Challenge Life – A Lifestyle Choice

Challenge Life – A Lifestyle Choice

What does being ‘TrueSapien’ and living a ‘Challenging Life’ mean to me?
It’s more than just about aiming to be a little fitter. It’s more than intermittently participating in events and then sitting back admiring my achievement. And more than sporadically attending the local fitness class or gym in attempt to attain short term and short lived gains.

A Lifestyle Choice

The way I choose to live my life can only be described as a deliberate and significant lifestyle choice. I completed my first Ironman, Ironman Wales, in September this year. It was a tough but thoroughly enjoyed experience BECAUSE it was a way to TEST my chosen lifestyle. I have heard of several people that complete their first IRONMAN with insufficient training. Then they claim it is the hardest thing they have ever done, and announce that they will never be doing another. Shying away from the challenge rather than facing it heads on.

Born To Push Limits

My reply to these people is we, as humans, are born to push ourselves to new limits. There is something demotivating about accepting average, yet so many choose it. The TrueSapien ethos draws from the roots of evolution, which we as humans have evidently lost over the years. No longer do we have to fight for survival, in turn many people being content with inactivity and idleness.
There is something discordant with how we are glued to our phones, opting for a message over an in-person conversation. We are born to interact, with a need for others to keep us sane. Materialistic posessions only keep us happy short term. This is reflected in the waste we produce and the upsetting, yet dominant reliance on short life technology.

Wide Reaching Implications

The ever-growing population inevitably leads to further demands. At what stage do the resources start to run out? Is this the point when we will inevitably have to return to our roots and fight for our place in the world? There seems a reliance on needing the approval of others to feel ‘happy.’ A strong desire to be just like everyone else. I disagree with this, and will always remain true to who I am. The bright vibrant girl with the curly hair, and never-ending energy.

Environmental Issues

One particular infuriation of mine is the significant levels of food waste, including packaging we create. A reliance on foods that we can’t grow in our own country has led to the roads being full of large vehicles. This not only contributes to global environmental problems, but also ruining much of the beautiful countryside. Even worse, in the next year, the new HS2 network will be built on the fields around the back of my house. Further destruction of wide open land that we’d been blessed with.

The Real Competition

For me the path of least resistance is not the most rewarding and as a result not the one I chose. Other people motivate me, but do not see them as my competition. The only real competition is your past self. Desire to improve must to come from within, else it is not only unsustainable, but not enjoyable.

A Duty To Inspire

My dad has shared many stories of hardship that he had to endure growing up. This made him the strong minded human he is and led to the engraining of many significant values. My siblings and I were, in turn, passed these values. Pushing boundaries is something that can be done in every walk of life, not only sport, but in education, work and in one’s social life. I analyse the human population, and I see signs of devolving, our mental health not improving, but getting worse, and our resilience to much of life’s challenges bordering on non-existent.

 

 

 

I look at myself as a role model for others. I believe, the seemingly impossible, with the right mindset and determination, is in fact possible. In the words of TrueSapien ‘to fearlessly, passionately and grittily inspire an encourage others to unleash their own TRUESAPIEN!’

If you’ve liked what you’ve read and want to learn more about me please check out my blog Pocket Rocket Rach!

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.

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.