If you follow the blog, you’ll know that the current crack at 75 Hard is my third attempt after failing twice within the past 50 days. As of writing, I am 6 days into the third attempt. After completing today’s tasks, I will be one week in for the third time. It is a bit disparaging to think I could have only three weeks left. However, at this point, completing the tasks has become second nature.
My vegan diet has been a relatively easy transition from the vegetarian diet. The most challenging circumstance came on Saturday afternoon when my coworker asked me to join him for lunch at Bob Evans. Essentially everything on their menu is not vegan friendly. My options were limited to French fries and fruit. Hey, my bill was $3, so not all bad.
I work in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a few grocery stores there have fantastic plant-based options. At Fresh Thyme, I found jack fruit for tacos, coconut yogurt, Just Egg, and vegan feta cheese. I’ve eaten tacos three days in a row. Jackfruit one night, then potato tacos the next two nights. I could eat this way forever.
Overall, throughout every attempt, I feel that my relationship with food has dramatically improved. I’m more mindful of what I am putting into my body. I’m not entirely obsessive and still allow myself to enjoy the occasional sweet treat, such as a few Oreos or a vegan ice cream sandwich. Still, I no longer overindulge the way I have in the past.
One thing I am becoming obsessive over (well, two things, actually) is my daily reading and writing. Last week, I added daily writing to my 75 Hard requirements, as I mentioned last week. I do it right after I write in my journal each day. When I added the stipulation, I wasn’t sure how I would go about it each day. However, what I have begun doing is writing a page about a quote from the Daily Stoic emails I receive, or even a song lyric. I expound upon the quote or line to give further insight into what it means to me personally. It has been a fun addition that I look forward to every day.
As far as the reading, I have consistently read more than ten pages every day since I restarted. I used to count every page so I could stop right at 10. Now I’m blowing through pages wholly wrapped up in words. The love for reading that I had as a child is being rekindled. I’ve just finished my second nonfiction book of the year while being at least partway into several others. So far, I have thoroughly read “Leading” by Alex Ferguson and “What Happened to the USMNT” by Steven G Mandis. They are very different books, but both taught me a lot about coaching in their unique ways. The following books I’ll finish are “The Numbers Game” by Chris Anderson and David Sally and “The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership” by Sam Walker. I’m so excited to learn more about the beautiful game and leadership!
I have talked a few times on this site about meditating. I added 10 minutes of daily meditation to my list of tasks for 75 Hard. Meditation has probably been more beneficial than I have even realized. The form of meditation I practice is essentially Transcendental Meditation, although I have never formally learned the practice. Transcendental Meditation (TM for short) is a form of meditation in which you repeat a mantra to yourself for the duration of the session. According to tmhome.com, some of the benefits of TM are stress relief, higher work efficiency, healthy blood pressure, healthier relationships, and a lower risk of heart disease. In addition to these, if I meditate in the middle of the day when I start feeling a little groggy, it reenergizes me and helps fuel the second half of my day. It’s like a power nap on steroids! The past week has been the first time I have meditated every day for seven consecutive days. I find more inner peace, calmness, and control with each passing day. That isn’t to say that I don’t get mad or upset. Guess what? I’m still just a human; I have emotions. However, when any slight nuisance or even feelings of anger arise, I’ve been able to calm myself down and not act out on those negative feelings. Acting out of anger can be destructive. I don’t want to be harmful; I want to be a positive force for good.
Dealing With Anger
So as I just mentioned, there have been times in the past week that I have been angry about something and felt like I handled it as well as I could have. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the happenings of my personal life, but to say the least, a dear friend of mine angered and upset me the other day. He sent me a text (more like a book), and upon reading it, I was furious. It felt like a personal attack, although I believe he had good intentions. In the past, I probably would have responded right away and just let him have it. Instead, I put my phone down, continued doing what I was doing, and thought about the message.
I thought about what he was trying to say and what I could say as a response to let him know how it made me feel without being rude or hateful. About an hour later, I picked up the phone to give him a call. He didn’t answer, so I left a voicemail and thanked him for reaching out to me and telling me what was on his mind. Then step by step, I addressed everything he brought up in his message to me with a calculated rebuttal. Upon ending the voicemail, I let him know that what he said upset me but then stated that I knew he was coming from a good place. I told him I loved him, missed him, and hoped he was having a good day; then, I ended the voicemail.
Even after I left the voicemail, I was still pretty angry. My friend hurt me. And again, I believe the intentions were good. Sorry for the vagueness here, but it was a rather personal “conversation,” so I don’t feel comfortable sharing too much. Later that night, I went to the YMCA to play basketball, and I decided to let my frustration out on the basketball court. I told one of my friends that I was “going to drop 30”. If you know me, you already know there is no chance that happened. However, I did feel very in the zone while I was playing. The competitive fire was burning hotter that night than most when I compete, whether on the soccer field or otherwise. I played pretty well (relative to what I usually play) and had a lot of fun. By the end of basketball that night, I had blown off all the steam inside of me. My friend and I are on good terms, so no love is lost.
I can’t stop thinking about what would have happened if I had given in to my anger and said regrettable things to him instead of handling the situation in the manner that I did. I honestly think I would have lost a friend. Those initial thoughts that I was having were rude and insensitive and would not have made the situation any better. I’m proud of myself for handling things the way I did, and I love the feeling that I am getting a better grip on my emotions. Feeling emotions (good and bad) is inherently part of being alive and human. We all feel them no matter what. You can’t necessarily control feeling those emotions either. What you can control is how you react and how you respond. So next time you find yourself getting angry, take a step back to assess the situation and your own emotions before you lash out and do something that could potentially be destructive.