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First, allow me to apologize for the deliriously-written foray into deep recesses of my mind. This fever has taken the driver’s seat periodically. I’m curious to hear how you all are dealing with the flu-like symptoms going around, if you’ve fallen prey as well. Luckily, I’ve been able to stay productive: the open hours for the Fitness Center at Rockville allow me to get in a quick interval session on the bike, and despite high temperatures here and there, my mind seems to be firing on all cylinders. With the employment of some classic techniques – pomodoro timers, “tactical breathing” (4 seconds in, 4 seconds out- as done by Navy SEALs), and daily meditation – I have been able to juggle everything. Slowly but surely, I’m eliminating my habit of starting on projects a little later than I should. It’s a dangerous game, and thankfully I’m getting a handle on it. Last fall was my first semester back in school in several years, and I hit the ground running. MC has been a place where I’ve been able to connect with like-minded students, find some really great mentors, and enjoy every minute of learning. I think the X-Factor is that I’ve found something to study that I couldn’t live without. I’m curious to hear about your experiences as well. As far as the campus wide book club, that is still on my radar. I’m 33, it might be showing 😉 As an older student, having gotten all the crazy out of my system (for the most part), I kind of like the idea of a grueling Tabata session followed by an hour or so of fervent reading. Having kids really mellows you out in some ways, but keeps you on constant cortisol in others. Not complaining, just saying. Let me be clear: I’m in no way intending to alienate the younger students – I’ve met many who have their heads on straight, and have some seriously bright futures ahead. It’s quite inspiring. It’s a good feeling know that the world is in good hands. Less mushy: now that it’s nice out – for now – there are fewer excuses for get out and hitting the trail, doing some bodyweight exercises at your local playground (shout out to my professor for the idea), doing some laps around the neighborhood. We are super super excited to kick off the Exercise is Medicine program (ask me if you want more info), and now is the time to shake off the winter rust- or even to try exercising for the first time. I promise you, if this is the case, there is someone who will be more than willing to point you in the right direction on campus. You could comment here, or just be super not creepy at all and hang out in the PE Building and talk to someone who seems friendly (99.99% in my experience). Know why that percentage is so high? Exercise makes you feel uplifted. It’s science! Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming events, and seriously: don’t be afraid to reach out if the idea of working out for the first time is intimidating. It was for me, too, and for a ton of other folks.

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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