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Episode 137- Let's Talk About Coffee

Let's talk about coffee. The wonder drug of our society and a staple of most our daily rituals. To me it seems that coffee is so readily available and commonly used that we don't think much about it, at least I don't. After many years of coffee consumption I've recently done some thinking on my, and society's, relationship with coffee. As I look around me day to day I see so many people who live in a state of fatigue and use coffee to temporarily drag themselves out of it. However, I believe that coffee must be used as an added bonus to our day, for its flavor and energetic properties, but not as a crutch. To combat our state of fatigue, and shift into living in a state of energy, we must learn to listen to our bodies and respond intelligently. That intelligence only comes by equipping ourselves with the right knowledge of how to treat our bodies as machines and temples. So listen in to today's episode as I delve into the lush history of coffee, its scientific benefits and drawbacks, and how we can all redefine our relationship with coffee to learn to listen our bodies.

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

Sources:
ncausa.org/About-Coffee/History-of-Coffee
historyextra.com/period/medieval/history-coffee-facts-discovery-use-drink-social-revolution/
africaresource.com/house/news/our-announcements/21-the-history-of-coffee
etymonline.com/word/coffee
healthline.com/health/caffeine-effects-on-body#1
medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271707.php

Music: purple-planet.com

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Episode 136- Don't Beat Yourself Up

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Episode 136- Don't Beat Yourself Up

As humans we constantly have ups and downs. Whether those ups and downs are emotional or physical, we feel them each day. Over the past few weeks I have, quite honestly, been feeling down. It is not constant nor overwhelming, but I have noticed a distinct shift in my mental wellbeing towards the negative. The main reason I believe that shift has occurred is because I feel like my business and sport endeavors have come to a sort of stand still. That perception of staleness is only a matter of perspective, I know, but it is still difficult to walk the walk, instead of just talking the talk of betterment. I have realized that one of the key ways I can work through and with these feelings is through not beating myself up about how I feel. Instead, I must listen to my body, work with it, and learn from it. As such, I hope that you can learn from these musings that I share today. 

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 135- On Hobbies

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Episode 135- On Hobbies

There are many aspects of our day to day lives that we take for granted or simply don't think about. Over the past few weeks, as I have been working to manage my fatigue and injuries, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I spend my time each day. For any of us, what we do with our time each day must be things that are positive and fulfilling, that better us. One of those things, something I have refocused on recently, are hobbies. Having a hobby may seem childish, pointless, or just not possible to some, but I posit in today's episode that hobbies are vital aspects of building a peaceful mental headspace and a truly fulfilling life. Hobbies have a multitude of benefits that contribute to becoming a more well-rounded human being. They can become part of our process of personal betterment and presence, if we let them. Listen today as I delve into hobbies and how you can find and focus on yours.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Photo: Panther at King Tut exhibit in the California Science Center

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Episode 134- Lynsey Dyer: One Foot in Front of the Other

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Episode 134- Lynsey Dyer: One Foot in Front of the Other

"That's the ticket: putting energy into it, even when no one else can see it."

-Lynsey Dyer

Humans have an uncanny ability to connect and converse with people of wildly different backgrounds, because when it comes down to it we all share a common experience. Today's guest is many things, mainly known as a big mountain skier and filmmaker, and while I may not do those two things Lynsey Dyer and I still connected and conversed. I believe that whatever sport, focus, or job that we do, if we do it with intent, good will come of it. Lynsey is a prime example of that sentiment and coupled with the fact that she has lived her life breaking paradigms, she was a perfect guest for the show. Our conversation is barely concerned with the mountains or even storytelling, instead we explore the mindset and spiritual side of things. Today we delve into growing up, finding purpose, finding yourself, and staying true to yourself. All topics not often discussed, on this show nor in life, so it was a special treat to have Lynsey share her thoughts on them. Enjoy!

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

Find Lynsey:
lynseydyer.com
Instagram: @lynseydyer instagram.com/lynseydyer
Twitter: @lynseydyer twitter.com/lynseydyer
Facebook: Lynsey Dyer facebook.com/lynsey.dyer.7

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Episode 133- Managing Fatigue

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Episode 133- Managing Fatigue

We all deal with it, but we rarely take the time to step back and focus on it: fatigue. Our hectic lives are so easily negatively impacted by a string of heavily fatigued hours, days, weeks, or even months. The causes of fatigue are so common in our lives, as well. Personally, it has been an issue that I have been dealing with for the past few weeks and I have only recently made committed, planned efforts to solve my high level of fatigue. Today we delve into the causes of and solutions to fatigue, a topic that I think will benefit us all. Just remember this: play it smart and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Photo: My dad, Gabriel Contreras, running in Smith Rock State Park, OR.

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Episode 132- Learning Acceptance

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Episode 132- Learning Acceptance

Whenever I sit down to record an episode for this podcast I always hope that whatever story I may tell, you may take what you will from it and use it to better yourself. Today I tell the stories of my past few weeks. I have completed my first year of college, adventured, road tripped, and spent time with my family. I delve into the stories of those experiences and how they have shaped the end of my first year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I also delve into two events that have recently transpired in my life that took a toll on my mindset, instantly redefining my preconceived notions and preconceptions about who I am and what I am capable of. It is hard to not let these events stop me or slow me down, but I can only do so by focusing on acceptance and diligence. Those two focuses are what have driven me over the past few weeks, so let's dig into how I am learning from them.

AUM,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 131- Charlie Engle: From Low to High

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Episode 131- Charlie Engle: From Low to High

“It doesn’t matter what happens to us, it only matters what you do about it.”

-Charlie Engle

Charlie Engle has been called many things, but behind all of the judgments and snap assumptions that people have thrown at him there is a wise and fascinating man. I have known about Charlie for quite awhile now, but only recently realized how perfect of a guest he would be. He was excited to come on the show and to be honest with you this episode is not about Charlie's story. If you want to know his story, from crack addiction to Running the Sahara to prison and more, then read his incredible memoir Running Man. Today is about Charlie's head: how he endures what he puts himself through, how he found acceptance of prison, how he learned from addiction, and who Charlie, the real Charlie, is. I am honored that I was able to sit down with him today, we had a long conversation that could have gone on for hours more. As always we are wide-ranging in this episode as we delve into Charlie's next expedition, his mindset towards prison & addiction, learning from suffering, embracing challenge, and so much more.

Om shanti,

Jarod Contreras

Find Charlie:
charlieengle.com
Instagram: @charlieengle instagram.com/charlieengle
Twitter: @CHARLIEENGLE twitter.com/charlieengle
Facebook: Charlie Engle facebook.com/charlieengleruns/?fref=ts

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Episode 130- Maria Walton: La Mariposa

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Episode 130- Maria Walton: La Mariposa

"I'm always seeking happiness."

-Maria Walton

I believe Maria Walton's spirit name of La Mariposa encapsulates her personality: simple, free, and kind. Maria may be best known for being the girlfriend of Micah True, known as Caballo Blanco in the bestseller Born to Run, in the few years leading up to his sudden death in 2012. However, Maria is so much more than just a girlfriend of some guy in a book. Maria embodies the ideal so often discussed on this show: to live a life as true to yourself as possible. She does not distract herself with materialism or ego, instead she lives a simple life fueled by nature, running, and community. Those topics turn out to be the common threads of discussion in today's episode. Maria and I delve into her relationship with Micah, her story, the community forged by running, reconnecting with nature, living a fulfilled life, minimalism, and the pure love for running free.

Muchas gracias amigos,

Jarod Contreras

Find Maria:
Instagram: @mariposaapache instagram.com/mariposaapache
Twitter: @lamariposaapache twitter.com/MariposaApache
Facebook: Maria Walton facebook.com/LaMariopsaApache

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Episode 129- Tyler Tomasello: Emotion Conveyed

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Episode 129- Tyler Tomasello: Emotion Conveyed

“I find comfort in uncomfortable situations.”

-Tyler Tomasello

Someone who, when it’s summer, actively seeks out time to camp and tell stories instead of staying inside is someone that I want to talk to. Tyler Tomasello is that someone. Whether he is in Afghanistan running with a women’s ultrarunning team or at the Born to Run Ultramarathons, he is always looking for a way to convey the emotion he sees around him. We met at the Born to Run Ultras where it was immediately apparent to me his love for being in touch with nature. What fascinates me about Tyler is his simplicity, in life, photo, and words, that he uses to impart such passion. Today Tyler and I discuss the art of storytelling, connecting with people and other cultures, finding peace in the outdoors, fueling our bodies right, community, travel, learning from discomfort, and more. Enjoy!

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

Find Tyler:
tylertomasello.com
Instagram: @tytomasello instagram.com/tytomasello
Twitter: @tylertomasello1 twitter.com/tylertomasello1
Facebook: Tyler Tomasello facebook.com/tylertomasellophoto

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Episode 128- Morgan Hope Sjogren: The Running Bum

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Episode 128- Morgan Hope Sjogren: The Running Bum

"You really have to face yourself."

-Morgan Hope Sjogren

A self-described dirt barbie Morgan Hope Sjogren, also known as Mo or Running Bum, is an adventure fueled storyteller par excellence. I first discovered Mo through Instagram and was fascinated by her ability to convey her love for the desert, mountains, canyons, and valleys in photography and in words. She is a professional writer who continually displays her knack for translating the complexity of nature onto the page. I met Mo at the Born to Run Ultras where she ecstatically agreed to come on the show. We are wide-ranging today as we discuss keeping sane in a hectic life, finding peace in the outdoors and in discomfort, the running family, the concept of "women in the outdoors," being active political and social citizens of this planet, and storytelling. Do enjoy!

Muchas gracias amigos,

Jarod Contreras

Find Mo:
therunningbum.com
Instagram: @running_bum_ instagram.com/running_bum_
Twitter: @running_bum_ twitter.com/Running_Bum_

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Episode 127- Born to Run Ultramarathons: The "Run-aissance"

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Episode 127- Born to Run Ultramarathons: The "Run-aissance"

Welcome to the shantytown, to the freak show, to the extravaganza, to the world of the Born to Run Ultramarathons. Held once a year in May in Los Olivos, California I was able to finally make it out, for the first time, to this wild event. The core theme of running carries a common thread through all of the passionate people who attend: we all have a deep love for running far. That love for pushing our bodies transcends into other wild antics that populate the days of crazy that is the Born to Run Ultras. There was everything from a Tarahumaran bola race, lucha libre wrestling match, and race between legends Scott Jurek and Arnulfo Quimare to a beer mile, talent show, and wedding. Today, in a special episode, I chronicle the events, tales, and experiences of my weekend at Born to Run utilizing a multitude of perspectives from people who attended the event and who each had their own story to tell. Sit back and enjoy the absurdity!

Run free,

Jarod Contreras

Find out more:
allwedoisrun.com

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Music: purple-planet.com

Special Thanks:
Luis Escobar
Jenn Shelton
Patrick Sweeney
Anders Dahl
Clint Welch
Gabriel Miossi
Scott Smuin
Barefoot Ted
Graham Kelly
Todd Kaplan
Amy Kaplan

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Episode 126- Cedar Wright: How to Fail with a Laugh

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Episode 126- Cedar Wright: How to Fail with a Laugh

"Not failing is the real failure."

-Cedar Wright

Humor and pain are two aspects of life not commonly associated, yet there is someone out there who not only associates them, but magically combines them. Cedar Wright has built his career not on being the best, but on being able to suffer more than the best. Through his tenacity he built a sustained, adventure fueled life filled with an uncanny ability to tell honest stories. Cedar pulls back the curtain on what it means to endure in the mountains through his films. Cedar is a rock climber, a paraglider, a storyteller, and so much more. This dude is a prime example of what a life can be built when we live and act truthfully to ourselves. Following our path is something we all strive to do, Cedar follows his everyday. Today sit back and relax as Cedar and I delve into what it means to fail, how to use humor as a tool, living truthfully, finding honesty, telling stories, relationships, reading, planning (or the lack thereof), and a few stories of wild eyed adventure.

Muchas gracias amigos,

Jarod Contreras

Find Cedar:
cedarwright.com
Instagram: @cedarwright instagram.com/cedarwright
Facebook: Cedar Wright facebook.com/cedarclimber
Twitter: @cedarwright twitter.com/cedarwright
Vimeo: Cedar Wright vimeo.com/cedar

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Episode 125- Eric Johnson: Driving Hard

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Episode 125- Eric Johnson: Driving Hard

"I'm not gonna quit, because shit hurts."

-Eric Johnson

There are certain people out there in the world who show up so often in my Instagram feed that I feel like I know them very well, but yet I've never met them. Eric Johnson is one of those people and I decided it was high time he came on the show. Eric and I met in person, after I reached out to him on Insta, last weekend at the Born to Run Ultramarathon Extravaganza. That event is a sight to behold and a story I will tell next week in a unique, unusual podcast episode. This week, however, is for Eric. Eric is someone who clearly demonstrates the ideal I hold dear: to work each day to better ourselves. Through social media, and then when I met him in person and saw him run, I could see that he exemplified the benefits of commitment and honesty. Those traits are why I wanted to sit down and chat with him long form. As always, our conversation is a wide ranging discussion on everything from Eric's tale and his love story with running to endurance and finding peace amongst pain to building routine, recovering from injury, and being proactive in cross-training. Please enjoy.

Muchas gracias amigos,

Jarod Contreras

Find Eric:
Instagram: @jwjcc1 instagram.com/jwjcc1

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Episode 124- On Our Relationship to Death

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Episode 124- On Our Relationship to Death

In our society, specifically American society and culture, we treat death as something that should be kept behind closed doors. Yet our entertainment is largely populated by brutal depictions of death. There is a blatant dichotomy in our relationship to death and that separation leads us to have trouble dealing with it. Death must become an opportunity for growth and for celebration. To celebrate the life of the deceased is to honor them, to become chained by your sorrow is to dishonor them. I believe to best process death we must bond with those around us through laughter, smiles, and conversation. Today's episode is an examination of the positive and negative aspects of our society's relationship to death and all of the baggage, ritual, and custom that come with it. Today, begin to think deeply about the paradigm around death, how we can break that paradigm, and add our humanity back into death.

Muchas gracias,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 123- Emotion: Be at Peace, Grandma

Family is a curious thing and when we lose a family member it is even curiouser. A week ago my grandmother passed away. Today's episode is an examination of my emotion within and about the loss of my grandma. Maria-Luz Contreras died at 85 years old and she was someone who always, without question, loved and supported me. She was my biggest fan. Her life was fraught with challenge and sorrow, so I have asked myself if she was ever happy even though I know I can never know for sure. Three of her four children and her guilt chained her. She fought an internal battle over her health, peace, and happiness. All I can trust in is that she loved me and I loved her. She is now at peace and with me, I know. I will honor her by doing my best, staying true to myself, and loving those around me.

Muchas gracias & om shanti,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 122- Hooked on Busyness

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Episode 122- Hooked on Busyness

Our society is addicted to busyness and we have no idea what to do with free time. We live in a vicious cycle of drifting amongst leisure and so adding more busyness to salve our confusion. We are lost. A good friend of mine recently remarked to me, for the 100th time, "Oh, I'm so busy, it's been absolutely crazy." Busyness seems to be a badge of honor and a point of pride, a marker of success as it were. We are chained to our busyness, despite the fact that research shows that we now have more free time than ever. So the question becomes: What do we do with busyness? I believe that we must not allow ourselves to be a prisoner to it, take a step back and breathe, plan, eliminate extraneous tasks, single task, delegate duties, and learn from others. These paths to mental peace and freedom in the face of busyness are what I delve into in today's episode. Join me.

Muchas gracias,

Jarod Contreras

Sources:

Robinson, John P. "Americans less rushed but no happier: 1965–2010 trends in subjective time and happiness." Social indicators research 113.3 (2013): 1091-1104.

https://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/feel-less-busy-twisted-psychology-of-busyness.html

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/04/busy/?utm_content=buffer71195&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/owning-pink/201404/are-you-addicted-being-busy

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Episode 121- On Making Lists

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Episode 121- On Making Lists

It's awfully funny to me how often we impose limitations on ourselves. Before recording today's episode I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to talk about. To be quite honest, I did not even want to record the episode. However, it took me a second to realize that the reason I could not find a topic was because I was letting distractions rule. I took off the headphones and took a few deep breaths before I wrote down something that had kept my weekend sane: lists. Though as life is this episode evolved into much more than observations on lists. It evolved into an examination of what it means to ask questions, how to listen to your body, and of course why lists keep things simple.

With gratitude,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 120- Anna Frost: Finding Frosty

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Episode 120- Anna Frost: Finding Frosty

“I have to make a change, you have to make a change, we all have to do something to be role models for the young people in our world."

-Anna Frost

The people that continually fascinate me are those that shatter the norm. This week's guest is a prime example of that. Anna Frost (a.k.a. Frosty) might as well be the embodiment of tough, with her wins at the Hardrock 100 and running adventures across the globe. She has traipsed in many countries and that deep set love of travel and experience has forged her into who she is today. That is what we explore in this episode, who Frosty is. We delve into her mental headspace amongst pain and as a motivation to others, especially young people. We examined her battles with identity and what it means to acknowledge the complexity within ourselves. We explore finding peace amongst chaos and how to build equality in sport and in life. Please enjoy this wonderfully wide ranging discussion.

Gracias,

Jarod Contreras

Find Anna:
frostysfootsteps.wordpress.com
Instagram: @annafrosty instagram.com/annafrosty
Twitter: @annafrosty twitter.com/annafrosty
Facebook: Anna Frost facebook.com/annafrosty

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Photo Credit: Matt Trappe

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Episode 119- Have a System

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Episode 119- Have a System

We are bombarded on a daily basis with techniques for how to make our lives easier, happier, or, more generally, better. However, many of these techniques are snake oil medicine that have no lasting, nor truly beneficial, impacts on our life. One technique that has been repeated in many different forms throughout all of my spiritual, religious, philosophical, and scientific research of how to better ourselves is preparation. In all aspects of life, from athletics to spirituality, having a plan is one of the most beneficial ways to forge consistency, honesty, accountability, and responsibility. Through having forethought, and therefore establishing a system to follow, we allow ourselves to build a foundation on which all of our other practices for betterment are built. Quite simply, having a system frees you to focus.

Let's explore this,

Jarod Contreras

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Episode 118- The Choice Between

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Episode 118- The Choice Between

The choice between reaction or response is demarcated by a fine line. A line that is determined by the breath. We are either prisoner to our emotions or we take a breath and take a step back to use them, instead of abuse them. This most recent quarter, Winter Quarter, at my college, Cal Poly SLO, I let myself be ruled by reaction, instead of response. Too often I allowed my difficulties in the Calculus class that I was enrolled in drag me down and control me. That class was one of, if not the, hardest classes that I have ever taken and I passed with a C+. A grade that, even six months ago, I would have balked at and been ashamed of. However, today I am ecstatic about that grade, because I have shifted my perspective from A, A, A, to simply doing my best. If my best results in an A, then great. If my best results in a C+, then great. I took a breath to choose. The test now comes in seeing if I learn anything from last quarter and choose between reaction or response.

Let's find out,

Jarod Contreras

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Find Jarod: 
touchingthetrail.com 
Meditation Coaching: touchingthetrail.com/meditation
Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP 
Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt 
Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail 
Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

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