4

Growth through suffering

20 miles into the race I felt a gripping and ripping feeling though my left hamstring. The hot sun was beaming down over the open prairie and I still had another 30 miles to run.

Stop or Press on?

At 9 hours and 38 minutes I crossed the finish line and finished my first ever 50 Mile Ultra-marathon . I was not the same person that started that race. I was stronger, wiser, maybe even better looking. 😉

I was “gently” reminded of a few lessons that may help you on your journey through life.

crossing the line

6 Lessons I Revisited While Surviving A 50 Mile Run Through The Everglades.

1.   Success lies on the other side of comfort.

To say I was uncomfortable was an understatement. My legs started cramping at mile 20, leaving me 30 miles to appreciate discomfort. I say this in jest but it was a blessing. Over those 30 miles I went through many physical and emotional peaks and valleys. When you are at you low it seems like it will never end. Then almost like a light switch the body finds a new source energy that propels you forward. Don’t be afraid of discomfort, of change, of pain because on the other side you come out stronger and more appreciative.

2.   Surround yourself with people who make you better.

It’s mile 36 about 7 hours into the race and I have been “running” solo for about 2 hours in grassland prairies with only the percussive sounds of my steps and the hollow sound of my breath to keep me company. I thought I was hallucinating because I heard a new beat that complimented the staccato of my steps. It was another person. Not just any person but Krystle an experienced ultra-marathoner that had run several 50 milers and 100 mile races. Over the next few hours we walked, ran, and talked. She encouraged me and essentially helped me get to the finish-line.
Who are those people that will help get you to the finish line?

3.   Stop and smell the roses.

Don’t miss the beauty of life’s journey because you are too focused on the destination. At the beginning of the race I all I could see was the floor because I was running too fast and needed to pay attention to my footing. When my legs cramped up, I had to walk. My gaze slowly came up and I was so engrossed in the beauty that surrounded me. I wish I had a camera so that I could share the beauty that surrounded me. All I have are the mental images I now take with me forever.

How often in life do we get so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy and appreciate the journey. Your experiences lie in the struggle, in the environment, in the people we meet. I am so glad that I physically got to experience that first hand with this challenge.

4.   Stopping may advance you more than going.

We sat in a dark school bus in the middle of the Everglades at 5:30am as Bob, the race director went over the logistics of the race. Then Bob shared his profound advice. “It will be hot today. At some point you will probably want to stop. Many of you will think about quitting. Don’t. If you are cramping up, if you feel bad, sit, wait, eat, drink, rest for half an hour. Many times you will feel better and will be able to continue. You have plenty of time to complete the race. Enjoy it, it is a beautiful course.”

So many times in life it will get hard, we will want to stop because it hurts. But if you want to truly advance, you may need to stop. Rest, recover so you can go the distance.

5.   Be Prepared.

Knowing what to eat on race day is important. Know what the weather will be is important. But the most important preparation takes place months before as you put in the mile daily to callus your body to be able to handle the stress of the 50 miles. It is done a little at a time so your body has time to adapt and build itself up a little stronger than the day before.

Life’s preparation are determined by the daily habits you create.

Will your current habits serve you or bring you down? The choice is always yours.

6.   Patience.

“Patience is a virtue,” is a phrase you’ve undoubtedly heard but have you ever experienced it? This race allowed me to feel the repercussions of impatience. I ran too hard at the beginning and my legs cramped. It also allowed me to build my “patience muscles” as well. 9 hours 38 minutes is a long time to be out running. When times get tough patience will be your ally to overcome any obstacle. Like water flowing through the Grand Canyon. Sometimes the water flows fast, other times it is just a trickle but that consistency over time slowly wearing away the walls and the floor that produced this spectacular wonder of the world.

Do you have the patience to become that magnificent wonder to the world?

None of the above were new lessons, just an opportunity to live them, to experience them, and to practice them. It is nice to be reminded about them.

Godspeed on your journey.

Cheers,
AC

2

Adders and Multipliers

Yesterday was my 34th birthday.

The day before my birthday I felt down. I was feeling emotionally drained, a bit lost, a bit frustrated, a bit defeated.

I woke up on my birthday, February 25th (mark that on your calendar), at 4 am. I saw some of my great clients and my mood lifted. I felt supported and loved. I was getting bombarded by Facebook messages of people I rarely hear from just to wish me a happy birthday. I know Facebook lets you know but I was so appreciative that they took time to write me that message. It really meant a lot. I received text messages from friends and family.

Later that day I was the guest speaker at 2 UM classes. They sang me happy birthday then I had the opportunity to hear their story, their dreams. I felt energized.

By the time I got home, my wife had invited my parents, in-laws, and brother to come over for dinner. We had a great time together over dinner and a delicious strawberry shortcake and a banana-chocolate tiramisu from Glaser Organic Farms (I highly recommend it, very delicious). It was a perfect end to a special day with some of the most important people in my life.

 

Birds of a feather…

Do the people that surround you add or subtract to your energy?

Do the people in your life offer value or only take away value?

Who you surround yourself with will highly impact your energy, your productivity, and your success in life.

 

In life there are adders, subtractors, dividers, and multipliers.

Adders are the people in your life that always leave you feeling more energized. They leave you with something extra of value than before you interacted with them.

Subtracters are people that seem to take and take and never give back. They are those negative people that leave you feeling drained.

Multipliers are those people that are exponential growers. They are similar to adders but make you excited to be around them. They help you grow exponentially.

Dividers are the most dangerous people of all. They are destroyers. They seek to divide and conquer. They are the gossipers that are looking to manipulate and destroy relationships. They seem to take away fro your life.

 

I have 2 questions for you:

1.   What category do the friends, family, and clients you have fall into?

2.   What category would others say you fall into?

 

My birthday wish for you is that you eliminate the subtractors and dividers in your life, surround yourself with adders and multipliers, and most important is have you move closer to becoming that multiplier in the lives of your family, friends and clients. As Gandhi stated, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is always easier to cast that stone and judge others.

 

I have said it before but I believe it is pertinent to this post,

“Our relationships are one of our most valuable assets for fulfillment, growth, and success.”

I am very appreciative to all the wonderful people in my life. To my family, my friends, my clients, thank you for the great birthday and for being the source of love and support that energizes me and my dreams.

Cheers,

AC

 

PS – If you forgot to get me a birthday present don’t worry. 😉

Help me instead to help kids get clean drinking water. Did you know that every day 5,000 kids under the age of 5 die because of water related illness. Let’s bring that number down one child at a time.

(See why I donated my birthday to charity: water to help this cause –> Click here)

http://my.charitywater.org/armandos-birthday-wish

728x90_present

 

how do you wake up?

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

 

Growing up as a runner this was one of my favorite quotes.

Sadly this quote illustrates the way many of my clients wake up in the mornings. They wake up in a pure survival state, that sends them off running. Below I will share a simple strategy that has helped my clients not get chased by lions. 😉

 

Survival is not sustainable

When I say survival is not sustainable, what I mean is if you wish to have good health, happiness, function optimally you can not operate under this state of emergency. Think about the hustle of your morning ritual. For most people it starts off with the sound of an alarm.

The dictionary has this to say about Alarm:

1.   a sudden fear or distressing suspense caused by an awareness of danger; apprehension; fright.
2.   any sound, outcry, or information intended to warn of approaching danger:
3.   an automatic device that serves to call attention, to rouse from sleep, or to warn of fire, smoke, an intruder, etc.

Primitively, these alarms were as a result of imminent danger, like a lion was about to attack. Our body’s briefly undergo the same physiological reactions when we wake up this way. We continue diving deeper as the morning continues.

Let’s move on to breakfast.

Most people skip it or opt for the coffee and some high sugar doughnut or danish that spikes the insulin and drains the adrenal glands. If they do eat breakfast, it is in such a hurry that that body can’t properly digest it causing more alarms go off in the body.

Now we get in the car to be greeted by a sea of stressed out, caffeine pumped individuals in survival state, trying to get to work before the next alarm bell rings.

 

Do you see the pattern?

We’ve allowed ourselves to be trained like Pavlov’s dog moving from alarm to alarm.

It’s time to take control of your mornings and break the Pavlovian chains by creating a morning ritual that serves you, your health, and those around you.

 

Morning Ritual Challenge.

Perform this morning ritual for 1 week and see how your day and week goes. Don’t judge it for the result initially just stay consistent with the challenge. Make up your mind at the end. Enjoy.

1.   Wake up 5 minutes earlier

2.   Take 20 deep breaths with a smile

3.   Say 20 things you are thankful for.

4.   Prepare a green juice the night before so you have more time in the morning.

5.   Don’t listen to the radio. Put on a self development CD or a meditation CD. If you are taking the kids to school ask them 10 things they are thankful for. Alternate between each of you until you each say 10 things.

These are not time consuming nor really difficult things to do. Here is the secret.

“Success doesn’t lie in the complex, rather, it resides in the consistency of simplicity.”

Said different, don’t complicate things, do the easy things consistently and you’d be amazed at the results. 🙂

Have an amazing day!

Cheers,

AC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Dealing with a Thief (part 2)

Last week I shared how I dealt with the thief who stole my phone. This week I want to focus on the most valuable commodity we have and who is taking it from us.

We are the biggest thief in our lives.

We steal an expensive, rare, and high demand commodity on daily basis. The thing is that we don’t necessarily see the value in it until it is too late. There are no police to patrol and stop you from doing it.

 

I am talking about TIME.

 

We frivolously spend it, we unconsciously waste it.

 

We only have 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds every day. The question is, what are you doing with them? How are they serving you?

 

I was thinking about my phone and realized the thing that bothered me the most is the time they robbed me of. That got me thinking about other things that rob my time.

 

Here is a list of time robbing activities:

Watching meaningless TV:

There are times that TV can be beneficial but rarely. I noticed this a 6 years back when my wife and I canceled our TV for financial reasons. I started reading. That year I read 12 books, which was more than I had read in a long time. Now we still don’t have TV and I read > 24 books per year. Much better use of my time.

 

Getting sucked into the social media (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter) vortex:

There is a great line that says, “Are you using technology or is technology using you?” Social media if not carefully monitored can easily consume your time. I am so guilty of this. I often rationalize that I need to be doing this for my business. The truth is, yes, social media is a great tool to connect and build a closer bond but it can easily turn into a distraction. Set chunks in your day to check and enjoy it but don’t do it at all times.

 

– Email apocalypse:

I don’t get so many emails but I find myself checking it often. I know many of my clients get 50 or more emails daily. Have a plan for dealing with them. Most emails are not that important. Have a secretary screen them, or set filters to screen them. Chunk them and only check it 1-2 times daily. As an example, check them at noon and at 4 pm. Take it off your phone so you wont be tempted.

What ever you do, don’t check your email first thing in the morning. “Email is someone else agenda for you.” Start your day on your terms.

 

– Vampire energy sucking people:

You know who I am talking about. Those people that you dread speaking to, always negative. Those people that leave you drained. Surround yourself with uplifting people that give you energy.

 

– Boredom:

I remember being a kid and making the mistake of telling my dad that I was bored. He started taking me to work (construction) at 5 am. Needless to say I never felt bored again. Even if I was, I’d find something to do. Read more, learn more, have more fun, do something you love. Life is too short to be bored.

*As an aside, boredom leads to overeating.

 These are just a few things. Guard your time with your life because once it is gone you can’t get it back…Unless you know Doc Brown and have a Delorean. (Yes that is a Back to the Future reference.)

Cheers,

Armando

 

 

 

6

Dealing with a Thief (part 1)

Recently someone stole my phone. They literally walked into my office and decided they needed my phone more than I did.

I was angry. Then frustrated because of the hassle that it would cause in my day. The truth is it is just a phone, it could have been so much worse. The thing that bothers me is that I lost pictures and content. Everything else can be replaced. I am glad no one was hurt…yet. 😉

 

Now what?

I consider myself having an amazing life. I have nothing to complain about. But as soon as this happened I felt threatened. Some of that “the world is great” thinking was jeopardized. My thought process see-sawed between love and compassion and becoming Dirty Harry. For those of you born after 1985 this reference may elude you. Just know that Dirty Harry liked to take the law into his own hands with a big gun at the end of it.

dirtyharry

Now think about how experiencing events like these on daily basis can skew your outlook on life?

Should I be jaded and think that all people are bad?

Some are bad but most are not. I don’t know the guy who stole my phone so I can’t say if he is a bad guy. It is not for me to decide who is good or bad. I believe his actions towards me were bad. He stole my property. People do some pretty crazy things in extreme situations.

Think about how far you would go to provide and protect for your family? Like I said maybe he needed more than I did.

 

I believe…

Here are my beliefs.

I think people are inherently good.

I treat people as if they’re good, unless proven otherwise. I know some may say that I am being ignorant and in some situations borderline dangerous. Peace of mind is very important to me. If I walked around thinking that people were always out to get me I would have no peace of mind. I refuse to live that way. That doesn’t mean I won’t prepare because I don’t think anything bad will happen.

I choose to live in a world of possibilities, a world where every one has a chance at becoming the greatest and grandest version of themselves. To be clear, I don’t believe anyone is entitled to it. I believe if you want it, you must take actions towards creating the life you want.

I am not God and as such I can’t control everything that happens to me and those I love. I can however control the way I react to my circumstances.  Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl said it best,

“the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

I want to thank everyone for your support. I have received so much help, offers for phones, and genuine compassion. I am extremely grateful.

Live each day with purpose and appreciate the real important things in life.

Cheers,

AC

 

PS – It is amazing how much I depended on that phone. In a world where everything is instant, it feels so weird having to wait until I get home or to the office to be able to call, text, or email someone. This experience has definitely taught me how much the technology was using me. Technology is asset only if you can use it and not the other way around. I feel that it is important to learn from all your experiences, good or bad. If you can do that, you can take something useful out any circumstance that will serve you. Just a thought. 😉

PPS – Thanks again for being in my life and having the interest to spend your time reading my writing. Truly an honor.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Rid of Eeyore

The other day I was watching Winnie-the-Pooh with my son and daughter. There was a scene that I wanted to share with you.
Eeyore was sad because he had lost his tail. Winnie-the-Pooh had been starving the entire show so he decided to go to owls house and ask for honey. Only when he got there he sees Eeyore’s tail.
 He declines the honey (and puts his needs on the back burner) because he feels compelled to bring back Eeyore’s tail.
They put Eeyore’s tail back and Rabbit asks him, “Eeyore are you happy now?” Eeyore’s reply, “No, I am not happy but I am glad I have my tail back.”

 

Do you have an Eeyore in your life?

An Eeyore is person that no matter what, they choose to be unhappy, chooses to look at everything wrong with their life.

Time for some reflection.

No matter what you do for Eeyore it will never be good enough. Circumstances have very little to do with happiness. Happiness is not a place, it is not a thing, it is a choice. Unless you choose to be happy you will not be happy.

Choose today.

Be happy.

Life is too short not to.

Cheers,

AC

PS – Watch this video and the message of this 11 year old. (Click Here)

11 y:o schoolhacking

 

 

 

You Have To Write The First Draft

YouTube Preview Image

–> Click Here to Watch on Your Mobile Device <–

This has nothing to do with writing a book, yet it has everything to do with it.

Recently I was writing the outline of one of the books I want to write. I have been saying I am going to write a book for a long time and never done it. In fact that is why I started blogging. I thought that if I blogged on a regular basis I would build the habit of writing and as a result it would make writing a book easier.

I started one book last year but made 3 critical mistakes.

First – I judged the work before it was done.

Second – I did not play to my strengths

Third – I stopped.

*Bonus – I didn’t have accountability.

If you have not done so watch the 3:43 video. It will help put things in perspective on how you can use the analogy of writing to help you achieve what you want in your weight loss and fitness goals and more importantly in anything you desire in life.

If you are the cliff note type because 3:43 takes to much time to watch then here it is…

But I must warn you.

You will miss out on my smooth and eloquent delivery of such a fine message. You will miss my voice as it carries through the air penetrating your ear playing the hypnotizing rhythms on your eardrum. If you are willing to miss all that then read below. 😉

As the Great One, Wayne Gretzsky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

Decide what you want in life.

Decide what you want for your health.

Decide what you want to be able to do and START.

Don’t be perfect.

Start creating some momentum. Create your life’s first draft. Embrace the process. Take imperfect action and correct and edit along the way. The truth is no matter how awesome your plan is, it does you no good if you don’t start executing it.

Don’t fall victim to the 3 Critical Mistakes I made. Start today.

Hope you find this helpful.

Cheers,

AC

PS – I want to thank my friend David Altshuler for inspiring me to write this post and for lighting a fire under my butt to get my first book written. He just launched his book, Raising Healthy Kids In An Unhealthy World. I have not read it yet. I am finishing another book but I can assure you he is an expert and you will benefit from reading this book.

He quite the story teller and has a very humorous style of writing. Usually it involves typing from right to left as he reads it from the mirror in his underwear. Joking aside pick up the book if you are a parent or want to be a parent.

Be on the lookout for an interview with him in the future.

Tapping to Improve Balance

 

YouTube Preview Image Lifestyle Physical Therapist Armando Cruz shows you how to improve your balance by improving your proprioception.

Balance is important for all that you do. It aids in daily activities like walking, reaching, bending, sitting. It also greatly impacts performance in sport and more dynamic movements such as running, jumping, and cutting.

Use this tapping technique to bring clarity to your body’s mapping system. When your body’s mapping system improves it allows you to move more freely. Watch the video for a better understanding how to do the tapping techniques and read the latest article Armando wrote (image below) in the CBS 4 Magazine that goes into more detail how balance will affect your life.

 

–>Click here to download the article<–

Balance Article

Any Questions?

Leave in the comments section below.

 

Courage to Listen

In our fast paced world listening almost seems like a luxury not afforded to us.

Over the next few paragraphs I hope to persuade you that listening is not a luxury but a necessity if you want more energy and abundance.

Think about everything you have ever been told about losing weight and getting fit.

It usually goes like this, “Eat less, move more.” (Sound familiar?)

What if this was all wrong?

What if not doing was actually more effective than doing?

Recently I was doing an assessment on a new client. She was frustrated with the way she looked and felt. She felt completely drained. She wanted to lose 30 lbs. Over the past few years she kept pushing harder but kept falling short and so the vicious cycle of frustration and self doubt continued.

She had signed up online for a 2 week intensive with us but after our assessment I explained to her why this would actually be the worst thing she could do for her health. Instead of leaving it there I created an alternative restorative plan. I wanted her to do it for 2 weeks then return and we would evaluate her progress. After I gave her the plan for the next 2 weeks that included meditation, walking, sunbathing, she instantly looked as if a huge pressure was removed. She finally had permission to listen to what her body had been telling her all along. She radiated with warmth and confidence.

 

Do you have the courage to listen?

In the above example my client was primarily operating in the sympathetic nervous system. Said differently, her body was operating as if she were surviving a life and death situation, like being chased by a lion. In this mode your body doesn’t digest the food you are eating and extract the nutrients needed, so you lack the energy. Because your body feels it is fighting for it’s life it stores more fat for later to protect itself for this emergency. Her body was not recovering properly. Her ability to create new information and problem solve were greatly reduce. She felt “burned out” which stimulates cravings for sugary and fatty foods that help satisfy the chemical and hormonal needs the body wants in the short term.

What do you do?

Do you push harder or do you take time to listen?

Carving time to listen and implementing what your body is asking for, in spite of conventional “wisdom” takes courage.

 

Be courageous today. Listen, feel, and grow stronger.

If you feel trapped, frustrated, or burned out and want some direction feel free to contact my team and I at 305-741-0560. We are here to serve, guide, and support you on your journey.

Cheers,

AC

 

 

 

Start the fire

Fire in a survival situation is one of the most important things you can have.

Fire can help you make water drinkable by boiling it.

Fire can give you warmth as the temperature drops and it keeps moral up literally giving you light in a dark situation.

Making a sustainable fire has a lot of similarities with creating and achieving successful goals.

In order to start a fire you need to have tinder. Tinder is usually smaller processed wood/plant fibers that are easily ignited. From there you add some really thin twigs to grow the fire, then you add pencil thin wood called kindling. As the fire grows from there you add larger pieces of wood as fuel to keep the fire on for longer.

 

Light A Fire Under Your Goals

Fire = Understand what your vision, your goal, you end results looks like.

1.   Tinder = Create a simple action to do daily that will easily give you momentum towards that goal. If your goal is to lose weight you may want to do 5 minutes of walking first thing in the morning. This not about creating the best program but doing the action that is easiest, an action with very little resistance on your part. Do this for about 15 days.

2.   Kindling = As your momentum grows, add some tasks that are more challenging. Add push ups and squats interspersed in your walk and add more time. Don’t add too much. You should still feel the desire that you can still do more daily. You want to maintain that hunger. Do for another 15 days.

3.   Fuel = Once you have established a steady routine for about 30 days you can get into making some heavier changes like your diet or increase the intensity of your training. Add one thing and do that for 30 days. Again don’t be in a hurry to keep adding more things.

 

Here is an important element about fire just like your goals. If you add too much too soon, you suffocate the fire of oxygen causing it to die. The same happens with your goals. Everyone is pumped those first 2 weeks but what happens as life happens. How many times have you started a fitness program full steam ahead and something happens and “You fall off the band wagon”?

 

Do you really ever “fall off the band wagon” with brushing your teeth or bathing?Are you creating habits that are sustainable? Not really. Why because it is a habit that you have been training your entire life. Focus on the habit approach and there will be no bandwagon to be on. 😉

 

Lifestyle and daily action is the surest way of success. “Slow and steady wins the race.” I know it’s frustrating when you want it now but always worth it if you commit to doing it.

Be patient, be consistent, be excited.

Cheers,

AC

******SIDE NOTE******

I recently took the kids camping and it was great. The weather cooled down, we had a nice comfortable tent with plenty of space, and best of all we got to explore. I decided that all food would be made over fire.

Dinner: smoked salmon, quinoa with split peas.  Breakfast: 6 eggs & 1 lbs of spinach

Dinner: smoked salmon, quinoa with split peas.
Breakfast: 6 eggs & 1 lbs of spinach

 

In order to make the fire we had to find the right fuel. Tinder to help get the fire started, kindling to slowly grow the flame, and finally fuel which sustains the fire. Below is a picture after we collected all the wood. Below that picture is a special wood called fatwood. It is wood from a dead pine tree that had all the pine resin collected there. The pine resin is very flammable. It is where we get turpentine from. Enjoy. 🙂

firewood