Rebellion Update – September 2010: Lost Cities and T-Shirts!

Oh hey Machu Picchu, looks like I might be seeing you soon…

I figured with today being the last day of the month and me having a sh**load of things to announce, it would be a good idea to take a quick glance at what’s happening in the world of Steve Kamb and Nerd Fitness!

Read for details on a unexpected cruise, a spontaneous trip to Peru, updates on my Epic Quest, a new identity (sorta), new technology, a purging of clutter, and NERD FITNESS T-SHIRTS!

Going Cruising

A few days ago, I made a commitment to go work with my old company Sixthman (who is all sorts of awesome) on their cruise coming up at the end of the month: The Jillian Michaels Ultimate Wellness Cruise.

I don’t know why they wanted me, it’s not like I have anything to do with fitne…(reads blog name)….oh okay :)

So, from October 21-25, I’ll be hanging out on a cruise ship in the Caribbean with Jillian Michaels and a bunch of like-minded individuals.  I’m pumped!  I realize it’s a long shot, but if you’re an NF reader and you happen to be sailing on this cruise, shoot me an email!

That’s not the only unexpected trip coming up. It looks like I’m also headed to…

Machu Picchu

Cash, my best friend since first grade, recently told me he wanted to go to Peru at the end of October to see Machu Picchu. This is one of the things on my epic quest, and I have PLENTY of airline miles to get there (with enough left over to get me to Australia/NZ in January), so I told him that I’m in!

We’re in the early stages of planning, but it’s going to have to come together quickly.  Luckily, my new boss (me) is really lenient and lets me work from anywhere in the world, so last-minute adventures are now part of my job description.  I’ll probably depart Atlanta around October 27-29th and travel around Peru for 7-10 days.  We’re currently researching which trail to hike to get to the Incan city.

If you’ve ever been to Peru and done any of the hikes, or if you LIVE in Peru (it’s possible!) and want to meet up, please email me!

Epic Quest

Last week, I wrote about my Epic Quest of Awesome and ended up with 120+ comments and two dozen emails from people all over the world about where to go and what to do. I’ll be adding an Epic Quest tab to the nav bar with an updated bucket list and map so that people can track where I’ve been and where I’m headed.

I want to cross things off the Epic Quest list along with other Nerd Fitness rebels.  For that reason, I’ll be posting where I’m going and what I’m doing as far in advance as possible so that anybody else who’s around and/or available can join in the fun!

The more the merrier – we’re all in this together, and we’re all leveling up together.

Whenever I’m back in the States, I’d love to start doing meet-ups around the country too – laser tag, Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, hiking, surfing whatever!  Let’s take the Rebellion into the real world.

New Identity

Every time I jump on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards, I am constantly amazed:

  • We’re up to 410+ posters and over 8,000 posts now.
  • There’s a thread called “Ask Steve,” where every question gets answered by another poster before I even get a chance to read it.
  • Inspirational posts in the Woot Room put a big smile on my face and often bring a tear to my eye.

For these reasons, after weeks of thought, I’ve decided to change both my main twitter name and my posting name on the Message Boards.

Why?

Because I’m not Nerd Fitness.

I’m Steve, and I happen to be the guy who writes articles for the people of Nerd Fitness.  It’s not just a blog.  It’s a community of thousands of people who are getting stronger, faster, healthier, and happier every day.  It’s a ragtag bunch of misfits who constantly encourage each other to level up, to hope when all hope seems lost, to succeed where failure has been the status quo.

Nerd Fitness and the Rebel Army are a tremendous force to be reckoned with. I am so incredibly proud to be part of it.  So, moving forward:

If you were following Nerd Fitness before, I switched it so now you should be following SteveKamb (creative, I know).

On the boards, you’ll start to notice Steve poking around at all hours of the night instead of NerdFitness.

Thank you for making Nerd Fitness what it is – I’m honored to fight alongside you.

New Technology

Tomorrow, I finally join the 21st century – I’m getting an iPhone 4. Before you yell at me because it drops calls, why didn’t I go with android, etc. – I have a Macbook, I love iTunes, I’m already with At&T, and my roommate is an iPhone app developer.

So there.

Anyhoo, the real reason I’m excited about the iPhone is that I can finally start doing more videos and taking more pictures for Nerd Fitness – all of my Epic Quest adventures, new workout videos, more cooking videos (ha!), and more.

Cleaning Out My Closet

Last week, my friend Baker over at ManVsDebt.com put out a fantastic e-book “Sell Your Crap (and I’m not just saying that because I’m included as one of the people he interviews in it!).

After tearing through the book the other day, I went on a whirlwind cleaning spree in my room.  I’ve purchased 100 bubble mailers to start selling my DVDs and books, donated HALF of my closet to Goodwill yesterday, and recycled all of my broken electronics at Best Buy.

I have probably 100 books and 100 DVDs and video games to sell over the next two months, and my digital piano… after that I’m down to just some clothes, a guitar, laptop, bed, and my cheap IKEA furniture (which I’ll sell when I move).

T-Shirts

They’re coming!

I wanted to share with you the two designs I hope to start printing and shipping within the next few weeks.  They’re not final, and I’m still open to some feedback, but I wanted to show them to you asap.  A few notes: the really dark grey one will be printed on 100% cotton and be more of a regular style t-shirt, while the lighter grey one will be printed on a tri-blend athletic-heather color from American Eagle and be more of an athletic cut – it will be made to look and feel (but not smell) like a well-worn shirt.  I’ll also probably be moving the words from around the logo to the back (to make it similar to the back of the dark grey one).

The lighter grey one will be a few dollars more expensive than the dark grey, but the shirts will be reasonably priced.

Here they are:

These are the two I’m hoping to print.

I don’t have enough money to place a big order up front, so next week or the week after I’ll start taking pre-orders so I can order the right amount of the right sizes.

If you have a minute, fill out this quick survey, letting me know if you’re interested in buying a shirt and which one you’re interested in buying.  If you fill out the 3 question survey and leave your email, and I’ll pick a winner at random to receive a FREE NF shirt!

Thanks in advance!

3 Months Left

I’m continuing work on the next e-book, cranking out some guest posts, selling all of my stuff, and planning a random trip to Peru.  Sleep is going to be tough to come by in October, but I’m so fired up right now that I don’t care.

I truly love the people in this community, and I wake up every day inspired to be better.

Thank you.

How are you leveling up your life today?

-Steve

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How To Upgrade Your Life Today: Lessons Learned from Chuck

Do you watch “Chuck” on NBC?  It’s a show about a lovable loser turned international spy.  Nerds, spies – what more could you ask for!?  The new season just started up last Monday, and will be on again tonight at 8/7c.  This is a guest post from Joel Runyon over at Blog of Impossible Things.

Chuck isn’t Brad Pitt.

He’s an average guy with an average job with average co-workers making an average pay. He never finished school, has no girlfriend, and spends most of his free time playing video games with his high school buddy Morgan. Not that ANY of us could relate to that or anything…

So how does he go from average Joe to James Bond overnight? Well, having a secret government database embedded in his brain certainly helps…but there are plenty of other great qualities that Chuck possesses that make him stand out from the crowd.

It’s time for you to upgrade your life right now.

Be Dissatisfied With Average.

After Chuck accidentally downloads the government database into his brain (I HATE when that happens) and becomes a valuable government asset, he still has to decide to be a spy. He has to decide that average isn’t cutting it anymore. Consistently throughout the series, when faced with the choice of being either a spy or a normal everyday Nerd Herder, he consistently rejects the second option in favor of the first.

In order to live a better life than the one you’re living now, you have to want to. It sounds so basic, but it’s true. You have to commit to not living an “average life” and actively pursuing your dream. It’s not enough for Chuck to say he wants to be a spy, he has to actually do it.

Don’t be satisfied with average.

Learn To Ignore Your Emotions…

Spies don’t have emotions.

Chuck does.

He falls in love, cares about people, and gets discouraged when he doesn’t do everything perfect. All these things get in the way of “normal’ spy work and make it harder for him to do his job. He has to learn to control his emotions so that he doesn’t put himself in danger or screw up a mission.

Just like Chuck, most of us aren’t super human. We can’t run super long distances or lift really heavy weights. We don’t all have six packs and we can’t always pick the hard choice 100% of the time. You will get tired, you will get discouraged, and there will be times you don’t “feel” like doing anything. These are the times you need to ignore your emotions and just push through it. You have a lot more in you than you think. I promise. Limiting by yourself by what you feel are your limitations is a sure-fire way to do nothing groundbreaking.

You have to learn to ignore your emotions…

…But Learn To Listen To Them When You Need To

Weaknesses aren’t always bad things. Sometimes, your weakness can also be your biggest strength. Over time, as Chuck learns to ignore his emotions, he also learns when he actually needs to listen to them.  Instead of being a cold-blooded killing machine always following orders, he actually thinks things through and is able to handle situations in ways his spy friends can’t.

Changing things up is hard. There will be times where you will be tired and you need to just get through it, but sometimes you’ll need to readjust. You might need to take a break, set more realistic goals or you may even need to push yourself harder.

The only person who will know what to do…is you.

You have to learn to listen to your body, and know what it means.  This is only something you can learn over time, but you have to master in order to take your life to the next level.

Get Yourself A Stellar Cast

The reason Chuck is so successful is because of the people he has in his life. Surrounding yourself with the right people is one of the absolute keys to success in whatever you do.  Check out some of the characters Chuck has surrounding him pushing him towards success.

  • Casey is Chuck’s bodyguard. He makes sure that no matter what, Chuck becomes a spy. He also saves Chuck’s butt every time Chuck gets himself into a bad situation. He’s not always nice about it, but he makes it happen. He’s the perfect example of tough love and is determined to see Chuck succeed, even if he pisses him off all the time.
  • Sarah is hot. Like really hot. She also guards Chuck and helps him like Casey does, but in a different way. When Chuck is second guessing himself and his abilities, Sarah is there to remind him that it’s okay to be himself and that Chuck’s uniqueness is actually what make him special.
  • Ellie is Chuck’s sister and is the most important person in the world to him. Seeing her reminds Chuck that being a spy isn’t just about going cool places and doing awesome missions, it’s ultimately about helping people. She helps him realize the bigger picture.
  • Captain Awesome is Chuck’s brother-in-law and is awesome at just about everything. He does everything perfectly and Chuck constantly looks to him as the ideal person that he’d like to be.
  • Morgan is Chuck’s best friend. He looks up to Chuck like he’s a god. He forces Chuck to think through the consequences of his actions and makes Chuck realize that he is an example and needs to step up his life in order to be a better example to others.
  • Lester, Jeff & the rest of the Nerd Herders are a constant reminder to Chuck of his other choice. He can choose not to be a spy, he can choose the easy path, but where’s the fun in that?

Everyone that Chuck has around him serves a different purpose, all pushing him towards his ultimate goal – to become a better spy and to ultimately live a better life.

Want to upgrade your life? You have to get yourself a good supporting cast. You need to find your own personal:

  • Casey, who will kick your butt when you need it.
  • Sarah, who reminds you that it’s okay to be yourself.
  • Ellie, who will remind you about the bigger picture.
  • Captain Awesome, who you can look to as an example.
  • Morgan, who you can be an example to.

When you need a reminder why you’re doing all this, why you’re choosing the harder path to upgrade your life, just look back and see all the Nerd Herders living the boring life you used to be content with and remember how silly it all seems now that you’ve doing something so much more awesome.

You can be dissatisfied with average, get yourself a stellar cast, and still not live the life you wanted however. There’s one last step you need to take…

Get Out Of The Car

When Chuck first starts going on missions, he’s always told to “stay in the car” and stay out of trouble. Thankfully, every single time he doesn’t listen. Why?  Because nothing happens in the car! He never experiences a mission and he never grows. Nothing changes, he’s still the same old Chuck.

Fortunately, all kinds of exciting things happen outside of the car.  He experiences the action, he’s put into danger, he has adventure. He’s a spy. But it all happens outside the car.  Sure it might be scary, bad things MAY happen, but extraordinary things may happen too.

There’s only one way to find out…

You have to get out of the car. If you want to upgrade your life, you have to want it bad enough to do something to make it happen. So do it. Get out of the car. Do something (or 43 things).  Whatever it is, just do it.

Today.

Get out of the car.

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Joel Runyon is a javelin-throwing, world traveling triathlete. You can follow his adventures at the Blog of Impossible Things where he helps people do impossible things.

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Hope + Action = Win

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.  And no good thing ever dies.”

It’s no secret that the Shawshank Redemptionis my favorite movie of all time: it’s filled with unforgettable quotes, an inspiring story, and an ending that makes me tear up every time.  This movie has changed my life.  Now, don’t worry if you’ve never seen the movie (but shame on you, go rent it immediately), you’ll still learn a lesson or two from this article.

I was emailing back and forth the other day with David of HeroicDestiny.com, and the topic of Hope came up.  David remarked that I was selling hope with my Rebel Fitness Guide and Nerd Fitness in general – the hope for a better tomorrow: a stronger heart, a smaller waistline, and a more enjoyable existence.

I realized that David was absolutely right. My articles might be about learning how to squat, how to be more confident, or life lessons we can learn from Star Wars, but deep down each article is really about hope: hope for stronger legs, more confidence, and a better life, respectively.

Hope is one of the most important emotions a person can possess.

Victor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor and author of the famous A Man’s Search for Meaning, remarked: “The prisoner who had lost faith in the future – his future – was doomed.” I believe it was Nietzsche who said, “He who has a why can endure any how.

Hope gets us out of bed in the morning, hope gets us to work, hope gets us to the gym.  Hope gets us dreaming and wishing for a better future.

  • Without hope, day-to-day actions are simply a way to pass the time until we’re done living.
  • However, without action, hope will result in absolutely no progress.

For these reasons, we need both hope and action to live a life worth living.

Hope and Shawshank

Back to the movie: while spending nineteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, the main character, Andy Dufresne, held on to the belief that there was a better life waiting for him outside, that there were “places in this world that aren’t made out of stone.”  He held onto the hope that his life would one day improve.  It was this hope that allowed him to survive getting beat up by the Sisters, being thrown in solitary confinement, and spending two decades locked up in a tiny prison cell with no chance for parole.

Now, along with hoping that things would get better, Andy took definitive steps to make sure his life WOULD get better. He spent those nineteen years digging a tunnel with a tiny rock hammer through his cell wall every night (which would have made Optimus Prime proud).

Andy spent his time hoping for a better future like everybody else; he was different in that he turned his hope into action.

After digging and tunneling nightly for years and years, Andy simply “up and vanished like a fart in the wind,” crawling through his tunnel, slithering through hundreds of yards of sewage pipe, and escaping to the Pacific coast of Mexico.  He spent the rest of his days on the beaches of Zihuatanejo, fixing up an old boat with his friend Red and taking folks out on fishing trips.

For you math people out there: hope + action = win.

Hope and Action

What do you want out of life? That is your “hope.”

What are you doing about it? That is your “action.”

Life is made up of prisoners, wannabes, and Andy Dufresnes. Prisoners go through the motions without hope.  Wannabes have hope but don’t do anything about it.  Andy Dufresnes have hope and are inspired to act.  Which one are you?

1) Lose weight. Do you watch the Biggest Loser?  Have you seen the movie 300 ?  Did you watch either and go “wow that’s amazing, I’d like to be in great shape too!”

  • The prisoners of the world watch these shows and movies while eating ice cream and tubs of popcorn and then go back to being fat.
  • Wannabes say to themselves “I’m going to get in shape tomorrow!” and then hit the snooze button the next morning and do nothing.
  • The Andy Dufresnes of the world get inspired, chuck all of their junk food, start exercising, and turn their lives around.

2) Make more money. Do you want more money?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone – everybody wants to be more financially stable.

  • The prisoners continue to work in a job they despise, waiting for their yearly raise and two extra days of vacation.
  • The wannabes buy scratch tickets, play the lottery, and drop a couple grand in Vegas, hoping to get rich.
  • The Andy Dufresnes reevaluate their finances, sell their crap, negotiate a raise, bust their asses for a promotion, and/or start their own company.

3) Be happy. Are you getting what you want out of life?  Do you want to spend more time with your family?  Have you ever dreamed of running your own business?

  • The prisoners do nothing about their situation except complain.  Nothing changes, routines stay the same, and life remains passionless.
  • The wannabes go out and buy “get rich quick” e-books from an “online marketing guru” (who only makes money by teaching you how to make money).  Or, they hope that next year, “after things settle down,” will be a better opportunity to make some adjustments.
  • The Andy Dufresnes hope for a better tomorrow, whether it’s more time with their families, a great vacation with friends, or a new business venture, and then they take specific steps to make those things happen.

Don’t be the wannabe playing the lottery and looking for the easy way out.  That’s hope without action.  Don’t be the prisoner simply going through the motions.  That’s action without hope.

Be Andy: hope for what you want, and then go get it.

As Andy says to Red, “It comes down to a simple choice, really: get busy living, or get busy dying.”

What About You?

For years, I hoped to one day start a business and travel the world. That hope eventually inspired action, and I spent nineteen months blogging every day while working a full time job before I “broke free” to start my epic quest.  Who knows, I might even end up in Zihuatanejo fixing up an old boat some day.  (Care to join me?  I could use a man that knows how to get things.)

This is my new hope: to turn my venture into a profitable, automated business that will allow me to solely focus on the things I love:

  • Hanging out with my friends and taking care of my family
  • Writing articles that instill hope and inspire action
  • Meeting up with Nerd Fitness readers and helping them level up their lives
  • Acquiring new skills and knowledge
  • Doing good things for others
  • Having fun

These are the things that I hope for, and it’s this hope that helps me take action every day.

I don’t care if you are 400 pounds overweight and working a job you hate.  Tomorrow WILL be a better day than today if you make it so.  No jail time or tunneling necessary – simply decide what you want out of life, and then decide how hard you’re willing to make that future happen.  It might require sacrifices, long nights, and/or early mornings, but it IS possible.

What is your hope for the future?  How is that hope inspiring you to take action?

-Steve

PS – If you’ve seen Shawshank, here are the last two minutes (the best two minutes to end a movie ever). If you HAVEN’T seen Shawshank, watch these 40 inspirational speeches in 2 minutes instead.Either way: get inspired, have hope, and then do something about it!

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Help Me Create An Epic Quest of Awesome

This is a picture of me contemplating my life and the future, taken three days after quitting my job back in June.

Since finding my feet after launching Nerd Fitness as an online business, I think it’s time to start leveling up my life in other ways. For example: I’ve never been outside of North America!

I eat the same things, follow the same routine, and do the same stuff every day.  I’m literally scared to try new foods, will never go near a motorcycle, and will generally take the familiar and safe path over the exciting and new.

I need to start doing more things that are outside of my comfort zone, and I could really use your help.

How I Got Here

All through college, I figured I’d become a consultant or investment banker, wear a suit and tie, work 80 hours a week, and make truckloads of money – that’s what you’re supposed to do with an Econ/Business degree, right?  After graduating in 2006, I decided to not do the NYC/consulting thing and take a “big risk” by moving to San Diego with my brother instead.  I spent all of my time working in an unsatisfying sales job, counting down the days to each weekend until I could surf for a few hours while worrying about the upcoming work week.

I continually asked myself, “Is this what life is like after college?  Crap.”

One day, I wandered into a book store and was intrigued by a book called “The 4-Hour Work Week.”  Although it read like an infomercial for a get-rich-quick scheme in some sections, it completely redefined the “real world” for me and what was possible.  I read it cover-to-cover twice in a 48-hour period.

I immediately purchased the domain name NerdFitness.com to create a niche for nerds and desk jockeys interested in fitness, and then did absolutely nothing with it.

I spent another year working at that job before finally convincing myself a change was necessary.  After moving to Atlanta and taking a dream job with Sixthman, I was put in charge of the company blog and discovered my passion for writing.  I stumbled across Chris Guillebeau’s “279 Days to Overnight Success” and once again my world was turned upside down.

At the end of 2008, Nerd Fitness finally became something: a fitness blog that I ran in my free time.

This past June, after running Nerd Fitness on the side for eighteen months, I decided to roll the dice, quit my day job, and start a business.  Three months in, so far so good!

In November, my life will completely change once again – I’m moving out of my apartment, selling my car, and getting rid of all of my crap.

Thanks to running an online business, I can work from anywhere with an internet connection.  Thanks to some lucrative credit card deals and frequent flyer offers (all learned from Chris Guillebeau’s Frequent Flyer Master), I have over 325,000 airline miles (not an exaggeration).

This January, I plan on traveling to Australia and New Zealand for an extended period of time.

It scares the absolutely sh** out of me, which is precisely why I feel like I need to go.

As a single 26-year old with no wife, kids, or mortgage, this is something I can afford to do.  In fact, it will be cheaper for me to live abroad for a few months than it would be for me to continue “playing it safe” here in Atlanta!

I need to take this trip because:

  • I need to step out of my shell.
  • There’s so much out there to see and I don’t feel like waiting any longer.
  • It will make for some hilarious stories for you and unforgettable memories for me.
  • I want to see if I can actually run my company from anywhere.
  • I want to show people what world travel is like from the perspective from a complete newbie.
  • I want to change the world, and seeing it with my own eyes is step one.
  • I know that if I can do it, anybody can.

Steve’s Epic Quest of Awesome

Earlier this year, I was cleaning out my closet and found “Steve Kamb’s Goals for Life,” a bucket list of sorts that I had created over a decade ago.  Reading through it, I realized that I haven’t taken many steps towards accomplishing anything in that book (except for starting a business and watching the Red Sox win the World Series).  Now that I have complete freedom, some money, and an online business, the time for action is NOW.

In true Nerd Fitness fashion, I’m turning my list of things to do into a giant video game quest. I’m still working out the logistics of how it’ll work, but I plan on creating a level-up system – every time I cross something off the list I will improve my “life” by 1/5th of a level.

Every time I complete five things on my list, I will level up my life (get it? zing!).

Now, what I need your help with is coming up with my list of things to do while on my Epic Quest.  Remember, I’m a dude who’s never been out of the country, so I need to know where to go and what to do.  A lot of the things on the list will have a fitness angle, but others are just cool stuff that I want to do.

A quick note: I want to take risks, but I have no plans to live in a tent without water or electricity and eat bugs – just not gonna happen.  Oh, and I hate the cold, so I’ll probably sticking to warm weather whenever possible.  Maybe after I get comfortable traveling I’ll expand my location destinations, but I’d like to keep it warm, relatively civilized, and safe.

Here are the things I hope to accomplish:

North America (The Starting Zone)

  • Swim in the Atlantic and Pacific in the same day
  • Surf on my own handmade board in Hawaii
  • Be an extra in a Hollywood movie
  • Fix up an old boat and take it out on the ocean (like Andy in the Shawshank Redemption)
  • Play in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, NV
  • What to do in Canada?
  • What to do in Central America?
  • Drive cross-country – completed August 2006, Cape Cod, MA to San Diego, CA.
  • ???

South America (The Jungle/Forest Level)

  • Do a handstand (push ups? breakdance?) in front of the statues on Easter Island
  • Hang out with giant turtles in the Galapagos Islands
  • Participate in a Capoeira rhoda in Brazil
  • Visit the Incan ruins in Peru
  • ???

Europe (The Ancient City/Mountain Level ?)

  • Play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland
  • Attend an English Premiere League match, singing cheers and drinking with the hooligans
  • Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Visit the Coliseum in Rome
  • Gamble while wearing a tuxedo in Monte Carlo (Hey James Bond)
  • Run with the bulls in Spain (?)
  • Germany – Oktoberfest?  Drive on the Autobahn?
  • Visit the Parthenon in Greece
  • Para-glide in Finland/Norway/Sweden
  • ???

Africa (the Desert Level)

  • Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
  • Go on an animal Safari in South Africa
  • Dubai – something ridiculous (is this part of Africa technically? I’ll say yes)
  • ???
  • ???

Far East (the Hidden Temple Level)

  • Attempt the Ninja Warrior course in Japan
  • Sing Karaoke in Tokyo
  • Visit the Great Wall of China
  • See the Taj Mahal in India
  • Meditate in a Tibetan monastery
  • ???

South Pacific (the Water/Beach level)

  • Snowboard and surf in the same day in New Zealand
  • Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit Ayer’s Rock
  • Something related to the Lord of the Rings (they filmed it in NZ, come on).
  • ???

Antarctica (the Snow Level)

  • Don’t die
  • High-five a penguin?
  • ???

Personal Level Up Goals

  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Get interviewed by Conan O’Brien
  • Fly around the world
  • Have at least 3 conversations with native speakers in their own language (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, German, French?)
  • Become a published author
  • Help build a house
  • Catch a really big fish
  • Get in the Guinness Book of World Records for something
  • Jump out of an airplane…preferably with a parachute
  • Be in a Parkour video
  • Perform on stage in front of at least 1,000 people (tracking down the video for this now).
  • Pay off all of my student loans – $13,300 to go
  • Participate in an epic break dance battle
  • Write and record a song
  • Start a business (completed)
  • Swim with sharks (where?)
  • Get married
  • Have a kid
  • Create a video on YouTube that has 1,000,000 views
  • ???

Personal Fitness Goals

  • Bench press 225 pounds at least 10 times
  • Do 10 pull ups with 45 pounds hanging on me
  • Squat 300 pounds
  • Deadlift 350 pounds
  • Climb a big mountain
  • ???

Help!

So, what am I missing? What are some of the places I need to see or things I need to do that aren’t on this list?  If you live in a place I plan on visiting and you want to meet up, please let me know – right now it’s looking like Australia/New Zealand for January/February, and then off to Europe for the Spring (April/May).  Don’t worry, you’ll be able to read all about where I’m at and where I’m headed here on NF.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Shawshank Redemption that expresses how I feel:

I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.

I can’t wait to hear your suggestions on what to add to the Epic Quest. (Just don’t get me killed, okay?  My mom would be PISSED).

-Steve

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Train Like A Secret Agent: Becoming Bond and Bourne

In honor of my “How to Blog like James Bond” post over on CopyBlogger (hey CopyBlogger readers!), I figured I’d keep the good times rolling and teach you how to train like a secret agent.

When you think of any movie featuring James Bond or Jason Bourne, you know what’s coming: a mysterious plot, espionage, incredible skills, risky maneuvers, great chase scenes, and a bucketful of action.  Whether you’re a guy or girl, it’s practically impossible to leave the theater and not say “damn that was cool, I want to be able to do that!”

I’m obviously not talking about the assassinations or constant risk of dying, but rather the way that these two characters carry themselves: they are in peak physical condition, prepared for any situation, comfortable in any environment, and ready to to kick ass at a moment’s notice.

Let’s do this!

Be a jack-of-all trades

James Bond isn’t some scrawny dude that only runs marathons (my apologies if you’re a scrawny dude who only runs marathons).  He can crank out twenty pull ups, sprint a mile, kill a guy for the fun of it, and then do fifty push ups without breaking a sweat. Similarly, Jason Bourne spends his free time scaling buildings, swimming through rivers fully clothed while being shot at, speaking 15 different languages, scuba diving, and karate chopping bad guys.

Bourne and Bond are good at LOTS of things that allow them to never get caught in any situation unprepared.

How to be like them: Acquire new skills, diversify your fitness portfolio, and be ready for anything.  As you become proficient at one skill, your training will carry over to the next one making it less difficult to get started.  Here are some ways for you to become more well-rounded:

Train with conviction, and train quickly

Jason and James exercise consistently because they know it can mean the difference between life and death out in the field.  They don’t cut their workouts short when they’re tired or skip a day because they’re lazy.  They train hard, they train with purpose, and they train as if their lives depended on it (because they do).

Secondly, they train quickly: secret agents don’t have time to go on four-hour fun runs or spend seven days a week in the gym.  They have other sh** to do – assassinating bad guys, drinking martinis, flying around the world, gambling in Monte Carlo, and so on.  Their workouts are quick, intense, and designed to build functional strength for real-world use.

I prescribe to the “train with conviction” method, which is one of the cornerstones of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.  My workouts last less than 45 minutes, involve compound exercises that work out my entire body, and prepare me for any situation.  I can bench 200+, deadlift 300+, do 15 pull ups, and run a 5k tomorrow if you need me to – nothing to write home about, I know, but I exercise less than four hours a week and I’m getting stronger every day.  The rest of my time is spent doing stuff I love: writing articles, traveling, answering emails from NF readers, reading books (currently Atlas Shrugged), and playing video games – I got sucked into four hours of Halo Reach the other night…oops.

How to be like them: Challenge yourself with each workout – try to spend LESS time and push yourself HARDER.  Yeah it’s less fun than “working out” while chatting for two hours, but it’s a lot more effective and efficient.  The best part is, after you’re done training, you don’t have to kill anybody!  You can come home to your wife/kids/family/dog/imaginary friend and do the stuff you enjoy.

Remember: fitness can be part of what you are, but not at the expense of who you are.

Take calculated risks

When Jason Bourne jumps off a building, he knows he’ll stick the landing.  When James Bond drives his Aston Martin at 100 mph on a windy road, it’s because he’s done it before.  These agents take risks that would make most people poop their pants, but it’s just another “day in the office” for them because they’ve been there and done that.  What would scare you and I hardly bothers them because they’re built up their risk tolerance.

How to be like them: Start doing one thing every day that scares you.  Take risks, both with your workouts and your life – they don’t need to be life threatening, but they do need to be outside of your comfort zone.  For some people, that might be skydiving out of an airplane.  For others, it might be doing a triathlon.  For you, it might be building up your confidence by finally approaching a cute girl in the coffee shop.  For me, it’s traveling outside of North America – I’ve never been.

Do things that are slightly more risky than where you feel comfortable – adapt, grow, survive.

(Just don’t take any really stupid risks, I don’t need any Darwin Awards on my conscience.)

Have a mission

Bond always has some awesome objectives: fly to the Bahamas, gamble at this casino, win this game, beat up that guy, and save the girl.  Bourne, on the other hand, creates missions for himself on the fly based on his predicament.  Both of them always have a plan A and a plan B. They know exactly what they have to do, and then they go out and do it.

How to be like them: give yourself daily missions to stay on track.  If you’re going to work out in a gym, make sure you do so with specific goals and a routine (you don’t want to suck at working out).  If you’re going to start training for a half-marathon, don’t just start running without a plan – take the time to actually plan things out.

When I go for a walk every morning, I come up with three manageable missions for the day that I need to accomplish.  I come home, write them down on a post-it note, and hang it above my computer until I’m complete them all or die trying (so far so good).

Today’s a rest day for me, so here are my three non-fitness missions for the day:

  1. Finish a guest post that’s been sitting in the draft stage forever.
  2. Record a video talking about the Rebel Fitness Guide to put a face and a voice behind the product.
  3. Start posting my DVDs on half.com – I have over 100 that I need to start selling!

Start Today

Your mission is to start being more awesome today. Train hard, train diversely, and do more of the stuff that you love.  And take a risk every once and a while dammit! It’s good for you.

So let’s hear it: What are your three missions for today, and who’s your favorite: Bourne or Bond?

-Steve

PS – Speaking of becoming more awesome, I have a big announcement on Monday, where I’m going to need your help designing something epic.  It will involve exotic locations, risky maneuvers, a ridiculous amount of fun, and all kinds of ACTION.  I’m excited.

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The Homer J. Simpson Guide to Success

Homer Simpson is easily one of the most influential, infamous, and idiotic characters in television history.

This is a guy who once said “oh, they have internet on computers now!” and “With $10,000, we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like…love!”  I love the man, but he is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

The longest running television sitcom ever, The Simpsons has always cranked out twenty-two minutes worth of hilarious comedy every Sunday night.  Funny story: I wasn’t allowed to watch the show as a kid because my parents thought it wouldn’t be a good influence… and then they actually watched an episode.  Every Sunday night after that became “Simpsons watching time” at the Kamb house.

With the season premiere right around the corner, I figured it’s time I finally did a post about the man, the myth, the moron: Homer J. Simpson.

Below are some of my favorite Homerisms and what we can learn from them in our epic quests to succeed.

Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.

Although he’s trying to pass along some decent words of wisdom to Bart, Homer sounds like Bowser than Mario.  He knows that life isn’t easy, that anything worth chasing is going to be difficult, but he’s really just too lazy to do it himself.

What we can learn - like with most things in life, it takes a dedicated effort to get in good shape and stay that way.  If everybody could get really healthy with a magic pill (or by winning the lottery), nobody would appreciate the hard work that is usually required!  When I see people busting their butts to get stronger and healthier, I smile.  When I read about the newest miracle cure or watch the latest infomercial (shake weight anyone?) part of me dies inside.  Doh!

Are you waiting for your number to be called?  Do you keep talking about how you want to do this, or look like that, or have this, without ever actually doing something about it?  Less yapping, more action.  Go.

Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Hilarious, but oh so wrong. In fact, failing is a huge part of success.  Thomas Edison failed over a thousand times to find the right filament before inventing the light bulb.  Each “failure” allowed him to cross one more material off the list of possibilities, getting him one step closer to finding the right one.  Why was he eventually successful?  Because he kept failing in different ways.

According to Albert Einstein, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If counting calories and running on a treadmill has failed you repeatedly in the past, what makes you think it’s actually going to work this time!? Why not try the Paleo diet and never count calories again? Have you considered a solid weight lifting routine, which has been shown to burn more calories and build way more muscle than just running for hours?

Mix it up, try different things, expect to fail, and use each failure as a “okay that didn’t work, onto the next thing!”  The lesson is to not “never try,” but to repeatedly try over and over long as you’re trying different things.

Alright Brain, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you. But lets just do this, and I can get back to killing you with beer.

Replace “Brain” with “Body” and I think we all can relate. If you’re just getting started on your quest for a healthier lifestyle, every day will be a fight against your body – it wants to sleep, it craves bad foods, it wants to cut workouts short, and it wants to keep doing what its been doing for decades.  Unfortunately you don’t really get to pick a new partner – you have to work with the one you have.  If you want to live a long life full of win, you need to play nice.

Try this – “Alright Body, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you.  But let’s just do these workouts and start eating better, and I’ll be able to keep you around much longer and occasionally kill you with beer and bad food.”

Although I’m currently following the Paleo Diet for my meals on the current 28-Day Challenge, I still eat unhealthy food every once and a while.  Yesterday I ate pizza and drank beer at a bar, and it was awesome.  I work out consistently and 95% of my meals are healthy, which means I can eat bad foods on the weekend guilt-free.

Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.

If you’ve been reading Nerd Fitness for a while, you know that there are certain things that I (and the NF Rebel Army) truly believe in:

  • Lift weights – more efficient than straight cardio at burning calories and will help you maintain muscle
  • Eat better – Get rid of liquid calories, cut out processed carbs and start eating real foods
  • Be consistent – you’re not dieting, you’re making changes that will last a lifetime
  • Have a purpose - set goals, train with conviction, and stay on target

Every article I write probably can be traced back to one or more of these ideals.  I can certainly teach you how to lift weights, I can teach you what to eat and what not to eat, and I can provide you with tips and strategies for how to make life-long changes.

What I can’t do is give you a reason to care – that’s gotta come from you.

When I see somebody who is struggling to succeed, I see somebody who hasn’t found his/her “reason to care” yet.  One day, things will click, that reason will make itself known, and success will soon follow.  NF reader Matt just woke up one day, decided he wanted to get in shape, and lost 160 pounds in twelve months.  Tony thought he was having a heart attack, went out for a walk, and now runs marathons and half-marathons almost weekly.

Maybe it’s for your first kid being born.  Maybe it’s your doctor telling you how much longer he expects you to live.  Maybe it’s because you got cut from your high school basketball team (that was my reason).  Once you know your “why,” the “how” part becomes remarkably easier.

Have you found your reason to care yet?

Other great quotes

Now, just because these aren’t part of the article’s overall theme doesn’t mean they’re not great.  Here are a few more Homer Simpson quotes that everybody should know:

I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman!

There’s so much I don’t know about astrophysics!  I wish I read that book by that wheelchair guy.

You can’t keep blaming yourself.  Just blame yourself once, and move on.

In this house, we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics!

Don’t eat me.  I have a wife and kids.  Eat them.

Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all life’s problems.

Good things don’t end in ‘eum’, they end in ‘mania’… or ‘teria’.

Well, it’s 1am. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.

Thanks Homer

Homer’s the man.  He’s dumb as a brick, often neglects his family, and drinks far beyond a healthy amount, but he means well.  Do we have any other Simpsons fans out there?  Any other Homerisms that I missed?

-Steve

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5 Ways to Instantly Appear More Confident

Today I’m going to teach how you to appear more confident.

Why?  Because confidence is one of the most important skills in life that you can acquire (other than learning to use the Force, obviously).

Now, I’m not teaching you this stuff just so you can become some sleazy pickup artist. I’m teaching you because I know how important even a little bit of confidence can be in everyday situations, whether it’s negotiating with your boss for a raise, buying a car, giving a presentation, or meeting your fiance’s parents.

We’re naturally attracted to and will have our opinions swayed by those who have (or appear to have) a lot of confidence.  Nerds usually get the short end of the stick in the “naturally confident” department, but that doesn’t mean we can’t acquire it like a new skill, Matrix-style!  If you’ve started losing weight, I’m sure part of you still feels like the old you, even if you’ve changed physically – it’s time to take pride in yourself and truly be comfortable in your own skin.

Here are five steps that you can take to start seeing a difference immediately.

Stop slouching

If you can develop good posture, a trait that always seems to bypass nerds, you’ll appear approximately 145% more confident within seconds (I definitely made up that stat, by the way).

I used to have awful posture through most of my life (which caused lots of lower back pain). It wasn’t until I made a conscious effort to focus on standing up straight and strengthening my lower back that the pain went away.  In order to stay on target, I actually hung a “POSTURE!” post-it on my bedroom door so I wouldn’t forget each morning.  Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Stand up as TALL as you can, like you’re a puppet and somebody just pulled the string that’s attached to the top of your noggin
  2. Pull your shoulder blades down and back as far as possible – This will feel really weird if you spend a lot of time hunched over a desk
  3. Pick your chin up and look straight ahead – stop looking down while walking around, there’s a whole world out there for you to see

If you have trouble pulling your shoulder blades back, try doing two back exercises (say, lat pull downs and dumbbell rows) for every one chest exercise in your workout.  This will build up the muscles in your upper back and allow you to actually pull those shoulder blades back together.  Want something easier?  Try standing with your heels, butt, and head against a wall, and then pull your shoulder blades back until they’re touching the wall too.  Do this daily and increase the length of the stretch each time.

If you spend all day in a chair, try this: sit down in your chair, and then stand back up WITHOUT having to rock forward.  If you have to lean forward even slightly, you’re doing it wrong. Sit straight up like you’re always ready to stand without having to lean forward.  Your lower back will probably get tired as hell sitting like this because it’s not used to the new position – work on it.  Do planks every other day (working your way up to two minutes), and you’ll have a rock-solid core and incredibly strong lower back.

This is probably the hardest step of all, as you’ve probably spent years and years developing poor posture without even thinking about it.  Spend a month making a concerted effort to have better posture however, and you’ll be well on your way to a more confident appearance.  Pretty soon you won’t even have to think about it!

Slow down

I am terrified of public speaking. Seriously, I hate being in front of even a small crowd.  However, at my old job I was put on stage in front of thousands of people to introduce bands and I sounded like I belonged up there.  You know how I did it?  By taking a deep breath, slowing down, and practicing.  I still get really nervous, but I’ve learned to manage it so well that nobody notices.

What’s the importance of slowing down?  When you get nervous, your voice tends to go up a few notes and you’ll talk faster than you realize.  These are two dead ringers for “scaredy cat.”

I’ll never forget presenting my senior business proposal back in college. About thirty seconds into my presentation – which I thought was going well – I noticed my friend Deepa in the back of the room frantically waiving her arms at me, mouthing “SLOOOWWW DOWNNNN.”  I quickly readjusted my speech, talked WAY slower than I thought I needed to, and took longer breaths between sentences.  She later told me that she couldn’t understand the beginning at all but the rest of it came out perfectly.  The rest of that class was molded by that presentation, so thanks Deepa for saving my ass!

If you get nervous in front of people no matter how big or small the group, talk slower than you think you need to, and don’t forget to breathe.  In your head it might seem way too slow, but out loud it’s just right.

Smile

People don’t smile enough these days, so we’re bringing it back.  When dealing with any situation or scenario where you’re uncomfortable, it’s easy to get caught up in your head, which means you probably have a stupidly sad look on your face.  Pretty soon, you’ll develop the reputation of “that creepy guy in the corner who smells like cheese.”  Now, if you don’t smell like cheese, you’re already halfway home!

We’ll just work on the other half: smile.

Not a fake smile, not a creepy smile, but a genuine smile.

Don’t know how to smile correctly?  Stand in front of a mirror, close your eyes, and look down.  Look up, smile, and open your eyes at the same time.  See that smile right there?  THAT’S a genuine smile.  Just like Butters.

Win the staring contest

Unless you work at home in your underwear and only interact with your cat (my day is way different than that – shut up), you probably have quite a few conversations with people on a daily basis:

  • Your coworkers at the water cooler
  • The lady behind the counter at CVS
  • Your waitress at lunch
  • Random strangers that you pass on the street.

When was the last time you looked somebody in the eye until THEY looked away first?  If you’re like me, you’ve probably always been the first to “flinch.”

I say no more!

Starting right now, you’re going to be the person that doesn’t look away.  Think of each interaction as a mini-battle – your eyes against theirs.  As long as you’re smiling and blinking, you won’t come across as creepy…unless, of course, you’re actually a creep.  If you’ve always been shy, the first few times doing this will be absolutely nerve-wracking – power through it.  Once you start to be the non-flincher consistently, you’ll quickly learn that everybody else is nervous as hell too and will quickly look away given enough time.

Get out of your head

After going through some physical changes, it’s going to take time for you to adjust how you feel on the inside versus how you look on the outside. I sometimes still feel like the 5-foot, 100-pound high-school sophomore with braces even though I haven’t looked like that for over a decade.  I have friends who used to be fat guys who still feel huge even though they have a single digit body fat percentage.

It’s time to stop living inside your head.

If you feel out of place in a situation, everybody around you probably does too. We all have our own insecurities; it’s those of us that can exist outside of our brains and project confidence that usually get what we’re chasing.  As a fellow nerd and chronic over-thinker, I know this is tough to do: stop thinking so damn much and just go for it.

  • Once you spot somebody you’re interested in, don’t give yourself more than three seconds before approaching him/her.  Anything beyond that will cause you to over-analyze the situation in your head and probably end up doing nothing.  You’ll quickly learn that “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no,” so you have nothing to lose.
  • Introduce yourself immediately to strangers at a party – get the awkward out of the way immediately, and you’ll come across as cool and collected.
  • Once you have your speech or presentation prepared, don’t give yourself hours to get nervous – concentrate on something else to occupy your mind until it’s time to present.  Don’t over-think, just follow the plan and talk slowly.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

I bet those three things listed above seem scary to 95% of the population (they all scare the bajeezus out of me, which is precisely why I force myself to do them).  Part of building confidence is taking risks and having the ability (and the guts) to do stuff that scares you.

Your mission

As you follow these five steps, you’ll start to appear more confident, which will make some of your encounters more successful, which will instill more confidence in you, which will then make even MORE of your encounters successful, and so on.  Think of your confidence like a giant snowball with lots of inertia – tough to get started, but once it’s rolling the momentum will take over.

Your homework for today - while walking down the street with your head held high, shoulders back, and a big smile on your face, make direct eye contact with at least five strangers that walk by and give them a simple “hi.”  Remember, they have to be the ones to look away first, not you.

The first few times will feel really awkward, but who cares – you’ll never see them again.  As you get more “missions” under your belt, you can progress to other more challenging objectives, like striking up a conversation with a stranger, giving a speech, robbing a bank, etc.

One last thing: with great power comes great responsibility. There is a fine line between having confidence and being cocky – nobody likes the cocky guy who is full of himself, so cool it with the cheesy pick up lines, stories proclaiming your awesomeness, and creepy seduction techniques.  Fear and nervousness are easy to detect, but so is being transparently fake.

Don’t change what you are, just learn to be more confident in who you are.

So, what tips did I miss or mess up? Any other words of wisdom to pass along?  Us nerds need all the help we can get!

-Steve

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Talkers and Doers: Are you Bowser or Mario?

This article is heavily inspired by J.D. Roth’s awesome article over on Get Rich Slowly.  J.D., hopefully you don’t mind me borrowing your concept and nerdifying it!

Life is made up of Bowsers and Marios: talkers and doers.  Some people wait for life to come to them, others grab it by the horns.  Some people put off until “the time is right,” others start today.  I am a former Bowser/current Mario, and I’m here to hopefully inspire you to make the switch along with me.

Are you in?

Talkers and Doers

Bowser is a talker.  Sure, this big green reptile loves to discuss his plans world domination, occasionally taking the time to kidnap Mario’s girlfriend, Princess Peach.  What does he do after that?  Does he:

  • Go out and recruit a bigger army of koopas?
  • Kidnap other princesses, demand huge ransoms, and hold the whole Mushroom Kingdom hostage?
  • Hone his skills to prepare for the inevitable epic battle with Mario?

NOPE.  He simply sits in his castle like a complete chump, waiting for the action to come to him.  Eventually Mario shows up, kicks his ass, rescues the princess, and he goes back to being a waste of space.  A lot of talk and not a lot of action.

Mario, on the other hand, is a doer. When he sets out to rescue the princess, he has no idea where he’s going or what he’s doing – he’s a plumber for crying out loud!  He fails constantly by falling into pits, running into bad guys, and getting attacked by damn Lakitus.  Each time he dies however, this short stocky Italian gets a little bit smarter, progresses a little bit further, and eventually does the impossible – he defeats Bowser and rescues the princess!

Why is he so successful? Because he puts one foot in front of the other.  He isn’t afraid to fail, he doesn’t allow his fear of the unknown to slow him down, and he does what he has to in order to succeed.  Sure he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but he knows that just by doing SOMETHING he can fail, fight, and figure out the rest along the way.  He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t blame others, he simply takes care of business.

In short, Bowser is a loser and Mario is the man.

My Experiences With Bowser and Mario

I’ve definitely been Bowser many times in the past.  Here are the three biggies I can remember:

I “worked out” for five years without really having a clue about what I was doing. I didn’t want to take the time to learn how to exercise properly, and I blamed my lack of strength on my genetics.  It wasn’t until I moved to San Diego that I really understood the basics of strength training and proper diet.

I bought the domain for NerdFitness.com four years ago, and told myself that eventually I’d start a website. It wasn’t until last January that I finally stopped waiting around for the perfect time and decided to just launch a blog.  I didn’t have a perfect master plan and I had no idea how things would work out, but I figured I’d just start writing and figure the rest out on the fly.  So far, so good!

Last fall, I realized that Nerd Fitness had the potential to becoming a full-time job. I told myself for eight months that eventually I would start a company, “when the time is right.”  Heck, I wrote my first draft for the Rebel Fitness Guide back in October of 2009!  It wasn’t until May of 2010 that I decided to stop waiting for “eventually” and went with “now.”  I quit my job, spent a few months finishing the guide, and started my own business.  I don’t know how the next few years of my life will go, but I can’t wait to find out.

In each situation, I had an opportunity opportunity staring me dead in the face,  but I chose instead to wait until “later.”   Fortunately, I eventually snapped out of it and forced myself to take action – my only regret thus far is that I didn’t take action sooner.  This is what I’ve learned from my experiences:

  • Eventually never comes. Stop telling yourself “tomorrow is the day” – years will go by if you let them.
  • Don’t wait for the stars to align, don’t worry about having a plan that is 100% perfect, just start doing SOMETHING.
  • Have a goal. It’s much easier to get stuff done when you’re doing it for a reason.
  • Recognize that failure is an inevitable and important part of success.

Which one are you?

How many times have you told yourself “I’ll get in shape next week, because I’m busy this week?”  It’s easy to talk a big game like Bowser. It takes a special breed of person to take action like Mario, knowing full well that it’s going to be difficult.  Sure, you will stumble, you will fall, you will fail.  Ultimately however, you will succeed if you refuse to give up.

Need some more inspiration? Try these quotes on for size:

Thomas Edison: If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.”

John Beluschi in Animal House: Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!


John Belushi in Animal House

It’s the day after Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer. It’s easy to tell yourself “It’s almost Fall, so I don’t have to worry about getting in shape right now; I can do that next Spring.”  After a long day of work it’s easy to skip going to the gym because you had a tough day, especially as it starts to get darker earlier.

Talkers and complainers need not apply: Nerd Fitness is for DOERS!

If you want to get in shape, start today.  If you want to lose weight, make your very next meal a healthy one.  If you need to get out of debt, put a plan in place immediately.  Whatever it is you want to do, find a way to do something to get you closer.  “Tomorrow” can quickly become next week, which can become next month, which can become next year.

Start now.

The 28-Day Challenge

Today is the start of the next 28-Day Challenge. Hop on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards (completely free), and post THREE goals that you hope to accomplish in the next 28 days.  Two of these goals can be fitness related (do three pull ups, fit into size 36 pants, or follow a Paleo diet, for example).

The third goal needs to be something related to leveling up your life outside of fitness: whether it’s setting up a 401k or Roth IRA, starting a blog, taking a Spanish class, building that swing set that’s been sitting in a box for months, whatever.  Nerd Fitness is about more than just losing a few pounds and getting stronger – it’s about finding balance in your life, taking action, and making things better.

At the end of the challenge, I’ll pick one winner who accomplished the three goals to the best of his/her ability.  The winner will get a free Nerd Fitness t-shirt! (see my goal #3)

I missed the last challenge – inexcusable, I know – but I’m back! Here are my goals for the month:

  1. Put on 5+ pounds of muscle - this will require a heavy diet of GOOD foods and enough sleep.
  2. Strength train 3x a week and go for 30-minute walks on off days - I usually don’t do much on my rest days, but I think a good brisk 30-minute walk will keep me focused and give me plenty of time to brainstorm article ideas.
  3. PRINT NERD FITNESS T-SHIRTS. I have sent three designs to my buddy Joe, so you’ll soon be able to vote on which shirts you’d like me to have printed.  Sorry for Bowsering this one for six months.  Jeez.

Less Bowsering, more Marioing (hopefully that makes sense). Hop on the boards, post your three goals, and then DO IT.

-Steve

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September Rebellion Update: Going Global?

What a crazy eight months to start 2010!

Honestly, back in January, the thought of running my own business, selling fitness guides, and planning some exciting adventures still seemed to be years away, and yet here I am!  By the time you read this, I’ll be on a plane headed back to Atlanta after spending nine days visiting my family up on Cape Cod.  The Rebel Fitness Guide is officially off and running to a great start, so I gave myself a day off yesterday – kinda – which allowed me to finish reading A Game of Thrones (AWESOME).

It’s September 2nd, which means we only have four months left in 2010! I wanted to share my plans for the rest of year, covering my own personal goals and also my goals for Nerd Fitness.

Expanding the Rebellion

Since quitting my job back in June and taking on Nerd Fitness full-time, I’ve received a bunch of emails from readers who are/were in the same boat as me, wanting to know how I did it, how I plan on keeping myself afloat, and what my plans are for the future.  I really enjoy these emails, and I love hearing from other people who are interested in creating their own small business, so PLEASE keep sending them!

This has been planned for months, but I want to expand the scope of my writing here on Nerd Fitness. Although the NF Rebellion began as a way to fight against obesity, conventional wisdom, and nerd stereotypes, I’ve realized that it has also become a rebellion against a life without passion and plans that happen eventually instead of now.

I want to help people who are interested in making changes and improving their lives.

Don’t worry, I don’t plan on abandoning the type of articles that I usually write; I’ll simply be augmenting them with stories about my adventures, experiences from building an online business, and advice for others looking to level up their lives in ways other than fitness.  Even if you have no desire to quit your job and you’re perfectly content with the life you live, these articles will still provide value.

I had this great idea to call the part of the Rebel Army who want to break free “Freedom Fighters,” and then I realized why I thought it was such a good idea: because my friend Karol Gajda already took it like two years ago.

You win this round Gajda!

Travel Plans

Back in January, I discovered the art of travel hacking from Chris Guillebeau and his excellent Frequent Flyer Master book. The guide turned me on to some great communities and killer credit card deals (don’t worry Mom, I pay them off in full each month).  Even though I’ve been minimizing my expenses for the past year, the Frequent Flyer Master has helped me acquire:

  • 127,000 American Airline miles
  • 110,000 British Airways miles
  • 50,000 SPG points
  • 25,000 Delta miles

Now that I have freed up my time and my location, I think it’s time for me to start using these points to see the world. Seriously, I’ve never even been outside of North America! I want to step outside of my comfort zone, see some beautiful places, and go on some kick-ass adventures.  In order to afford everything, I’ll be traveling on a tight budget, using every connection I have, applying every travel-hacking tip I know, and cutting my expenses to a bare minimum.  Not only that, but I also plan on getting rid of ALL my crap – my digital piano, amp, dvds, videogames, books, old clothes, and more.

After spending months reading about the clutter-less and experience-filled lives of people like Leo of Zen Habits, Baker of Man vs. Debt, the aforementioned Karol (who is a big hit with old ladies),  Corbett of Free Pursuits, and Evrett Brogue of Far Beyond The Stars, I have fallen in love with the minimalist concept – stop buying stuff you don’t need, sell the crap you already have but don’t use, and spend the extra money investing in yourself and life-changing experiences.

I fully plan on writing two articles a week even while traveling, so you won’t see any drastic changes as far as the format of NF goes.  More details on where I’m headed and when are coming soon!

Immediate Nerd Fitness Plans

The Rebel Fitness Guide is launched, but my work has only just begun. The initial sales of the guide definitely surpassed my expectations, but if I’m going to continue making money through this site I need to really focus on constantly growing the Rebel Army.  I want to put out at least two guest posts a month along with creating my usual two posts per week here at NF, which means I’ll be writing like crazy.

Nerd Fitness t-shirts. They’re coming, I swear!  Now that I have a quasi-income and time to dedicate to getting the project off the ground, I’m ready to finally start making some NF t-shirts!  I apologize to those of you that have been waiting months to get one; obviously quitting my day job kind of forced me to slightly reorganize my priorities.  I have a few different designs that I’m considering, and I’ll put it up to a vote soon to see which shirt you like the best.

My next guide. I want to get started on the next guide as soon as possible: a strength and muscle building guide.  This next guide will focus more on the muscle building aspect of fitness, teaching people how to really build muscle and power safely and efficiently.  It will also have a huge diet component, as your diet is 90% of the battle when it comes to packing on the muscle.  Time to get started!

Leveling Up My Life

I have a confession to make: I completely neglected my own personal health and well-being over the past few weeks while finishing up the Rebel Fitness Guide, and I expect that to continue during Labor Day Weekend (I’ll be in Nashville at the Vandy-Northwestern game, go Dores!).  Starting next Tuesday however, I plan on re-dedicating myself to getting in great shape by the end of the year.

Next Tuesday will also kick off the next 28-day challenge (which will have a twist…).  So be ready to kick some butt on the 7th.

Just because it’s the end of the year doesn’t mean there’s not enough time to do something significant. What do you want to accomplish in the next four months?

-Steve

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The Rebel Fitness Guide is NOW AVAILABLE!

Release the biodegradable eco-friendly balloons, I did it!

After a month of planning, four months of writing, 100+ guinea pigs testing, five weeks of editing, a few late-night edit/brainstorm sessions with Jess, a brief launch delay, last minute edits from my mom, and one final all-nighter…

I am FINALLY officially releasing the Rebel Fitness Guide!

Since quitting my day job back in June (and even for a few months before that), I’ve been busting my butt to create a guide that will help people of all shapes, ages, and sizes get in shape without taking up all of their time or breaking the bank.  For less than the cost of one personal trainer session (or less than the cost of one video game), you can get in the best shape of your life with just a set of dumbbells and some determination.  I’m incredibly encouraged by the feedback from the first group that purchased it, as many of them are already starting to see noticeable results after only a month.

Pardon my biased opinion, but the Rebel Fitness Guide kicks ass. This guide is my future, so I’ve done everything I can to make sure its fun, easy to understand, and produces results.

Testimonials

I won’t go crazy with the testimonials, but here are three from the first group of rebels that purchased the pre-release version of the guide that really stuck out to me.  Hopefully you know me well enough to know that I would only use actual testimonials from actual customers:

“The NerdFitness guide is a simple, to-the-point understanding of why a person gains weight, how to eat so you lose weight, and how to exercise without killing yourself.  In 30 days with a strict follow to the guide, I dropped 26.4 pounds…I have much more to go but this is the lowest I have weighed in years!”

-Stephen S., Analyst

“I have been in the fitness industry for 15 years and have seen a lot of fitness programs.  Steve has created a comprehensive plan to better fitness for anybody, anywhere.  Lose body fat and get stronger with an exercise program that really does work and does so without a lot of equipment, a lot of time, or even a gym membership.  Steve guides you with honest, sound advice that is fun to read and easy to understand, helping you ‘level up’ to higher workout ranks.  If you have the drive but don’t know where to start, The Rebel Fitness Guide can help!”

-Jason Varley, fitness professional and owner of corebody.net

“The Rebel Fitness Guide is massive, filled with endless amounts of useful information. I really liked how Steve modifies the workouts so that, even if you can’t do a pull-up, you can still work the same types of muscles. The Rebel Food Fighter is my favorite part of the guide, going into detail about nutritional labels and what’s good and not good for your body. It’s helped me learn how to judge the quality of my food, which I believe is one of the most important aspects of healthy living.”

-Jess S, HalfofJess.com

This is awesome!

-Steve’s mom (she’s the best, and completely unbiased in her opinions of my work)

Well, what are ya waiting for?

So, head on over to the Rebel Fitness Guide Page to pick up your copy today! Whether or not you decide to pick up the guide, thanks for reading Nerd Fitness, and get ready because I have some big plans for this community.

NOTE: If you already purchased the guide last month, you should be getting an update from me in an hour or so with a download to the Deluxe version of the guide with all of the updates. Thanks again for your support from the beginning, your feedback was so crucial in making this guide what it is.  If you bought it and you DON’T get an email update, email me later on today and I will look up your email and then get things fixed up for ya!

Thanks again, let’s go Rebel Army!

-Steve

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