It was 10 years ago when I turned 40 years old, that I decided to start practicing freestyle footbag every day. I never imagined it would lead to 10 years of uninterrupted fun, but here I am ten years later, still playing every day.
I've learned so much over the years. I'll be posting some blogs about my experiences soon. For now, here is a video featuring highlights from the past year of daily practice that I hope you enjoy...
The key to long-term health is eating right and exercising regularly. That is nothing new. We have known that for a while. I've been proving it myself by adhering to a vegetarian diet since 1991 and practicing freestyle footbag for over an hour a day since 2006. In that time, I've lost 50 pounds and I continue to improve my footbag game!
Its not a secret that eating right and exercising regularly is the foundation of a long fulfilling life. The secret is in how to maintain it for the long term. In 1985 I had been practicing footbag so much it was causing pain in my shins. At the time, I didn't realize it, but putting Spenco insoles into my shoes became my hidden secret weapon against the kinds of impact related injuries that so many in my sport suffer from. I've recommended them to many others over the years, but now that I'm officially a Spenco product ambassador, I am shouting my message to anyone who'll listen... "No matter how you step up your game, protect your body from potential impact damage with a simple insert under your feet from Spenco." The same insoles that have kept me at the top of my game for 31 years and EVERYDAY for the past 3478 days in a row!
Enjoy this recent video with footage from my adventures through Toronto, Amsterdam, Tampa and my home town of Chicago! You can't tell by watching, but every step is fueled by the new Polysorb UltraLite insoles by Spenco! Invest in your health, it's a small price to pay for comfort, health and athletic longevity!
When I turned 40, over 8 years ago, I wanted to commit to something big! I am a freestyle footbag enthusiast... I had been to over 20 consecutive years of World Footbag Championships, I had been inducted into the Footbag Hall of Fame and I am the 1999 World Champion in Freestyle Footbag. At that time, I had been playing 3-5 times a week, but whenever I would take a day off, it seemed it took two days of training just to get back to where I was. So I decided to start playing everyday so I would never have to 'catch up' to where I was before I took a break.
Here is a video that I shot entirely on my 3001st day in a row of shredding everyday!
It turns out that exercising on a daily basis has many other benefits!
I'm personally going for fitness, better health and a longer life!
Oh, and you get pretty good at whatever you are practicing!!!
-Type 2 diabetes
Exercise protects against:
-Certain cancers, like colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial cancers,
-The risk of stroke
-Heart, lung and muscle fitness
-Chances of living longer!
Exercise alone is not the solution, but when combined with healthy eating (I recommend a vegetarian lifestyle) and drinking plenty of water! The result will be fitness, health and a longer life!
Exercise keeps the mind sharp and the body young!
You don’t need to learn to play footbag freestyle, most people choose a mainstream sport...
But to get the benefits of exercise, you need to break a sweat everyday!
What kind of crazy skills might YOU might achieve if you were to practice your favorite sport every day?
I hope that you are inspired to start making the time to exercise every day! No excuses!
Please feel free to contact me with questions.
Thanks to my long-time sponsor, Dragonfly Footbags at footbagshop.com
My Early Working Retirement philosophy allows me to spend my spare time doing what I love to do, play footbag freestyle! Every minute away from 'werk' is like a vacation. I spent the other evening enjoying the sunset at Montrose Harbor facing south towards the city of Chicago. What a beautiful night!
Watch the video and use the coupon code 'Footbags' for $2 off your next custom made phone case at Carved.com.
Kick back and relax!
Part of being 'Early Working Retired' is really getting to enjoy every precious moment in life! Yesterday I was able to film a short session in a parking garage while it rained on the parking deck just 3 feet behind the camera. I had planned to get sunset footage on the day of the launch but that did not work out, so this will have to do. The way I figure it, I had a blast filming it, so that's all that matters. My own personal critique is that I did not angle the camera up high enough, nor did I stand back far enough. This is because I have recently been shooting with a GoPro Hero3+ and I need to stand very close to the camera unless I want to seem far away in the shot.
Take a look at the footage, make sure you choose the high definition version from the Square button at the bottom right corner of the video. This is a great example of how the iPhone 6's new camera really looks in slow motion at full 1080p x 60fps. We are not trying to make a judgement on how the iPhone 6 performs, but we are giving you a good example of what to expect from an iPhone 6 in terms of the new camera features regarding slow motion video. Additionally, I shot a nice little sequence in 720p x 240fps (240 frames per second) to give you a great feel for the capability of the new iPhone 6.
This video also offers a $2 discount off your next phone case at Carved.com with the coupon code "Footbags."
Myself included! It is the battle cry of those of us who have declared our Early Working Retirement... "We work so we can exist, and that's got to be good enough." I am going to continue working so I can sustain my day-to-day existence. Somehow, even though we live in a tiny condo with what is considered in our area to be a tiny mortgage, and we drive a 12 year old car, we can't ever seem to get ahead. I work a 40-hour a week job that I love, and my wife works as much as possible and even then, we can barely make ends meet let alone save for college or retirement. Many of us have hit the glass ceiling and the salary cap, and cannot progress any further in the work we currently love to do. As time progresses, the longer someone stays in a job without pay increases, the more inflation causes an effective pay-cut. I am already living on a fixed income, just like a retired person. The solution is that I need to supplement my income and take on additional freelance work. But it has to be the kind of work I want to do with people I want to work with.
The reality is that it takes more than just hard work to get to a full retirement. I have been trying to save money my whole life, but every time I get a small nest egg, some emergency arises and, 'poof', it is gone.
I used to consider myself as a part of the Middle Class. I grew up in a wealthy community in the midwest and I was fed the American Dream of working hard and retiring to enjoy my later life in peace and dignity. I was fed a line. Firstly, I have come to the conclusion that 'Work' is a means to an end. I love what I do which allows me to consider myself to be Early Working Retired. But it still barely gets the bills paid. Secondly, if I need to be classified, I believe I have slipped into the Upper Lower Class from the Lower Middle Class. I suppose it is nice to be an upper classmen, but not the class I had hoped to be at the front of.
What is most important is that I need to enjoy my life now. And I do. My wife and I just got back from a week-long vacation of kayaking in northern Michigan. We have our own kayaks, and we got in the water for 6 days in a row. It was great. We vacationed on the cheap, and had a blast every day! Part of being Early Working Retired is appreciate the people and the things I have and the life I live.
Today, I return to my 40-hour a week job and a renewed vigor for succeeding financially. I want to be able to come home from vacation with money still in the bank. I want to put my son through college. As of today, I am committing an hour each day into new product and business development and I am committed to supplementing my income by 'working' a little bit more than I used to. Of course, I will only pursue projects that make the world a better place, and ultimately to be able to run my life without having to report to a building for 40-hours a week. That is the long-term goal. In the meantime, it is back to the grind. Knowing that my fixed-wage work is merely a means to pay the bills, and that my supplemental projects are what will ultimately help us to return to the middle class and really be able to afford to live the way we want, motivates me to pursue my other ideas even that much more. The new American Dream is to be able to rise above sustenance working and be able to save some money. The challenge is to stay motivated! I am up to the challenge!
When you are Early Working Retired, you can do whatever you want! And I spent the past 3 days filming and editing this short movie!
Andy Murray at Wimbledon was caught on film doing 88 kicks in a row with a tennis ball! They challenged us to do better (the #copauppy challenge), and here is my 151 kick attempt with a bunch of amazing tricks I was able to pull off. I even started a new website to promote Tennis Foot Skills for kids! Please share this with your friends!
Early Working Retirement is still working for me. I LOVE what I do! I spend 40 hours a week teaching, and I spend a good chunk of my 'spare' time promoting the sport of footbag! I am lucky, I have enjoyed my careers more than most people I talk to. I never feel like I can't wait until the day is over! I enjoy being at 'work' and at play. Here is a movie about our recent outreach to the wonderful people of Elkhart Jazz Fest in Indiana. We taught over 40 people who each got a free footbag from Dragonfly Footbags (footbagshop.com) so they can continue to practice on their own. This should give you an idea of what it is like for me to enjoy every minute of every day!
Special thanks to my son Alex and my wife Valeria for all their help and understanding!
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