These aren't really ancient rules carved into some stone tablet. There's no handbook with these three rules printed on them you have to sign before lacing up a pair of sneakers. These are my three rules of running.

Here you go:

  1. Run for yourself Some people run to work on their six pack abs to impress others. Some people run to try and finish in the top five so they can brag to their friends, family, and co-workers. Don't do this. Run because you love to run. Run because you want to be healthy. Run because you want to prove to yourself you can run faster and farther than you ever thought possible.
  2. Don't run hurt Running is a way to improve your health, not to damage it. If you don't feel right, stop. Don't try and push through the pain. There's a difference between good pain and bad pain, and don't try and fool yourself that the latter is the former. You're only going to put yourself on the sofa for an extended period of time if you try running through an injury.
  3. Engage with others While this might seem contradictory to rule number one, the idea is simple enough. You can run for yourself while still supporting and seeking the support of others. Just keep a clear head and make sure you can tell the difference between motivation and jealous competition. Working out with others can be a great social bonding experience, and by helping one another you can all improve your fitness and spirit.

There's nothing here that's going to end up on the news or become the foundation of a new philosophy. Its just the way I try to live my life. I hope you find the three rules useful as well.

Here are a few more tips:

 

Now, lets lace up and run!

I am more of a long distance runner than I ever was anything short, and I was never a big sprinter. However, I still love watching all the track & field events in the Rio Olympics. This week was especially exciting and motivational.

The other night I had the TV on and was not really paying full attention to the events, and then for some reason I decided to take a break from what I was doing, sit down, and watch the next race. It was the women's 100m hurdles, something I never ever personally ran aside from messing around with a few friends now and then.

Regardless, there were three Americans in it, so I figured what the heck. I might as well watch as its going to be quick anyway. And quick it was.

What was crazy is that for the first time in history, these three American ladies finished the event in first, second, and third place, bringing home all three medals in this one event to America. How amazing!

For the record, their names are

  • Nia Ali
  • Brianna Rollins
  • Kristi Castlin

These are three very special ladies that will surely share this bond for a long time. You can see the three of them together post event here.

I know I was never a star athlete, and as I said before, short races were never my thing, but still I find this to be a very motivational tale. All three of these women worked so hard individually and together to get into this race. Then, they kept working to make sure they all finished in the top spots.

It just shows how much a lot of hard work and dedication can pay off. This is the kind of story that helps get me out of bed early and into my running shoes. Great work ladies!

You know I love running, but every professional athlete has to change their training regime to try and reach their maximum potential. What I mean is that you cannot only do or play your sport to try and get better. You have to train in other ways as well.

Basketball players don’t only play basketball. They have strength and conditioning programs that help them improve their ability to meet the physical demands that playing basketball requires. Football, soccer, and even professional fighting does the same thing.

Why shouldn’t runners?

Here are some ideas for mixing up your workout routines.

Swing an Axe

That’s right. There are some great outdoors exercises that help put a little lean muscle on while working your cardio. One of my favorites is helping to split firewood when I’m out at a family cabin. 

Even though you only need to wood in the fall and winter, it’s a task you can do all year long. You also don’t need a lot of extra equipment to do it, which is nice on your wallet.

If you don’t already have one, you’re going to need to get a splitting maul or axe. You don’t need to get the best splitting axe money can buy unless you plan on becoming a professional lumberjack, but get something that won’t fall apart.

Then, you simply learn the swing, and get to work. If you’ve never done anything like this before, you’ll be surprised how winded you get, and much of a full body workout it is.

Go Vertical

Instead of going from point A to point B horizontally, try a new challenge- go up!

That’s right, rock climbing is another great way to put on some lean muscle without the fear of getting bulky, while working on your cardio.

You can do this outdoors, or indoors at a rock climbing gym like this one if you’re more of a city person. 

It does require a little gear and a partner to make sure you’re safe, but it’s so much fun it might replace running as your number one workout or sport.

Dance, Dance, Baby

That’s right. You can help get your running body into shape and have a lot of fun at the same time.

There’s nothing wrong with cutting up the rug, and it’s great for your cardio. Certain types of dance like salsa really work your wind.

You of course don’t need to go the super formal rout and just hitting a club with your friends now and then is great too, but don’t get too crazy with the spirits as that might counter anything healthy you’re doing.

The great thing about this type of activity is it’s something you can do almost anywhere and you really don’t need any special equipment, other than some nice clothes if you’re going out.

As you can see, whether you are in the city or country, or whether you’re an outdoors person or prefer indoor settings, there are plenty of ways to improve your running game without just trying to run more. Even better, you can have a blast while doing them.

I admit it. I am not a well-traveled person. I am not sure if that’s because it’s something that was never important to me or on my mind, or if I just never had much time or opportunity. But that has changed a little recently.

I have a very good a lifelong friend I met many years ago named Bruce. We seemed to hit it off all the way back when we first met in elementary school. We remained friends for many years, and even kept in touch when our adult lives took us in different directions.

I have recently reconnected with Bruce thanks to the ease and reach of social media. When he told me he was living in China I was amazed. I don’t think I ever met anyone who actually lived in a country that seemed so far away and so different.

He told me he had an offer to work in his field of international business for a freight transportation company that specialized in shipping from China to the UK and America. I never realized they were hiring overseas candidates.

Bruce was as excited to hear from me as I was when he replied to my attempt to reconnect. He even invited me to visit him in Shenzhen, the city he was based out of in China.

I never though about visiting Chines before, but since I had not seen Bruce in a long time, and have never really had an invite from someone I know actually living and working there, I figured why not. I have never been to Asia, had never been to China, and had not really been anywhere other then the U.S.A. for a long time.

I am not going to lie, it was not a cheap trip. China itself was not too expensive, and since Bruce let me stay with him, I did not have to worry about accommodation. But, the airfare wasn’t cheap, and we did some travel to other cities within China, which was a bit pricey, especially Beijing!

It was also not the best place to run, outside anyway. Bruce was always a runner and kept up with it to his best ability while living there, but the pollution on some days was really bad. He said he trained mostly indoors to avoid the factory smog and all the car exhaust and brake particulate. It was really as bad at what you see in the news.

However, the nicer gyms were really fantastic and high-tech. It was a little tricky getting the treadmills and elliptical trainers working properly since they were all in Chinese, but the staff were super friendly and with Bruce’s help and their assistance, I managed to get some training in.

All-in-all it was a very exciting trip. It was great to see an old friend, and it was great to meet new ones in a very interesting country and culture.

Thank you Shenzhen. I hope I will have another chance to visit in the future!

When you are considering trading countries, and even more, trading continents, there are many decisions that you need to make. It can be both exciting and overwhelming but if you do it properly, it can benefit your life in a great way. People move for many reasons but the most common reason to leave your hometown is your career. So, if you are an American who just got offered a job shipping products from China back to the USA, be ready for an intense and exciting adventure!

Leaving Seattle, just like leaving any other American city requires some preparation. Make sure to leave your affairs in place, pay your taxes and put your goods in storage if you can’t deposit them at a friend’s house. You want to do all that so that you have a life to come back to whenever you need to do so.

After you arranged your American life and set your mind at ease, it is time to prepare your new adventure. If you are going to Chengdu, it can be a good idea to be informed about the local Chinese culture, which is a very developed one. Spicy chillies and peppercorns are specific for Chengdu and noodles are some of their traditional specialties. Tea houses and bars are everywhere so you will have many ways to enjoy your free time after working hours while you are in this city and people are extremely welcoming. Only good news for you so far but there is even more.

To get familiar with Chengdu’s culture and history you can visit its interesting touristic points such as the Hanlin Painting Academy which was the earliest royal academy in China. Also, if you don’t know how to play Mahjong, you’d better learn! Because it is a tradition in Chengdu for people who meet after work at someone’s house or at a preferred tea house and spend their time playing this game. Some even play on money, but you might lose more than you win to begin with because Chinese people are experts when it comes to Mahjong.

International shipping is an industry that keeps growing on the Chinese market and you need to adapt to its fast pace if you are about to be part of it. You will work a lot to meet the expectations that Chinese have but you will also have plenty of satisfactions at your job and outside of it. Chinese people are some of the hardest workers on the planet but they sure know how to enjoy their free time and party the right way!

While you are in Chengdu, leave your expectations at home and enjoy the ride with the locals! They will teach you the best places to go at and the most popular activities. But they will also make sure to enlighten you into their rich language which might be a little tricky to master. You are lucky, though, because most Chinese people are very familiar with English so you will have no problem communicating with them. Enjoy your new adventure and keep an open mind to see the best parts of the Chinese culture!