Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 Ways To Make Yourself Feel Good

I have been living abroad for a long time now. In the past ten years, I have spent nine of them in Asia. As a Canadian who loves Canada a lot, that is a long time to be away from home. Why do I do it? Well, I am a teacher and I teach in Japan. I also have a family here.

When I was in my 20's and unmarried, I was quite a social butterfly. I would spend my nights and weekends hanging out with groups of other single expats living in Korea (lived there for a few years).

In 2012, I find myself in Japan with a family. I am also a runner. Running was something I truly started when I first came to Japan in 2008. After some time in Canada, getting my teaching certification, I let my self go physically. In Korea, I was a fun runner (short distances) and a gym rat. Once back in Canada, I became a student and pub aficionado. I gained a lot of weight.

When I came to Japan to teach in 2008, I told my wife I was going to run a marathon. It was on the "bucket list" so to speak. Months later, I achieved my goal. I ran the Osaka Yodogawa Marathon in 4 hours 44 minutes. It was slow, painful and amazing at the same time. I couldn't wait to do it again. I was hooked. I became a runner. Two years later, I ran the same race sub-4 hours. This year I hope to run it much faster than that!

Long story short....I was an expat runner in Japan.

If you have been living the life of an expat in any country that has a very different culture or language, for some time, you can become lonely. That definitely has been something I have had to deal with from time to time. You miss being able to understand all the conversations around you. You miss the culture, good and bad of your own country. You can become homesick.

I got into podcasts in a big way years ago. Canadian and American podcasts helped me feel a little grounded while living so far from home. They gave me the feeling of still being connected with my own culture in a way.

Once I became a runner I started to listen to some running podcasts. About a year ago I came across a running podcast that honestly, made me happy in so many ways.

I was listening to a show I had been subscribed to or a long time. Dirt Dawg's Running Diatribe is a great running podcast (a GREAT show) by a host named Mike living in Detroit, USA. He had mentioned a show called the "3 Non Joggers" a few times. Eventually I became curious and went home one morning after a run and subscribed to their show on iTunes.

I was immediately hooked. The 3 Non Joggers Podcast became not just my favorite running podcast, but my favorite podcast period.

Let me give you a rundown of why I LOVE the 3 Non Joggers podcast:

1. They talk about running and I am a runner.

2. They talk about running, but that is only about 30-50% of the show. The rest of the show is three hosts having INCREDIBLY funny banter!

3.  Russ extraordinaire. A former professional comedian, his delivery is witty, interesting and just damn awesome! He is also an ultra marathoner. He is awesomeness and a half!

4. Gary "the Vale" ... the "Rain Man" of running (referred to that by partners in crime on more than one occasion) is a dead-panned funny co-host sort of guy. He is a sub-3 hour marathoner and 100 mile ultra marathoner. This cat LOVES running and really knows his stuff about the topic.

5. Carl The Mailman ...the other host guy who is not a runner in any way. He is a mailman and funny as HELL! He has a wicked mouth and wicked wit as well! His intelligence shines and is only enhanced by his sharp sarcasm. Oh yeah...he's a creative documentary director as well. 

6. The three hosts have an amazing synergy (to use a cliched term from the tech word of the late 90's). Their off the cuff banter leaves me laughing....often in public where the Japanese people stare at me and judge me...judge me harshly.

7. This is a running podcast, but even people who don't run would probably like it. The back and forth between the hosts is enough to leave a smile on the crotchetiest (maybe not a real word) old fart's face!

8. This show got me through some pretty hard long runs while training for one ultra marathon and 2 regular marathons last year (All in order to raise money for tsunami relief here in Japan).

9. The episodes are so funny and fresh that I have been easily able to re-listen to them time and time again.

10. I have learned a lot about ultra running and have almost soiled myself in public on many occasions because the show is so funny!

ah yeah....

11. They like to drink! I like to drink. I am the kind of runner who loves an ice cold beer or three after a 30 km long run. They do too.....yum yum... (well..Carl don't run...or jog....but that's ok).

If you like running and have a sense of humor you should definitely subscribe to the 3 Non Joggers podcast on iTunes. At this point, they have 65 great episodes.

EVEN if you DON'T run...subscribe anyway. They have such a great rapport that you won't even care!

The 3 hosts of the show!

MOI, on my way to complete the first Osaka Marathon. I'm wearing a 3 Non Joggers technical shirt!

Find these cats on TWITTER here:
3 Non Joggers (Russ)

Shameless plug for can buy my new eBook "Teaching in Asia: Tales and the Real Deal" from Amazon...NOW....SO DO IT!!!!

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