Sunday, May 30, 2010

Letting my little ones experience Spectrum health club

Sundays are usually set aside for me to spend quality time with my daughters.My wife usually works on Sundays which is fine because I usually have to go into work on Saturdays. We usually wake up and go to church and then off to eat lunch with my parents. Today I had the day planned out . I wanted to take them to the gym with me. I did not know that the kids club at Spectrum  was going to be closed so I was forced to take care of them while I worked out.

I had planned on taking my sixth grader to run with me while my two younger daughters played in the kids club. I asked the guy at the front desk if the kids could play on the Internet there where I could watch them and run at the same time. I was able to squeeze in a 5k run before I was forced to cut my run short and tend to my little ones who were roaming throughout Spectrum health club.

I headed over to the weights while my sixth grader finished her run on the treadmill. Is this such a bad thing letting my little ones roam the Spectrum health club ? They were not getting any dirty looks from any other members. After all they were dressed kind of cute and they look like twins. I figure that rather than have the kids sitting at home, they can see people being active by running and working out on the weights. I want to plant the seed early with all of my daughters that exercise and staying active is important in life.

According to kids there are many benefits of exercise. Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:

•have stronger muscles and bones

•have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat

•be less likely to become overweight

•decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

•possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels

•have a better outlook on life

Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

If you can keep the kids near you while you work out. I encourage the experience for kids. Lets get all the kids active and fit as early as possible.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words

A little Easter fun!  I love this picture . Two of my daughters getting a little carried away.

So proud

You know I have not been to this spot in a long time. Just thinking how I am missing downtown San Antonio. I will make back here soon. So proud of the riverwalk.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Family challenges

“Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.” -Bernice Johnson Reagon

Life is full of challenges . In today's society there are several challenges that a family can face. Two of the main challenges facing families are financial and medical. Sometimes financial situations can paralyze a family such as job loss causing bills to fall behind. Job loss can also have an effect on medical conditions because if there is no job there is no medical insurance.

These challenges are supposed to help discover who you are. If you have the drive and confidence you can find a job right away. Once you land the job you automatically can address the medical situations with insurance.

I will be prepared if I ever fall into unemployment. If I know that day is coming I will have my resume armed and ready to fire. I think a lot of families are not prepared and fall into the unemployment ranks a little longer than expected.

Once unemployment happens stay calm , cool and collected. Even take a few days to enjoy your family. Just remember that your family is counting on you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Using proper gym etiquette

I have been working out since early January. As mentioned in one of my Facebook posts I had an encounter at the gym. I started excising on my doctor's advice in order to balance out my cholesterol. I had just jumped on the treadmill when I get tapped on the shoulder by a girl, "Me and my girlfriend would like to use that treadmill so we can run together." There was another treadmill available right next to the treadmill I was using, so they would have been able to run together. I gladly obliged since I was on the treadmill less than a minute. I figured it was the adult thing to do, although some of my friends and colleagues gave me some mixed reviews on my actions.

According to Ask men .com they have a list on "How to master gym etiquette."

Handling equipment

The main reason we go to the gym is to use the sophisticated gear. While exercises can be performed at home, it's often easier to rely on machines that were specifically designed for the sole purpose of making us look better. Are you using all the equipment adequately?

Return the weights
Whenever you use dumbbells or plates, be considerate enough to put them back where they belong when you're done. The other gym members are here to train, not to participate in a scavenger hunt.

Don't hog machines
A gym being a community of sorts, sharing is mandatory. Do your sets the way you have them planned, training efficiently. Rest, repeat, and move on. Should you be doing supersets, notify the others and let them use the machine while you're busy elsewhere.

Wipe the machines
Can you imagine walking to a machine and finding it covered with the previous guy's sweat? You want to avoid being that guy. If you happen to drip all over a piece of equipment, wipe it down using the disinfectant provided by the gym. Also, use a towel to separate yourself from the machine while you make use of it.

Limit yourself
Working out the cardiovascular system, people are expected to spend 20 to 30 minutes on a machine. Try not exceeding that time limit and let other users benefit from the equipment. If no one is waiting for your spot, feel free to keep going. Whenever applicable, put your name on a reservation list.

Don't drop the weights
While a gym is not a church, do try to respect the peace and quiet of your fellow members. Don't drop weights from a high elevation for no reason. You certainly don't want the elderly gentlemen on the treadmill to slip and fall because he thinks Armageddon is here.

Proper behavior

Once you know how to handle the equipment, you need to hone your social skills. There are things you must and must not do to be regarded as a member the others won't try to dodge.

Don't pressure users
One thing you don't want to do is constantly ask people if they've finished using a machine when they're obviously still exercising on it. Wait for them to stop before asking. Don't tap your foot impatiently while waiting either.

Spot those who need it
You may be deemed annoying if you start going around asking everyone if they need a spot, monopolizing their time. If you see someone who is in dire need of a spot, risking injury without one, only then should you offer your services. Furthermore, when you do spot someone, make sure you're not the one doing all the lifting and that you can handle the weight. The latter is especially important since, if you're not strong enough, your spot will be useless and dangerous for the weightlifter.

Don't offer your advice to others
You might have a Ph.D. in physical training from Harvard with specialized experience with the national Olympic team, but no one cares. The advice you give should be limited to when you notice someone who's going to hurt himself. Keep in mind that you may not be the most knowledgeable person in the room. If you feel compelled to critique someone's training method, do so in a constructive manner, being polite and acknowledging what they're doing right first.

Talk sparingly
A gym isn't a social club; you're not there to shoot the breeze with its members. Conversations should be kept brief and limited to resting periods in between sets. These short discussions must be held out of the way so people can train without interruption. In addition, don't initiate conversations with people wearing headphones; they obviously don't feel chatty. Finally, while you're taking a break, don't sit on a machine -- others may want to use it.

Don't hit on every babe
It's true that a gym is one of the best pick up spots, but that doesn't give you a hunting license. Don't go around asking every woman out. They became members to get fit, not to be hit on by every dude in the room. In the same vein, try to avoid staring at those beautiful women in skimpy clothing. They know they're hot and they don't need your ogling them to figure it out. If one of them happens to catch you staring, smiling, look away, and move on.

Common courtesy

No cell phones
As with all public places, unless you're waiting for an important call, it's recommended that you turn off your mobile phone at the gym. As well, bringing your phone into the locker room and using it will make other guys feel uncomfortable; especially considering the latest models have integrated cameras and, well, nobody wants their butt being the main attraction on a sketchy website.

Pick up after yourself
Leave your training space as clean as the way you found it. Don't leave any food wrappers, water bottles, towels, or any other items behind. Keep your locker clean, orderly, and don't leave anything lying around for the next guy. Your membership fee is for use of the apparatus; it's not a maid service.

Dress appropriately
Don't wear torn clothing, but don't wear a tuxedo either. Go for a T-shirt instead of a tank top as to circumvent sweat overtly running onto the machine. Stay away from jeans; shorts or track pants are a much better choice.

Don't grunt loudly
Unless you have tiger genes, try to minimize your yelling while exercising. Of course, it's natural to emit little noises when doing strenuous lifts, but remember that the others around you are concentrating on their own work out and don't need to hear "the loud guy" screaming for attention.

Smell good
Exercising makes you sweat and perspiration causes body odor. Can you see in your mind's eye how badly it would stink if no one at the gym did something about it? Arm yourself with an effective deodorant and use it adequately. However, don't douse yourself with cologne; overcompensation can be just as unpleasant for fellow members.

Be considerate of the water fountain
A water fountain's purpose is to drink, not spit or throw away your gum. Moreover, if there's a huge lineup at the water fountain, don't be disrespectful of others by filling your huge water bottle.

No foul language
As with any other social venue, be respectful of your surroundings and of the fact that people of all ages might be present on the premises. Don't use foul language or insult people who are less proficient in their training.

Don't walk in front of mirrors
Well, you can walk in front of mirrors as long as you don't pass in front of someone who is using it to get their stance right. By the same token, if you're looking at yourself in a mirror from across the room, don't get mad if someone passes in front of you. If you must use a mirror, it's better to stand close to it so that your actions are unambiguous to the rest of the crowd.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Texas blogger Rennywriter answers your questions

I thought it would be fun to answer some questions for my audience. I have always been fascinated with celebrity questions you find in back of magazines. Since I have been in a goofy mood all week, This post is all about fun!!!!

Name: Rene R Arguello
Company: Rennywriter  Blog URL http : //

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging as a way to relieve stress after the busy work day. I also blog because I discovered my love for writing while in college. I usually have time to write at night when my wife is putting the kids to sleep. That hour is my time to blog. I also love the creative process of writing a post from when the idea first pops in my head and then is formed on my blog.

What is the main goal of your blog? I am not sure if I have a niche. If I do have a niche it would be in regards to the nuclear family. It would be about raising my daughters the best way I know how. I come from a large family with a traditional family and religious background. I am trying to pass these traditions and values to my daughters.I also love writing about business and tech news. So I would have to say the niche of my blog is a little of everything.

How has your life changed growing up in a household of women? Well... I come from a family of six brothers and three sisters . Growing up my brothers dominated our household. It was like we were a basketball team and our rooms were actually locker rooms. Clothes scattered everywhere, food left in the room. You name the dirty piece of clothing or the most common candy wrapper and you could find it in our room. My daughters are no different! As a man in a female dominated household I just have to watch what I wear. My wife and daughters also know my habits and also know when I need some alone time too.

Is there anything you won't eat? No I actually love food . I will try everything .

Could you please tell me what type of tattoos you have and their meanings? I have no tattoos at this time but I would like to get one of my daughters  and put it over my heart. I have a picture of them that would be the perfect tattoo. Including my wife, my daughters are the most important people to me on the planet. I would be proud to wear them over my heart. I would love for Kat Von D  of LA Ink  to do it for me (wishful thinking!)

What is your idea of fun or relaxation on your time off ? My wife works at a state park here in Texas  so I find myself going on hikes with my daughters. I also like to blog for relaxation. I also started running and exercising in January. I find exercising very soothing and rewarding. Also hanging out with mom and dad along with my brothers and sisters.

You turned 46 a few weeks ago. How are you dealing with it? I am doing great. No big deal. I feel like I am in my early 30's . I guess my daughters keep me young. I find myself playing and kidding around with them a lot . They love it.

Do you have a secret nickname? As a kid playing baseball my coach would call me Renny. My mom called me Birdie. I have also been called other names that I wont mention here ! (just kidding)

Are you and your wife planning to have more kids? No. We are done.

What movie scares you? The fourth kind . That is some scary stuff right there! Any movie having to do with little green (gray) men scares the crap out of me.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5 business lessons learned from the TV show "Undercover Boss"

According to Inc magazine, Undercover Boss  was one of this year’s reality show standouts, beloved by viewers for the dose of schadenfreude they’d get by seeing executives fail at attempting the basics that make their companies tick. Undercover Boss took CEOs (such as 7-Eleven's Joe DePinto, above) out of their corner offices and planted them as entry-level grunts in their own business. What ensued needn’t just be couch-potato fuel, though: We’ve compiled some notes so you can avoid these CEOs’ mistakes.

  • Do sweat the small stuff
Joe DePinto, a West Point graduate who’s now the CEO of 7-Eleven, knows how to run a $13 billion company. But brewing coffee without overflowing the dispenser? Not so much. In investigating exactly how the 7-Eleven in Shirley, New York, manages to sell 2,500 cups of coffee a day, DePinto managed to mix up flavor batches and make a mess. But he took a lesson from middle-aged coffee-maker Dolores, whose precise brewing combined with impeccable customer service (she seemed to know the name of every person who entered the door) kept caffeine fiends coming back day after day.

Lesson: Pay attention to detail – and to your regular customers – and you will be rewarded with repeat business.

  • Even small jobs require confidence
It seems obvious: a CEO should intimately know – and ostensibly enjoy – the product or service they sell. On the episode about Churchill Downs, the racing park that’s part of the largest horse-racing business in the world, that wasn’t quite so for COO Bill Carstanjen. When he went out dressed as a new hire to work with a horse trainer, it was readily apparent he was afraid of feeding the horses. And though he learned how to play the "Call to Post" on the bugle, he discovered he was terrified of playing in front of a crowd.

Lesson: Inspiring confidence takes confidence especially in a highly-competitive environment.

  • Keep your customer service skills sharp
Rick Arquilla, president and COO of Roto-Rooter, got his hands dirty in an episode of Undercover Boss. After cleaning some drains like a pro, he was tasked with working the phones at a dispatch call center. He struggled, in part because the call system is color-coded and Arquilla is colorblind. That's no fault of his, but his phone skills also leave a lot to be desired – he sounded pushy and impatient when he talked to a customer.

Lesson: Your interactions with customers over the phone are deceptively difficult to get right, and require patience and foolproof systems.

  • Enforce high standards
Coby Brooks was not ready to meet Jimbo. He was the manager of a Hooters restaurant to which CEO Brooks was assigned, and he liked to "inspect" female employees in a leering fashion. Brooks, who spoke with pride about his company’s donations to breast cancer research, was not amused. "The things I saw today," he said on the show, "were inappropriate. They were wrong and I don’t want any part of it."

Lesson: Even if your company image thrives on being a bit racy, employees must abide by clear standards set by human resources regarding harassment.

  • Find our what goals mean in human terms
When Chris McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers and the younger brother of CEO Jim McCann, went undercover in his own company, it was with the aim of testing how well he understood the business. He suspected that the company needed to do better at connecting with its workers. And he was correct. For instance, when he struggled to keep up with his task at the chocolate bonbon conveyer belt, he struggled and lagged behind. An employee remained calm, telling him that the hefty goals are set by men who never visit the factory.

Lesson: Seek input from – and get to know – your front-line workers.

Thank you Inc Magazine .