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Two weeks left in the semester – how truly bittersweet. I’m sure I’ve mentioned how I decided to go back to school over the summer and began the enrollment process at Montgomery College within 48 hours of making that decision. Now, I find myself in solid standing grade wise, poised to enroll in MTAP and CCSEP. Preeetttttyyyy cool. I also find myself looking at a particular comprehensive final with terror. Not because I’m unprepared – just because of the heaviness. I’m nervous. I honestly haven’t used my mind to this degree in years! No pun intended. Was that even a pun? I don’t even know anymore.

My weight is going up (JOY!) and that means I’m pretty much perpetually sore/tired. Not complaining. My quality of life is through the roof. My kids are all healthy and happy, my current bartending job has been more fun than ever, and I’m doing well in all my classes. I’m in the groove and riding the wave of positivity. I’m certain you all are too…right? This past week has been full of family time and relaxation, and today the grind began again. I’ve now written three different fitness programs for myself, implemented all three, and have DNA base pairing rules on lock. I jumped back into the unknown today for Bio, and my professor’s spectacular teaching style made everything seem so simple. In fact, I’ve noticed a trend at MC – every one of my professors have a unique style, are engaging, and are able to break down the material into the simplest form while maintaining a pure enthusiasm for it. Score.

So finals are coming up, and my study group for Bio is stepping on the gas. My PE pals are salivating at the thought of a group session. We’re ready for the hunt. We’re in there. After a few days of overeating (not entirely a bad thing for a guy with a lightning fast metabolism) and lounging that would even shock Oscar Wilde, the rust is off and the swords are drawn. Sorry – I’ve been listening to “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi. Haven’t heard of it? DO IT. Very cool stuff- applicable in many ways outside of being a total tough guy samurai talking about 100 men defeating 1,000. Also, while I’m on this rant, Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holliday is fantastic. I’ve listened to it twice – this semester. Something I drew from it was a point where he described New England Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick. I won’t discuss his politics on this post (or any other), but what I do respect is his work ethic. At least, the work ethic described by Holliday. I won’t spoil it for you (because you’re starting it tomorrow, right?), but I will say this: look at the work no one else is willing to do and make it your own. Master it. It will give you the edge no one even wanted to get. A fantastic book. I leave you with that. Good luck this week. I’ll meet you here next Monday. Happy belated Thanksgiving.

Raul

My name is Raul Torrento. I am a local, born in DC proper and raised in the area (Aspen Hill, Springfield, DC, Falls Church, Annandale). Music, gymnastic strength training, and Muay Thai are just a few things I enjoy. I also have a slackline and a skateboard. Those get used.

I am a lover of complete and total physical and mental exertion. Finding new ways to achieve that panting glory is what keeps me spry. Music is something I’ve always loved, since my hands first touched the congas at age 4. A father of three, I appreciate every little moment I remember to focus on – because they tend to pass by in a blur as a result of trying to keep up with them. I don’t take myself too seriously, instead I focus on the importance of my work – whether that’s practicing a tuck handstand, fine tuning an L-sit, finding a new groove on my bass, nailing a new recipe, or whipping up a classic cocktail for a complete stranger. Oh yeah – I’m a bartender too. More importantly, I am a student. Of everything. Forever.

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