Sentenced to life

Together With Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than...

Together With

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Sentenced to life

  • Personalize your protein

  • More coffee?

  • Workout of the week

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Sentenced To Life

From Arnold: This village is about more than fitness. It’s a real community of people lifting each other up, and I’m always blown away when I see how you support each other. Today, I want to give my normal platform to Adam. I was lucky enough to meet his dad and know he is so proud of him.

I looked at my dad. Then down at my phone. 10:32 pm. July 21. 2023.

My dad was gone.

On Friday night, I watched my father — my Superman — take his final breath. It was a moment of peace for a man at war for three years.

My dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (glioblastoma) in 2020. Some doctors told him he had six months to live, at best. They gave him all the grim stats, told him how his body would shut down, and plotted a future hell on earth.

At 65 years old, my dad was given a death sentence. But a funny thing happened.

My dad heard all the negativity, and he chose not to listen. Instead of waiting for death, my dad leaned into optimism and got busy living.

He had brain surgery and did chemo and radiation. After treatments, he would lift weights or walk for miles. He adjusted his diet, and my mom became his personal chef, making everything from scratch. My dad was a man on a mission. And the prize he chased wasn’t just time. It was quality of life and making the most of every day.

Instead of preparing for the end, he traveled the world, climbed mountains and skied down them, swam in oceans, and even did acro-yoga (if you knew my dad, you’d know THAT man doesn’t do acro-yoga). None of these options were ever discussed in the cancer pamphlets.

For three years, death tapped my dad on the shoulder. But my dad gave the grim reaper the middle finger, trained harder, walked farther, and ate healthier.

He did the impossible by believing it was possible.

When cancer took away his ability to use his left arm, he trained his right arm to do more. Watching a 68-year-old man teach his non-dominant arm to use chopsticks is an art of pure determination.

When cancer took away vision in one eye and limited his field of vision in his other eye, he re-taught himself how to read.

And when cancer left him unable to walk or bathe himself, even though he hated his limitations, he asked for help because that was the bravest and strongest thing he could do.

I watched my dad suffer, and I never heard him complain. Not once.

When my grandfather — his father — died a few months ago at 95, I thought it might break him. And when his four brothers had to watch him struggle to walk and talk and told him it was unfair, my dad remained steadfast:

He insisted the cancer was not unfair. Saying so would mean that his entire life was unfair, and he loved his life. He just hated the disease and thought it was terrible. And his job wasn’t to curse his life but to make the most of it.

And for him, that meant a simple choice: either feel bad for yourself or do something to make your life the best you possibly can.

My dad got lucky. Sometimes people do everything right, and the disease still takes life far too fast. But with the time he had and the time he created, my dad didn’t think cancer would take him.

Even when he only had a week left, he would lie in his hospital bed and ask me how we would get him to football games in the fall. We both had season tickets to our beloved Colorado Buffaloes. They have been terrible for the past 15 years, but we still showed up to every game and stayed till the end. My dad was excited about the fall. Deion Sanders was bringing Prime Time to Boulder. He wanted to be there on September 9th to see the first victory on the path to the greatest turnaround in college football history.

Some people thought he was crazy for talking about attending football games while in hospice. To me, it was just part of his vision.

Arnold always talks about vision, and my dad also believed in it. And his vision didn’t include death. He envisioned himself in that stadium. And while he won’t make it, that vision helped him go farther than any doctor said he would.

None of you knew my dad. But he loved life so much that he was unwilling to see his sickness as anything other than another obstacle he would overcome.

In my last conversation, my dad told me something I’ll never forget.

He talked about finishing what I started -- as a husband, as a father, as a friend, and in my work. We started Arnold’s Pump Club when his health started to rapidly decline. We didn’t discuss much about my work, but he told me he read every email and that I was doing something important.

In facing death, my dad believed the world needed more positivity. If there was anything he learned, it’s that optimism is the way.

He then asked me how many people we reach each day. I told him 500,000.

He then asked how many I wanted to reach. I told him 5 million.

And then he dropped the mic.

He said, “Adam, why put a limit on what you can do? Where would I be if I did that when I was diagnosed?”

Man. My dad didn’t always have many words, but the ones he had were damn good.

In the end, my dad made his vision a reality. He stayed optimistic, bet on himself, and appreciated each day as if his life depended on it.

After I watched my dad take his last breath, I told him I was proud of him. I kissed him on the forehead, and I said, one last time, it was good to see him.

I walked out of hospice that night, sat in my car, and thanked my dad for sentencing me to life. And I hope my dad’s story can do the same for all of you. -Adam

Personalize Your Protein

Protein is one of the foundations of a healthy diet. From building muscle and burning fat to stronger bones, hair, and skin -- you want to make sure you're eating enough. But, finding proteins that are sourced with intention isn’t easy. We believe that if you choose to eat meat, it’s best to do it while focusing on animal welfare, supporting farmers, and treating our planet with respect.

That’s why our go-to source for protein is ButcherBox. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef; free-range organic chicken; humanely raised pork; and wild-caught seafood directly to your doorstep at your chosen frequency. We partnered with ButcherBox to bring a special offer to the village because they check all the boxes that matter: high-quality protein, convenience for you and your family, flexible plans that meet you where you are, and a company that values the planet's welfare.

As Arnold’s Pump Club members, you can save $60 OFF — $20 off your first three boxes. Click here and use the code “ARNOLD” to receive your discount. It’s the high-quality nutrition your body deserves to help deliver the results you want.

Sentenced to life

Note from Arnold: We believe in transparency. Sometimes you'll see ads here, like the one above. You might ask why. First, we want to provide resources to help you become healthier and happier. Finding good options is hard, so we do the work and provide special deals. And, as the village gets bigger, it costs more, and I want my team to make money. We’ll never sell out and advertise any bogus magic pills; we'll bring you the stuff we feel can help you and add value to your life.

Maybe One More Cup

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks on the planet, powering productivity, pumps, and parenting. And enjoying more than one cup might also be an important part of protecting your health.

A recent study reported drinking coffee may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. The findings were based on a review of other reviews, meaning the results were based on the data of more than 3 million participants.

The scientists found that those who drank coffee saw anywhere from a 10 percent reduction in risk up to 25 percent less cancer. And some studies reported that the risk could be further reduced with more daily coffee intake, such as drinking 5 to 6 cups per day. (At that level, you might also experience some downsides of caffeine addiction.)

If you love coffee but don’t want all the caffeine, the cancer risk reduction extends to decaf, too.

Remember, if you don’t go with decaf, be mindful of timing your caffeine. Drinking too much later in the day can harm your sleep quality, which is linked to other health issues. Try to cut off all caffeine approximately 9 to 10 hours before bed.

Workout of the Week: 30-Second Shred

How much can you change your body in 30 seconds? More than you imagine. This workout takes you away from the “traditional” approach of counting reps and has you focus on 30-second timed sets. Your heart will be pounding, your muscles will be pumped, and you’ll challenge your body without needing any equipment.

How to do it: This workout consists of three separate cycles. Each cycle consists of multiple exercises that you'll do as a circuit. You’ll perform 1 set of each movement for 30 seconds and then rest. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between movements if you're a beginner. If you’re more advanced, rest for only 15 seconds (this will feel far too short). That’s 1 set. Then, move to the next exercise and repeat the same exercise-to-rest ratio. Once you do 1 set of each exercise, repeat the entire circuit. Do 2 to 3 sets of each move, and then move to the next cycle.

Cycle#1: 30 seconds for each exercise
1. Bear crawl

2. Bodyweight step-up (left leg)

3. Pushup (change every set: close, normal, wide)

4. Bodyweight step-up (right leg)

5. Single-leg hip thrust (left)

6. Mountain climber

7. Single-leg hip thrust (right)

Cycle#2: 30 seconds for each exercise
1. Plank

2. Bodyweight squat

3. Bodyweight jump squat

4. Pullup or inverted row or Bodyweight Superman pullup

5. Bodyweight lunge (left leg)

6. Bodyweight lunge (right leg)

Cycle#3: 30 seconds for each exercise
1. Pushup

2. Rear-foot elevated split squat (left)

3. Rear-foot elevated split squat (right)

4. Squat iso hold (squat down and hold for 30 seconds)

5. Reverse crunch

Give it a try, and let us know what you think. We all hope you have a great start to your week!