Scott’s Personal Update: April 2015

Been meaning to post for a couple of days as April ends. I had visions of whipping out a post after a late evening home workout last night, except that I felt absolutely awful after my workout – laying on the floor sweating profusely from 20 minutes of cross-fitting in the backyard at 9:30pm. Then I started shaking and feeling nauseous. Then eventually, after joking on Twitter that I felt like I was going to puke, I actually did. Not fun, though I did feel a sense of accomplishment for pushing myself hard enough to make myself puke. Oh to be me…

As always, let me know if you need anything. I’m here to help. Seriously. Call, text, email, whatever. If you think I can help you, please let me know.  I’ll do what I can.

Meditation Practice:

I’ve read that people who practice meditation and acceptance develop a higher tolerance for pain. Here are a few studies on the topic:

From “The Impact of Acceptance versus Control Rationales on Pain Tolerance:”

Subjects in the acceptance group demonstrated greater tolerance of pain compared to the control-based and placebo groups.

From “The Effects of Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training on Experimentally Induced Pain:”

 Changes in the mindfulness and anxiety assessments suggest that meditation’s analgesic effects are related to reduced anxiety and the enhanced ability to focus on the present moment.

From: Pain and pain tolerance in professional ballet dancers:

Like sports professionals, dancers were found to have higher pain and pain tolerance thresholds than age matched controls in the Cold Pressor Test.

Tara Brach continues to be my go-to for meditation on a train or plane, and when at home or a hotel, I sit in silence. She also has some wonderful recorded lectures are accepting life’s intricacies and challenges. Definitely worth checking out.

I’ve been persistent on my end-of-day journaling on top of the Morning Pages. It’s a nice closure to the day and it’s rewarding to see all that I manage to push into a day.

Triathlon Training

The meditation partly might, at least partially, explain why my triathlon training seems to be going well. Donner Lake is about three months away.

I’m pushing myself with interval workouts in the pool – usually something like:

– 1000-1500 yards warmup
– 10 x (50 sprint, 50 slow)
– 500 yards cool down

On the bike, I’m mostly doing rides to Winters and back (25 miles) at a strong pace and intervals, and now beginning to extend the rides out to Pleasant’s Valley Road (40 miles) to start some small hill work. Next, I need now to get out to Cantelow and start working heavily on the hills and climbing and bringing along my elevation training mask. Which brings me to running…

2015-04-19 14.32.20I do a short run after every bike ride now – usually 2.5 miles and now all of my runs are with my elevation training mask set to 6000 feet. It’s absolutely a different experience. I can run close to a decent pace. The biggest difference is setting my breathing rhythm needs to be much more deliberate and much deeper breaths, which is the whole point. I do get a bit light-headed sometimes. (Don’t tell Lena…)

When traveling for work, I use the hotel as an excuse for in-room cross-fit workouts. They usually take the form of 4 x 25 pushups, sit-ups, and squats, and usually are a morning workout after I’ve been up early to write my Morning Pages and meditate, and generally feeling twitchy from drinking too much coffee early in the morning before a long day ahead.

I’ve completely eschewed using my Garmin and heart rate monitor. At first this was to avoid embarrassment in myself as I got restarted in my training. Now it’s more a matter of principle. I planned to use my Garmin for the aforementioned Central Park run, more for measuring distance than anything, but dropped the band from my heart rate monitor on the floor entering the elevator and it found it’s way through the crack in the floor and down the elevator shaft. Oh well. I was accepting…

Home Life

It’s life as usual. Lena continues her focus on finishing her PhD research. She’s flying a bit here and there after taking off for a couple of months (no pun intended…). Makes me happy to see here happy, and now that she’s current again, we can do a day trip or even an overnight camping trip sometime soon.

2015-04-17 19.38.43I’m usually home two days a week and in San Francisco the other three days. I still like the early train for time in the city before the workday gets crazy. Weekends are filled with trips to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and general errands on Sunday, getting ready for the week ahead.

Benjamin went a phase for a few weeks where he absolutely did not listen to anything Lena or I asked him. That was rough staying patient and now he seems to be over it completely. I explained to him that we’re a team and we need to listen to each other, and now when he’s not listening, I ask him if we’re a team. He usually answers that we are and that means he should be listening.

Business travel is generally light and mosty focused on industry conferences this past month (Orlando and New York City). Upcoming is a couple of trips to the midwest – Chicago and Des Moines, then Chicago again, for another conference and targeted sales meetings. I’m generally good with the travel – I like the long plane time for quiet focus on my work or reading or writing or whatever. While in NYC, I did a 7-mile run through Central Park which is always a fun place to run.

I don’t like being away from home for more than two nights. It’s tough to be away and feel like I’m not part of life back here. Blah blah blah – all normal and knowing it’s normal doesn’t make it any easier.

We’re coming up to fun stretch at home. We have Mother’s Day in a couple of weeks, then Lena’s birthday, then my birthday, then Father’s Day. It’s kind of holiday season for us here at home, and it’s a fun stretch of 5-6 weeks for us.

By the time we get Benjamin to bed most nights, I’m completely wiped out and that’s gratifying to know that I’m spending the energy I have and sleeping well to be ready for tomorrow.

Lena and I decided last week that we deserve to take a day off this week and do a day date. That day is today. It’s been too long since we just hung out and did fun things or nothing together, so today is that day. Of course, “Planning Scott” has a number of activities in his mind, while “Present Scott” is trying to just himself to chill. Sadly, I suspect “Planning Scott” will win the day. I’m going to resist as much as possible. And  just as I’m about to publish, Benjamin woke up with a croopy cough, so maybe we’ll all be home today.

Side Projects

I’ve been leading a few workshops here and there to help out local startups, including the Women’s Startup Lab in Menlo Park, the BASES Program at Stanford, and The Nordic Innovation Group in Palo Alto. Fun stuff for me to teach what I’ve learned. I just downright enjoy it. It’s hugely gratifying to help people that want to be helped instead of spending days on end trying to show people why they need help. Being in a room of excited, motivated, creative entrepreneurs energizes me. I generally get home or to the office amped up and gratified knowing that I’ve helped someone.

I’ve made it a sort of personal mission to help people that want help. This past week, I’ve talked to a couple of students that wanted help with finding and deciding on internship opportunities – one from Stanford and the other from Claremont McKenna. Smart kids that really wanted some advice and had the wherewithal to ask for help. I like that. Gives me some confidence in the generation behind me. I’m sure every generation feels like they need that confidence.

On the coaching side, a couple of entrepreneurs want a little push so I’m working out how to help them. Short phone calls and couple of strategy sessions to help them think through hard problems or identify problems they don’t know exist. The next project is some training at LinkedIn corporate for their “Business Leadership Program” – Thursday evenings for a few weeks and should be a lot of fun. The people in the class have really interesting backgrounds academically and all seem to have a personal bent on contributing to social programs. I’m sure I’ll learn as much from them as they will from me.

I’ve also started podcasting on the topic of sales and startups, posting to my SalesQualia website for now. These will eventually make their way to iTunes.

So that’s life as April draws to a close. Thanks for reading this far.

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