Wim Hof- Absolutely Incredible What He Does With His Body

I did not hear of Wim Hof until recently from a podcast that popped up on my feed. I am glad that I did. This guys is worth looking into as he does some amazing things with his body. Specifically, he has developed a breathing routine that helps him regulate his own body heat in the freezing temperatures. Sounds crazy, I know. But I think he’s telling the truth based off some experiments that have been done on him and some of the stories of what he’s done in extreme conditions. His message is that we can all do this if we follow his routine. Check him out!



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Mumford and Sons Concert was AMAZING

Going to a Mumford and Sons concert is a spiritual experience. I would 10/10 recommend if you get the chance. 

Last night I went with Veronica and we met up beforehand with a couple of pals, Vince and Nolan. Vince’s dad was there as well; he’s well worth a mention and shout out. Vince and I both peed outside in the freezing cold-a bonding moment for sure.

I haven’t been to a ton of concerts, but I’ve been to two Mumford shows and they have been by far the best in terms of sound, energy, and overall performance. 

If a group actually sounds the same live as they do when their music is edited for distribution, then they are automatically off to a good start.

Favorite songs they performed were “The Wolf,” “The Cave,” “Awake my Soul,” “I Will Wait,” and “Ghosts That We Knew.” Basically, I still prefer the oldies. Although I do like some of the new songs like “Guiding Light,” “42,” and “Beloved.”




Throwback to Beardless. Bring it Back?

I’ve had a beard now at various levels of thickness for about a year if I had to guess. Maybe it’s time for the throwback clean-shaven look?


This picture is from four years ago before my sophomore year of cross country. Damn, that was a different hair style altogether as well.

Might be time for a throwback look!

Most Surprising NBA Teams So Far

The NBA season has been off to a hot start and I’m loving the league. About a quarter of the way through the regular season, the standings, specifically in the Western conference, are looking different than most people expected. That’s what helps to make it fun.

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Here are the five teams who have been the most surprising thus far:


1) Sacramento Kings

I thought the Kings were going to flat out stink. But right now they are one game above .500. Do I think they will continue like this? Heck no. But they are impressing in a lot of categories. Fox and Cauley-Stein have made huge jumps with Buddy Hield lighting it up, and they also have solid bench production. Marvin Bagley is averaging 13 and 7 so he is trending in the right direction. Overall, good for the Kings.


2) Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers are killing the game. They are all about depth. Also, Tobias Harris is playing like an All-Star. Basically, it seems everyone on the team knows their roles and they play as a team. Lots of exciting players as well in Harrell, Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams, and BOBAN!


3) Memphis Grizzlies 

Gotta love the grit n’ grind approach. Look at the difference in this team having a healthy Gasol and a healthy Conley. No one wants to play this team as they actually play defense and they will run down the shot clock to help slow down the game. Kudos to them for playing their style and making other teams uncomfortable. They just signed Joakim Noah and I am very interested to see how he plays if he gets minutes. This would be one of the few teams in the league where he might actually be somewhat productive.


4) Dallas Mavericks 

Luka Doncic is a beast. He has answered all the questions about whether his European skills would translate to the NBA game. I’ve watched some highlights and he is super exciting and fun to watch. JJ Barea is also killing it with potential 6th man of the year stats. And Dirk is scheduled to come back this month!! 


5) Orlando Magic

I thought the Magic might win 32-34 games at most, especially considering their point guards are DJ Augustine and Jerian Grant, but they are a .500 ball club right now and have a solid chance of staying there. Vucevic, a former Sixers player, is averaging 21 ppg and 11 rpg. His front court mate, Aaron Gordon, is averaging 16 and 7 respectfully. They might actually make the playoffs.



Oh, and the Sixers are killing it with Jimmy Buckets. And while I feel bad for Fultz, I’m pretty happy TJ MCconnell is back getting regular minutes!

Putting Theory Into Practice and Action

I’ve been looking into Stoic philosophy recently and I’m currently reading A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, and as I’ve mentioned previously I am very interested in Buddhism, but sometimes I get too caught up in thinking about the theories and how wonderful and practical they sound, rather than putting them into action. 

Thinking long-term, I want to be the best version of myself, however that may ultimately look. This process starts by recognizing the preciousness of time, trying not to waste a day, and putting theories and ideas into practice and action. To some this may sound idealistic or like too much, but learning from people in history who still have an impact today, I think they would recommend something similar to this approach, rather than just going through the days on autopilot.

What does the best version of myself look like?

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This will probably look different for everyone, but here is my idea of what it mostly looks life for me…

Having fun and making the most of my relationships with those I care about. Sounds simple, but it’s easy to forget. There’s a reason that our interpersonal relationships are a good predictor of our happiness. I’m working on not caring and thinking too much about what people who I do not feel close to think about me, but still offering them kindness and respect, no matter how they interact with me. I want to be primarily concerned with how I interact with the people I love and care about.

Remembering often that life is a great adventure that’s full of opportunities. There will inevitably be downs to go with the ups, but I want to keep in mind that all things pass and whatever the experience entails is part of the grand journey.

I want to find a nice balance between full engagement in activities and relaxation, such as being fully engaged in my work versus fully relaxing and recovering in the evening with family/friends, or reading a nice book, or watching some chill TV.

Living by my values. Trying my best to do no harm and to help others. Working on improving myself daily and maintaining health through exercise, meditation, reading, journal writing, and the like.

Now, I do not want these to become hard expectations I set on myself. These are things I want to do so I will pursue them, but I will work to remember to be easy and loving with myself during the process. I find it funny that the only things that usually hold us back are really just ourselves.

Here’s to getting after life. 


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Vron and I Planned a Trip to England!!

Veronica and I will be flying to England on December 30th and returning to Philly on January 7th. GET PUMPED!! 


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This is our first major trip together on our own. A couple of years ago I went with her family to Florida for a week for her cousin’s wedding, but this will be the first solo trip.

Veronica has never been to Europe and she will finally get to meet my family members over there. We will mostly be staying with my Grandma so Veronica will finally meet the legend face to face.

Chances I sleep on our red-eye over there: slim.

Chances I negatively affect Veronica’s chances of sleeping on our red-eye through distraction: high.


Some thoughts on the “Self”?? Snidbit from Sam Harris’s Podcast

Sam Harris is full of reason and clarity. Below is a link to one of his podcast episodes.

Listen from 1:48-9:12



This snidbit is actually from his app “Waking Up.” A lot of what Harris says here resonates with me. If you take the time to think about it, then it probably resonates with you as well.

Our brief life together is a really a miracle of sorts in the vast cosmos, so we might as well try to enjoy it while we can.

One topic he mentioned that I’ve put a lot of thought into before is why we feel so comfortable with one person and uncomfortable with another? Harris asks why another person can have so much control over our own mind? This is a great question and it really all depends on the situation. He uses the example of visiting family and acting in a certain way that the family has come to expect you to act over time.

However, there is no one person who we really are. There is a flow of experience and we are always changing. There are predictive patterns of course. But we are not condemned to be same person each time. When you visit your family you can be a different person than what they’ve come to expect and that’s okay.

Almost all of us are full of self-concern at all times. Oddly enough, we think others are not themselves and that they are more concerned with us. Ultimately, however, most people do not really care as they are so preoccupied in self-consciousness.

Harris spitting truths yet again!! 

The Turducken Phenomenon

Who else ate Turducken for Thanksgiving? Yeah, let’s mix it up!

Wondering what the heck that is? Take a look below:

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Yes, this is chicken inside of duck inside of turkey. Quite the innovation. Looks like this one in the photo even has some stuffing inside. Apparently this dish is becoming rather popular.

I don’t regularly eat meat as a pescetarian mostly for ethical reasons, but special occasions sometimes call for it. Yesterday, Veronica (my girlfriend) joined us for our special Turkey day. The food was delicious, especially the Turducken frankly.

The funniest thing that happened was Veronica thinking a Turducken was an animal that had all three of the other animals breeded together. Hmmmm didn’t really know what to say there to my biology major girlfriend.


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Philly Half Recap

I ran the Philly half-marathon on Saturday morning and really enjoyed the race!

Overall, the course was great and the weather was beautiful and ideal for running- low 40s. We took a scenic route down to Penn’s landing and then up through Rittenhouse Square towards North Philly. We then took a turn into Fairmount Park and came out running back towards the Art Museum for the finish. There were a good chunk of spectators around Center Philly cheering loudly.

In the end, my finishing time was 1:27:37. That is 6:40 pace per mile. 

Some of my favorite parts were probably when strangers were yelling my name. “LUKE” was across the front of my bib so they could see the text as I ran by. I would always smile when that happened and feel a little extra push. The miles through Center City heading towards North Philly were my favorite as the crowds were loud and really encouraging.

Going in to the race, I was really not sure what I was going to run time-wise. I was confident I could run under 7 flat for a while, but not for how long. I was slightly worried what would happen when I really started to hurt. My longest run heading into this was only 8 miles. I set a goal for sub 1 hr. 30 min. and thankfully ended up crushing it.

I was hitting closer to 6:30 pace probably up until miles 7-8 and then slowed down a bit for a few miles, hitting around 7 flat. I was happy with my grit during that stretch, however, as I did not slow down drastically. I was getting some encouragement from others and tried to dish out some to other folks as well.

During the last stretch of a mile and a half back towards the Art museum, I was hurting but I don’t think I was passed by anyone, rather I was passing some other people. This part probably made up for the slower miles.

Big kudos to my Dad, who is 58 years old, for running another half-marathon. He just keeps crushing it and runs a lot each morning in Philly before work.

My legs are still sore as hell-my quads don’t like stairs-but the pain is worth it. I’m fairly excited to train for another one. My next longer race will probably be the Broad Street 10-miler in May. This half proved to me that I still have the speed in me, I just need to put in more miles, especially doing a longer run once each week.

Running is a special experience. The ebbs and flows with running are remarkable. At this point, I’m convinced it’s mostly mental. I’m excited as I look forward to see what I can do. I’m trying to see how fast I can go while enjoying the process. Some days I definitely don’t want to run as much, but experiences like the half will definitely help serve as motivators to get out there. Over the winter months I’ll be looking for more running buddies to help with the cold.

I’m also going to be looking to make some changes training-wise. As mentioned, I plan to add a longer run as I go forward that will be at least 9-10 miles each weekend. I think I spent too many of my miles in the middle zone range, an area where I’m pushing more than I need to without getting a ton of benefit. I’m going to try to run rather slow/easy on my easy days and quite a bit quicker on days where I’m trying to go faster.



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Top 5 Character Strengths

I was doing my reading earlier today for my “Intro to Counseling Theory” class and the assigned chapter focused on positive psychotherapy. While most types of psychotherapy tend to focus on negative emotions and how to alleviate/remove symptoms, positive psychotherapy, a relatively new practice, focuses on character strengths and positive emotions such as meaning and pleasure.

The chapter brought up the character strengths finder assessment that one can take for free online. There are 24 character strengths that the site ranks for you once you have completed the assessment, which involves 120 statements where one selects on a scale from “very much like me” to “very much unlike me,” with “neutral” in the middle.

The link to the assessment is below:


Here is a picture of my top ones:


These are the explanations they give for each of my top 5 character strengths:


“Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.”


“Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people.”


“Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.”


“Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.”


“Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.”


Some of my friends saw my results and agreed with a lot of it. I would to.

There is apparently a significant amount of research backing up positive psychology. They do not totally avoid negative emotions as that would be naive, but they try to find a balance between positive and negative emotions. I would definitely recommend taking the assessment! It’s short and fun to see your results.


Know your strengths!!

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