Recommended Tough Mudder Gear and Best Equipment From My Experience

When I was on my careercation, my friend, Joe Heitzeberg, knew I liked to do races (1/2 marathons, marathons, and Olympic distance triathlons), and hit me up to sign up for the Seattle Tough Mudder. I believe I was in Sydney at the time and shrugged, “why not?” I thought it would be a good goal to train for and to get back in shape after six-months of traveling.

Unfortunately, I got really sick on my trip and then just let myself go eating yummy food and not exercising. But when I saw the videos for Tough Mudder – I was shocked (knowing that I would be literally shocked)! I knew I had to get my butt in gear. I didn’t know what a burpee was and those monkey bars that kids fly by…I felt like my shoulder was going to get wrenched out! Not to mention the even more challenging rings. Continue reading

Keira said what?

We’re watching Sound of Music and its the part where the 16 year old daughter runs off to the gazebo to meet the messenger boy.
Keira: She’s going to meet her daddy
Mommy: I don’t think that’s her daddy Keira. I think that’s her special friend.
Keira: I have a special friend, Damin. And I wear my dress and clucky shoes to go see him.

Casual dinner conversation….
Mommy: Keira, what did you do at school today?
Keira: Leyton had a BIIIIGGGG poo *big eyes and wow look on her face*

I guess that was the big news for the day.

Tough Mudder Race “FAQ” Frequently Asked Questions from My Experience

Thanks for all the great feedback on my previous Tough Mudder Recommended Gear piece. I appreciate everyone who commented and emailed me. It means a lot especially since I was in your shoes and had no idea what to buy to be prepared and have fun doing my first Tough Mudder race in Seattle.

Based on the feedback and questions, I thought I would do a Frequently Asked Question “FAQ” that most of the folks on my team talked about, that people have asked me, and that I’ve read online.

Question:  How bad is the Chernobyl ice bath?

Answer:  I’ve trained for triathlons in Seattle, so I’m used to swimming in water as cold as the 50’s. Of course, there is no wetsuit here. I saw a gal in front of me who couldn’t do it and had to skip this. Chernobyl Ice Bath Tough Mudder

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TINYhr Decorating Project

So David (and I) are moving up in the world now and we have a whopping 200 sq ft office with $1k to FAB this place out! TINYhr is a fledgling company with still many biz goals to achieve, so I couldn’t really complain about our $1k budget.

This is it!

This is it!

This is the place, and we’ve never been so eggcited! It’s like renting your very first place when you graduated from college and found that studio apartment for $500 bucks! Ahhh…how it brings back memories…

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We’re BACKKK…in Seattle…

For anyone who has been following our careercation, you’d think that we’d been stuck in the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul since we haven’t posted since April. But no, since Seoul, we hit up Shanghai, Saigon (David only due to an outbreak of hand foot mouth disease), Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tainan, Taipei, San Francisco, and Dallas. We made it back to Seattle on Monday, July 16, 2012. We left on February 9th, which is about 6 months of traveling with little Keira and our travel au pair, Kayla.

Keira and Daddy with packed car on start of adventure on February 9, 2012

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What a Great Reminder – 3 Years Too Late :)

How appropriate is this picture for our around-the-world adventures? I just saw this today and had to snap it. I didn’t make the 35 cutoff, but I was close :) Hopefully this won’t be my only time – perhaps one at 40, 45, 50, etc. too?

Alice, Keira, and I do hope to see some of our dear friends on the road too (and you know who you are :)Before You Hit 35 Hit the World - Careercation

Bon Voyage – Alice, Keira, and David Traveling Around-the-World on February 9, 2012, Alice, Keira, and I will be embarking on our around-the-world adventures. We’ve been selling as much as we can and will donate or store the rest. But there’s so many other considerations like health insurance when traveling, what to do with cell phone plans, where to live, how to get to where we will eventually live, Keira’s checkups, etc. that it was definitely overwhelming and daunting when we first made up our minds. I’ll save all those detail for future posts.

In fact, when we share with people that we’re packing up and leaving Seattle with a 11 month-old to travel, I usually get one of two responses:

(1) You’re CRAZY! How do you do that with a baby?

(2) WOW – sounds amazing, I wish I could do that.

In my mind, I think about it as a careercation. I know it can be trite when people exclaim that, “Life’s too short!” What I get out of that statement is that life is too short to drift along with society’s expectations, and that I need to strive to live more intentionally and purposeful. In addition, as friends and relatives are getting older, I am fortunate to have a bit of health (exercising and eating) and wealth (saving and not living extravagently), and I want to live and play by my own rules to travel and create amazing shared experiences with my family while I’m healthy enough to fully indulge in other cultures and activities. As they say, a person on their death bed doesn’t usually think about working more or hoarding more money.

As for work, as an entrepreneur, I’ve been sharing my feelings with my business partner for  over a year. My desire to take a careercation only intensified after I got married and had Keira. But it never felt right earlier as the company was going through a strategic transformation. Now with the right people and strategy in place, I truly feel that the company is stronger and better poised than ever before for continued success. So by keeping a honest and open dialogue with my partner and also waiting for the right timing, I feel very positively about the transition and state of the company.

There are a variety of other factors that weave together to pull me towards the careercation path. I’ll try to briefly sum them up:

(a) I’ve always been interested in international travel from my days of studying abroad at Peking University as an undergrad to my days studying in Singapore and Fontainebleau as a MBA student. They were some of my best and most formative experiences. I want to taste that again. But not just travel, but hopefully reside and soak in the city / country. So for this trip, we’re going to try to live in a place for around 1 month at a time as we circle the globe.

(b) I’ve always been interested in people development. I don’t know what the genesis for this interest is, but I do believe that for many companies, people are their most important assets. I’m interested in how companies hire, track, and coach their people. I’m calling this project TINYhr. During my travels around-the-world, I’ll be reaching out to entrepreneurs through the EO network and interviewing them. I hope to learn a ton and document best practices related to culture and performance reviews. I plan to share these best practices by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs in my blog at TINYhr or through a book.

(c) Even though my family is very young, I still want to create amazing shared experiences like driving a campervan throughout the South Island in New Zealand. I know Keira won’t remember these experiences, but I know Alice and I will…and hopefully this will eventually rub off on Keira and light her own fire to travel and experience different cultures.

Finally, our itinerary is not fully set, but I’m going to be starting with New Zealand for EO Queenstown, then Australia, then Hong Kong and Shezhen. So if you have suggestions or know people I should connect / interview, please feel free to let me know.

Bon Voyage in about 3 weeks!