This is one of my solo episodes where I cover:
1. Updates & Announcements
2. Share my cold plunge experience at @Rikke's place. Listen to episode #33 for more details and feel free to check my my instagram highlight where Rikke is guiding me through it. Thank you 🙏 Rikke! The best cold plunge guide I could ever ask for. 🤩
3. AMA - I received number of questions which I attempt to answer in this episode
Noble SISU Cold Plunge
The SISU Cold Plunge creates health benefits through the hormetic stress response. Noble Hormetics is a local Austin, TX, company that specializes in helping people get cold. Ditch the bags of ice; visit nobleplunge.com for more information. Use coupon code GSJ100 to get $100 off your plunge.
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I want to start with some announcements, then I want to update you on my cold, plunging experience. And then I will answer some questions that I have received over my social media. I'm awful at social media. I'm trying to be better at it. Um, but I apologize, I don't always respond with the quality that I would like to. So this is my attempt to hopefully answer some of the questions, starting with announcements. My podcast is now also available on YouTube. I found a way how to stream it on YouTube without too much time and overhead. My podcasts so far have been audio only. And so on YouTube you will find audio only version of these podcasts. Many of you probably prefer Apple podcasts or Spotify or some of the other podcasting apps, but some of you may want to listen to YouTube. And so if you do, feel free to find my channel on YouTube. It is grand. Slam journey. So YouTube at Grandslam Journey. You can also find it in the episode Notes. And feel free to subscribe to my channel and listen to my podcast on YouTube if that is your preference. I'm also available on Sepstack. I'm trying to get some of the tools and things set up. I realized it wasn't syncing properly and so I refreshed my substac podcast tab this weekend. So if you are someone who consumes articles or news from substac, you can also follow me on Sepstack at Grandslim Journey. You can also find the link to Sepstack in the episode Notes. Lastly, I have been historically awful with social media because of the long pause of me not really using social media and getting, uh, up to speed on all that social media has to offer or in some instances, doesn't have to offer. Social media scared me a bit in the past, but the more I'm diving in, the more I'm realizing that there's a good and bad side to pretty much everything we do. And it really is on us, on how we use the technology, on our mindset, how we perceive things and what we make out of them. And so I'm learning the good side of social media because it allows me to communicate with more of you in, uh, hopefully an easier manner. I'm still trying to figure out how to get this to my daily routine and create a way that I can be more methodical and regular with my posting. I'm starting to get the hang of it. So if you are someone who enjoys social media, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. I just put my grand slam journey Facebook page together. You can find it in the episode Notes or LinkedIn Group, whatever your preference is. I am, um, making every attempt I can to be a regular social media user. Bear with me if you don't see any posts. It may take a bit more time until I get to a good rhythm, but for whatever it's worth, and perhaps in the context of this podcast, you may want to check out my Instagram, because I posted some of the videos and pictures from my experience cold plunging at Rika's house. So that's that with announcements moving to my reflection on my weekend activities. If you listen to my last episode, episode number 33 with Rick Johansson. I'm sorry, Rick, I've been practicing saying your name for a very long time and I still can't get it right. Anyway, I find that episode was super fun. At least it was very fun for me. Rika shared some amazing athletic experiences from her life tips on choosing your right chiropractor, and continue to move better as we grow through life. Whether you're an athlete or now an average human like myself, rika believes that movement is life and so continue to find ways to move is perhaps one of the goals that we should maintain and keep as we grow older. And one of her tips is cold therapy or cold plunging. So, Rica invested in a, uh, cold plunge a few years back, and she was super nice to invite me to her home to try it out. And so I wanted to quickly share the experience. I've done some cold plunging in the past in college. We've done it actually quite extensively, especially in the fall when we had most of the heavy loads and heavy training and practice. It is a fantastic tool for recovery. Weirdly, I was one of the athletes that most of the time really enjoyed and appreciated cold plunge. You never enjoyed the feeling while you add it, but you always appreciate the feeling after. And so this is what the experience reminded me of, how amazing you can feel after the cold plunge. It may feel like you're a brand new person. So my experience trying out, uh, cold blunge. Enrique, number one, it was super cold. Rika has her temperature set at the lowest point, and I feel like it was way colder than the cold bath I was used to back in college. The initial shock is huge, but Rica was amazing in guiding me through it. After a while, your body adjusts, you step feeling cold. Probably the most uncomfortable feeling is in your feet and hands, but beyond that, the body gets somewhat used to that temperature. I stayed in the cold bath for about three and a half minutes, which was great for my first time after so many years. The interesting thing was getting out of the Cold Plunge because my body felt so frozen that I had to get out very slowly. My body didn't want to move at a normal pace. And then the next interesting thing is, as soon as I was getting up, I started laughing. And that laugh came totally naturally as a result of me getting out of the cold bath. And that's what Rika talks about on the podcast, how much it creates joy and what a fantastic tool it is for starting the day with this experience. When I got up, I did some stretches and waited until I started shivering, and then Rika allowed me to use her Jacuzzi, which was amazing. You almost feel like eating the best cake you've ever had. I now totally understand and feel the routine that Reggae has created, and it certainly inspired me to purchase my hour Cold Plunge. I love the setup that Rika has and how she created an amazing routine out of it. Next, I've received some questions from you on social media. Some of them I answered very briefly. Some of them went unanswered. And so this is my attempt to hopefully answer them in a more accurate way. So, question number one what's the best coffee on the West Coast? That's a tough one to start with. If you're listening to my podcast or follow me on social media, you probably know that I love coffee. There's probably many amazing coffee shops that I haven't tried on the West Coast yet, but my personal favorite is probably Cannes Coffee down in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. They only have two shops, I said, one in Tustin and one in Newport Beach. They're run by Martin Diedrich, who has an amazing history behind him. He was founder of the Diedrich coffee chain. He left behind the corporate environment and had decided to return to his roots as an independent coffee house operator and micro roaster. We still order his beans. I've done several coffee tasting at his shop. He's a fantastic storyteller, amazing human, and does so much in the realm of the Coffee Alliance, the Rainforest Alliance, and working with farmers specifically from South America, trying to help sustainable coffee farming. I, uh, hope to have him on the podcast so he can tell his full story himself. I don't want to spoil it now, and so I will stop here. But if you ever have a trip down to Orange County, please go buy Ken's Coffee. I still order the beans. In fact, we had them shipped with us as we moved over the country. I used to get them shipped to New Jersey. Now I get them shipped to Northern California. And I will continue getting them shipped once we move to Austin. Next question how should one hold the tennis racket? This question came with a video that had a pro tennis player holding a racket very loosely when she swung the racket and hit the tennis ball, the racket flew from her hand. The fact that racket flew from someone's hand is totally a mistake. It is not intentional, but it is a sign in some ways that you shouldn't hold your racket too tightly. And the reason for it is because tennis is a very dynamic sport. And so you want to be loose and be able to adjust your arm and the racket head based on the location of the ball. Try this exercise. Stand up and tighten your arm, whichever dominant arm you have, as tightly as you can. And now try to do a swinging motion. You can't probably swing very well with a, uh, super tight arm. That's the concept of tennis and tennis, the racket head and the arm speed is super important. And so in order to generate the speed, you need to have your arms loose, it needs to be dynamic movement. The tighter you are, the more energy you exhaust and the more tired you will get. And you'll just not be able to generate the speed as you could if your arm was loose. Another way to think about it is think about a whip. Imagine somebody like a cowboy with a whip, and the whip is very flexible, but also very fast. So in order to let the whip go really fast, it needs to be loose, it's not tight. And so that is almost the feeling you want to have or envision with your arm in order to accelerate and have a good arm and a racket speed. And that translates actually into your arm, but also in your hand. So your hand, when you're holding the racket, can't be stiff, because if it's stiff, the stiffness of holding a racket translates over to the rest of the arm, right? So even the wrist and the hand needs to be somewhat loose. So it's firm enough to where you need to hold the racket, but not so firm that you're clenching it too tightly. Next question. What are the keys to a, uh, good forehand? What are some of the things you learned at a junior to hit a good forehand? That's a great question. Actually quite complicated question, because my forehand used to be a disaster, which was mostly self inflicted. So I had to relearn my forehand completely when I was about 13 years old. And anybody who knows something about relearning knows how difficult that is. It was a whole winter ball flying to the fence because I was changing the grip, I was welding the racket. I guess it depends what you mean by good forehand. I don't know if you mean aggressive or with a lot of spin. There's a lot of variations of how you want to hit forehand. So for the purpose of this question, I will consider a little bit of all. You want to have a control of your forehand, and you need to be able to know when to spin it when to hit it hard and how to get your opponent into trouble. As anything in tennis, the number one important thing is preparation. And preparation consists a few things in tennis. Number one, spotting the ball and watching the ball super carefully. So you start preparing as quickly as you can when you know where the ball is going. And this is not judging just direction, but also the depth of the ball and what kind of spin or slice or flatness that ball has coming from the opponent. So you can judge early what you're dealing with and how to prepare for it. So the preparation is obviously, first, the judgment of what's coming at you. Second is the footwork, because without the footwork, you're not going to be able to be at the right position. So a lot of people underestimate footwork when it comes to tennis, tennis is all about finding the right position on the court to be at the right time. And so with that preparation, once you know where the ball is going, your feed needs to start moving that direction and start preparing to get you in the right position that you need to be at. With that, as, uh, you're running towards the ball wherever it is at, you also need to start doing the backswim. And just before this, the question before was about the looseness of your arm. So backswing needs to be loose, relaxed, but your racket head needs to go back as soon as you can to start repairing. So then you can smoothly send it forward at the right time. And so the right time is the timing, which is the key to success, to forehand, or really any stroke. Where is your racket hat and where does it meet the ball? This is very hard to explain. Still on a podcast. I will attempt to do a video. I actually promise to do a video. I know I'm, um awful video and social media person. I apologize. I hope to get to this. Jason. But timing again in life and in tennis and with forehand is everything. And so you need to know the right contact point of where to hit the ball. And that also means what kind of ball you're hitting. Is it a spin? Is it a power shot? Is it a slice where you're placing the ball? So, depending on what you're doing with the forehand and what you're trying to achieve, your contact point will slightly change. But on average, it always needs to be in front of you. And one of the most important things is you always need to be moving towards the ball. This is where I see a lot of people making mistakes. You always want to be moving towards the ball. If, for whatever reason, you off your position and you can't move towards the ball and you're falling, for example, backward, you need to make sure to stay still for at least a slight second or millisecond. When your ball is on your racket, once the ball is off, you can sort of fall backward or to the side or whatever your situation is, if you're off your position or you chasing after a deep or fireball. Next question. What elevated your tennis to the next level? That's a great question. Very deep question, john? I would say it was combination of number of things. For me personally, it was coaches. When I was young, growing up, there weren't that many opportunities and we lived in a small rural area and I had good coaches considering the environment I lived in, but not the best coaches. And so what really elevated my level is when I moved to a tennis academy when I was 13, and I worked with some of the best coaches in Czech Republic at that point in time. And with that, I also worked alongside many other talented tennis players. So this goes a little bit of support system versus competition, and support system can be competition and competition can be support system. And so the fact that we were grown up in this tennis academy, 15, 2030 kids at the same time, all chasing the same thing, our dream of trying to be the best tennis players we could be, that really propelled us to work hard, be better. We pushed each other by winning and losing. Obviously, nobody likes to lose. And so loss is loss typically means you need to work harder to become better and be the next person next to you. Because tennis is an individual sport and so if you can't beat the person next to you, that means that you're the worst one, because at, uh, any given tournament, you never know who you're going to face. And you need to be able to play against tennis players of all different kinds of games and skill and tactics and strategy. So one of the things I love about the game so again, what elevated your tennis to the next level? It's definitely having the right coaches. If you have the right coach, they can give you the right tips and that can then take you way further having a great people to compete against. The better the competition, the better off you are. Set your bars high and try to play up as much as you can. And the number three, I would say actually going back to the food work, we talk a little bit out of food work on the forehand, but food work in general, food work and the athleticism is in a herd part of tennis. Obviously it depends on what age and tennis level you are. You may need to adjust given where you at in your life and what you're trying to achieve. But if your feet can't move effectively on the tennis court and you don't have the right footwork when it comes to their specific footage, and there are specific way that it will allow you to recover faster from hard positions. Those steps can be really critical and even milliseconds count you covering another side of the court. And so I ah, really enjoyed the physical aspect of tennis because there's definitely that speed and agility and you always running all over the court. It's very dynamic. But you also need endurance because you need to run fast for two 3 hours at times. And so you need to be able to maintain that fast speed for quite a long duration of time. Should there break sped, you will wear out eventually. So elevating your physical level and being smart about your food work drills and understanding how to move effectively on the court is very important and it's obviously super important, critically important. If you're trying to be one of the best tennis players, it is somewhat important as you age through life. Now I'm at a point where I can't do much of the traditional tennis footwork drills because my feet were out. I save my feet for chasing the tennis ball and having fun with friends once a week. And adding incremental footwork drills that I used to do is not an option for me anymore. But in general, I do a lot of other physical activities and they allow me to stay in good enough shape that I feel strong. So I do a little bit of lifting. I still do some dynamic work, some sprints on Air Dime or Rover. So those are kind of few things that you can try to play with and really increase your overall activity and fitness level to be able to be fast, dynamic and maintain that speed on the court for a longer duration of the time. Last question what are some of the footwork drills that one should be doing? This one is really hard to answer over the podcast, but I will try to get to recording a video. I know I promised this, I still haven't got to do it. I'm sorry John. But maybe the simple ones that I really enjoy are just the general ladder. If any of you have been um, watching even football players, soccer players, we used to do a lot of ladder work and practice. I love that footwork because that allows you to be quick on your feet and control your steps. Really what you want to focus on is the quick foot off the ground. And tennis, that reaction is super important. So when you're practicing any sort of footwork drill specific for tennis, you want to imagine almost like your foot is touching the hottest surface you can ever imagine. It's almost like uh, a stove and try to get it off as quickly as you can. So that food reaction and being quick off your foot off of the ground is very important because there is so much change of direction in tennis, you always need to be ready. So having that reaction will really save you time and prepare you better for the next stroke and help you recover. So the latter um, drills are great. You can find some videos probably on YouTube. If you cannot find any, let me know. I will do some recording video of some of my favorite footwork drills. A lot of the footwork I like, there's also quite a bit of jumps you can practice just jumping on 1ft from one side of the lane to the other. So pick whichever lane you have on the tennis court and try to go as fast as you can left foot, right foot, and then both feet together. If you do that probably twice from the net to the baseline and back, I'm sure that will get you going and will help you practice that quickness of getting your foot off the ground with good speed. So that's it for questions. I hope I answered these a bit better than my two sentences that I provided previously over social media. If this experiment resonates with you, I will try to continue it. So if you listen to this episode and you have additional questions you like me to answer, please feel free to send them to me. You can reach out to me through any social media. Again, you can find my links in the podcast notes or through my website, which is grandslimjourney.com. I do have a feedback page and so through that feedback page you can submit whatever questions or comments you want me to answer or look into for you, or even feedback about the podcast, what you enjoy or don't enjoy. I highly appreciate hearing from you. Last but not least, I've been playing with some newer podcasting tools lately and checking out some of my stats. I want to thank you all listeners for tuning in, subscribing and following my podcast. It seems the number of followers have grown substantially in the past few months. I love that you're enjoying the content and find the wisdom that my guests share insightful and valuable and hopefully also a bit fun and playful. I have a super fun lineup for the next one to one and a half months for you and so I trust you will enjoy those conversations and the wisdom that my guests have shared and will share with me and you all. And thank you again to all my podcast listeners from 63 countries. USA is leading the charts, which some um would make sense, but I have a truly international audience which I'm so grateful for. One of the things I realize more and more and perhaps this podcast really helped me realize is how many friends I have from all of these amazing countries. Appreciating being a citizen of the world is definitely something I have learned through tennis. I love exploring different cultures, seeing how different people that grew up in different parts of the world with different languages and traditions see the world learning from them and choosing my own traditions as I grow through life. Reflecting back, I find some of the Czech traditions quite interesting. And so one of the things I have taken upon myself is to choose to keep the things and traditions that I enjoy and serve me and adopt new ones, perhaps from guests that I have invited on this podcast and either of my friends that you all may not have had a chance to meet yet. Maybe one day I'll be able to bring them on all long winded way to say I truly appreciate all of you tuning in and listening. We have listeners from countries such as the United Kingdom germany czech Republic, canada el Salvador, sweden greece spain norway india france brazil australia israel austria finland hong Kong, UAE ireland Japan there are many more to name I will stop here. Thank you for tuning in. I'll be back with a fun new episode next week.