How Exercise Helps You Learn Faster and Think Better

I don’t know about you, but the idea that I might grow old and realize I’ve squandered my life haunts me in the middle of the night. It’s the reason I get up at 6 a.m. every day to write; the reason I keep working toward my fitness goals day after day; the reason I’m …

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How to Develop Self-Discipline

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn You wouldn’t know it if you met me today, but I didn’t use to be a very disciplined person. I’d say I wanted to do something, like work out, practice the guitar, or get up early… but when the alarm went off, I’d always …

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Start Where You Are, Not Where You Think You Should Be

I started boxing four years ago. Growing up with teenage angst and emotions that controlled me rather than the other way around, I punched walls (and sometimes people) whenever I could. But I didn’t formally give boxing a try until 2017. By then, I had years of calisthenics and HIIT workouts behind me. I was …

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How to Actually Enjoy Working Out

I started working out in my late teens. I’d just gotten my first real job as a Starbucks barista, and the free drinks and pastries coupled with the inactivity of college life began to catch up to me. Sick of having to buy larger and larger clothing sizes, I figured I should do the “adult” …

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How to Turn Your Goals into Reality

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” — Bill Phillips One of my favorite things in life is to talk to people about their goals and dreams. I love seeing people’s faces light up when they consider their possible future selves. And yet I’ve noticed a distinct …

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Mastery: The Art of Sticking With Things for the Long Haul

“What are you training right now?” This is probably the most common question I get asked by my fitness-loving friends. My answer is almost always the same: “I’m training handstands. Yes, still.” I first started dabbling in handstands back in 2013. I took a few adult gymnastics classes and was immediately hooked. How could something …

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Why Mental Fitness Matters

Mental fitness is a term that gets thrown a lot these days, especially now during the COVID pandemic. It seems like everyone is struggling with something, and having strong mental fitness feels more important than ever.

But what does it mean to be mentally fit?

In psychology, mental fitness is loosely defined as creating a state of positive well-being and learning to cultivate awareness of how we think, behave and feel.

Increasing mental fitness has tons of benefits, such as:

  • Becoming more aware of your thoughts so they don’t control you
  • Increasing your ability to focus and concentrate on tasks
  • Building the resilience to deal with the ups and downs of life
  • Being able to confidently respond to a situation in the moment (rather than hours later after you’ve had time to think through your response)
  • Learning to focus less on negative emotions and the challenges of your life, and more on what’s going well

Just like we need to exercise our muscles in order to become physically fit, there’s a lot we can do to become more mentally fit, too.

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Working Harder Isn’t Always the Answer

I once almost got a tattoo that said “hustle.” At the time, I was still newly out of college and trying to figure out what to do with my life. I was living in San Francisco, surrounded by techies and startup founders — the type of people who glorify long hours and live off of …

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Don’t Try To Get Better at Everything at Once

The other day, I went to do a few sets of pull-ups and was disappointed to realize I could no longer do as many as I once could. There was a time a few years ago when I was working pull-ups diligently a few times a week and got up to doing ten in a …

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How Fitness and Sports Can Teach Us About Life

I didn’t grow up as an athlete. I was a shy, clumsy kid who preferred books to sports. I didn’t do my first push-up until I was twenty-one, and it wasn’t until much later that “athlete” became a core part of my identity. Like most adults, I first started exercising mainly to lose weight. Once …

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