Welcome to back FOURWORDS by TORIAL Media. Each issue, expect to see our take on fitness, wellness, and cultural topics. Next up: what a new version of the web has to do with fitness, the latest from CrossFit legend Rich Froning, and our review of hot/cold therapy.
A word on…Web3 + fitness
What if your favorite shoes weren’t actually in your closet? As wild as it may sound (especially for those of you who love footwear as much as I do), it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Let me explain: Recently, I learned about StepN, a “Web 3 lifestyle app” that allows players to earn cryptocurrency by walking or running outside. Before you can start playing, however, you have to invest in NFT (non fungible token) sneakers. And, just like with your physical running shoes, you can level up over time—perhaps to a pair that helps you earn more. The goal of all this? To help people live a healthier lifestyle, fight climate change, and connect people to Web 3.0, according to StepN.
If a lot of those terms sounded unfamiliar, here are two helpful articles that may clear things up:
Harvard Business Review: What is Web3?
-Erin Warwood, TORIAL editor
A word on…Hot/cold therapy
I’ve been a loyal fan of infrared sauna sessions for years. The purported health benefits range from reduced muscle soreness to glowy skin and way more. But as a Floridian at heart, I’ve been less inclined to jump on the cold therapy bandwagon. As I’ve learned more about the practice (mostly via pros like Andrew Huberman and Peter Attia), my interest has grown. A couple of weeks ago, Mike & I ventured to Brooklyn’s BATHHOUSE to test the literal waters. (We ran there from Manhattan in the pouring rain, but that’s another story!)
We started off in the sauna before Mike hopped into the ~50-degree cold plunge. Then back to the sauna. I’m glad FOMO wouldn’t allow me to wimp out: My dunk in the freezing water was nothing short of exhilarating, and rounds two and three were definitely more tolerable. After that, the sauna contrast felt that much better. I can’t say I immediately noticed any recovery benefits but I’m reasonably confident I got some—and will definitely be trying it again!
-Caitlin Carlson, TORIAL co-founder
A word on…an age-defying athlete
I recently had the opportunity to interview CrossFit legend Rich Froning for a feature on spartan.com. This particular interview is special for two reasons. The first is personal: I interviewed Froning a few times nearly a decade ago when he won the CrossFit Games in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. I love having the opportunity to interview the same elite athlete to learn how things have evolved 10 years later.
After retiring from individual competition in 2014, Froning continued in team competition with CrossFit Mayhem and has taken five wins. Clearly, he’s still training hard and he’s still winning. In his high-impact, high-intensity, high-demand sport, how is that possible? Evolving as an athlete. The key takeaways were:
He’s training “smarter” now and talks about CrossFit programming then vs. now. There was a really interesting tweak from 2011 that a lot of long-time everyday athletes can learn from.
He’s all in on his PLUNGE.
Give me a follow on Twitter (@mike_simone_) for a link to the feature when it drops.
And if you’ve ever wanted to run a Spartan Race, don’t pay full price. Use the code TORIAL25 for 25% off.
-Mike Simone, TORIAL co-founder and creator of humanfitproject
A word from…Sarah Sarkis, psychologist and certified executive and performance coach
Most people think they can skip the recovery chapter and still maintain longevity in the performance sphere—but recovery plays a critical role in high performance. Here are my top three suggestions for prioritizing recovery to avoid burnout:
1. Fix your sleep.
Examine quality, quantity, and consistency. Ruthlessly audit your sleep hygiene. What's getting in the way? Eliminate the culprits (hint: usually it's tech or booze). When you find it hard to eliminate the culprits, be curious about that.
Without adequate sleep you will forever be stuck in the reactionary patterns that govern your unconscious habits. One of the first things to atrophy when we are sleep deprived is self-regulation. If you are chronically exhausted, you don’t have a fighting chance against the tides of unconscious habit. Plus, deep sleep is critical in immune and emotional optimization.
2. Practice stillness.
We do this for two reasons: First, it’s the quickest and cheapest way to learn about what owns you psychologically. What surfaces will show you exactly where to start in order to train your psychological flexibility. Second, meditation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system processes, and this is always at the heart of recovery.
3. Get AM and PM sunlight.
Spend a few minutes outside in the morning and late afternoon. Note: The sun doesn’t have to be warm—it just has to rise. Take a few minutes outside in the quiet of nature. (Just do not stare at the sun.)
Regular sunlight therapy helps with sleep quality and mood regulation, according to Dr. Andrew Huberman. (You can find his podcast here.) It’s a relatively passive way to heal your sleep and enhance your mood, which is why I include it in all recovery protocols.
DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It’s not intended as medical advice. Consult your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.