Pacific Northwest Recap (Breather Episode with Brad)

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Like most people who grew up in Southern California, I understand that when you’re blessed with constant sunny skies, it’s way too easy to get used to that kind of climate and start to take it for granted. But what happens when you don’t have 365 sunny days every year? You have to get creative. You have to figure out how to live and enjoy the outdoors in relation to your current climate. I reflect on this while sharing some highlights from my trip to the Pacific Northwest - I visited Seattle, where I had enjoyed some delicious "Salty Caramel Ash” flavored ice cream aka activated charcoal vegan ice cream, as well as Eugene and Portland.

One of the most important things I took away from my trip was how the Pacific Northwesterners really know how to make the most of their time. They use the summer months as an opportunity to cram in a ton of activities into their day, and I know people who take trips to warmer climates during colder weather to make sure they’re getting their recreational time in.

I was so happy to be able to meet up with some cool people, like Debbie Potts, host of the Whole Athlete, to discuss her career and journey into holistic medicine, and High Intensity Health founder Mike Mutzel, who shared some amazing insights about recovery: “The harder you train, the more energy you need to devote to recovery.” We think in terms of ‘go go go’ and then collapse on the couch or into bed – but this doesn’t even qualify as recovery time. Mike’s concepts for recovery are way more sophisticated than that and he is a big proponent of Rebound Training. Another important piece of advice from Mike: When your HRV number is extra high you may think you’re recovering well, but it can mean the opposite – that your body is still fighting to recover fully, so you need to rest.

It was great to finally meet Dr. Tommy Wood (of Nourish Balance Thrive) face to face after having recorded (remotely) so many podcasts with him. Tommy is great company and super stimulating to speak with because he offers such interesting views on a wide variety of subjects. While he’s super academic and into studying scientific research, he’s also always making a sincere effort to brings things back to the simple, practical stuff - like emphasizing the importance of having a dog to literally boost your health because it forces you outside and makes you engage play. Another gem from Tommy: “You’re liquidating your assets when you overstimulate the flight or fight response with your hectic, busy life or extreme training regimen that’s too much for you.” This is so important to consider.

After seeing Tommy, I hopped on the train to head on over to the beautiful town of Eugene, Oregon. I met up with my Speedgolf mentor Christopher Smith at the Eugene Country Club, and we ran all over town, checking out the updated University of Oregon campus and the Prefontaine Memorial, and just enjoying some great conversation. We talked about his incredible training concept “Train to Trust” and the importance of context specificity when practicing golf or any other performance endeavor. This means simulating your competitive experience in practice so it actually transfers into effective brain learning when it’s time to perform.

I also had the chance to catch up (over Skype) with author Scott Carney, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength. As an investigative journalist, Carney was originally assigned to cover the famous ‘Ice Man,’ Wim Hof, meeting up with him at his training center in Poland, but soon enough he was participating in training, and performing amazing feats like climbing a snowy mountain in running shorts in the middle of a freezing winter in Poland.

My last stop was Portland, and I had a great time with Brian McAndrew, who masters all the audio and video content for Primal Blueprint’s YouTube channel. We had a great time discussing how he went from veganism and chronic cardio to finding strength training and the Keto diet. Brian has had such an interesting life at only 31 years old, and has great insights and stories to share about his career journey and pursuing your passions. I had such a fun time having incredible, stimulating conversations with so many great people, and I left the trip feeling so inspired.

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