Been a while…

Hi friends. How the hell have y’all been?

I haven’t posted since July 2nd, and let me tell you, some shit’s gone down since then. If you’re still following me, let along reading this, then you’re one sexy emeffer.

First, I had a kid. She’s beautiful, funny, smart, and opinionated. In a word, perfect.

Second, I started a new career. I’m now an Account Executive for On Point Promos, a division of University Tees, in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s an incredible company with a strong set of values and a clear growth-minded vision. So, if you need custom apparel or promo products, I’m your guy.

Third, the Tribe went to game 7 of the World Series and were just barely bested by the Cubs in the 11th inning. People are calling it the best game 7 ever. Wow.

Fourth, Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States. The World is a strange place, my friends. To me, it’s hard to see how he will make it a better place. Because here’s the thing, it was pretty rad in the first place.

Fifth, I haven’t been writing. Which sucks. Like, it sucks to even write that sentence. But the goal is to get back into a daily practice starting today. So hold me  to that, people! 

Things change when you have a kid. Duh. But, like, it’s just change. Just like a new President. It’s just change. And things that change, often change again. And again.

Maybe there’s less time for the gym. So buy a kettlebell and do swings, goblet squats, push-ups and chins. Or just push-ups. Or just move more. Get a standing desk. Buy some cheap weights online and build a gym. That’s what I did.

Pivot. Duck. Step. Strike.

I’m reading a lot too. Probably 30 books since I last posted. Check out these titles (I’ll distill this list soon, but you can always check out my reading list tab):

Joy On Demand by Chade Meng-Tan 

Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss 

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

Living With A Seal by Jesse Itzler.

The first three should be required reading. But all these should get you on your way.

Oh man, it feels good to be back. See you tomorrow.

-Chris

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Nora Lou

My world changed on June 25th at 8:20pm, when little miss Eleanora Lou came into the world. She weighed 6lbs 15oz and is absolutely perfect.

We’re totally smitten and completely in love.

Love you Nora!

-Daddy

World Champions

For the first time in 52 years, Cleveland is a world champion. 

Congratulation to the city of Cleveland, Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers organization, and to LeBron James and the entire Cavs squad.

I cried like a baby last night and again this morning. It’s unreal. We won a freaking championship.

The Finals

Warriors fans can defend Draymond Green until their blue in the face but the simple fact is that he’s a dirty player. He deserved the suspension.

I’ve even heard the narrative that the NBA is just trying to extend the series for the sake of the league. Well hear this Mr. Silver: we don’t need your help. but we’ll take it. Headed into the fourth quarter the Cavs are up 9 and playing really well.

LeBron’s playing out of his mind, Kyrie’s nailing his jumpers, and Curry and Klay are resorting to 30 footers. Plus, we’ve been able to slow the game down to our pace, which with less depth on our bench, that’s a good thing.

And one more thing, from the other side, Andy is a flopper (maybe we were a bit biased for the last decade).

So, knock on wood, and Go Cavs.

 

How 16 Weeks Of Yoga Has Improved My Life

I’m now 16 weeks into consistent Yoga practice (once per week, without miss), and I’m hooked. Shout out to One Love Yoga in Kent, Ohio.

Here’s are some thoughts and things I’ve learned in that period:

I love the challenge. I got my ass handed to me today. I was drenched in sweat (and the heat wasn’t turned on) and I kept falling out of poses (Crescent Lunge Twist can kiss my ass). And I love that shit.

I’m better at it than I thought I would be. I always thought Yoga was all about the stretching. And it is. But you need to be strong too. I like to think I’m pretty strong and have pretty decent muscular endurance. For those reasons, and because I have a pretty keen awareness of whats going on with my body, I did pretty good from the start.

Don’t get me wrong, the flexibility thing is a problem. My hamstrings and hip-flexors are an issue that need to be addressed, like now. It helps that I have a good teacher that isn’t afraid to correct me when my alignment is off.

It’s imperative to not miss a practice. I’ve been going on either Wednesday or Friday and when I know I’ll miss one of those days, I’m looking ahead to the weekend schedule so I can be sure to get it in. With a baby on the way, that’s gonna change. But I’ll adapt.

My body feels incredible. I find myself sitting Indian style (is that still a thing? I feel like that and crisscross applesauce are equally embarrassing to say). Anyway, that’s how I’m sitting right now as I write this. I even find myself laying like that in bed. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to comfortably sit like that 4 months ago.

It’s funny; I was always the least flexible kid ever. Like, negative readings on the sit-and-reach. And I’ve also always had knee pain, so to be able to sit comfortably like this is a big thing for me.

Oh, and that knee pain I speak of? Fucking gone. And the nagging back injuries? Basically gone (I say basically because I’m a meathead and still decide to injure myself here and there).

Anxiety? Pretty much gone. Sleep? All of it. Muscles? Bigger.

The last one is key. Aesthetically, I’m in the best shape of my life. Yoga has made my legs look more jacked than ever and I actually see more definition in my chest. Not sure if that one is related but I wouldn’t doubt it. I know that’s usually more of a function of diet than anything, but this is different.

In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger used to stretch and flex in between sets because he believed it forced a greater response in the tearing down of his muscles during a training session (all the blood flow). He also thought he could effectively expand his rib cage by doing dumbbell pullovers, which is basically a weighted stretch.

I’m meditating more. I find that I have a much improved mind body connection. I’m able to effectively relax my muscles. Which, as mentioned above and in previous posts, has improved my sleep.

I fucking hate Triangle pose. Hate it. I’m not a big fan of the feeling I get when my knee locks out.

I love Pigeon. Really, I love hip-openers in general. And balance poses are my shit.

I’d love to teach one day. I still have a looong way to go before I can start thinking about something like that. I know that there will always be room for improvement, but I feel like I need to practice consistently for a year or two before I can consider myself worthy of teaching to other Yogi’s. Not to mention, once per week is nothing. The important thing here is that I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I’m still a beginner. And likely will be for a long, long time. And that’s okay. Though, every once in a while there will be someone in class who I notice is watching me for cues, or that looks even more raw than than I am, and that feels good.

I don’t plan on expanding my practice to multiple days per week. I still love lifting a few days per week. Right now I’m weight training three days per week and doing yoga once. But I do go through a quick stretching routine on a daily basis. And yes, the routine has been strongly influenced by my Yoga practice. I even throw in Pigeon a few times a week.

That feeling when you open your eyes after Savasana. It’s one of the best feelings in the world; I suggest you get some.

Namaste.

 

 

Memorial Day

To those who serve, to those who have served, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice: from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Freedom. Is. Not. Free.

I’m Hooked On A Feeling

The feeling you get when you open your eyes after a great meditation session or Yoga practice.

meditate

It’s the best. Literally one of the best feelings I know; it’s both euphoric and deeply relaxing. And it’s good for you.

I’m not a scientist or a doctor, but here’s what I know: meditation lowers my blood-pressure, relieves my anxieties and stresses, and helps me sleep.

I had to buy an Omron BP monitor because I was in Hyper-Tension. My BP was about 155/95, for a while. So I changed my diet and tried to teach myself how to relax a little.

The other day I tested my BP before I meditated, and it was something like 143/80. Then I did a 5 minute guided meditation with the Meditation Studio app. After I opened my eyes, feeling like a new man, I tested it again. 113/76.

How To Apply

Stressed? Sit down comfortably and close your eyes. Begin to breath deeply and rhythmically, following the breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax your shoulders. Let your arms fall to your side. Allow your entire body to melt into the Earth. Let your thoughts come and go. Acknowledge them, then let them pass. Do this for a few minutes, when you open your eyes, I promise you will feel better.

Can’t sleep? Lie on your back, close your eyes, and repeat the above process. Allow your body to melt into the bed. Relax completely. Let all your worries from the day disappear. 

I can’t promise that these things will work for you. All I know is that it works for me. And I love it.