While this site is primarily a place where I put up articles and science related to health and fitness, I’ll occasionally spice things up with some lighter and more personal blog posts. A lot of my time is spent reading, writing, and training, but I’m not a full time nerd and gym junkie – I also do other things. Here’s 10 random things you probably don’t know about me…
1) I almost always shower in cold water
I often talk about the gene-environment mismatch we’re now facing, and the implications this mismatch has for human health. Nutrition, exercise, and microbial exposures are an essential part of this divergence, and another factor that’s often overlooked is the lack of acute stressors in the modern environment. We’re no longer exposed to the harsh elements or attacked by wild animals – we’ve become soft. Hormesis is defined as “a theoretical phenomenon of dose-response relationships in which something (as a heavy metal or ionizing radiation) that produces harmful biological effects at moderate to high doses may produce beneficial effects at low doses” (1). One type of hormesis is taking cold water showers. While I primarily like to shower in cold water because it kick-starts my body and doesn’t dry out my skin, there are also some proven health benefits associated with mild cold exposure.
Cold water showers are relatively uncomfortable as you get into the water, but you quickly adapt – and you feel great afterwards.
2) I’m a tv series fanatic
Favorite shows include Game of Thrones, Suits, Homeland, 24, Prison Break, and Dexter.
3) I was an avid chess player when I was younger
I used to be a member in a chess club and participated in tournaments for many years. I never really put a lot of time and effort into it, so I never got very good, but it was a lot of fun. Also, I played against Magnus Carlsen, the world’s best player (today), directly before he started to get really good. I had a very good position, but ended up losing in the end. I actually met him last year and talked to him a bit. We started discussing the game we played more than 10 years ago, and he actually remembered every move we made!
4) I’m a decent volleyball player
… and not just because I’m tall.
5) I like swimming
6) I enjoy a good party
Varying frequency. Some periods I go out a lot and some months not at all.
7) I’m 6’5
8) I once studied economics
… but quickly realised that it wasn’t for me.
9) I’ve often heard that I look like the swedish actor Dolph Lundgren (Rocky 4 and other well-known movies)
10) I once ate 1 kg (2.2 pounds) meat in 9 minutes and 24 seconds
Several years back I travelled around Europe with three friends. One night in Prague (Czech) we went out to dinner at a well-known and relatively expensive restaurant in one of the main streets. To avoid spending too much money I simply ordered a caesar’s salad, but while I was eating I shifted through the menu and discovered that the restaurant had a running contest where you could get 1 kg meat for free if you managed to eat the entire steak in less than 30 minutes. Naturally, I had to try. I started eating and quickly realised that getting under 30 minutes was no problem – I wanted to beat the record. I started eating as fast as I could, but sadly I didn’t manage to beat the record, which was something like 9 minutes and 45 seconds. However, I was determined to get 1st place and get my picture on the wall in the restaurant (haha) so I came back the next morning after having fasted since last night’s dinner. This time I skipped the salad, and I managed to beat the record time. While clearly not the biggest accomplishment in the world, it was kinda cool to beat all of those people who’d done the challenge before me and get my picture on the wall in the restaurant.
However, a friend of mine went to Prague this year and ate at the same restaurant, and I asked her to check if I still had the record – sadly I don’t. I’m now in second place, so perhaps I have to go back one time and retake the throne 😛 Not that I think I could have eaten any faster…
Do you think you could have beaten my record time?