now replaced my cooked breakfast as a healthier, and tastier option. I have to say I still love meat, certain dishes are still favourites of mine but the dietary split has gone from 70/30 in favour of meat to the same but in favour of fish.

In conclusion I highly recommend giving it go. It is not without frustration and like me, you may have some failed dishes (anything with crab is a no for me) but this was to be expected when giving things a go for the first time. Main thing I felt was how much better my diet was, quality sustenance when we could get quality produce (frozen mussels weren’t too great) saw less lethargy after meals and easier digestion. A bonus was a new world of food, love or hate it was great to find out new dishes, new seafood and new diet that has stuck with me. Even if not 100%.

The Impact Of Roles & Responsibilities

The Impact Of Roles & Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities are pretty simple to define right?! I am responsible for the choices I make, for those who depend on me in any given role I hold. As a father (or mother) I’m responsible for the wellbeing of my Children, as a project manager I’d be responsible for the project as whole etc… These responsibilities are easy when generalizing but when broken down the grey areas appear.

What are my responsibilities?

In my job the powers that be know this, they even break it down into a 3-page dossier of my roles within my role and all the things I am responsible for, but even then, I pick up tasks that aren’t in my remit. The responsibility of fatherhood or motherhood is almost limitless; “keep them safe” and “teach them morals” are just two of many phrases that come to mind but again, break them down to detail and the grey areas appear. Put on top of that that, as any parent or even onlooker knows, each day can bring in a whole new subject/challenge/issue to the table and it’s your responsibility to meet the demands of fatherhood/motherhood.

As stated, I’m responsible for my self too. My choices impact every aspect of my life and there are countless fictional stories of how a seemingly simple choice has had profound impacts on the protagonist’s future. Sooooo…if I am responsible for my future by the choices I make but the choices I make have unknown outcomes, what is it I am deciding?

Actually, if the results are such an unknown entity then why the hell am I responsible? Ok, I am not talking about “shall I rob that bank as I need money to go out partying” or “I’m bored, lets do some heroine” because we can all pretty much (well most beforehand, hopefully more than most after the fact) agree these choices are dumbass as it doesn’t take a genius to work out they are bad life choices. I am talking about the small things, the things that move us that bit more forward to our goal!

responsibility - the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
 

Responsibility related words: http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/responsibility

We all have goals, whether we work at them day in / day out or they feature as an ignored subliminal thought process that seem unreachable, they are there driving us each day. For those that work at them it is easy to get swamped with questions about what are the best practices?…which advice I should take on board?…does my opinion conflict with the norm? The battle is constant. Even when on top of my game the questions about my methods from my inner voice are relentless. This IS MY RESPONSIBILTY. I make these decisions, these are my goals, it is up to me!

What is my role?

So, make the decisions and it could all go wrong; due to chance, due to circumstance, due to plain luck. It could all go horribly wrong. That could be a sad and defeating thought but it really isn’t. I thought about it for a moment; I do something and there is a chance it could go either way, but if I don’t do something then I do not have the opportunity to either win or lose. That goal of mine just gets shifted back into my thoughts, the less I do the more it gets pushed away from my conscious. My role is easy; my role in my life is to keep going, like the Film subtitle of the comedy trio Lonely Island’s latest film “Popstar”, you just need to “Never stop never stopping”.

Fitness Journey Of A Bearded Mud Lover. Being TrueSapien!

Fitness Journey Of A Bearded Mud Lover. Being TrueSapien!

Written by TrueSapien Matt Briscoe.

The fitness journey and changes I’ve been on have had a profound impact on my outlook on life and the kinds of challenges I set myself. I wanted to enhance my social profile and chose Instagram as my media of choice. I did not want to brag about the activities I was completing or to seem big headed in my approach. The aim of pushing my workouts and races was to inspire others to do the same for themselves.

In the relatively short time that I have been doing this (18 months) I have lost 3 stone and had a complete lifestyle change. Yes I still have cheat meals and drink (occasionally) but an overall change in emphasis has occurred and I am following a different path to the one I was on in 2016.

I stumbled across Truesapien as I was posting online and instantly jumped on board with their ethos and beliefs. Challenging yourself and not settling for mediocrity meant that I was being shown the progress of athletes online who promoted the brand avidly. Wearing the brand and going out of my way to improve myself has resulted in new personal best times in a number of distances during my training time.

Breaking through the 20 minute mark for the 5km distance, smashing a year old 10km PB and half marathon times have been a number of achievements this year. It has changed my mindset and caused my to strive for new challenges to test myself. The completion of 25 miles at Europe’s Toughest Mudder has now resulted in the desire to complete even more in Germany later this year. I now constantly find myself looking at events online which have the potential to be the next big challenge and the guys at Truesapien have been supportive at every stage.

Being Truesapien has been motivational and the community of others is there at every step of the way to encourage you to push harder and further to smash goals and targets set!

We’ll be featuring posts from Matt’s Blog, ‘Fitness Journey Of A Bearded Mud Lover‘, on a regular basis as he continues his journey. If you want to read more in the meantime head over to his page!

CHALLENGE LIFE. BE TRUESAPIEN!