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Mindset

Dealing with Stress and Challenges

By February 8, 2019 One Comment

This is one the most difficult videos and posts I have made. It shows my personal life and a side of me that I do not often share online. I’ve been hesitant to post this video, because showing vulnerability, especially in public, makes me uncomfortable. However I decided to post it, because there might be value for some of you.

The last four weeks has been adventurous and stressful with several highs and lows. In today’s video I will share some of the challenges my family and I have been experiencing, how this is affecting my running, and how I am dealing with it. Some of you might relate to this and find it helpful for your own situation as well.

I would love to hear from you. How do you overcome some of the challenges that you are experiencing in your life? Please let me know in the comments.

Video transcript

Currently it is winter and I haven’t signed up for any running races. I’m trying to run 4 to 5 times a week, 30 miles / 48km. Not really training for any races, but definitely have some fun adventure runs on my horizon.

Stress comes in many forms and shapes and the last few weeks and months has been an accumulation of stress for us in many different ways. For example a close family member on my wife’s side of the family is dealing with cancer.

Also, one of my good friends that I’ve known for 10 years got very depressed and tried to commit suicide twice. I didn’t know about this until he recently contacted me after seeing one of my Morning Routine videos. He wanted some help with a Wim Hof breathing exercise. So we have been doing breathing exercises together, we’ve had many long conversations since, and he is on a road to recovery now.

Deep breathing inspired by Wim Hof

Another close friend is going through a complicated divorce. We really try to be there, to listen and to support. And obviously all these different things become a priority in our life right now, however they also add different layers of stress. All of a sudden you might not necessarily sleep that well, eat that well or work out consistently.

When it rains, it pours

It is so easy to get in a negative mindset and focus on all of the things that go wrong in your life. However, we should be doing the complete opposite.

My dad has been reminding me lately that life goes through difference cycles, it goes up and down, up and down, that’s life. There is no perfect life, it is just going to be as good as we make it.

Just like with running a marathon. You can have a Plan A, a race usually doesn’t go according to plan and that is the same with life. You can have a perfect plan but we are going to have to adjust. Instead of focusing all of this energy on the negative, let’s actually focus on the small wins, let’s focus on the things that do go well in our life.

My wife, Zoey (2), Sadie (5), my wife Jen and I

Count your blessings

My wife has been reminding me of this every day. Let’s count our blessings and look at the thanks we are grateful for. There is so much good in our life right now. That’s what I have been trying to do lately. We have been trying to celebrate the small wins.

My daughters are 2 and 5 years old. As much as we try to keep them healthy, they are going to Kindergarten and Day Care. It is the middle of the winter and many kids there get sick, so they ended up getting a cold and then the flu as well.

Zoey with 104.5 ºF / 40.3 ºC fever last week

Overall I am very healthy, however when your 2 year old is sick and cries, coughs and sneezers in your face every time you pick her up, there is no way you can avoid all of these bacteria. Add to that the added stress, less sleep, less consistent nutrition. All of these things combined, I ended up getting a cold which turned into an ear infection. So I had to go to Urgent Care on a Sunday, because my ear was hurting a lot. The doctor gave me antibiotics and the ear infection went away in a week time.

Look at the bright side

We can all focus on the negative and all these things that are stacking up, or we can look at the things we do have in our lives and the things that do end up going well.

At the end of the day, if I had planned 5 runs for the week, but my family is all sick, ofcourse I am going to be there for my family. Growth doesn’t always happen consistently. Learning to be patient is such an important part of your marathon training as well. So learn to celebrate the small wins, focus on that 20 or 30 minute run that you are able to get in, not on the runs you actually missed.

Frostbite and snowboarding

There is actually one more crazy thing that happened. It has to do with frostbite and snowboarding, that happened to me. This was a few weeks ago. My good friend and business partner Scott Bailey, asked me to join him on a drive from Huntington Beach, CA to Powder Mountain, Utah. It was about a 14 hour drive, we had a few things to bring up there. We are opening an office up there, for our company PATH projects.

Our drive up to Powder Mountain, Utah

We left very early in the morning, drove 14 hours close to our final destination. There was so much snow, all covering the road. We had a 4 wheel drive, with snow tires, and still pretty much got stuck in a snow storm…

Getting stuck in a snow storm, close to our final destination

Eventually we were able to dig away the snow and back out and get off the mountain. That was a wild beginning of the trip. The good thing was, for the next few days we had amazing snowboard conditions.

I wanted to get a few snowboard follow shots with my Go Pro. I brought the Go Pro and the stick, but I forgot to bring the housing to attached the camera to the stick. So I ended up taking my snowboard glove off and filming several amazing clips in the snow, there was a lot of powder there. The only issue was, that it was very very cold. I would get to the bottom of a run and my hand would be very cold. In the ski lift up, I would put my hand under my arm pit to warm up, then do another run.

Stoked to ride so much fresh powder
Trying to keep up with Scott in between the trees

After a while though, my hand started feeling so cold, that I stopped filming and put my glove back on. That night I didn’t have feeling in my fingers and it started scaring me quite a bit. My finger tips were starting to feel hard. I started Googling “frost bite fingers” and I saw all sort of horrific photos of people with black fingers and grey fingers, and it freaked me out to be honest.

Frost bite is no joke, these images are gnarly!!

Instead of going to a doctor, I researched online and decided to just warm it up, 15 to 30 minutes in medium warm water, not too hot. This could help with the decrystallization so I ended up doing that. The next morning my fingers still felt pretty numb and they were white. I ended up snowboarding the entire day, with my glove on, no more filming.

Fast forward 2 1/2 weeks, I ended up going to the doctor 2 days ago, because I was starting to get blisters under my finger tips. I had this weird fluid pocket starting to form on my hand, so I wanted to make sure there was no permanent damage.

The doctor told me that the feeling should start coming back over time!

All the things we go through help us grow

This was definitely another one of those, on top of the other added stress of the family being sick. Don’t start counting all of the things that go wrong, but instead start counting the things that do go right. Start counting the things you are grateful for in your life.

Train to be patient by accepting the things that are out of your control. If your training doesn’t always go according to plan, that is ok, just be kind to yourself. Be nice and eventually you know that things will fall back into place again.

All the things we go through, help us grow, although we often don’t see it in the moment.

I would love to hear from you, how do you overcome some of the challenges that you are experiencing in your life? Please let me know in the comments.

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One Comment

  • Viswanath says:

    Hi,
    I need a small help. The place where I stay is just concrete jungle. So, I had to run either on concrete or on the tar road. Off late, I started getting shin splits, and this is creating problem in my running. I had to stop for some time, and then when I motivate myself and start again, the pain starts coming back. Am not an hardcore runner. My workout is walk-jog-walk, and I do it for 1 hour and cover a distance of 4-4.5 miles.
    The shoes I used are meant for road running and marathon. So, I want to know from you, how can I enjoy my runs again without having this pain. Because, running is the only my time i.e., the duration I run am just to myself, thinking, seeing my surroundings. I don’t listen to any music while running.
    The whole 2018, I didn’t run due to shin splits, and loosing of motivation. This year, in August I want to run my full marathon. Can you help me please.

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