Father’s Day 2018 – Sharpening the Mind

This year’s Father’s Day was quite special as they all have been. The tag line for The Healthy Giraffe is, Add Health to Your Life, and this weekend with my daughter, Morgan, was the perfect add for me. I drove a four hour car ride to and from Safety Harbor and Boca Raton this weekend, added a great bit of health to my life, and addressed all three components I share about on this site – nutrition, performance and the mind.

Life has been quite crazy and busy lately so this was a perfect weekend to recharge the mind. I blogged previously about exercising the mind, Exercise Not Just Physical, where I shared my experiences with meditation and mindfulness. I will be writing more about the mind in the coming weeks based a few podcasts I have listened to regarding taking action, decision making, and overcoming challenges. More to come there…

What I find really useful for me is to use drive times in the truck to sharpen my mind and release stress. I am constantly listening to a podcast, interview, audio book, or music while driving.

I find regardless of how long I’m in the truck I have to be ready for all things to listen to base on the mood I’m in or my attention span for any one topic regardless of how engaging it is. On this trip I specifically queued up a few things focusing on overcoming obstacles in our own head that may hold us back on taking action. I listened to a few insightful broadcasts that sparked several ideas and inspiration including:

  • Achieve the Impossible – story of the Iron Cowboy who lost everything in the 2008 financial collapse and then completed 50 full Ironman’s in 50 days, in 50 states. He chronicles by losing everything made him reexamine who he was and what was important.
  • Mindshift – via Mel Robbins on managing complexity without making things so complicated, managing your workday, and how to overcome the barriers our brains have in play to take action.
  • The Rich Roll Podcast with guest, The Happy Pear – sharing their journey on how they made some of their major life decisions. This episode is full of energy and as always puts a smile of my face just listening to The Happy Pear.
  • Weekly Word Podcast – hosted by Chris Hauth; listened to a few tips on planning a triathlon schedule.

When I needed a break to simply release I listened to a stand up comic and music. Once I arrived in Boca Raton it was great to see Morgan and focus on our time together. We had dinner at one of our favorite places in Delray Beach, The New Vegan (pictured below). We both had the same dish we now get every time we go. It’s a Falafel Salad with a side of Mac N’ Cheese. We followed that with my first experience at Cinnaholic (pictured below)…wow!!!

Sunday morning started off with a solo cycling ride from Florida Atlantic University  (FAU) to Ft. Lauderdale and back. It was a great hot and humid morning to get the juices flowing. Riding on the bike for two plus hours always give me time to think and being out alone for so long without distraction often results in some of my most creative thoughts. It’s somewhat being mindful in the moment and allowing the mind to be free. I considered several things based on what I had just listened on the trip down.

Following the ride was a quick one mile solo run on the FAU track and then another 4 plus mile recovery run with Morgan. I could not think of another activity I’d rather do on Father’s Day than run with Morgan.

We finished the run, had breakfast, saw a movie and ended our day together with lunch. It was the perfect weekend mixed with taking care of all three components:

  • Nutrition – ate a variety of fantastic plant-based food from extremely healthy to some pleasures (SWEETS!!!)
  • Performance – USA Triathlon nationals are two months away so nailing my workouts on the road is important and doing these routines in a different location than home is always a fresh break
  • Mind – learned a lot about things that hold us back (in our brains) and tips to overcome them. I continue to hear stories of those who have hit rock bottom and indicated it was the best thing that ever happened to them…allowing them to identify what was truly important and make things happen that served their purpose. Balancing this learning with being in the moment with Morgan, simply enjoying what we did when we were doing it – being mindful.

I’m a lucky and proud dad.

– Add Health to Your Life


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