Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Disruption - Time To Choose

If there is one thing we are learning from daily disruption, it is this...every day brings new information, challenges, and the opportunity to choose how we will respond.

Long lines and bare shelves at the grocery store can test our patience, stoke fears of not having enough, and even create jealousy and resentment towards those who beat us to the toilet paper. They also have sparked playful, casual conversations in grocery lines that we might never have ever had before. Most people are talking and joking in line with complete strangers! That is actually a breath of fresh air for me.

Self quarantining and social distancing can create a serious social void for extroverts, while introverts may not notice much change and actually enjoy the excuse of being quiet without the fear of judgement. The rule followers like me can be filled with bitterness towards those who are not following the government guidelines of social distancing.
Those who lean towards the rule breaking side may feel like their freedom of choice is slipping away, and become resentful that the simple things of life...a pick up volleyball game or a spike ball game on the beach, might now lead to a misdemeanor or fine for breaking social distancing regulations. There is tension for sure, but we all still have choices to make.

Two of my favorite outdoor escapes have been trail hiking, and biking on the San Diego beach boardwalks. Yesterday, those pleasures were temporarily removed as options in San Diego. When I heard the news, I was bummed and had a whole new set of choices to make. Would I rebel and hike anyway, risking a misdemeanor citation and a possible $1000 fine, or would I let the disruption bring out the best in my creativity, let selflessness prevail for the greater good, appreciate those who are trying to make our communities safe, and come up with another way to exercise while adhering to the new social distancing regulations imposed by the city of San Diego? Another way to look at it is, will I choose the low road of rebellion, or take the high road towards thriving, even when the high road is many times, the road less traveled.

We all have choices to make when we are disrupted. What if we all used disruption as a catalyst to bring out the best in our creativity, selflessness, and love for each other? Give it a try today. Let’s purposely replace the dark clouds of fear and bitterness with the bright light of selfless love that unites us and brings hope to the world! Take the high road. The high road always pays off!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Quality Time Vs. Goals

With the Covid 19 outbreak, all of our lives have been disrupted, but in the midst of it, I’m reminded of some important timeless lessons. I like to set goals and achieve them, learning a new skill, hitting a new fitness level, reading new books, being less selfish, being more encouraging with my words, spending more time with family. We all have goals like this.

One of my recent goals has been to get myself in backpacking/hiking shape for a trip to the Colombian Andes in May. Turns out, I have a little more time to prepare due to Covid 19. The trip is postponed until the Fall. I’m still trying to keep the rhythm of strength and cardio improvement, especially taxing my legs.

On two recent hikes to Mount Woodson, I was reminded of an important life lesson. Quality time beats personal goals every time. Let me explain.

Hike number one to Mount Woodson was with my two grandkids and niece. A normal up and back hike would take somewhere around 3-4 hours from Poway lake. That hike ended up taking over 6 hours with a lot of stops along the way. Matter of fact, I felt myself constantly trying to distract the kids with games, encouragement, even bribing them with after-hike ice cream, just to have a shot of making it up the hill. To my amazement, they made the entire trip up and back! That is no joke for the short legs of a 6 year old! I still got a little workout, but no personal records were set that day.

Hike number two was by myself. I cranked up the mountain with minimal stops along the way to hydrate. I couldn’t actually believe how much faster that hike could go. I got a better workout, but I couldn’t help but remember every turn along the way and the fresh memories of each stop with my grandkids and niece...all the laughing...all the made up games...all the complaining...bathroom breaks in the bushes...”are we there yet?”...”I’m hungry”...”can we go home?”...my grandson running ahead of the pack, just to jump out of the bushes to scare the girls. You get the picture.

My big takeaway...the quality time I spent with my grandkids and niece was WAY BETTER than me reaching some kind of goal on a solo hike! I’ll probably never forget the day with the kids! Sure it was more emotionally exhausting, but how many more days like that will I actually get before they are all grown up? Sometimes I feel like I’m going to blink and they’ll all be in college!

In these days of self quarantine, there will be many days when the kids may tax our emotional capacity. I say, bring on those days of creativity, new adventures, outdoor hikes, indoor board games and crafts. Try new things. Revisit old ideas like a monopoly game. Take the guidelines of Covid 19 seriously, but let those guidelines bring out the best in us in creativity, love, and grace.

We have been given a gift of quality time right now. For some of us we’ll easily embrace it, and for others, nothing could be worse. If we’ll fill our days with a purpose to love, forgive, go the extra mile, and serve, maybe, just maybe some of our best life moments will surface.

Enjoy each other while you encourage faith, hope, and love! Remember that the greatest of these is love. If you do this, we’ll be just fine, maybe better than ever!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Stir Crazy? How to get out of the house during Covid 19

Along with water filter questions during the Covid 19 situation, I've been getting a lot of questions about insect repellents. Why you might ask? Well it turns out that outdoor hiking is a great way to be out of the house while still being diligent with social distancing practices.

We live in a country with many beautiful places to discover. I live in San Diego which is loaded with great hiking options! Not only can you burn off some energy and get a great workout, but you can see some great wildlife like White Pelicans, Egrets, and other birds.

There is a common annoyance with Spring and Summer outdoor recreation activities...BUGS!... namely mosquitos, ticks, and other flying insects. The good news is, you can be outdoors with confidence if you'll protect yourself with the best repellents on the market.

If you ask a fisherman or backpacker, they all know about Sawyer Products. There is a reason why Sawyer has the biggest outdoor store on Amazon. At Sawyer...we keep you outdoors!

Let me tell you about 2 of the most popular Sawyer insect repellents, one you spray on your clothes, and the other you put on your skin.

First, many people are surprised when they learn about Sawyer Permethrin, an insect repellent you spray on your clothes for 6 weeks or 6 washes of protection. Permethrin works with molecules that adhere to the fabric of your clothes. It's safe for humans, but bugs hate it!

I travel to all kinds of tropical, mosquito impacted places around the world. Permethrin is the X Factor! I spray all my clothes (shirts, pants, socks) and gear for 42 days of protection! You can even spray your outdoor patio furniture to form an insect barrier. When you hear about mosquito nets being treated with insect a repellent, that is Permethrin! Mosquitos and flying insects do not like this at all!

One thing that is becoming more dangerous these days is Ticks! Ticks carry so many diseases and those diseases are a real bummer! They can cause all kinds of health issues. Two of my friends suffer from auto-immune diseases cause by Ticks.

The good news is, Sawyer Permethrin repels Ticks very well. Ticks hate Permethrin!

Keep yourself safe outdoors by treating your clothes and gear with Permethrin!

Now for your skin. Sawyer Picaridin is a non-DEET formula that is just as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitos, flies, and Ticks. It is gentle on your skin and safe for your kids. The lotion gives you up to 14 hours of protection on your skin, while the spray gives up to 12 hours of protection on your skin.

When I travel, I always spray my clothes with Permethrin, and use Picaridin on my skin. Sawyer sells many sizes of these repellents on Amazon. You can also buy these items at REI and other sporting goods stores, but with Covid 19, Amazon is your best source.

So don't go stir crazy, get the kids outdoors and on the hiking trail!

Here are links to Sawyer Permethrin and Picaridin on Amazon.

Sawyer Permethrin - treats 8 garments - 6 weeks or 6 washes of protection

Sawyer Picaridin Lotion - 14 hours of skin protection

Sawyer Picaridin Spray - 12 hours of skin protection

Sawyer Safe: Water Filter Guide

With the spread of Covid 19, I am getting a lot of questions about water filters. I'm also getting questions about insect repellents as families are already anticipating going stir crazy, but still wanting to abide by current social distancing practices. Turns out, hiking is a great way to get out of the house and still keep social distancing as a priority! I'll cover water filters in this post, and repellents in my next post.

First let me say that Covid 19 has nothing to do with clean water or insects. That said, people have more of an emergency preparedness mindset right now which is always a good thing. I'm not talking about overly hoarding supplies, but I am suggesting that there are a few basic things everyone should have on hand like a good water filter. When I say good, why not go with the best?

You should know that not all water filters are created equal. Just because they look similar on the outside, the Sawyer filter is the only filter on the market that can guarantee that you won't get sick from biological contaminates like E-Coli. I'm not just saying that because I work for Sawyer, I'm saying it because I've seen the test results of all of the major brands of water filters that were observed under a microscope. There is a difference! Sawyer filters are 75% more robust in their filter walls, allowing for aggressive back wash cleaning. Other brands use thinner walled filters that will not withstand aggressive back wash cleaning. Some filters do not allow for any type of cleaning.

All Sawyer water filters are certified tested 3X before they come off the assembly line. Every Sawyer filter that makes it into a package has been thoroughly tested for best-in-class removal of harmful bacteria. That is a big deal!

So which Sawyer filter should I consider buying?
First of all, every Sawyer filter model removes 99.9999% of all harmful bacteria from any fresh water  source. Sawyer sells a Small (Sawyer Mini), Medium (Sawyer Micro Squeeze), and Large version (Sawyer Squeeze) of their filter. The flow rate of the Micro Squeeze and Squeeze filters are slightly more than the mini, but you may not notice that much.

All Sawyer filters can be attached to a standard 2 liter plastic bottle (Coke, Pepsi), or a standard personal size water bottle (SMART water, Agua Fina, Dansani etc). There are many Sawyer accessories you can use to attach a filter to a squeeze pouch, 1 or 2 gallon bladder, hydration bladders, or kitchen taps.

Here are 3 models you can choose from on Amazon. Note, Amazon has temporarily sold out of most Sawyer filters, but more are on the way as I write this! The Sawyer factory is cranking out filters like crazy right now, hiring extra temp staff to meet the needs! Be patient (a week or so) and wait for the Sawyer if you want the best!

Sawyer Mini filter (Small)

Sawyer Micro Squeeze (2 pack) (Medium)

Squeeze filter (Large)