Month: June 2021

All the Things You Didn’t Do


Once upon a time, you had the chance to be brave. Your name was selected, your number was called. You were the chosen one, at least for this particular moment on planet Earth. All eyes were on you, and the stakes were high.

It was a big moment. So what happened?

Not to put too fine of a point on it, but what happened was … you caved. At the critical moment, you turned your back on the task at hand.

You thought about taking a risk, but it seemed … too risky. You told yourself you’d do it later. Then you pretended you didn’t really want to do it. You lied to yourself, deciding that you’d be content without following your dream.

Slow and steady wins the race, you said. Better safe than sorry. A bird in the hand…

And so you went on to live an ordinary life, not entirely without happiness. You could still experience the highs and lows of this ordinary life. It was not a life devoid of meaning, for no life truly is.

But something was missing, and when you stopped whatever you were doing to look up at the stars, you could sense it. It didn’t bother you often, but it never fully went away either.

That time you could have … was now known as that time you didn’t.

You looked at a map and dreamed of a faraway place. You looked at travel guides and photos on your phone. You picked up random trivia about this place. You reviewed a list of cute cafés and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

You never went.

The thought of speaking to a large group was scary, but you had something important to share. You imagined yourself in front of the audience, nervous yet confident, speaking well on a topic you believed in.

You backed out.

You fell in love, but didn’t show it. You let that person go, or you pushed them away. When you parted ways, you didn’t turn around or call out for them.

A time came for you to show up, speak up, to take a stand. You encountered an injustice—something that was cruel and unfair. The opportunity presented itself for you to speak up, take a stand, or at least do something … and you missed it.

(You told yourself it was okay, because the injustice was too big for you to have any real impact.)

Looking back, you wanted to rewind time and make the other choice. You realized that the real risk wasn’t in taking bold action—it was in passing up the chance to be brave. By playing it safe, you had left everything of value on the table.

Then you woke from your trance, and decided to live differently. Since you weren’t dead yet, you still had time.


Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.

Image courtesy of Dương Nhân.

What Should I Eat or Drink Before and After I Run?

What Should I Eat or Drink Before and After I Run?

What you eat and drink before and after you run can not only affect your performance, but how you feel, work and think.

Preparation is important for all runners at any skill level. Fuelling your body properly will help you reach your peak physical performance and combat every runner’s enemy – fatigue!

Fatigue can be caused by a lot of things while running, we all have experienced it. But eating the wrong foods, having no food, or not being properly hydrated can all lead to cramping and your body shutting down faster.

Food is fuel!

One of the most common questions new runners have is what they should eat before and after they run. You’re not alone if you worry about eating something before you set out the door.

Many of us believe having no food before running is the best solution because we all know eating the wrong meal or snack will upset your stomach.

But in fact, food is the fuel our bodies need to maximise our results. If you properly plan or understand what food is right or wrong before you run, the nutrition benefits will boost your performance and enhance the recovery process.

Want advice from the experts?

Exercise Right have collaborated with Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) to provide an in-depth and evidence based insight into proper nutrition knowledge for athletes.

SDA are Australia’s peak professional body for dietitians specialising in sports nutrition. Their members help active Australians maximise their exercise goals with credible nutrition.

We asked the team at SDA what a middle-distance runner (800m – 5000m) should eat while training, before running, and how to recover effectively.

Training Diet:

Your choice of what to eat prior to running is important, since eating the wrong foods can lead you on a quest for an uncomfortable experience, or similarly not enough food may mean your tank runs out of fuel partway through your run.

Individual nutrition requirements will be determined by individualised training loads and goals, body composition goals, requirements for possible health concerns, adjustment for growth in younger athletes, and individual likes and dislikes.

Runners may have high energy requirements to maintain the training volume required, and as a result, need to ensure they eat sufficient food, and take advantage of opportunities to eat during periods of heavy training.

Carbohydrate intake should be matched to training load. This means during the high training periods, your training diet should be adapted to reflect the higher training load and need for high quality training. Conversely, during the off-season or periods of lower training, carbohydrate may need to be reduced as fuel requirements are lower.

While carbohydrates are essential for fuelling our runs, the diet of a middle distance runner should also include moderate amounts of protein (e.g. fish, red meat, poultry, tofu); a variety of healthy fats (e.g. oily fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds); as well as plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables for adequate supply of vitamins and minerals.

Eating a varied and balance diet will help ensure you have sufficient energy, optimal body functions, including a healthy immune system, and muscle repair and recovery.

Before running:

What you consume before a race, no matter what time of day, should be similar to what you would usually eat before a similar training session. Familiar foods and adequate hydration are important to reduce the likelihood of gut upset.

It’s important to start competition well fuelled. Each athlete is different, but runners should aim to eat a larger, carbohydrate-rich pre-race meal around 3 to 4 hours before the start of the event. This meal should also contain moderate amounts of protein and fibre, and be low in fat for easy digestion. If you are someone that struggles with gut upset, reduce the amount of protein and fibre.

Food choices will depend on the timing of the first race. For some, the main pre-competition may be breakfast, while for other events it may be lunch or dinner. Suitable pre-race meals include:

    • Wrap or sandwich with tuna and salad
    • Toast with avocado and tomato
    • Bircher muesli with berries
    • Homemade pasta salad
    • Pumpkin soup with a bread roll
    • Chicken stir-fry with noodles

There is also the option to have a final ‘top up’ of fuel store 1-2 before the start. This is usually a lighter snack, but still rich in carbohydrates and relatively low in fat and fibre so it is easy to digest. Some suitable pre-race snack ideas include:

    • Yoghurt with fruit salad
    • Small fruit bun
    • Peanut butter on rice cakes
    • Toast with vegemite

A liquid source of carbohydrate such as a fruit smoothie or flavoured milk can be a good option as well.

Post-race race recovery:

A single middle-distance race is unlikely to exhaust fuel stores completely, however, that does not diminish the importance of adequate recovery. If you are competing in multiple events over a day or over several days, the importance of nailing your recovery is amplified. Recovery meals and snacks should contain a combination of carbohydrate (refuel), protein (for muscle repair), and plenty of fluids and electrolytes to replace sweat losses.

A recovery meal or snack should be consumed soon after the exercise period, especially if competing again shortly after. Some recovery food suggestions include:

    • Chicken, avocado and salad sandwich
    • Dairy-based fruit smoothie
    • Yoghurt with fruit & nut trail mix
    • Homemade beef burgers on a wholegrain bun

What to drink?

It’s important to be sufficiently hydrated prior to running, but a lot of runners overdo it. The best approach is to sip water gradually throughout the day prior and day of your race. How much water to drink varies on many things, but the best indication is the colour of your urine – always aim for a pale yellow from the night before.

If you struggle to eat too close to race time, a sports drinks can be a good source of fuel as they contain both carbohydrates and fluid to help hydrate and fuel your body at the same time.

Don’t forget about fluids (mainly water) after your race – the amount required is based on your estimated sweat losses.

More about Sports Dietitians Australia:

Sports Dietitians Australia empowers you to take performance to the next level!

To ensure advice is tailored to your specific needs, head to the Sports Dietitians Australia website and make an appointment with your local Accredited Sports Dietitian.

For more sports nutrition information and resources head to www.sportsdietitians.com.au and subscribe to the SDA ReFuel digital magazine which is a free quarterly publication that showcases the role nutrition plays in exercise performance.

Want to take your training to the next level?

Want some additional help to improving your training and performance, your local accredited exercise professional can help.

They will be able to prescribe safe and effective exercises that are tailored to your specific needs. They will also help you to set realistic goals and stay motivated.

The Nike Run Club gives you the guidance, inspiration and innovation you need to become a better athlete. Join Nike Run Club to reach your goals and have fun along the way. Download to get started. 

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We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series.

The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.

How Much Risk Are You Willing to Take in Your Life?


This may not have been a front-of-mind consideration for you as you went about your daily life before the pandemic, but suddenly that changed when we all had to decide how much risk we could tolerate.

Wear a mask? Don’t wear a mask? See family or friends– or avoid them? Travel? Stay home?

After a year of learning to manage what we are willing to risk and what we are not, there is now new guidance from health officials that forces us again to think about how we react to our fears and what we consider to be hazards.

In truth, we face risks all the time and not just because of a pandemic.

For example, doctors explore risks with their patients, financial advisors discuss risks with clients and each day we make decisions about the risk of crossing the street or making certain food choices. The decisions we make are all a reflection of our own risk tolerance.

Humans crave certainty and security but there is little growth without risk.

A baby who is learning how to walk and falls takes a risk when getting up and taking another step. We know that we can only learn when we risk failure. But at what price? What are the dangers if we fail? How do we learn more from our mistakes?

Our emergence in the months ahead from the pandemic offers an opportunity to reflect on how we can better manage risk in our lives, fortify ourselves for challenges and diminish anxiety and fear. Too often, we get caught up in irrational fears that hold us back from realizing our potential and living life to the fullest. We may miss opportunities because we worry too much about what people think, we are afraid of failing or we may be too nervous to jump in the water and swim.

Our challenge of managing risks is an ancient one.

In the Talmud, the repository of life wisdom, it’s explained that when David writes in Psalms: “The Lord preserves the simple,” it represents a principle of Jewish law that permits people to assume various low-level risks and dangers. Faith and trust are integral to our lives – we cannot control everything. The topic is complex, but it affirms that life at its heart involves risk and is part of being human.

What are some strategies for limiting fear in your life, managing risk, seizing opportunities and forging ahead every day with faith?

Ideas you can incorporate include the following:

  • Pause for reflection: Reverse engineer your day, your week and your life. How do you want today or this week to be remembered? Turn off social media for an hour a day at least to create sacred space. Focus on your goal and you will develop the tenacity and strength to achieve your aspirations.
  • Know that courage counts: Identify moments in your life when you’ve called on your courage to move ahead. Such times will fortify your faith in yourself and help move you forward in moments of uncertainty. You have a track record. Build on it!
  • Buddy up: There is no substitute for finding a friend, coach or mentor who can be your cheerleader and confidant. Who will be the wind beneath your wings? Perhaps it is a spiritual guide who can teach you the tools to find strength and optimism deep inside and help you reach your potential.
  • Fill your mind with hope: Read the Bible, Psalms, and other books that infuse you with strength and perspective. Rather than be mired in the ebb and flow of daily life, find words, podcasts and teachings that will inspire you to grow.
  • Give and grow: Opportunities for impact are everywhere. Volunteer at vaccination centers, a shelter, food bank or anywhere in your neighborhood or community. Say “hello” to every cashier at every store you frequent and make their day. Mystics teach that our positive actions truly lift our souls and inspire us to make the most of every day and create eternal impact in every encounter.

Life will always be filled with some levels of risks but do not let them hold you back from making the most of this very day. In the words of William Faulkner, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”


Popular motivator, mentor, and inspirational speaker, Rabbi Daniel Cohen’s unique blend of authenticity, humor, wisdom, and insight helps anyone better navigate contemporary society and lead a life of legacy. Rabbi Cohen has served in the rabbinate for over twenty years and is the author of What Will They Say About You When You Are Gone? Creating a Life of Legacy.

Image courtesy of Liza Summer.

What We Feel, We Heal.


We’re all aware of how many feelings we can have, and how many we’re likely to feel in a day — anxiety, sadness, stress, anger, frustration, happiness, joy, contentment.

Notice how I took a while to list the positive emotions? So many people that I talk to can easily tell me about their negatives, but take a while to talk about their positives. In part, I believe this is because we’re more likely to feel the positives in the moment, and then let them go on their merry way, until we meet them again.

Negative emotions however, are much, much harder to let go of.

They’re kind of always there, lurking under the surface, waiting to strike. Society, and life, has taught us to repress these emotions, to not fully feel them. So they wait, and wait, and wait. We never really let go of them, so they find places to hang out in our bodies until we feel them enough to come to the the surface. We’ll get angry because of traffic, or because nothing is going right at work. We’ll get frustrated cause our coffee order is wrong, or someone looks at us the wrong way. We’ll feel anxious because of the long list of things that all HAVE to be accomplished immediately, but of course, never can be.

These feelings come out for a bit- and then what do we do? We shove them back under to get to the next part of our day- a meeting, picking up your kids from school, needing to make dinner, it just goes on and on. So they stay. They stagnate. They hold you back from feeling free.

Think about it like this. You make dinner one night, and there’s extra food leftover so you’re likely to put it in a Tupperware container of some sort, right? Now, sometimes you eat all the leftovers in the next day or two, the container gets washed, and you’re all good.

How many of you, after weeks and weeks of avoiding the task, get down to the business of clearing our your fridge? How many of you find containers of food that were made a while ago, and are now science experiments? Some of those containers are so full of gross stuff that you just want to throw out the entire container and buy a new one. Who wants to deal with scraping out all that junk, right?

Imagine now, if you will, those emotions I mentioned earlier. Think about those feelings you know you’ve kept locked up tight. Picture shoving that anger, anxiety, disappointment, and whatever else into a container and shutting the lid, tight. You close all that up, and then put it on a back shelf, gone but not entirely forgotten.

Think about the food again. What happens when you close up food in a container for weeks and weeks. It goes bad, right? Now think about all the years of repressed emotions you carry, that you haven’t let go of, that you’ve kept locked up pretty tight. Picture what that might be doing in your body. What might all that be doing to your Heart, your Spirit?

It’s not a pretty picture is it?

So how do you go about healing all of that?

First, you absolutely have to acknowledge it. You have to fully own, and be aware of those feelings that you have allowed to stay locked up. You have to look it in the eye, and be unafraid of what you’ll see.

Then, you have to let it out. You have to express it. Create time in your life to let these feelings out. Find a safe space- alone or with someone you really trust. LET. THEM. GO.

If you need to bawl your eyes out until you feel entirely wrung out, because of intense hurt that you experienced as a child (or an adult), then go bawl your eyes out. Have a plan for how to love and soothe yourself after- like a hot bath, or a long walk.

If you need to express that anger that you could maybe never express before- find a nice pillow, or even purchase a punching bag you can keep in your house. Let that anger out. Smack the pillow into a wall, or your bed, while you yell that anger out. If you get a punching bag- every time you hit that bag, yell what it is you’re feeling. Don’t say it in your head, say it out loud.

Whatever it is that needs to be aired out- find that safe place, give yourself time and permission, and let loose. Be free.

Let go of what is holding you back. I can guarantee you those old emotions are holding you back.

Let. Them. Go.

Your Inner Child, and your current Self will thank you. I promise you.

With Gratitude,

Robin


Robin Lee is a medical intuitive, author, mentor, gratitude advocate, and speaker who has helped thousands of people around the world understand the language of their bodies. Robin believes that our bodies innately know how to balance and heal themselves if given proper care and support. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares tips, tools, and techniques to honor our bodies and heal our lives!

Image courtesy of Flora Westbrook.

Why Kindness Trumps Niceness In Relationships

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