Running the Full Tough Mudder in Wisconsin

Saturday, September 9, 2017 I ran the full 10 mile tough mudder and got dirtier and more sore than I have been in a long while! The tough mudder was intimidating driving up, but once it got started, I had a blast. The event had high energy and was packed with a ton of people who were for the most part in high spirits. There were all sizes and shapes and teamwork was more of a focus than competition, which made it pretty enjoyable.

Tough Mudder Wisconsin 2017

After the finish and a free beer!

The tough mudder involved 10 miles of length with 25 obstacles scattered throughout. Some of my favorite included the block-ness monster, augustus gloop, everest 2.0, pyramid scheme, and funky monkey revolution. The organizers, of course, saved the worst for last with the electroshock therapy, which I ran through and got jolted three times on the way through.

The most difficult part for me was running, with some stretches seeming to be a couple miles between obstacles, especially at the beginning of the race. Considering I typically only run 1-2 miles at most, I really enjoyed that some obstacles had waiting lines to catch your breath before running to the next one. Everyone I encountered was friendly and eager to help and many were taking a much slower pace than I was, which made me feel not so bad for walking during certain stretches!

Wisconsin Tough Mudder 2017 Map

I’m not sure if I’ll do another race like this in the future, but I am definitely happy with myself for doing a 10 mile event and experiencing the tough mudder for the first time!

Here’s a video of the same event posted by another mudder:

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Going to a Shooting Range for the First Time

For Father’s day 2017 I surprised my dad by bringing him to a local shooting range. I had only shot a couple rifles in the past when I was younger, but never a semi-automatic or handgun.

Walking into the place was intimidating for sure since it seemed almost everyone there knew what they were doing besides me. The man behind the counter was gruff and the sidearm holstered on his right hip made him command respect.

Mr. gruff asigned us shooting lane 8, handed us two targets, made us watch a one minute safety video then gave us a crash course in how to use our first handgun.

“trigger, safety, chamber, clip, good?”
“good!”

After putting on the mandatory ear protection and safety glasses we stepped into the shooting area. With about 20 lanes and a half dozen shooters actively pumping out rounds the scene was something I was completely unfamiliar. Loud pop, pop, pop and the smell of gunpowder immediately made me think of what it would be like to actually be in a dangerous situation with a live shooter.

Continuing on to lane 8 we began loading a clip to the first handgun, slapped up the target, and released it down the lane 15 feet away. When it was my turn to shoot I inserted the clip, loaded the first round into the chamber and removed the safety. With my hands shaking I brought the handgun directly in front of me, looked down the barrel and shot the first 9mm bullet!

Holy crap that was fun!

Still shaking I emptied the rest of the chamber into the target, puncturing shots much more center that I had thought I would.

After taking turns with a couple handguns, my dad and I eventually got our hands on an AR-15 with and loaded it with 20 rounds per turn. Placing the target completely down the lane was more of a challenge, but we both were able to get relatively close to the target, but both seemed to aim a bit high.

With about 45 minutes under our belt and 100+ rounds shot, it was time to head off.

I was glad to have this experience since I had never shot a handgun and it made me feel much more comfortable with them by the end of the hour.

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How to Speak So That People Want to Listen: TED Talk by Julian Treasure


Notes:
How to Talk So People Actually Listen

Seven Deadly Sins of Communication – These are things we need to avoid according to Julian.

1. Gossip – Speaking ill of someone who’s not present.
2. Judging – Placing yourself in comparison to another.
3. Negativity – Being pessamistic about everything.
4. Complaining – Not solving problems, only bringing them up.
5. Excuses – Not connecting to reality
6. Exaggeration – This often leads to lying
7. Dogmatism – Confusion of facts with opinions

Four really powerful cornerstones if we want our speech to be powerful and to make change in the world. HAIL is the acronym that’s formed. They all need to be used at the same time to have them work most effectively.

Honesty – Be true in what you say.
Authenticity – Standing in your own truth.
Integrity – Actually doing what you say.
Love – Wishing people well.

You can locate your voice, speaking through your throat vs your nose. Lower voice commands more power and makes people pay attention to you more.
Timbre – Rich, smooth, warm preferred. You can train to get this better, with posture, exercise
Prosody – Root of meaning in conversation. The opposite of being monotone
Pace – Fast or slow
Silence – Creates emphasis
Pitch – Self explanatory
Volume – Self explanatory

To get better at this. Warm up your voice. He gives six vocal exercises towards the end of the talk. In order to really understand, watch the video, but they basically are:
-Breath in and sigh out.
-Warm up lips. Bah, bah, bah.
-Second warm up lists. bbbbbb, bbbbb, bbbbbb.
-Tongue La La La La,
-Tongue roll Rrrrrr
-Weeeeee high pitch then to Awwwwww low.

Julian recommends doing each of these six exercises before giving a talk or presentation.

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Learning From Rejection – What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection – TED Talk by Jia Jiang

Notes from the TEDX Talk done by Mount Hood.

At age 6 he experienced rejection in the classroom. At age 14 he wanted to achieve the biggest company in the world.

Every time he wanted to try something new he felt like there was a battle between the person who wanted to conquer the world, while the other side of him was the fear of rejection.

He started his own company when he was 30. He then tried to overcome his fear or rejection after researching what to do. He created a site rejectiontherapy.com and the idea is for 30 days straight you look for rejection. This is his site Rejection Therapy. The site turned into 100 days of rejections, which his videotaped as an expiriment, in which he learned a ton.

His first rejection is below and the rest are on his youtube channcel.

This sound like a fun idea to get rejected.

What he learned:

  • If I get rejected, to turn a no to a yes, simply ask the question why? You also learn the real reason, not your negative self feedback.
  • If you mention the doubt the other person is having, you can relate to the doubt. People were more likely to be agreeable if you point out the weirdness of the situation.
  • He learned that he could get almost anything through asking. He asked his way to teaching at a college.
  • People who really change the world are often met with extreme rejection, but they did not let it define them.
  • Embrace rejection, don’t run away from it.
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How to Become Unstoppable – Tony Robbins Talk

Some Quick Notes From a Great Tony Robbins Video I Watched Earlier Today:

How Can I Add More Value? Our Job in Business is to Win through creating value.

Marketing connects with people’s identity. Coke may not taste as good in studies, but people still choose it.

How do we become resourceful. Instead of just throwing money at something be creative.

Vimeo vs Youtube. 1 share button vs 9 share buttons was the only difference. Ask for something you want!

Be actively engaged in what you’re doing.

Only 13% of employees are actively engaged in the work they do. Connected to the mission and actively trying to fulfill this mission. In the US this is higher (29%), but still very low, which means most people are just treading water. The energy is low at places because there is no mission. So few companies have mission connection to their employees. 24% of employees are actively disengaged and are likely to attack the company because they don’t care so much.

1, 1, 1, plan referenced for Salesforce.

Great companies have a competitive advantage when their employees are actively engaged.

A sense of meaning and accomplishment along with appreciation makes them 2x more likely to stay.

Focus on how much you can give, not the score. Just give every ounce of yourself in each moment.

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2018 Books List

Stories of Your Life – Ted Chiang
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future – Ashlee Vance
Tao: The Way of God – Waysun Liao
Mindfullness – Ellen Langer
The Five Love Languages
The Power of Imagination – Neville Goddard
Leading with Questions – Michael Marquardt
201 Relationship Questions – Barrie Davenport
Getting things done – David Allen
The Winner Within – Pat Riley
Eleven Rings – Phil Jackson
Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss
Blue Mind – Wallace Nichols
Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

Further Books Lists for Ideas:
Corey Wayne Book List
Chris Reining Book List

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How to Travel the World for Next to Nothing: TED Talk by Bryce Conway

Notes:

Travel Hacking. Beat credit card companies and banks at their own games. Banks and credit card companies make money through debt and the inability of households to manage it correctly.

Three basic rules of Travel Hacking:

1. Earn at many points and miles as possible.
2. Redeem points in the most effective way possible.
3. Don’t want to fall into travel of debt or spending more, just for points, you’ll eat up your gains.

1. Earning as many points and miles as possible.
usually a point equals a penny, so 50,000 points = $500. This is a rule of thumb, and not always the same.

He does 20-25 Cards a year that he opens. Can earn more than 1,000,000 points a year just on arbitrage without having to rack up frequent flyer points.

Manufactured spending: Buy cash equivalents and then give it back to yourself, it’s arbitrage. How can you do this? Buy $5,000 in US coins, then go deposit to the bank. This apparently doesn’t work anymore.

In the comments of the video Bryce talks about this strategy:

Buy Visa Gift cards using your credit card, take said Visa Gift Cards and use them to buy a money order. Deposit money order in the bank. Use it to pay off your credit card. Simple.

*I just looked online and Wal-Mart charges about $0.70 per money order up to $1,000. You can also purchase at the USPS $1.65 up to $1,000 and Western Union Charges $1.00 per $1,000.

An Example:
Sign up for a credit card with a bonus of 50,000 travel points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. You could then purchase $3,000 in pre-paid visa cards from Wal-Mart for $3103.20, convert that to Money Orders for $3 (three $1,000 money orders) then put those money orders back into your bank account where you’ll pay off the credit card on the first statement. You’ll then get 50,000 points ($500 in travel value), for a total investment of $106.20. Pretty easy way to turn about $100 into $500!

You could also possibly find creative ways to pay rent or mortgage. Still haven’t found anything that works, but here’s an idea:
Tio.com.

2. Redeem Points in the Most Effective Way Possible.
He recently went to Thailand, and would’ve spent $28,000 and spent $326 total. In the video he doesn’t touch on how to do this, only to do this.

This is also a useful link about black-out dates from creditcards.com.

3. You have to accomplish goals one and two without falling into trap.
Three rules within this category
-Zero dollar increase in organic spending. Do not spend more than you were spending before.
-No negative impact to your credit score. Having 20 cards won’t kill your credit score.
-Only pay fees that make sense. Avoid annual fees or other fees on cards.

Why do all this?
The more you travel the more your world expands and you start to realize there are tons of things in the world you don’t know. It makes a person modest and makes you change as a human. Until you really see the world you cannot understand it.

Bryce runs a blog over at 10xtravel.com.

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New York City 2017 on a Budget

Week long MetroCard 7 Day Unlimited – $31
Flight from New York to Milwaukee – $210 April 18-24
Accommodation – 5 nights – Aiming for $75 / night = $375 total. – Airbnb. Possibly near Times Square.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/15396610?s=HULgFrWr
https://www.hiusa.org/hostels/new-york/new-york/new-york-city

Things to do:
Statue of Liberty – $18
Wall St. – Free
Rockefeller Center – Free
Rockefeller Observation Deck – $28 (best view in city)
Grand Central Station – Free
Brooklyn Bridge – Free
Guggenheim Museum (Sat 5:45-7:45pm pay what you wish donation)
Walk Thru Broadway – Free
9/11 Museum (Free after 5pm Tuesdays. Arrive before 6pm as they’re only open until 8pm.)
High-line Park – Free
Museum of Natural History – Free
Metropolitan Museum of Art – Free
Central Park – Free
Times Square – Free
Empire State – Walk by – Free
Staten Island Ferry – $35
St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Go to Mass – Free
Ellis Island –
Chinatown –
Battery Park –

Total Entertainment – $81

Rough Estimate –

  • Entertainment – $100
  • Food – $200
  • Accommodation – $375
  • Flight – $210
  • MetroCard – $31

Total – $916

Best Places for Scenic Views

New York Pass – is it worth it?

Free New York Harbor Kayaking

Places to Eat:
Best Cheap Eats List
Emmets pizza – deep dish style.

Food – Day 1 – Go Grocery Shopping Right away:
Breakfast – Greek Yogurt & Blueberries
Lunch – Sandwich
Dinner – Sandwich or local eats.
Snacks to Pack on ride – Almonds, Cliff Bars, Cashews,

Pack list:
Water canister w/ filter.
5 pairs socks
Workout shorts
3 pair sink washable
5 t-shirts
shorts

Useful Articles About New York Planning
Nomadic Matt
The Girl and Globe
Useful Landmark Map

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Learning to Ride a Motorcycle

KD Motorcycle Training – Cost $250.

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The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: TED Talk by David Allen

Notes:

David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. In this talk David discusses being truly in the moment to get things done. He touches on the idea that getting things done, isn’t really about getting things done at all. He speaks about how many of his teachings are paradoxes and that they may feel uncomfortable at first.

There are three core principles that need to be learned and applied. Much like learning martial arts, these principles will help you be more engaged and actually get done what truly matters. The problem is when you’re not in crisis the whole world is in you psyche. You’re distracted by information, to-do’s, conflicting interests, things pulling you in all directions. We either get crazy busy or numb out. Then we blame the stress on the lack of time. The issue is not time.

The three core principles are as follows:

1. Get it out of your head. Anything that is meaningful, write it down. This is essentially creating a to do list.
2. The things you’ve identified, what does the work involved mean, two things: What outcome? create a target. What’s the next action step on that item? Write down the final outcome and next action step.
3. Then once created, you need to map each project, and how they’re interwoven.

David touches also on three tips that he’s learned throughout his life.

1. Flexibility is much more important that perfection.

2. I need to be able to shift my perspective rationally and be available for each thing I’m doing. Don’t bring work to home, home to work etc. Have a mind like water, it flows to what you’re doing.

3. Give appropriate attention to the thing at hand, so it doesn’t distract your attention down the road.

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