I love challenges. They are a great way to learn about oneself and the world around us. My most rewarding challenges have been:
Completing a full Ironman Triathlon
Prep for this included six half Ironman events, a 200km Manhattan to Montauk ride, and the NYC Marathon. The Ironman was a deep learning experience in many ways, as much about old fashioned hard work, as it was about serious planning and self motivation. There is a triathlon community with a great sense of camaraderie and always many people to share guidance to newbies. Click here for my blog on tips from an Ironman novice, and here for my lessons learned the hard way.
Coding and publishing two apps, and achieving 100k downloads
I refreshed the coding skills I picked up from my undergraduate days using Java. Over many weekends across several months, I built and published two simple mobile applications (see YodaLabs). These were stepping stones as part of a plan to launch a startup in 2016 (MindAmor). Throughout this process, I learned the power of crowdsourcing, the accessibility of free online courses, and the opportunities to leverage the talent in the gig economy.
Publishing a book – Open Data 101
I have been interested in Open Data for several years. It has untapped potential to make the world a better place and foster innovation while improving government transparency and accountability. While traveling in 2016 I consolidated notes from hundreds of articles I had read, then decided to compile them into a single resource. Several months later I had drafted Open Data 101. It is safe to say that I now I have a deeper awareness and appreciation for the process of book publishing!
Trekking, climbing and other backpacking challenges
Trekking and climbing are great ways to experience the natural beauty of the world, build lasting friendships and learn more about oneself. I have tackled several 5000m+ Volcanoes, completed various multi-day hikes (including Patagonia, Santa Cruz, and Quilatoa) across North, Central and South America and North India. I have also managed to see all contiguous states of the USA.
Teaching Yoga in the amazon, the andes and the caribbean
I have practiced Yoga and meditation on and off since 2003. I have an interest in mindfulness in the workplace and a small pet project to build a wiki style site for sharing mindfulness tips (watch this space). While traveling in 2016 I had the privilege to teach Yoga to other travelers from over 30 different countries in exotic locations ranging from the top of a cargo boat in the Amazon, to the depths of the Andes, and the warm beaches of the Caribbean.