Lubricating the brain: Nootropics, pt 1

Sometimes you just need an extra “kick” to get things moving. Here are my results with various “nootropics” or cognitive enhancers.


I didn’t try coffee until I was 22 and didn’t drink it regularly until a year ago.

At the time I was having problems with a recurring, rather annoying spasm in my right eye-lid and nose. I had read that low doses of caffeine was could treat this and began to use it.

I’m not 100% sure if it did the job, but the other effects I read about during research intrigued me. In particular among them were caffeine’s ability to help the body recover post-workout when taken with carbs/protein, its anti-aging effects, and finally, as a jump-starter.

I’ve since experimented with coffee naps and caffeine-aided workouts, among other things.

My experience: 

Caffeine kicks in within 3-5 minutes of my first sips of coffee, usually signaled by a rather intense wave of what I can best describe as ‘positivity’ flooding over me.

I had caffeine’s effects explained to me as ‘taking the breaks off’ one’s brain, where now dopamine and glutamite run free. Which in a way makes sense, given that my energy levels don’t change during caffeine consumption.

I think its important to note that I definitely don’t achieve or do more when ingesting caffeine; rather, my thoughts seem more focused and optimistic, leading me to believe that progress is occurring, despite normally not acting on said thoughts. I still have much more success brainstorming and writing when ingesting alcohol than caffeine.

Lion’s Mane (+ caffeine & chaga)

A favorite of Buddhist Monks, this mental-growth promoting “bearded mushroom” has experienced a huge surge in popularity recently thanks in part to Tim Ferriss and his glowing praise of affiliate Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffee, which according to Ferriss, “…lit [him] up like a Christmas tree.” Continue reading


30 days of Pull-Ups, part 2

I decided to give the pull-up challenge another try.

The goal this time: 100 pull-ups (or chin-ups) a day for 30 days. I started April 6th. As of today I’m at 1700 pull-ups for the month, which comes out to just under 80 a day. But I’ve taken quite a few off days, so factoring that in I’ve averaged more around 150 a day for the month.

I was so fatigued after my first big day (150 pull-ups) that I had to take 4 days off after. But just like my month of burpees, after that initial first shock my body has fallen in the routine pretty quickly and it hasn’t been too rough on me since.

I try to do sets of 10 with minimal rest for the first 50 or 100 each day. Then I’ll add in more rest or halve the set, depending on how I feel. In 10 days I’ll test out and see if I can get my original goal, which was 40 strict consecutive pull-ups.

Here’s a set of 50 from my last session in which I managed to knock out 275, my high so far.

Riveting stuff, I know!


History Channel’s ‘The Selection: Special Operations Experiment’

I’ve been trying to embrace a new thought process over the past year, one focused on challenging myself in new ways in hopes of fostering growth. Comfort, for me at least, is the antithesis of positive change; therefore I’ve been trying to simulate the lack of it as much as possible.

So when I was given the opportunity to fly out to LA and participate in a new show for the History Channel, I jumped at the chance.  Continue reading

2016’s Top Earners-Takeaways

Later this week I’ll be counting down 2016’s highest-earning Obstacle Course Racers. While I wait for final numbers to be confirmed I’ll post my initial 6 takeaways.

1. Lindsay Webster had a fantastic year. She won $5,000 or more in 5 different races, making her the most diversified athlete on our list in terms of winnings.

2. TV is where the big money is. Despite a small sample size, OCR athletes have had Continue reading

Interview with Rob Butler, Creator of the $300,000 “Put Up or Shut Up” Challenge

Update: This event has since been canceled…


Rob and Jill Butler have never been ones to settle. Plenty of hard work has gone into the sport’s first permanent course, Shale Hill, which over time has come to resemble OCR’s version of Disneyland. Visit the course and you’ll find an ever-changing landscape of trails, obstacles, and fitness fanatics spread out over the Vermont landscape.

The 6 mile, 90 obstacle course is home to daily training sessions, workshops, team building events, and races.

But this next summer they have a challenge planned that is poised to shake the industry up. Continue reading

Fearless in Self- A Brief Glimpse into John Yatsko’s Journey, Courtesy of Tim Sinnet

Check out Tim’s article on John

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.” -Emerson.

John and I, despite being very different people, have similar thoughts and tastes; specifically, in literature, although I’ll admit to liking Emerson’s Self Reliance far less than The Poet, and in regards to feelings on technology, as I just celebrated my one-year anniversary since abandoning my cell phone.

The main difference between us is probably an ability to commit fully to an idea and run with it, societal regs be damned. He possesses this. I may or may not have it. But time will tell. Continue reading

Confronting Fear and Making Changes. Also, is it Possible to Race Well Without Incorporating Running Into Your Program?

“Always do what you are afraid to do” –Emerson

Most people have that one form of cardio that works for them. No matter how tired, stressed out, or lazy they might find themselves, they can jump in a pool, on a bike, or on a rower and mindlessly churn out minutes.

That’s always been running for me. Over the years I’ve followed a pretty simple style of training. I’ve never really lifted, swam, rode a bike, or even gone to a gym.

Nope, I’ve only ever run. Continue reading