Unleash the Beast!

A week and a half ago on Wednesday morning, Boston and I went to the airport and flew from relatively warm and sunny San Francisco to really cold and snowy Salt Lake City.

Our mission: to film a live action "Rise of the Tomb Raider" trailer for our YouTube channel Freakin Rad. Once we landed, we basically hit the ground running, I took off to go get my hair dyed from blonde to brown and Boston took off to go build a 360 camera rig. 

Feeling all chipper at the beginning of my 23 hour day.

Feeling all chipper at the beginning of my 23 hour day.

The next day I was up from 5 am until 4 am, yes, literally 23 hours. My day started with  of Judie (@judiemonster) from Red River Adventures who was my stunt and climbing coordinator, instructing me to "Unleash the Beast!" as I used an ice tool to haul myself up the side of a cliff.  I then, pretended to throw myself off said cliff (with a 50 foot drop below me), tumbled down the mountain, climbed back up the mountain to tumble some more, and then, tackled some bad guys . . . all in the freezing cold, snow and/or rain.

What you can't see in this pictures is the freezing rain that was coming down. Anything is better than freezing rain. . . . anything is better than freezing rain.

What you can't see in this pictures is the freezing rain that was coming down. Anything is better than freezing rain. . . . anything is better than freezing rain.

The next two days were pretty much the same with just a little bit more sleep. Basically, my body went through an amazing amount of physical stress . . . And, as I was working out today (back in sunny California), I watched a 79 year old trainer work out an 81 year old -- and my thought was, "YES. Fit for LIFE!" I was completely inspired by this really old guy simply trying to get some basic movements down so he could increase his quality of life.  Who knows!? Maybe he's got another 20 years left, he might as well make 'em better!

There have only been a couple periods of time in my life where I haven't worked out consistently, and I'm so grateful that for whatever reason, I make it a priority in my life. I don't always like it, sometimes I hate it, sometimes I'm bored with it, I'm not even that amazing at it (like I've never even run a half marathon for crying out loud), but I learned fairly young that I feel better when I do workout versus when I don't.

I'll confess, my diet was atrocious that weekend. I basically lived off of protein bars (and who knows what else, I was half asleep). But, I could not have coped physically with living my dream and my passion if I hadn't been consistent in eating well and working out especially in the last couple years. So, like my girl Judie says, "Unleash the Beast!" and get to it! And hopefully, we'll all be one of those 80 year olds, at the gym, because you know, that's just awesome.

My girl Judie with Red River Adventures, helping me live my dreams!

My girl Judie with Red River Adventures, helping me live my dreams!

Our Rise of the Tomb Raider live action trailer will be posted on our YouTube channel at the end of this month. Follow me @rennygrames or @freakinrad for updates! 

Break Day Recovery Mode


It happens.

You have a 'break meal', which turns into a 'break day', which then turns into more of a 'break weekend'. That's part of the territory that comes with grandma's, road trips, in-laws, and of course chillin' with family on a Sunday night.

So, today I'm going to reboot. Or reset. Or whatever you want to call it . . .

My resets are pretty simple:

First, I fast 'til lunch.  (Not hard since I'm not hungry from the weekend, although if for some reason I do experience hunger I have a small high protein breakfast).  Second, I drink lots of lemon water. Third, I minimize my carbs dramatically.

Lucky for me, I had lemons galore just an arms length away while I visited family this weekend! I not only have been sipping it all day today, but used it throughout my whole weekend.

I've always known that lemon water is cleansing, but I've never known why.  So, I did a little research on it and here's what I found:

1. It has an anti-oxidant in it called D-Limonene that helps cleanse your liver.

2. It aids in digestion due to it's acidic nature.

3. The Uric Acid in it reduces inflammation in joints.

4.  The Vitamin C in it of course boosts your immune system

5. It has calcium, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium in it which all replenish your body with electrolytes (among other things like strengthening teeth, lowering anxiety, heart health . . . ).

6. Get's your bowels moving. 

7. And my personal favorite: Tim Ferriss uses it to help his body not absorb carbs on his break days

So anyway, I'd love to hear what types of things you do for a reset, and if you have any questions feel free to hit me up in the comments section below! Happy Monday, people.

Had to post a picture eating a kumquat. Mainly, because they are so cute, so fun to say (kumquat!) and extremely delicious!

Had to post a picture eating a kumquat. Mainly, because they are so cute, so fun to say (kumquat!) and extremely delicious!

Reframe Your Game

I was in the midst of a 6 mile run last summer when I heard an impressive interview on The Fat Burning Man Podcast featuring Nicolas Cole and his story of being a 90-pound, competitive gamer in his teens to a ripped, competitive body builder in his early 20's.  

About a year later, I heard Cole interviewed again on the same podcast, and then, I discovered Quora, (a new obsession of mine) where Nicolas Cole's voice was heard through his written articles of advice on all sorts of topics-- from how his discipline as a gamer influenced his discipline in body building, to how to have better habits, to how not to talk to a girl.

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

Since he kept turning up it everywhere I looked, I decided to reach out to him and interview him. I soon realized there was much more to his story than just being really skinny and then getting super buff.

First of all, Cole fractured his spine playing hockey when he was young, which is why he started gaming.  And then, he started having symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis where if he said, "if you don't keep your muscles active, they start to cramp in on themselves and it can be extremely painful." His father, who had the same condition suggested he really needed to "spend some time in the gym" in order to offset his symptoms. Finally, he found out he had Celiac Disease at 18 years old.

What's key here is the decision Cole made in the face of all the obstacles and the action that he took.  

In this so-called game of life Cole was handed some pretty hefty challenges, but instead of being down and out about it, he chose to reframe the way he looked at his situation.  Instead of moping about not being able to eat the All-American-Diet (as he put it, 'flour, flour, bread, bread') like a normal 18 year old, or instead of succumbing to a really painful condition, he used them to his advantage.  He noticed his new diet of brown rice, chicken and vegetables was the same diet that body builders actually chose to eat to gain their physique, so that's exactly what he did.

Talk about turning a weakness into a strength.

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

It's not like he was 90 pounds and then bam, suddenly a competitive body builder.  He said, "The hardest part's the habit. Thousands of very, very small moments - I didn't even look like I trained for 5 or 6 years.  I was skin and bones."  

When I asked him what his deeper motivation was to keep going he said, "I do a lot of creative stuff as well, so I'm very in my head. When I train, I treat it much like a meditation. Every time I go to hit my set, for those 30 seconds it's total silence.  For me, that's a practice."

Speaking of a practice, he is not only disciplined in the gym but meditates regularly, his work has been published on TIME, Forbes and the Huffington Post (among many other publications) and he has also become a one-on-one coach for those who seek him out as a mentor.

When I asked him about his successes and how he started mentoring he said, "I just starting writing and sharing what I knew, and then things started to come back to me. I've had so many people reach out to me asking, 'Can I work with you?', so I started one-on-one coaching. I have mentors myself-- either people who I work with very closely or who I see once a week.  That's how I'm learning, so if I can pass that along to someone else, I see a lot of value in that."

To top it all off, he's also a musician. He's got what he calls a "Dual Project" in the pipeline, "a music album and a book. We're shooting a short film as well, so you can watch it, listen to it and read it-- it's all different dimensions to the same story."

So, there is a lesson to be learned here from this skinny gamer turned body builder turned writer/entrepreneur/musician: Reframe your game and level up.


*You can find Cole and his work such as "Skinny to Shredded" on his website.

*Follow Cole on Instagram, Twitter and my new favorite, Quora.