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Live Life Love | Volume Sixteen

Hello Everyone,

I hope this latest edition finds you well and you’re in the process of wrapping up the end of a great summer. From the feedback I’ve received, or events I’ve been able to attend… weddings, birthdays, reunions, graduations… there was so much to observe and celebrate these past three months that it appears to have been a rousing third quarter for most. As many of you know, the entreating I did a couple of quarters ago paid off and resulted in a well-suited job in the health and wellness sector. Plus, the entrepreneurial hobby with my father continues to be engaging. For all of this I am quite grateful, especially to the college friend and the high school friend (KJ & JM) that helped make it happen. I look forward to keeping this momentum going and doing my best to pay it forward.

My next major goal is running the Boston Marathon by 2016. My best marathon time to date is just under 4:30:00 so I’ve a ways to go… quite a ways! To make it happen I’ll need to break the goal up into smaller milestones. This tactic towards achievement has served me very well with other goals. The first milestone is running under a nine minute mile pace in a half marathon race. I’m committed to making this happen as next quarter’s life experience. As such, I’ve signed up for the Run with the Jets Bay Area Half Marathon and the Walnut Creek Half Marathon. Goals are always more fulfilling when shared, so please consider this email an open call for training partners! Regarding the project’s deliverables this quarter, here you go…

I was extremely fortunate to get to spend some time with this quarter’s health and wellness expert Dr. Liz Applegate. Dr. Applegate has worked with a wide range of competitors from professional sports teams to USA Olympic athletes. She has also published six well-received books on nutrition. My interview with Dr. Applegate answering five questions about nutrition can be found here.

This quarter’s business interview is with Scot Hacker. Scot recently built an entire social goal sharing platform from the ground up. He also has authored two books about technology and is an all around incredible mind. My interview with Scot Hacker about website engineering can be found here.

My life experience this quarter was learning to kiteboard. A couple of friends and I took lessons out in the Berkeley Marina and loved it! It is something I definitely recommend trying to anyone that likes to be on the water. Anyone want to learn how to fly? That is next year’s experience and I have already reserved a spot for two. Let me know.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding | Summer 2011

Lastly, I was privileged to get the opportunity to support the effort of Robert and Kristen this quarter, a husband and wife team who walked a combined 120 miles during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. I look forward to continuing to support more of these fine efforts as the project continues.

Warm regards,
Michael

Live Life Love | Volume Fifteen

Hello Everyone,

First off, thanks for taking the time to check out this quarter’s newsletter. My invocation experiment last quarter was met with unintended results, none-the-less I’m filled with gratitude from all the warm responses I received. I assure you all is good and things are moving in the right direction. One of the main aims of this “project” is to stay publicly committed to succeeding at the goals that were set forth when it was launched. The project’s success, and by extension my success, is influenced by engaging these commitments and taking some risks. I’ve been dogmatically preaching the benefits of optimism and positive psychology for more than three years now because it has served me well. However, last quarter I was compelled to highlight that there are a few more pieces to the puzzle.

This short allegory quickly sums it up better than I can: Throughout his life a man asked his creator (insert the deity that works for you) to assist him in winning the lottery. Almost every week without fail he pleaded, yet lottery winnings never manifested. He kept his faith and continued this ritual until the day he died. Now face to face with his maker the man proclaims, “I asked you my whole life to help me win the lottery. I made the best attempt to live life with love… plus you must have foreseen I would’ve used the money for good… yet I was never obliged. I’m not bitter as I’m sure there are reasons, but I am curious to know why?” …the reply, “I’ve wanted to help you your entire life, but buddy… you never bought a ticket.”

Things are getting exciting and I want to again extend my gratitude. This summer is filled with weddings, races, and concerts, which means there is a good chance I will get to see many of you in person over the coming months. Until then, I wish you a fantastic and rewarding summer! Without further ado, here are this quarter’s deliverables:

Entrepreneurship: This quarter’s business interview is with Deena Varshavskaya who is the founder of Wanelo (short for Want, Need, Love) which is a community platform for online shopping that recently made Entrepreneur magazine’s list of the most brilliant companies in 2011. She has a lot of great information to share about social shopping and female entrepreneurship (there is a must see illustration of antiquated gender roles within the post). The interview with Deena Varshavskaya about Wanelo can be found here.

Health and Wellness: This quarter’s wellness interview is with Ellen Burton. Ellen is currently the program officer for Exercise is Medicine®, which is a multi-organizational initiative coordinated by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to help promote exercise as a form of preventative care. It is an extremely important and ambitious endeavor. My interview with Ellen Burton about the Exercise is Medicine program can be found here.

Life Experience: This quarter I traveled to Miami for the first time to enjoy the Winter Music Conference. I went with a great bunch of guys and got to listen to a lot of great music. Miami is as crazy as it is made out to be.

World Music Conference | Miami | 2011

World Music Conference | Miami | 2011

Contribution: There were some great opportunities to give back this quarter. I helped sponsor Jamie’s sister in her London Marathon effort raising money for Mencap. I sponsored another friend’s effort to raise money to help fight Angelman syndrome at the Angelman Walk-a-thon in Sacramento, CA. Finally, continuing with my effort to help music based charities, I made a modest donation to Musicians On Call, which is an organization that connects musicians with ailing patients in health-care facilities.

Warm regards,
Michael

Live Life Love | Volume Fourteen

Hello Everyone,

It has been a fun challenge trying to personally reconnect with all of you that get this; even if it was in part a thinly veiled way to have the opportunity to ask some of you to support my sport supplement project. I must admit that last quarter’s newsletter lacked a bit of authenticity, and for that I apologize. It didn’t lack integrity by any means… it was just a bit blasé about the details. In my opinion, the holidays are reserved for positivity and giving. It is fair to say that this project for the most part is ‘taking’. I ask you to take a little bit of your valuable time each quarter to read what I have to say. In return, I do what I can when you ask me to. December wasn’t the time to unload tribulations.

Truth be told, the end of last year was actually quite intense. I had just enrolled in a PhD program to further study human performance. I returned from the Athens Marathon in November to discover that my company had completely moved operations offshore, leaving me without a job. Meanwhile, on the side I had been hammering away trying to get an entrepreneurial project together which has cleared me of my savings. There were a couple other major personal setbacks as well – basically an onslaught of challenges. None-the-less, it did little to shake my resolve. Something that deserves mention is one of the chief reasons I didn’t crack is my wife Anna. As many of you know she is an unsung hero in all of this. One of the consistent attributes of successful people is their ability to surround themselves with people smarter than they are. In this regard, I count my blessings. My gratitude goes out to her, and all of you, for your help along the way. For the last two decades I have lived my life using Rudyard Kipling’s If as my creed. It continues to serve me well for this final adventure, but I have made the commitment to find a suitable replacement moving forward (as its utility has run the course). Any suggestions in that regard are welcomed, preferably something with a little more serenity baked in.

Here are this quarter’s deliverables (if you need a refresher about what this Project is all about I have posted a brief summary here):

Health and Wellness: This quarter’s wellness interview is with Margaret Moore (also known as Coach Meg). Ms. Moore is the CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, which is widely known for setting the gold standard for training and credentialing of professional wellness and health coaches. Click here to read my interview with Margaret Moore about wellness coaching.

Entrepreneurship: This quarter’s business interview is with Barbara Lippard. Barbara is a member of the Board of Directors of SCORE, a nationwide, non-profit organization with 13,000 counselors and approximately 400 chapters in the United States. They are a remarkable small business resource, click here to read my interview with Barbara Lippard about SCORE.

Life Experience: Regarding life experience this quarter, the Myers, Anna, and I went to Scotland for Hogmanay. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve – a celebration and carnival rich in Middle Evil tradition and one heck of a kick butt party. Highly recommended!

Hogmanay 2011 | Edinburgh, Scotland | Michael Rucker

Hogmanay | Edinburgh, Scotland | 2011

 

Contribution: This quarter’s contribution came in the form of sponsoring the child of an old college buddy Rob J. in his effort to jump rope for the American Heart Association. The request came in as, “I’m excited about raising money for other kids – kids with hearts that don’t exactly work right.” How do you say no to that? I sponsored Jill L. in her Bay Area half marathon effort. I also made a small donation to Sweet Relief which provides financial assistance to career musicians who are dealing with illness, disability and/or age-related problems.

So the next chapter begins: With lint left in my pocket, can I find the right job, pull off becoming a PhD and build another mini empire on the side? With luck, good friends like you, a great partner, and a little tenacity I’m not too worried. It’s not all good, but it’s pretty close!

A quick plug: To my friends on the cognitive science side of things, just a quick reminder that the SharpBrains 2011 Summit is next week. If interested in attending, you can receive 15% off admission by using the reference code rhb2011 at checkout.

Warm regards,
Michael

Live Life Love | Volume Thirteen

Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays! I hope 2010 has enabled you to flourish in happiness, reward and satisfaction. Through direct discourse, or eavesdropping on social media conversations, I feel safe to state that it has been an interesting year for most of us. Personally, through happenstances and deliberate architecture, it appears that regarding my own affairs this trend will continue through 2011. There are some specific challenges afoot, as well as some budding opportunities, all of which I am grateful for.

This quarter’s life experience was a trip to Athens, Greece, to compete in the 2500th anniversary of the “original” marathon. The historic course starts at the city of Marathon and follows the route Pheidippides purportedly took to Athens to carry news of the Greek victory over the Persians in 490 b.c. With the exception of the Antarctica Marathon, this course was probably the most challenging of the marathons I’ve competed, but ultimately will be one of the most memorable for reasons that lack the need of explanation.

Athens Marathon 2010 | Athens, Greece | Michael Rucker

Athens Marathon | Athens, Greece | 2010

I booked the trip through Marathon Tours and was lucky enough to get some time with company’s CEO Thom Gilligan who basically invented the endurance and adventure travel industry category. He is the former president of the Greater Boston Track Club and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, and made the cover of Travel Agent magazine. This quarter’s fitness interview with Thom Gilligan about destination marathons can be read here.

For this month’s business interview I connected with Matthew Szymczyk. Matt has turned his company Zugara into a successful employee owned Augmented Reality (AR) development studio over the last decade. Matt and his team create custom and propriety AR software along with providing other creative services to a growing list of clients that include Sony, Reebok, AT&T, Muscle Milk, and Nestle. Matt’s company is also a member of The AR Consortium and he has become a well cited expert, author and enthusiast of AR technology. My interview with Matt Szymczyk about Augmented Reality can be read here.

My social contribution this quarter came in the form of sponsoring two of my friends in their philanthropic athletic goals, and in the spirit of “thinking globally and acting locally” I made a charitable contribution to the Berkeley SPCA to help rebuild their facilities, which they lost due to fire this year.

I wish you the best with your worthy pursuits in 2011 and beyond!

Warm regards,
Michael

Live Life Love | Volume Twelve

Hello Everyone,

Fall has crept up, causing many of us to reflect back on summer and wonder… what happened? My wife and I actually had a pretty eventful summer, and before I continue I would like express my gratitude to Darren Pujalet for his assistance during this time. When we left Manhattan Beach for the Bay Area we initially attempted to rent out our primary residence and ultimately ran into some trouble when our first experience as landlords meant dealing with a broken lease. Faced with a depreciating asset and lack of positive cash flow we were quite confident that, at best, we would have to attempt a short sale. I’ve quite a few successful friends in real estate through my Leadership Manhattan Beach efforts, whom are all quite capable, but ultimately we felt the most comfortable having Darren assist us with the sale. I believe that positive reciprocity is an important aspect of the human experience, so I ask for forgiveness in this public display of appreciation, however real estate is a referral business and in the end (although we still came out a bit in debt) Darren saved us from a short sale and ultimately commanded a selling price not seen in our condominium complex since 2008. For that effort alone he deserves mention, plus he is simply one heck of a guy. His website is www.yourownmls.com.

After three years of effort on this project a few of you have, in good-nature, called my motives into question inquiring if the aim of Live Life Love is some sort of reinvention. My answer: sort of. To be sincere, I haven’t evolved that much: I still think farts are funny, I still drink too much beer, and I’m still learning the socially established duration acceptable for taking notice of a beautiful stranger and enviably miss the mark by one or two seconds each time. If any evolution has taken place thus far, then it has been a concerted effort to actively happily achieve as opposed to achieving to be happy. And further, to try and foster this collectively with the relationships I cherish. The economics of this summer have changed me a little bit but not in the way you might imagine. It has actually deemphasized my focus on monetary concerns. In fact, my wife and I have both taken decreases in income to improve our well-being. Although this has required adjustments to our standard of living, I believe we’ve both experienced an increase in our level of happiness. Another acknowledgment goes out to Deena Varshavskaya for passing along the recommendation to read Stumbling on Happiness, which has provided the science my skeptic brain needed to confidently broadcast that this is not an ill-fated course of action. Ultimately, time will be the judge. Anyway enough for now, here are this quarter’s deliverables:

Entrepreneurship: Hammad Zaidi is this quarter’s business interview. He is the CEO of Lonely Seal Releasing, a film and television distribution company that has represented over 40 projects, including Julian Lennon’s Whaledreamers and Harrison Ford’s Dalai Lama Renaissance. He is also a great friend, mentor, and role model. Our discussion is about taking calculated risks. My interview with Hammad Zaidi about calculated business risks can be found here.

Wellness: This summer I reconnected with a high school classmate, Brodie Burris, for this quarter’s wellness interview. Brodie is the President of the Michigan Association of Oriental Medicine, the Founder of The Lotus Center of Ann Arbor, and a standing member of the American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. He is a seasoned acupuncturist and our discussion centers around acupuncture’s place in sport medicine. My interview with Brodie Burris about acupuncture and sport injury can be found here.

Life Experience: Intrigued by seeing a constant barrage of automotive bumper stickers in the Bay Area promoting the Mystery Spot on my way to work each morning this summer I made the trek. The Mystery Spot is an interesting little tourist trap hidden in amongst the trees on the way to Santa Cruz.

Mystery Spot 2010 | Santa Cruz, CA | Michael Rucker

Mystery Spot | Santa Cruz, CA | 2010

Contribution: This quarter it was my pleasure to contribute to Thom’s effort in the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour 2010 and also to give a little something back to NPR since the station has become such a welcomed companion during my commute.

As always, thanks for taking a look at my quarterly posting. Wishing everyone a beautiful fall!

Warm regards,
Michael

Life Life Love | Volume Eleven

Hello Everyone,

The summer is upon us and, as such, it is time for another volume.

As expected, it has been an eventful few months for me. A lot of things are in the works. I am helping HAPPYneuron launch a new iteration of their brain fitness website. Plus, on the weekends I’m still assisting my father with our joint project. I am energized to keep up the hard work for another quarter and hopefully have some exciting news to report at summer’s end. Below you will find the usual Live Life Love quarterly deliverables.

Wellness: My wellness interview this quarter is with Gear Fisher. Gear is the Chief Operating Officer of Peaksware, which is a company that has provided coaches and athletes innovative tools to monitor, plan and analyze athletic performance for over a decade. Gear is an amazing guy and my interview with Gear about athletic performance metrics can be found here.

Entrepreneurship: This quarter’s business interview is with Ed Baker. Ed is the co-founder and CEO of Friend.ly, a site which makes it fun to discover and connect with new people on Facebook. He has been working on viral growth for the past 10 years and is one of the emerging thought leaders regarding viral marketing. My interview with Ed about the viral factor and viral loop can be found here.

Life Experience: This quarter’s life experience was literally “great”. My friend Nate married his long time sweetheart Mona Liza in Brisbane, Australia, which allowed me to sneak off and explore the Great Barrier Reef for a few days.

Contribution: With no friends in races this quarter, I was forced to get creative in my contribution. I caught wind that Public Enemy, one of my favorite bands as a teenager, is using viral and grassroots methodologies to get their next album released. Given the entrepreneurial theme of this quarter, and my admiration for the band and the influence they’ve had on my musical tastes growing up, I contributed to the cause through Sellaband.

As always, I appreciate you staying on as a participant in this journey. Herman Melville remarked, “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads.” After eleven quarters, the cognitive dissonance between me and the person I’ve set out to become as a result of this project is slowly but surely shrinking. What we do, we gradually become. But I am also making sure I don’t get too caught up in the process. As Robert Browning observed, “Oh, make us happy and you make us good!” so I find it important to happily achieve as well.

This website is one of the rewards of the process, so I really appreciate those of you that take the time to read it each quarter.

Warm regards,
Michael

Life Life Love | Volume Ten

Hello Everyone,

I hope that 2010 has brought you prosperity. It has been an exciting year for me thus far. Most notably, this past weekend I got to watch my brother cross the finish line of the LA Marathon.

LA Marathon 2010 | Los Angeles, CA | Michael Rucker

LA Marathon | Los Angeles, CA | 2010

At the end of last year, right after publishing last quarter’s newsletter, I obtained my official American College of Sports Medicine certification. The training for the certification really paid off as I was able to provide support to Brian throughout his journey. I got him about halfway and then his body failed him, so he relied on pure heart and inner strength to complete the job. Truly an inspiring, remarkable guy!

While on the topic of being inspiring let me introduce this quarter’s business interviewee, Lloyd Nimetz. Lloyd is a successful serial social entrepreneur who, as a student, helped found HelpArgentina. He is now the managing director of Blitz Bazaar, a campaign hosting solution which puts the tools of professional campaigners in the hands of citizen organizers. He is an amazing guy and my five questions about social entrepreneurship with Lloyd are located here.

Equally amazing in caliber is this quarter’s wellness interviewee, Dr. John Monagle. John owns and operates the Marin Center for Natural Medicine, which is a state of the art medical clinic in Marin County. John (JK) is a lifelong neighborhood friend who has dedicated himself to helping others through natural medicine. He is an expert in a variety of progressive sport therapies and my interview with John about Naturopathic Medicine can be found here.

Anna and I have been on a tight budget since the move from Southern California up North, so going into this quarter I figured the life experience had to be close to home. However, we have moved to arguably one of the most admired cities on the West Coast, so I also knew it would not be too hard to come up with something. Celebrating Chinese New Year in San Francisco is on countless Internet lists as a “must do,” so I did it.

Chinese New Year 2010 | San Francisco, CA | Michael Rucker

Chinese New Year | San Francisco, CA | 2010

This quarter I would like to thank Mona Liza for letting me sponsor her CLEM7 Tunnel Run which entailed her running the entire length of the Clem Jones Tunnel in Australia. Her efforts raised funds to support the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation in their effort to assist sick children in time of need. I was excited that I could help.

If you have clicked through to any of the interviews you will see that I have finally begun to delineate up the material to various depositories. I would love your feedback on the new sites, so if you have the time to write back or leave a comment on one of the blogs please do so.

Wishing all of you a fruitful and joyous spring time!

Warm regards,
Michael

Life Life Love | Volume Nine

Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays! This quarter I revisited Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends and Influence People and in there is a passage: You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Keeping that passage in mind as I begin the third year of this project I would like to do a lot more listening! Instead of going on about myself this quarter I’m asking you to respond to this email and let me know how you are doing.

In the spirit of becoming a better listener and promoting a two way dialogue I am brainstorming an improved way to display the wellness and business interviews by moving them to separate blogs. This quarter’s business interview is with Bryan Pate, the co-founder of ElliptiGO, the world’s first elliptical bicycle. Bryan has just recently launched their product and our discussion about the process of launching a product can now be found on Entrepreneurial Minded.

This quarter’s wellness interview is with Gloria Park Perin who was a competitive figure skater for over 14 years, and remains active in the sport as a coach. She is the founder of The Good Body Project and is only months away from receiving her PhD in Exercise and Sport Psychology from Temple University. Gloria also has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Our interview is about the role of positive psychology in sports, which can be found now at Enhanced Kinetics.

For this quarter’s life experience I made it to the Columbia River with some friends from Davis. The trip was quite enjoyable in part because of our terrific guide, Dan Ponciano. For anyone interested in this type of adventure, he does an outstanding job and you can find out more information about his Columbia River fishing tours here. I caught my first Sturgeon. It was too small to keep but a thrill none-the-less.

Sturgeon Fishing | Columbia River, OR | Michael Rucker

Sturgeon Fishing | Columbia River, OR | 2009

Unfortunately the opportunity to sponsor someone’s athletic achievement did not present itself this quarter so as an alternative I acted on a personal appeal from Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Wikipedia proved to be a very useful resource in my job hunt so I felt compelled to give back when asked.

I’ll conclude with telling those who are curious that everything ended well for me and Anna. We found a new home in the Bay Area and I landed a great new job in the wellness sector with the brain fitness company HAPPYneuron. Best wishes to all in 2010!

Warm regards,
Michael

Life Life Love | Volume Eight

Hello Everyone,

Isaac Asimov once said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…'” I mention this quote because many of you have asked what I have been working on with my father (that I briefly mentioned in last quarter’s newsletter). We have been working on a hangover remedy. We are still very much in the design phase as demonstrated by the following short tale: I administered our first version of the hangover remedy formula to my friend Micah, his aunt, his cousin and myself after a night of libation on Catalina Island (over the Fourth of July weekend). To my dismay it was discovered in this ad hoc human trial that the amount of sodium bicarbonate that can be tolerated after a night of drinking in a normal human had been significantly over-estimated. You can imagine where this is going. Micah’s cousin and I felt relief. Micah and his aunt on the other hand had adverse reactions: acute intestinal distress and uncontrollable burping respectively. In retrospect it is funny, that day however it was a little uncomfortable on the island. It continues to be a fun little side project. New evidence about the effectiveness of asparagus leaf and shoot extract (in the treatment of hangovers) has us playing with the formula once again. I’ll keep you posted on our efforts.

The other good news to report is Anna and I are moving to the Bay Area. Anna has secured a great job with Levi’s and I am surfing up north on her coattails. I owe a debt of gratitude to those of you that have either helped or offered to help in my job search. It is my pleasure to report that things are on the upswing.

Adhering to the parameters of the Live Life Love project I conducted two more excellent informational interviews. The most surprising reveal from this effort is that when I asked the two gentlemen (experts in the field of fitness) what excited them the most about the future of exercise they both basically stated, “a throwback to the importance of functional training.”

For my business interview this quarter I reached out to Mark Friedman, co-founder and president of Perfect Fitness, LLC, the creators of the Perfect Pushup and Perfect Pullup. Mark’s entrepreneurial journey is quite aspiring and he graciously agreed to sit down and talk with me. My interview with Mark about innovation can be viewed by clicking here.

My wellness interview this quarter is with Tom DeLong. Tom was one of my professors at UCLA and is an expert in kinesiology. He is currently working on authoring a book chapter on biomechanics for Human Kinetics but took time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about fitness innovation. My interview with Tom about sports technology can be read by clicking here.

As one can imagine money has been a little tight in these economic times for me and Anna, so one of the prerequisites in partaking in this quarter’s life experience was to keep the traveling costs down. I discovered that you can find great deals to areas of the world that are going through political upheaval. Hello Honduras! All joking aside, Honduras is a wonderful country. We went to the island of Roatan and had a blast… awesome diving, great people and very relaxing. We even got to swim with dolphins.

Swimming with Dolphins | Roatan, Honduras | Michael Rucker

Swimming with Dolphins | Roatan, Honduras | 2009

A tip for those of you looking for budget travel, I highly recommend Vacation Rentals by Owner. We got a $400 a night luxury condo for less than 25 percent of the asking price. There are some unbelievable deals on this site.

Lastly, it is an honor to continue to help those of you pursuing athletic achievements. This quarter I was able to contribute to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through donations to Kristin and Jeremy and the Make a Wish Foundation through a donation to Nick. Strong effort, great causes, that is what it is all about!

Warm regards,
Michael

Life Life Love | Volume Seven

Hello Everyone,

This quarter has been an interesting one. My wife lost her job last month and my primary engagement is winding down and will conclude next month. We are comfortable enough to weather the storm so we feel quite fortunate, especially considering what many families are going through. It is times like these that allow you to get back to basics. In my spare time I have begun to work on an exciting project with my father, which has allowed us to connect in a way that we haven’t been able to do since my youth. I am also getting to watch my wife enjoy renewed passions, such as Spanish and yoga, which were somewhat unavailable to her before due to the rigors of her career. Even in turbulent times, there are always benefits if you pursue them. I am also using the free time to rip my long term goals back down to their foundation and reevaluate and architect a sounder and more optimized path to getting the things I would like to achieve accomplished… more to come on that next quarter.

In the meantime, I am using my fresh budding autonomy to complete some pretty exciting stuff. By the time I write the next newsletter I will have completed my fitness certification from UCLA, received my American College of Sports Medicine accreditation and attended the first IPPA World Congress on positive psychology in Philadelphia. It should be a fruitful next few months.

Regarding…

Entrepreneurship: To commemorate Web 2.0 becoming the official 1,000,000 word in the U.S. vocabulary I reached out to Web entrepreneur Todd Dipaola, the co-founder of Vantage Media, which in 2007 reached 31 in Inc Magazine’s annual 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America List. Todd is now the president of Pier Alliance, a company that he has founded with former executives from Yahoo and Google. The transcript of my discussion with Todd about Internet search can be found here.

Wellness: I was especially honored this quarter to get to sit down for half an hour with running legend Jeff Galloway. Jeff has helped over 250,000 non-elite runners achieve their goals through coaching and instruction and authored the best-selling running book in North America entitled Galloway’s Book on Running. Click here to read my write up of the interview between Jeff and me about running.

Life Experience: I used one of my last remaining “hall passes” from Anna to go to the Wounded Warriors Project benefit at the Playboy Mansion. As many of you know I have kept a list since my youth of trying to hit every major party spot around the world. This was the last destination to check off the list.

Playboy Mansion | The Grotto | Michael Rucker

Playboy Mansion | The Grotto | 2009

Contribution: Along with the contribution to the Wounded Warriors Project, I proudly contributed to the Steve Larsen fund. As you might recall last quarter I was able to interview Davis, CA legend Dave Scott. For those of you who don’t know Steve Larsen, Steve was another Davis legend that contributed tremendously to the world of cycling and tri-sport. Unfortunately, while training Steve’s heart failed and they were unable to revive him. If you are interested in contributing to help out the Larsen family you can do so here.

So it is back to the lab again. I am going to spend July finishing up some contract work and clearing out my surplus of reward points by doing a little traveling and then start job hunting in August.

Before I go I would like to give a plug to my friends over at ElliptiGO. They are a start-up that has created an outdoor elliptical product. It is an extremely innovative product. We were giving test rides at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and people just loved it. If you have any interest, check out the ElliptiGO website.

If I do not see you before the next newsletter, please enjoy your summer! And as always, let me know if I can help you with your goals in any way.

Warm regards,
Mike