Don’t Run Away From Life’s Pain

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Pain is an inevitable fact of life. It is a part of our human experience and comes in many forms: growing pain, pain in giving birth, accident, ailment, loss, and list goes on. They may seem undesirable on the surface but are in actuality teachers of life.

How one deals with pain is integral to her/his identity and outlook on life. Each individual  learns and internalizes the pain on their own. One thing certain is that running away is a mistake that many attempted but the outcome always disappoints.

In contrast, the door to life opens when we confront our pains. However complex, we benefit from working through it step by step and emerge courageously on the other side. That’s how life experience teaches us.  So we can say: being there, done that!

One more thing: while the experience is individual, that does not mean we have to go through pains alone. Be compassion toward others, and share our experiences. That is how we help one another grow in this journey called life.    

Sharing indeed is caring, don’t you agree?

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Real-Time Analytics In Actions

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When it comes to the Big Data, nothing tickles me more than the real-time analytics. Why? Because its applications in our everyday life illustrate what the power of the Big Data can do for us. Particularly from data generated by our cell phones, cars, and the likes.

According to Bernard Marr, “real-time analytics uses streaming data and makes sense of it quickly, accurately, and responsively.” Real-time analytics (RA) as a tool enables us to process information leveraging the power of digital technology beyond our physical capacity. 

So instead of circling the parking garage for available spot, RA will show how many spaces are available. Instead of reading the map, navigation system using RA will provide turn-by-turn directions including traffic congestion and ETA (estimate time of arrival).   

Additionally, a host of health sensors such as pacemaker, blood glucose monitor, etc. are assisting people to a better and more enjoyable living. The possibility is unlimited. And it will get only better as the digital technology evolves. 

How has your life benefited from the real-time analytics?

 

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Make Discomfort Your Friend

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We are creatures of habits. With habits, we find comfort in knowing what to do and expect. Comfort makes things easy and us looking for the path of least resistance.

But the trouble is that comfort is not going to make us grow. It is not going to make us better nor more just. Because we are comfortable with our status quo.

We get so comfortable that we fail to see our mistake, injustice, and ignorance. We are trapped.  To free ourselves, we need to make discomfort our friend. How? You ask.

May I suggest: Speak up against the injustice, tell the inconvenient truth, and take on the uncomfortable. Or if you prefer a more leisured approach, travel

What other ideas to you have on making discomfort your friend?

 

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Week In Review – 22 May 2022

This week concluded in a heatwave for the Washington DC area, the earliest preview of summer in my recollection. These weather extremes have been happening elsewhere. Now it is our turn to face it.

Heeding the warning of excessive heat, I took plenty of water breaks during my Saturday  long run. Albeit took longer than usual, I was able to take on the heat challenge and manage my morning run, including my Achilles.

Not everyone was so lucky. In the Brooklyn Half marathon held on the same day under  similar heat condition, a 32 year old runner died after crossing the finishing line. Such news always make me sad. It amounts to violence against the self. Applying excessive force is beyond reason.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that feelings are real and emotional truths are powerful drivers. They are what make us human beings a force for good or evil. The pain and suffering levied on Ukrainians by Russian president Vladimir Putin is an example of the latter. 

Meanwhile, we have a host of other challenges such as climate crises, food & energy insecurities, pandemic requiring our attentions. A protracted Ukraine war diverts us from solving these urgent problems.  Or am I reading too much news?  

Stay safe & Have a nice week

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 Achilles Tendinopathy

 

Also known as Achilles tendinitis, it is a lump in the Achilles tendon. I have noticed this lump on my right leg for about a week or so. It is obvious when contrasting it with my left side which is normal and is a form of injury due to overload.

About two months ago, I had calf strains on my left leg. So I added high knee skips at end of my runs to strengthen my calf muscles. At the end of my run, my legs are usually tired which could have caused my forms to be off. Thus overloading my Achilles.

What will I do?

I will suspend the skipping exercises as that tend to exacerbate the Achilles tendinitis. Instead, I will focus more on the graded calf raises, meaning loading my Achilles with calf raises in a graduated fashion — from seated (least load) to full standing.

The idea of the graded calf raises is to rebuild the Achilles’ tendon collagen fibers.  There is no short cuts nor quick fixes. The process  take 6 to 12 weeks. Thankfully, I have not signed up for any races. Thus I can take the time to tend to my Achilles.

Have you had Achilles tendinitis?

 

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Heatwave Weekend

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A heatwave will be hitting Washington DC area this weekend. Ahead of it, I am experiencing a heatwave of my own. Perhaps perception is reality here. The increased temperature and humidity feel like a wet blanket draping over me.

My mind races ahead to my long run tomorrow when the temperature forecast is to hit 96 degree Fahrenheit (twenty degree above normal). What should I wear, what to bring, and how fast to run? Images already spinning in my head creating a mental sauna.

Not to be left out, my body jumps into the act.  I sense moisture on my forehead and the lower part of my back as if I am impregnated with a furnace, fueled by the weather news. All in my head, and self inflicted. Full knowing.

I ended up taking a meditation break just to calm myself down and not get ahead and overheated prematurely.

What would you recommend to stay cool during the heatwave?

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Feelings Are Real

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To a frightened child, the monster under the bed is real. Saying it ain’t so does not allay the child’s fear but also denies his or her emotional truth.

You see, emotional truth is not the same as factual truth. Psychologist and writer, Dr. Diana Raab, wrote, “Your emotional truth is what you feel about a situation, and sometimes it has nothing to do with actual facts.” Two people witnessing the same thing  may have two distinct emotional experiences.

But the point is that feelings are real. We all have our own emotional truth. Articulating maybe harder than relating to it. For that frightened child a reassuring hug, comforting voice, and acceptance work better than any logic explaining why the monster is not real.

As parents, we try to teach our children right from wrong. We worry about if we are modeling the proper behaviors. Not an easy task. Worth remembering that feelings are real. Better to embrace the emotional truth so they can find out the factual truth on their own.

Is the child lying or simply expressing their emotional truth?

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News Overdose?

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Reading too much news is bad for you.

Of course, too much of anything is no good. But media in particular are competing to grab our attention. Just look at their headlines. They are written to catch our eyeballs by design. Overdose on these will guarantee to raise anyone’s blood pressure.

Unfortunately, it could leave one with a pessimistic outlook that the world is falling apart. Crimes, violence, and other crises are trending to the extremes. Perhaps sensational stories help to sell paper and are good for the business. 

What to do if you feel overwhelmed? Here are a few tips I use that may help:

Filters: technologies are available to select the type of news we get. I have my filters set to receive only the types of news that interest me. Further, I pay attention to the source of the news. Certain media are known to have their biases.

Multi-sampling: don’t rely on just one article. For controversial topics, verify other reporting from different angles. For instance Fox News versus Washington Post. With enough samples, the truth will emerge.

Stop: instead of letting the news become overwhelming, take a break and do something different. Take a walk outside, exercise, meditate, or whatever else to get your mind onto something pleasant.

Sleep: it is our brain’s natural cleansing mechanism in rid of the mental clutters we accumulated throughout the day. This happens during REM (rapid eye movement) cycle also known as dream sleep.  Give that a try, if other tips don’t work.

What tips or tricks work for you?

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Violence Is Not Acceptable

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Over the weekend lots of violence around.  Why is this happening? Could it be that some people are mistaking our freedoms or taking them to the extreme? I will take a stab at probing that question in this post.

Violence is unacceptable. Someone may counter that self-defense is a justification for  violence. But I would label “self-defense” as is and not confusing it as violence. Because violence has the intent to harm while self-defense is a response.  They are different in  intentions.

Police may apply excessive force (which is illegal), but their roles are not instigating violence. Russia invading Ukraine is a clear act of violence, but the US and West sanctions and boycotts, while may seem harmful, are responses to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. Russia is the one committing violence.

By the way, violence has many forms other than physical harm. Such as psychological violence or word violence. Regardless the form, violence is unacceptable in any forms. Which brings me to the topic of hate speech. Is it the same as free speech? The answer is clearly a “no.”

Free speech as specified by our First Amendment guarantees each individual the “freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.” Further, it  prohibits the government from restricting those freedoms. Harming others through words or other means is not free speech.

What do you think people taking freedoms to the extreme is contributing to  the violence around the country?

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Much Hate?

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Shootings, shootings, everywhere.

In church, school, shopping center,

even basketball game.

No joke, and not somewhere else.

But right here in the good old USA —

land of the free, and

home of the brave.

All in this past weekend.

Don’t expect politicians, clergies, doctors to solve our problems.

Only us in the community can, and

we should.

Aren’t love and hate two sides of the same coin?

Why all the violence? How can it be changed?

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