The first step is admitting that you have a problem. . .

I think that it’s finally time to come clean and admit that I have a problem.  It’s not necessarily a bad problem to have, but it does border on a compulsion.

My dirty little secret is that I listen to Podcasts – lots of them.

The beginning . . . It started innocently enough when Sheila and I both lived in San Marcos, but worked in North Austin.  We carpooled to work and after dropping her off, I continued on to my job.  From where I dropped her off, it was only about another 15 minutes or so to my office and I started by turning up the radio and listening to music.  The challenge that I had was the morning shows spent a lot of time discussing how drunk they were the night before, and what drink specials were happening at what bar, etc. then I’d hear a song, and arrive at work with the weather and traffic report.

With this, I mostly just felt empty inside.  I do love music, and all kinds of it.  If you were to pick up my ipod, you would likely hear Skrillex’s “Bangarang” followed by Robert Earl King’s “Five Pound Bass”, then likely Pantera’s “Walk”.  Hearing the dronings on of updates of “The Real World” and all things UT is hardly satisfying for a Raider in a strange land.

The moment that changed things . . . I was flipping through the stations hearing mostly the banter of “boy it sure is hot out there today . . . ” – Weathermen in Austin should all be unemployed, I can give a pretty good prediction by month but I digress. . . I switched over to the NPR station and listed to the morning news, and found that the depth of the reporting was quite good and for the most part there wasn’t a huge slant to either side.

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Like a good fiance at the time, I introduced my wife to the station, and we steadily started listening to NPR on the one hour drive home, and would listen a bit, then turn down the radio and have our own discussion.  On the days that we took separate cars, I found myself listening for the whole time.  We eventually moved to a much closer place, and my commute was less than 15 minutes.  With this short commute, I rarely got through a story on NPR and started downloading podcasts to listen to while I went running, or while I was driving in the car.

If you have never listened to a podcast, I highly recommend it and here’s why.

– very limited commercials – it’s pretty rare that the podcaster is trying to sell something although they may be trying to bring you to their way of thinking.  Even if you download the Wall Street Journal morning podcast, they edit out the commercials, and you get to listen to a really great news report without the weather and traffic

– Most of the folks that do podcasts do it out of a passion – They either have a passion to inform, enrich, educate, or amuse their listening base.

– Although they are not interactive, they are usually very interactive – Makes perfect sense right?  The ones that I listen to tend to answer listener questions, and instead of just shooting from the hip, they seem to spend a bit of time researching to give a much more well thought out answer than a live show that you find on the radio.

– They tend to have a steady and relaxing pace about them — When I was training for Ironman, you could almost tell the music by my running pace.  Metallica generally put me at an 8:00 minute pace, Jack Johnson put me at about an 11:00 minute pace.  This would have been great if I wasn’t too lazy to create playlists that corresponded to the days work.  With Podcasts, the steady spoken voice or conversation tended to keep me at about a healthy 9:30 pace.

I’d like to share some of my favorite podcasts with you and see if there are some out there that you may recommend to me.

Paleo Solution podcast –  Paleo diet and olympic lifting

Fat burning Man podcast – outstanding interviews with health professionals

Chris Kresser’s podcast – alternative health and integrative medicine

The Controversial Truth podcast – Libertarian political show with actions

48 days to the work you love podcast – career advice

Dave Ramsey podcast – finances and money

Jeff Ward show podcast –  irreverent humor sometimes local, sometimes national

Wall Street Journal this morning podcast – National news

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Spending some life upside down

Before I get into the title post, I need to welcome Greg as another new member.  Greg comes to us via his lovely wife Venae that joined in October.  Let’s all welcome Greg and enjoy watching his progress over time.

Would you buy a car from any of these people?

Our monthly benchmark WOD for the month of November was Diane.  Diane is a lovely lady that you get introduced to by bending over and picking up heavy things, then turning upside down to do handstand pushups.  Diane is a 21 – 15 – 9 of 225# dead-lift and the same rep scheme of Handstand Pushups.

This was Venae and Adam B’s first benchmark and their improvements in time using the same scaling were 24% and 44% respectively

Geno, Margit, and Adam K. improved by 24%, 11%, and 8% respectively.

Overall for the group, the improvement was 23% which is consistent with what I have seen over time since starting and opening the gym.

I’d also like to announce here that we have some exciting things going on in the near future:

for members, we will be conducting a 90 day change your life program where all aspects of personal fitness are explored (working out, eating right, and sleeping well).  If you are interested in participating after the first of the year, please contact me and we can get you started.

We will also be doing a weigh in using a water tank to determine body fat percentage, base metabolic rate, lean body mass, etc.  We do have a few slots left, so if you are interested, the cost is $40 for non-members

If you are interested in joining us, monthly rates are currently at $75 per month (for twice per week crossfit classes), and contact me soon for special offers on discounted elements classes (required before joining the general classes)

Merry Christmas to everyone, please enjoy your family/friends/time off/etc.

Coach Phil