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Here we are! The semester is over for most of us – some of us have a final tomorrow morning (me) after bartending tonight (also me), and feel really good about everything so far (also me again). Time flies when you’re having fun, am I right!? I would like to thank you all for going on this ride with me. I’ve never journaled publicly before – and I must say that I highly recommend it. I’m glad I did, and guess what? I’ll be back in the Spring. I won’t be taking any trips over the break, so I’ll have to develop some weird habits to share when I come back. Speaking of, if you’ve found any interest in any of the strange (but effective!) routines I’ve told you about here, and haven’t yet implemented, maybe this time off from classes will serve as the perfect opportunity to do so. I try to avoid imposing my views or practices onto others, but I also try my best to share what works/ has worked/ hopefully will work for me with others. One thing I can strongly recommend? Exercise. I know, I know… same old song. But listen, people, it’s proven to help with anxiety, depression, cognitive function, all the stuff we deal with as students – and generally as humans. Even if it’s a walk or a jog around the block. This time away from classes is a good time to develop new healthy habits, and go into the next semester stronger, faster, and more prepared. Even if what you plan to do is hibernate, exercise makes for better sleep. Plan to eat a bunch? Exercise increases appetite! And makes things taste better, if you ask me. But you don’t need to ask me. I just tell  you. That’s what we do here. I just tell you stuff. If you’d like to tell me something, please comment! What works for you? What hasn’t worked? What strange routine have you adopted? I’d love to hear from y’all. As my shift tonight approaches, so does the final tomorrow, and so does the last breath of the Fall ’16 semester. Insane to think that this time last year, I was creating cocktail pairings for a private supper club, with dreams of creating a citywide collective. This year, I’m in the middle of an 11 week weight lifting program, with dreams of shifting the culture from chair sits to bear crawls nationwide. Worry not – the supper clubs shall continue. I haven’t thrown that out. I’ve only added another dimension to my being. Another layer. And everyone loves lasagna, right!? That’s what we do isn’t it? Add layers, become more complex and refined? And soak ourselves in ricotta!? No? Just me? Welp…you’re missing out!

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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