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Doug McConnell, A Long Swim for ALS

A Long Swim (ALS)

5,000 + people have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. 50,000 people will complete an Ironman Triathlon this year. But only about 1,800 people have successfully swum across the English Channel. Doug McConnel is one of them.

Crossing the English Channel is an incredible feat of human endurance. To finish, Doug had to:

  • Swim 30 miles
  • Last 14.5 hours
  • Battle through 5 ft waves
  • Endure 62 degrees F water temperature, 47 degrees F air temperature

But like most tales of human endurance, the race is only a small part of the story. As Doug says, this was a team success and the lessons learned by swimming the English Channel are lessons in teamwork.

Their team is A Long Swim (ALS), an acronym derived from the disease they hope to cure. Doug has an inspiring story. Check out his team at ALongSwim.org and have fun watching his TED talk below.


Doug McConnel TED Talk Barrington, IL
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Our Doubts are Traitors

doubts are traitors self-talk

We all have it: An inner dialogue. This self-talk is dominated by fear and doubt. It’s programmed into our reptilian brain because risk-mitigation is a survival tool. Controlling your inner dialogue is perhaps the most fundamental secret of success.

William Shakespeare was able to describe and help us understand what most people intuitively knew and felt. Here is a favorite passage from his play Measure for Measure. He says so succinctly why self-doubt is deadly.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

In the following video, Les Brown and Jim Rohn spend 12 minutes expanding on this basic fact. It’s a great reminder that every day we should “stand guard at the door of our mind”.

Here are some main points and discussion of the video:

  1. Watching inner dialogue will determine the quality of your life.
  2. Being too cautious or too reckless
  3. Be wise and understand that everything is risky. Don’t ask for security, ask for adventure.
  4. Pessimism is a deadly disease.
  5. Our lives are most affected by the way we think they are, not the way they are.
  6. Poor thinking habits keep most people poor.
  7. As someone thinks within himself, so he is. — Proverbs 23:7
  8. Stand guard at the door of your mind.
  9. Complaining is a deadly disease of success.

If you believe success starts in your mind, this is a good reminder to keep check of your inner thoughts. Do you agree?

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Having a Vision for Your Life is a Moral Obligation

strive to be your best

Jordan Peterson, who is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has spend considerable time studying the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.

I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all, of today’s leading self-improvement authors say that you should have a plan and work your plan. Or to say it differently, have goals and consistently work towards achieving them.

It’s reinforcing for me to hear Jordan Peterson describe these same ideas, but in his terms.

There is a lot to unpack in this video, but he describes having a vision for your life as a moral obligation and those who succeed are conscientious workers (hard workers). This is a rather lengthy video, but it makes you think of goal setting in a different way.

He talks about a number of related ideas, but to me, they support the idea of achievement = goal setting + hard work.

At the very least it’s a motivating video and is a good way to start your day. Enjoy!

What was your takeaway from the video, and how can you apply these ideas to your life?

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Protect Yourself From Chlorine This Summer

chlorine safety tips

ABC15 in Arizona reports on how to protect yourself from chlorine this summer. Experts at Arizona’s Integrated Health Center say that, “Chlorine even in small amounts, can be harmful over time leading to irritated skin, rashes and even premature aging.”

Before you swim, the center recommends:

  1. Wet your skin with fresh water
  2. Use a pre-swimming lotion

These steps, they claim, create a barrier between your skin and the chlorinated water.

If you spend extended amounts of time in the swimming pool, it’s hard (if not impossible) to keep the chlorine from attaching to your body. We recommend using our anti-chlorine products after you swim to make sure you get the chlorine off after swimming.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger: Rules for Success

Arnold Schwarzenegger, vision success

Achieving a high level of success in one area of your life is challenging enough. But what about Arnold Schwarzenegger who reached the pinnacle in bodybuilding, acting and politics?

When he has something to say about success, we should all take note. He’s known for pithy one-liners in his movie roles, but this video is quite shrewd. After watching it, you realize that his success was no accident. He worked hard, had terrific work habits and stayed focused on what he wanted.

Here are Arnold’s 5 Rules for Success

  1. Have a vision (goal). People don’t become successful by accident. Just as a good boat or airplane won’t reach its destination without a plan, you won’t reach yours without a goal. Pick something that motivates you. Your vision should be strong enough to keep you energized even when the going gets tough.
  2. Be happy when you are doing your work. Arnold had an infectious positive attitude and was happy when working out. Why? Because he knew every rep, every drop of sweat brought him one step closer to his goal, and he couldn’t wait to achieve it.
  3. Set a deadline. Arnold stresses it is important to set a deadline. He says you will never begin if you don’t have a deadline to meet. I’d say this is great advice. For athletes, signing up for an event can be adequate motivation.
  4. Little victories count. Arnold says the little victories are the things that can keep you motivated. It’s true that there are no overnight successes, and that it’s the tally of little victories that ultimately add up to big success.
  5. Use your time wisely. Arnold reminds us that we all have the same 24 hour handicap. He says that after sleeping, we all have 18 hours in each day. He was adamant about not wasting a single hour. Plan each day and keep to your schedule.

And if you need a little pick-me-up, here are some of Arnold’s best movie one-liners.

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Daniel Tammet: Potential, insight and perception.

Daniel Tammet savant brain power

Savants are those types of people who have a particular talent. They are generally considered genius and are likely socially dysfunctional. Dustin Hoffman played a savant in the movie Rain Man, and his character inspired by Kim Peek the real life
Rain Man . Kim Peek is considered a mega-savant and had incredible memory retention and recall. Although he could, and did, memorize volumes of information, he lacked basic motor skills probably due to the way his brain was formed.

You may have seen stories about musicians or artists who are genius’ or prodigies in one area or another. Often diagnosed as autistic, these people have accessed different parts of their brains and in some ways are brilliant–and in other ways severely disabled.

Daniel Tammet is a special kind of savant. He had seizures as a child and researchers think that these seizures re-wired his brain. But what’s so incredible about Daniel is that he seems relatively “normal” for a genius. And because he can describe how he thinks and processes information, he has become incredibly valuable to scientists who study how the brain works.

Here is a mini-documentary about Daniel I found fascinating:

Here’s DaDaniel Tammet, Brain Power

Here’s Daniel’s TED Talk from 2011 if you are interested.

I find it fascinating that the humans are capable of learning a language in a week, or memorizing vast volumes of information, or doing mental math computations, or drawing detailed landscapes from memory. Who doesn’t find it fascinating?

I’m always taken by these stories and reminded that we are capable of so much more than we think we are. Our brains are vastly underutilized. These stories always inspire me to rethink what I’m doing and how I might do things differently.

Do these types of stories inspire you? What lessons can you learn from Daniel and will it inspire you to make some change in your life?

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Swimmers’ Shampoo, managing swimmers’ hair.

swimmers shampoo hair

Goodbye Chlorine manufactures swimmers’ shampoo and other anti-chlorine products for managing swimmers’ hair and skin. Click here to see our entire product line, or our buyer’s guide.

Listen to the audio version of this article.

Swimmers know that sticking to a regular workout schedule is good for your health, but terrible for your hair. Routine exposure to chlorinated swimming pools drys out your hair. It seems that no matter what shampoo you try, the chlorine just sticks.

You can tell that the chlorine is still on you because you can smell it, and your hair becomes dry and brittle.

Are you wondering how you can get the health benefits of swimming without having the stereotypical “swimmers’ hair”?

Goodbye Chlorine makes hair care products for swimmers that remove chlorine. You can now get all the chlorine out of your hair by using our shampoos, conditioners and styling products. These products will get the chlorine out and keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.

How can you keep your hair healthy when swimming regularly?

Use special products like Goodbye Chlorine’s hair care products for swimmers. They instantly remove chlorine. You can now get all the chlorine out of your hair by using our shampoosconditioners and styling products. These products will get the chlorine out and keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.

Here’s our swimmers’ guide to keeping your hair healthy.

Before and after swimming. 5 minutes.

How to keep your hair healthy while swimming daily.

  1. Get your hair wet before swimming.Your hair is like a sponge, and can only soak up so much water. Getting your hair wet in the shower makes it harder for the swimming pool water to get into your hair.
  2. Wear a swimming cap.A swimming cap acts as a physical barrier between the pool water and your hair. It’s not a foolproof solution to keeping the chlorinated water off of your hair, but it helps.
  3. Swimmers’ Shampoo, for Swimmers’ Hair.Use swimming-specific products like Goodbye Chlorine’s shampoos and conditioners after swimming. They are highly effective at removing chlorine.
  4. Finish with styling products made for swimmers. These products will remove any residual chlorine left on your hair from the previous steps and keep your hair looking good all day long.

Finish with styling products made for swimmers. These products will remove any residual chlorine left on your hair from the previous steps and keep your hair looking good all day long.

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Goggins overcame his fear of the water to become a Navy SEAL.

gogoggins nothing is impossible

CAUTION: Video contains language not appropriate for some minors.

David Goggins, would have never become a Navy SEAL, had it not been for overcoming his fear of the water. His story is rife with overcoming challenges, but overcoming his fear of the water was an important first step to his success.

I was afraid of the water, terrified of the water. The fear overcame me … I quit.

David Goggins

But Goggins started asking, “What if?” “What if I became a SEAL?” What if … ?” He kept asking himself these questions and they enabled him to overcome the challenges that faced him.

His is an amazing story. He was afraid the water (aquaphobia) yet chose to become a SEAL. Not only did he eventually become a SEAL, but he excelled at it. Somehow he was able to overcome his fear of the water–and a whole lot more–to accomplish many things.

Joe Rogan brings a fine point to the conversation when he says, “People need to hear this story. This is an exciting story for people, because there’s a lot of people out there that feel trapped, and they feel stuck, and they feel like they can’t do anything because this is who they are. You’re a guy who felt that exact same way, but figured out how to not be that person, and be a person who you would admire.”

Here are some tips on how to overcome the fear of swimming.

David Goggins, retired United States Navy SEAL and ultra-distance athlete.
David Goggins faced and overcame his fear of the water.

Can you relate to some of Goggin’s struggles? Do you have a fear of water, or other fears you want to overcome?

Is swimming part of your regular fitness routine? Check out our products that make you life a little better outside the swimming pool.

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Skin Care for Swimmers: Everything you wanted to know about getting chlorine off of your body.

swimmer skin care

Goodbye Chlorine manufactures anti-chlorine products for swimmers’ hair and skin. Click here to see our entire product line, or our buyer’s guide.

Listen to the audio version of this article.

What is a good soap to remove chlorine from your skin?

Look for soaps that have two qualities:

  1. They are made for swimmers and have chlorine removing ingredients in them.
  2. Moisturizing. A good soap will have a high content of glycerin which will moisturize your skin.

Chlorine is drying and you need to get it off after swimming. Find a soap that both neutralizes chlorine and moisturizes your skin. This is the best possible combination. See our bar soaps here.

What’s a good face wash for swimmers?

The most gentle and moisturizing products make for a good face wash. If you like to use soap, our handmade soaps are terrific. If you prefer a liquid soap, try our protect shower gel.

Why is it important to get rid of all the chlorine off the skin after swimming?

Chlorine is drying and damaging to your skin. The health benefits of chlorinated swimming pools are undisputed, however leaving chlorine on your skin after swimming is irritating. For people with sensitive skin, this residual chlorine can cause itchy skin, or a rash (commonly called “chlorine rash”).

How to remove the smell of chlorine from skin?

The smell of chlorine on your skin, is actually residual chlorine left on your skin after swimming. You need to remove the chlorine in order to remove the smell. This is harder than it seems because chlorine has a tenacious way of sticking around. Use a product that is made to remove chlorine like our body wash for swimmers.

What’s the best chlorine neutralizing soap?

Look for soap that is made with special ingredients to neutralize chlorine. Both our bar soaps and shower gels are made to remove chlorine after swimming. It really comes down to a preference between soap and shower gel. We find taking shower gel to the pool is easiest and using soap between swims at home is the most convenient solution.

How do you not smell like chlorine after swimming?

Smelling like chlorine long after swimming is proof that there is still chlorine on your body. In order to stop smelling like chlorine, you have to get the chlorine off after swimming. Use products like anti-chlorine shower gel to get the chlorine off after swimming.