The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

From Chronic Migraines to Wellness Mastery: Crafting a Healthy Remote Work Life with Ryan Fahey

May 01, 2024 Ryan Fahey Season 1 Episode 90
From Chronic Migraines to Wellness Mastery: Crafting a Healthy Remote Work Life with Ryan Fahey
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
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The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
From Chronic Migraines to Wellness Mastery: Crafting a Healthy Remote Work Life with Ryan Fahey
May 01, 2024 Season 1 Episode 90
Ryan Fahey

TEXT ME here - Have a question? Comment? Feedback? I’d love to hear from you.

Ever felt the pinch of a sedentary lifestyle or struggled to set boundaries while working remotely?

Wellness expert and entrepreneurial dynamo Ryan Fahey joins us to chart a course from chronic migraines to peak health advocacy. His tale isn't just about personal triumph; it's a roadmap for threading wellness through the very weave of remote work.

Ryan's childhood ventures, like turning camping trips into bottle-collecting businesses, lit the spark of self-motivation that later propelled his success. He'll share actionable insights about practicing wellness in the virtual office, how to prevent burnout, and the mental toughness gleaned from obstacle course racing.

When the world shifted to home offices, many of us grappled with the blurred lines of work-life balance and the mental toll of isolation. In our chat, we dissect the seismic shifts the pandemic has wrought and strategies from my book that can help remote workers navigate the new normal with their well-being intact.

Ryan and I reveal how we've adapted our living spaces to double as workspaces and how we dealt with the mental health challenges during lockdown. We also tackle the evolution of workplace models, diving into remote workers' hurdles and unpacking the solutions that can make a difference.

You'll learn how to connect with Ryan for more wellness and remote work gems, especially through LinkedIn, where his insights shine brightest. He leaves us with a compelling narrative: the smallest nudges from podcasts or books can steer us toward positive change.

It's a testament to the power of incremental progress and a reminder to embrace those gentle prompts and act, rounding out a conversation ripe with inspiration for your own wellness journey.

Connect with Ryan at

Support the Show.



A Message from Dai, host of the 2% Solution Podcast:

Hey there, you fantastic listener! 👋

As we wrap up another episode of The 2% Solution Podcast, I want to throw a massive, confetti-filled THANK YOU your way.

As we launch this podcast, your support is like getting an extra espresso in your Venti Americano—unexpected and refreshing!

Your reviews? They're like high-fives to my soul. Your shares? They're spreading more joy than cat videos on the internet. Subscribing? You're officially the coolest in my book.

Meeting in the 2% Collective Community? It's like watching a garden of awesomeness bloom – and you're all the sunflowers making it happen!

Keep being the amazing, 2%-improving rockstars that you are.

🌟 Stay fabulous, stay tuned, and stay 2%! 🚀

Love, laughs, and much gratitude,

Dai M.

P.S. I'm primarily active on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Feel free to connect and start a conversation. If you're searching for inspiring, motivational, educational, and healthy living content, check out my over 1500 articles at DaiManuel.com - I enjoy writing, okay? lol

The 2% Solution with Dai Manuel
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

TEXT ME here - Have a question? Comment? Feedback? I’d love to hear from you.

Ever felt the pinch of a sedentary lifestyle or struggled to set boundaries while working remotely?

Wellness expert and entrepreneurial dynamo Ryan Fahey joins us to chart a course from chronic migraines to peak health advocacy. His tale isn't just about personal triumph; it's a roadmap for threading wellness through the very weave of remote work.

Ryan's childhood ventures, like turning camping trips into bottle-collecting businesses, lit the spark of self-motivation that later propelled his success. He'll share actionable insights about practicing wellness in the virtual office, how to prevent burnout, and the mental toughness gleaned from obstacle course racing.

When the world shifted to home offices, many of us grappled with the blurred lines of work-life balance and the mental toll of isolation. In our chat, we dissect the seismic shifts the pandemic has wrought and strategies from my book that can help remote workers navigate the new normal with their well-being intact.

Ryan and I reveal how we've adapted our living spaces to double as workspaces and how we dealt with the mental health challenges during lockdown. We also tackle the evolution of workplace models, diving into remote workers' hurdles and unpacking the solutions that can make a difference.

You'll learn how to connect with Ryan for more wellness and remote work gems, especially through LinkedIn, where his insights shine brightest. He leaves us with a compelling narrative: the smallest nudges from podcasts or books can steer us toward positive change.

It's a testament to the power of incremental progress and a reminder to embrace those gentle prompts and act, rounding out a conversation ripe with inspiration for your own wellness journey.

Connect with Ryan at

Support the Show.



A Message from Dai, host of the 2% Solution Podcast:

Hey there, you fantastic listener! 👋

As we wrap up another episode of The 2% Solution Podcast, I want to throw a massive, confetti-filled THANK YOU your way.

As we launch this podcast, your support is like getting an extra espresso in your Venti Americano—unexpected and refreshing!

Your reviews? They're like high-fives to my soul. Your shares? They're spreading more joy than cat videos on the internet. Subscribing? You're officially the coolest in my book.

Meeting in the 2% Collective Community? It's like watching a garden of awesomeness bloom – and you're all the sunflowers making it happen!

Keep being the amazing, 2%-improving rockstars that you are.

🌟 Stay fabulous, stay tuned, and stay 2%! 🚀

Love, laughs, and much gratitude,

Dai M.

P.S. I'm primarily active on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Feel free to connect and start a conversation. If you're searching for inspiring, motivational, educational, and healthy living content, check out my over 1500 articles at DaiManuel.com - I enjoy writing, okay? lol

Dai Manuel:

Welcome back to the 2% Solution podcast, where small changes make a huge impact. I'm your host, I'm Manuel, and today buckle up, because we're about to embark on a transformative journey with none other than Ryan Fahey, a wellness wizard and entrepreneurial dynamo who brings the heat to every aspect of life, be it personal growth, physical fitness or crushing it in the remote work game. In this episode, ryan shares his origin story, revealing how a tectonic shift in his youth propelled him from couch potato to wellness advocate, all thanks to a pivotal discovery about his health. But Ryan's journey will not be the only thing that captivates you. His actionable insights on integrating wellness into remote work, setting boundaries and the psychology of triggers will empower you to craft a life of balance and fulfillment.

Dai Manuel:

If you've been feeling burnt out from blurry lines between work and home, or if the fridge has become your new BFF during remote work days, ryan has a wealth of practical tips to help you navigate these waters with grace and with purpose. And let's not forget the rush of obstacle course racing. Ryan will dive into how facing physical challenges head-on can mirror and bolster our mental resilience. Are you ready to redefine your work from home life, embrace wellness like a pro and maybe even consider lacing up for an obstacle course challenge. Then lean in, listen and welcome Ryan Fahey to the show. His insights could be the key to unlocking a healthier, more balanced life filled with personal growth and fulfillment. A healthier, more balanced life, filled with personal growth and fulfillment. So let's get to it, ryan.

Ryan Fahey:

Welcome to the 2% Solution Podcast. Man Dye, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me. It is great to see you today For everyone listening in. You are in for a treat today. Thanks for spending your time with us.

Dai Manuel:

Let's have some fun. Oh, man, and fun. It will be because you and I share so many, I would say, very similar values, similar belief systems, but even our wellness journeys they've run very much in parallel at periods in our lives. So I think we're going to have a great conversation today and, as you all heard in the introduction, ryan is no stranger to the topics we're talking about today.

Dai Manuel:

So let's just get right into it, and you know, I think the best way is let's start to get to know you a bit better, ryan, and I'd love to talk about what inspired your journey into the world of wellness, but also entrepreneurship, because the two of those, for a lot of people, don't go hand in hand. Do you know what I mean? There's a struggle with that, and I'm sure you can speak to that too, so let's start there.

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, absolutely Dai. So this actually goes back to when I was 12 years old, and this is where I feel like our stories are kind of similar in that a tectonic shift happened in my life at that point. So, when I was 12 years old, I was sitting on the couch playing video games, eating garbage not a very healthy individual and at that point in my life I was diagnosed with chronic migraines, and you know, there was no medication that seemed to be working, and so I was lucky enough to be part of the study at a local university, and what they ended up finding out from that study was basically what I did is I journaled, I documented, you know, documented what did I eat, how often was I sleeping and what types of physical activity was I doing through the day, and basically they followed me for a certain period of time and they wanted to see the trends on. Are there any lifestyle shifts that will take away or get rid of these migraines? And it turns out it worked. Any lifestyle shifts that will take away or get rid of these migraines? And it turns out, it worked the days that I was more physically active, I ate better, I slept better and I was not getting these migraines. And so at the end of the study, you know, voila, 12 years old, I discovered that, hey, if I move every day, I'm not going to be in pain anymore.

Ryan Fahey:

And, um, and that was a fundamental shift in my life at 12, going from literally sitting on the couch every day to then, you know, getting involved in things like school sport.

Ryan Fahey:

At the time, uh, I ended up picking up the passion for running, which I still have today, um, and yeah, it just kind of sent me on this, this completely different trajectory into, you know, the completely different trajectory into the world of wellness and the pursuit of wellness, not only figuring that out for myself, helping other people along the way, in the past as a personal trainer and now as an author, and so that's really how that journey started. My entrepreneur journey started a little separate from that, but it was almost in tandem too. So we used to go camping every summer, uh, with my family for two weeks and, um, and I would always get up on the bike every morning and I would go out and collect bottles, um, return those bottles and then go blow all that money at the arcade, because that's what you did before you had the internet, right, like you know you're gonna win in the arcade only dating ourselves.

Ryan Fahey:

Oh, absolutely 100 yeah, like gi joe terminator, you name it. Oh, you know I played it and everybody knew when I showed up I had the coin because I was the bottle guy and so you know I would. Uh, the joke of my family was I go on vacation, come home with more money than when I left, but I get up every morning right at sunrise and I would go bite and I would literally have grocery bags and just pick up bottles, return them and go blow money at the arcade. But it's funny, when I fast forward now to 2020s, I look back at that and that was really the start of my entrepreneur journey.

Ryan Fahey:

Nothing forced me to get out of bed early in the morning. I just knew I liked to be active and this was a great way for me to make money. And that's really where it all started for me was, you know, figuring out, problem solving on the fly, trying to, you know, beat out the other competition before they got up All these things that we talk about in entrepreneurship and entrepreneur's experience. I was experiencing that as a preteen and teenager. So, yeah, that's a little bit about how my journey got started in those areas.

Dai Manuel:

I love that story because it reminds me. There's a story my wife shared with a good friend of hers that she went to high school with, and all the way through grade nine to 12, he was a guy on his lunch hour, rather than hanging out with the other kids doing extracurriculars, would be walking around collecting cans and people used to tease him about it. They literally tease him because that's what you do on his lunch hours, but he would always cash in these and he would keep all that money. Well, you can imagine, over that school year his whole university was covered based on the money he collected in cans. And I'm like like who's laughing now? Right, right, because I was just. It was awesome. But I also know he's gone on to be very successful in his adult life. But you know there's a work ethic also attached to that habit. Right, and I can see how that really stemmed into this next part of your journey, Because I know part of this next piece of yours, there's really been a shift in what you specialize in or focus on and how you support people. I know it's also around this idea of remote work and I'm just going to be devil's advocate right now because I mean, we all experienced COVID. Okay, we did, and a lot of us were sort of forced into a position where we found ourselves at home all the time.

Dai Manuel:

If you were like me, I was like me, my wife, my two daughters. We had just relocated back from Bali. We were living in a small two bedroom with a little little crawl space right Of a den. My office is in that little crawl space of a den and we have these two bedrooms and my daughters are sharing one and there was only one bathroom, all right, so I can tell you, space was tight, emotions ran high and I myself, someone that's very active and healthy, found myself struggling a lot because now my work was 100% remote.

Dai Manuel:

There was no opportunity to do anything in person, no keynoting, no conference talks, no going out to meetup groups, even going to the gym and doing some of the group classes, which was a big part of my community connection time it all disappeared. And doing some of the group classes, which was a big part of my community connection time it all disappeared. And I found it really hard to maintain my wellness for a good chunk of time there. And you know the depression, the anxiety got out of control as a result of that and I know this is not a unique experience what I had and so I'd love for you to take some time, ryan, to talk about your experience and what's brought you to this sort of pivotal moment, where now you're supporting individuals to large organizations with this integration of remote working, but also while maintaining a fairly high level of wellness.

Dai Manuel:

You know, and that doesn't come without a lot of intention, but also having a plan. So do you mind speaking to your experience of how you came to that and how's the journey been so far?

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, absolutely, diane. You know, as you're talking about your story there, it's like almost bringing back, like PTSD almost. For me, I mean, it's like, uh, I mean we're both in Canada, and for any listeners in Canada, um, you know, every, every country went through the pandemic in just different ways but similar at the same time. In Canada, we went into these lockdowns and it was just the struggle that people face in terms of their mental health, in terms of their socialization, social, emotional wellbeing all those pieces were highly affected. And, as you were talking about the tight space, it's very similar for us.

Ryan Fahey:

When the pandemic hit, we were living in Ottawa and we had a one bedroom apartment and so my wife, who works in healthcare she was enrolled in her master's at the time, which went fully remote, and so we literally had to set up. I called it the dorm room because the bedroom turned into a dorm room and so she had a desk in there, we had the bed in there, I think the laundry unit was also in there, and then our living room doubled as my office, with an open concept kitchen. So it was very, very tight, I think like 650 square feet, with the two of us her doing school, me pursuing my job and writing. So it was tight. And you know, I remember when the pandemic first hit I think you know a lot of people were in a very similar place that you know there was a shift that happened, but no one really knew how long it was going to last. And you know how do we actually prepare for this? Because now we're in it, and one of those things that we're in is is remote work, and in my organization was, was that that's what happened there, that's what happened to me, that's what happened with millions of people all over the world. And so that first winter I remember thinking, you know, if I'm struggling, because at that point you know it's cold in Canada, it's dark, you know you couldn't get into a gym, like you were mentioning, and die, and you couldn't really get to those social events that you would typically get to. I remember thinking I'm a pretty optimistic guy and if I'm struggling, other people out there must be struggling to not only survive this but try to thrive in this new way of just being. And so I did a little bit of research and what I found out was that there was really no book on the market at that point, early on the pandemic to support the wellbeing of remote workers. There was a really good book called Remote by Jason Fry that had been on the market for a few years, but it was more on like productivity and kind of organizational structure, things like that, but nothing specific to wellbeing. And so the light bulb went off for me as an entrepreneur and as an author that you know there's probably a need here. Not only do I feel the need, but the market says that there's probably opportunity here to fill that.

Ryan Fahey:

So, long story short, it was over the holidays and I was on quarantine because I had traveled. So I was in a 14-day quarantine at my sister's house in the woods and if you're familiar with Mark Twain's story, we went up into the cabin in the woods with this cat and roped in. I think it was in Maine or something like that. So that was kind of me. I went into, I was at my sister's house, there were literally deer in the backyard and I just wrote. You know, for 14 days I was in quarantine, and for anybody that follows me on Strava, if you go back to that timeframe, it's kind of funny. I was literally just running laps around the property because you couldn't leave. So it was just like laps around the property writing, laps around the property writing. So anyway, yeah, 14 days, I pulled together the manuscript and got it to publication. You know um, what are? What are my new goals look like? How do I live healthfully?

Ryan Fahey:

and not just, you know, from a performance standpoint, which is what I kind of did before the pandemic with, with athletics and things but or just how do I be healthy, how do I feel well, how do I again avoid these migraines and and and how do I maybe help other people along the way? And so that's really where that book came out of.

Dai Manuel:

I love this and I you know I want to now. I'm like I got a bunch of these other questions that I didn't even really think about, but I'm going to ask them now.

Dai Manuel:

So, we're going to focus and sort of go a little bit deeper on this topic of well-being, but also in the remote working space, because I know, especially with a lot of people that I know personally, some of them transitioned to remote work and stayed as remote workers. So their organizations just adopted that, downsized a lot of that retail, overhead or overhead office space to maintain this. And then some have embraced sort of a hybrid model, which I'm sure you're probably seeing a lot too, with some of the large organizations where it might be one or two days remote and then a few days in office organizations where it might be one or two days remote and then a few days in office. And regardless of what the split looks like, it doesn't necessarily make it easier for some individuals because there are common challenges. And I was wondering if you could speak to some of the common challenges first that you tend to see when it comes to this idea of balancing or trying to harmonize our well-being and the remote work environment and schedule, and then we'll dive into sort of some of the solutions that you speak to in your book, with obviously not getting too much information, because everyone's got to read the book.

Dai Manuel:

So why don't we start with that. Can you talk about some of the common challenges that you see? You know, not only that you experienced, but I know you work with a lot of different people on this and you've seen lots of different situations, so maybe you can just elaborate on that for us as well. So, cause I know there's a lot of people listening thinking this was my situation, you know, and I, I I bet they're just there listening waiting for us to dive into this. So go ahead and take it away.

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, absolutely so this is a great question. Um, you know, I think we we've come into the pandemic with this new reality of the point. You know, there there's the hybrid model, there's the remote what model? And? And there's still folks figuring out what works best. Um, I think a few of the challenges that come to the top of mind that I've experienced, that I've seen a lot, are the biggest thing is boundaries and, um, you know, it's something, it's so simple, um, but but not not always easy, and I think we get confused with that sometimes.

Ryan Fahey:

So one of the things that I've suggested in my book and I know we're going to talk about solutions, but one of the things I talk about is the importance of psychological triggers, and we know this from the fitness industry, the wellness industry and even just from a nutrition standpoint. So, let's say, you have a long commute to work, you do go to the office and you pass by 10 McDonald's locations on the way to work. The first one, you're not thinking too much of it. The second, one, same thing, but by the time you get to the 10th McDonald's side, you're probably maybe thinking, oh, I might want that because we're priming ourselves right. And so we know the power of psychological cues are. They are powerful. That's how we the fast food industry exists, and we could go on about that. But the point is is that even in our own lives, if we're working remote, working hybrid, or even if we're in the office, the power of boundaries and the power of creating psychological cues in your, in your working space to help you thrive are important. And so I'll give you a simple example. In my, in my current role here in my home office, what I do my cue is my lamp. So when I turn the lamp on to begin the day, I'm game on it. It is full-on work mode. I'm diving in doing the hard things first, all those things we talk about when we're looking at productivity, but when I turn the lamp off at night, I can mentally close the door and I can separate my work life from my home life, and I can be present as a husband, I can do the other things, wear the other hats that I have as an entrepreneur and writer, and so that cue works for me. And so one of the things I would recommend is finding a cue that works for you, that gives you that psychological separation between work and life, and that's just one example and I think that that's one thing that I've seen. That's really really important.

Ryan Fahey:

The other thing that I've seen as a challenge is we really sometimes confuse communication and connection, right. So, right now, on this podcast, you and I are both right, we're communicating together, we're talking about this topic, but we're also connecting. We spent some time before this call connecting and I think, coming out of the pandemic, things just all of a sudden were so fast again and they're moving so quick and we have to remember that there's a difference between that. And if you're working remote and you're just sending emails all day, that's just communicating. But you need to build time with your teams to connect, whether it's a small team or within your larger team.

Ryan Fahey:

And the team that I'm with, one of the things that we do is every Monday, we take 45 minutes on a phone call or on a Zoom call to talk about our weekends.

Ryan Fahey:

You know, just very basic, very simple, like what'd you do? Let's share. It allows me to learn more about the lives of my colleagues, what they're up to, what they're interested in. It allows me to share some things they know things about my partner and it humanizes us in a world that's super digital and I think that that's really, really important whether you're on a hybrid team or you're working remote. And when we think about this, it makes sense because we do it naturally in the office space. But if we just rethink the office space, we can do the same things virtually, and I think that that's a really, really important piece. So I think those are probably the two biggest things. I see. Is is again the difference between communicating and connecting and making sure you're making time for quality connection in your days and weeks. And then the boundaries piece is absolutely critical to anything, but especially to thriving remote work.

Dai Manuel:

I see I can see why those two came up as your primaries. You know, because to me those come front of mind. I experienced struggles with that and I also know that intentional time of just the connection, like really connecting. It doesn't take much to experience that connection and I appreciate that. You said it's a 45 minute call. You get the team on there and everyone's just sharing what we can want, like that's, that's not hard right.

Dai Manuel:

It's not hard to do, but creating the space and the frequency and consistency to make it a priority and actually follow through with it. That's the whole other piece, and I know that sometimes it's separating the work from life. So I also appreciate that you talked about that, that trigger, that, that signal to your brain and your body to like, okay, start of the day lamp on, end of day lamp off. And uh, I'm similar. I have a lamp exactly the same.

Dai Manuel:

It turns on when I start and it goes off and I didn't really think about that, right, I do that, I already do, and it's like you're so true, it's so true. Um, what a quick piece about. Uh, I'm just curious, you know, with the the food side of things, because I've heard of this from people that started to go back into a remote setting. They are people that were very used to, let's just say, a Monday to Friday routine, right, and their routine was such that it was very autopilot and all of a sudden they found when now I'm working just from home, I'm not going to the office, so that routine went out the window.

Dai Manuel:

And I heard from a lot of different individuals and even clients that they were struggling a lot with nutritionary choices. You know, because of that access of continuous food I mean, it's like I got my fridge is 20 feet away, you know, like the convenience aspect, and I'm curious if you have any comments to the nutrition side of things, especially for remote workers, because I do know that that's a big challenge for people, you know. But it also affects our days, right. Blood sugar, energy, focus, productivity, it's all is deeply affected by our nutritionary choices. So do you mind just chatting to that for a couple of minutes?

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, absolutely, diane. That's a really good point, right. And then you add the layers in a different seasons, right, winter you're indoors more naturally, right, like this is a real, a real struggle. Um, one of the things I guess, based on my experience, I find really works and there is some science behind this, uh, with with James Clear's work on atomic habits.

Ryan Fahey:

I'm sure you've read it, most of your listeners are probably familiar with this book, but he talks a little keystone habits, right, and keystone habits are the one or two things that you do that really put everything else in motion and they set you on this trajectory through your days and your weeks. And for me, that keystone habit is that physical activity every day, and it's usually first thing in the morning over to the first hour of waking up in the morning. And, you know, I find, when I, when I can do that, um, you know again, I eat better, sleep better. Um, you know, your, your hunger cravings are different, you crave different things, right, you're working towards something with your body, um, versus, you know not, not really having a goal with with where you want your body. So I think that's that's really important to be thinking about is, you know, what are those keystone habits for me that I can put in place or just even move around a little bit and tweak a little bit so I can avoid those urges to maybe go to that fridge and grab that extra thing. So that's one thing.

Ryan Fahey:

The second thing I will say is you know it's important to understand that we have control over certain things, right? So even though you know the routine maybe is disrupted with hybrid work where you're going in a couple of days and you're not you know you're home the other days or you're just fully remote is you can still control what comes into your home. And I think that that's important. We take back that power, that ownership that you know. Like just the other day is a good example, my wife and I are at the grocery store and we had just come from brunch and went to the grocery store and we literally got everything on our list and we didn't deviate off the list and we actually talked about that and we said that's kind of interesting. We didn't pick up like any like junky food or processed stuff because we were actually full.

Ryan Fahey:

And so you know, like simple things, like okay, if I'm working at home, I'm going to be home all the time Food is readily available for me. You know how do I make sure I have as nutritious food as possible in my home at all times, because if it's there, you're going to eat it. So if it's not there and again you can control that then you're less likely to be looking for it, right, and it just goes back to that priming piece, right, that environment piece, if you. You know the marshmallow test is the big thing, right, and we know this from psychology. But yeah, I just think it's really, really important If the Oreos are there, you're going to eat them, and if they're not there, you won't.

Dai Manuel:

And, um, and I think it's important that we take back some of that power. I think that's very well spoken and and great recommendations or or just reminders. More importantly and and also something that we found worked really well for for our family was having certain healthy options always available in the fridge. You know, like egg bites, we make these little egg bites. You know the muffin cup eggs and chia pudding. You know just, there were certain things and quick oats. You know overnight oats. So we'd have these little Mason jars and we just we'd literally fill a shelf in the fridge.

Dai Manuel:

So at any time you had that hankering, you needed something. There was something there, you know, that was healthier. So you weren't reaching for some of those high sugary, high processed, instant gratification type snacks which we all know it's great for that instant fix, but you know, 15 minutes later we're like craving and jonesing for another one, right? So I think those are great insights and, you know, I like to dive into a bit more of your personal journey, ryan, specifically this idea of running, because I know running is huge for you. It's that constant piece, right, and I know that you came to that fairly young in life and I think that's wonderful.

Dai Manuel:

But there's obviously going to be people out there that maybe have thought about running but maybe haven't embraced it to the same level. So there's really two questions to this. It's one, the first one being how has running positively affected your health, but also the trajectory of your life? And then two after that for people that get excited by that story, what's the simple step they could take to maybe start integrating a little bit of that in their life? Okay, so two parts there First, your story and really about running and what has brought you and how it's helped you to where you are, and then, second, how can people start doing a little bit of that for themselves?

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, I think that's a great question to eye and and yeah, running for me has been part of my life, part of my identity, really, uh, since I was a teenager, and you know I'm not an Olympian by any means, Um, but, uh, but you know running is interesting. So a couple of things. First, it works for me. I want to preface that running doesn't work for everybody in terms of, you know, it doesn't feed them, it doesn't make them feel the way they want to feel. Maybe they like cycling, maybe they like swimming, uh, maybe like something else. And so for me, it's running, Um, but you know there's a couple of things with it. First, it is a keystone habit for me. Um, you know, running three, four days a week is is a staple, it's part of who I am, what I do, all seasons. The second thing is, it's taught me so much about myself over the years, you know it's, it's allowed me to understand, you know, the push and pull of life and navigating different seasons of life. You know, sometimes the legs just don't have it and you just take what your legs give you that day on the run and that's okay. And then other days you feel like you're on cloud nine and you could just run forever and that's just a lot like life, and so it's taught me to be more patient. It's taught me to be a better person. I've grown a lot from it and it's just interesting when you find something like that whether it's this or running or biking or whatever it is I think it can be great for your personal growth as well. Another thing that running has been really good for me is just problem solving and working through things. You know, some of my best ideas come in the shower or they come during a run, and I don't know if there's research behind that, but uh, it just works for me. You know, I can solve a problem on a run by the end of the run. I haven't figured out. Okay, this is how I'm going to tackle this issue with my business, or this issue with with is how I'm going to tackle this issue with my business, or this issue with this at work. So it gives me the space to really clear my head as well, and I think that goes in line with my mental health and being able to support my mental health. And again, it's just here in Canada we have an organization called Participation and they say that the what gets better, and you can input what that is. And for me, when I run, my sleep gets better. My identity is a husband. I'm a better husband, I'm a better worker, I'm a better all of these things better writer, right.

Ryan Fahey:

And so I think for anyone out there that's looking to start running or start any type of physical activity, first thing I would say is you know, don't excuse me, the first thing I would say would be just start. It doesn't have to be fancy. One of the things I'm a big believer in is no heroes, it does not have to be some heroic thing. You go out there and you break a five-minute mile, it's okay. If you run seven-minute miles, the rest of your life, that's okay. It's what you know. If you, if you run seven minute miles, the rest of your life, that's okay.

Ryan Fahey:

Um, it's what works for you and it's just about making you feel good and making you your best self. And if running does that for you, helps you contribute or contributes to you in that way, and do it. If it's cycling, if it's swimming, go for it. But test of different things, figure it out, Um and and just really go from there. But I think sometimes we get really hung up. New Year's comes around every year. We know that over 90% of New Year's resolutions fail, and a lot of it is because we get focused on one thing without really stepping back to think about, well, what fills us, what makes us feel good? And then I'll go and do that, and again it could be an array of anything out there. There's tons of different activities to do. So I would say for folks that are looking to start, just to start there and then just test. Be a scientist, figure out what works for you, figure out a rhythm and then and then run with it.

Dai Manuel:

Literally and figure um, yeah, no pun intended there, so, um, but I love it and I think it's a great reminder because it really does align very much with the 2% solution.

Dai Manuel:

And what we talk about here is like don't don't get bogged down by the minutiae right In every little detail, but rather just think about what is one thing you can do with that 30 minutes daily, that intentional time, that non-negotiable time where we prioritize ourselves, you know, and whether that be for professional development or personal development, self-care, it doesn't matter, it's just creating the habit of dedicating that time and space intentionally daily. And I know that this is really what you've done with your habits and habit stacking process. And I guess, if we continue this idea of keystone habits or the habits that have best served you, what would be those habits that, for you yourself personally, Ryan, that have been most beneficial for you in your life, especially from that transformation or change of focus or direction at 12, right to where you are now? I imagine there's been some habits that have been consistent all throughout, and do you mind speaking to one or two of those?

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, absolutely. So I would say definitely running 100%, being active. So I, you know, throughout my career I've traveled a lot with my work and some of my friends have commented and colleagues in the past they've said you know it's, it's always impressive at how you can be so active on the road, right, because as soon as you get on the road the excuses come up oh this was delayed, oh the hotel gym was dark. So what I would do, you know, as I would strategically find a hotel that actually had a nice gym and book that one, especially in the winter when it's cold, and you know you don't want to necessarily go outside at five in the morning minus 40. To five in the morning minus 40. And so you know whether you're a rural community wherever you're going. That was just kind of part of my routine, part of what it was. So I'd say that that's been a big piece for me is, you know, just continue to be active. And you know, some days it's not fancy, some days it's not sexy. You just go out and you just do it and I know that I'm always going to feel good and I know it's good for my heart, it's good for my body and again. It just makes me a better person. I would say another thing too and this often gets overlooked is the importance of sleep, and right now we're starting to see more coming out around sleep hygiene, and that was really big at the height of the pandemic, when we were just inundated with messages all the time about things changing and a lot of fear in society. And you know how do we regain our our, our healthy sleep patterns, and that's something I talk about in the book too. Um, but that's been a big focal point is, you know, making sure that that I'm doing what I need to get to get good sleep. So, some of those things are you know, putting technology away before bed, getting a book out, um, you know, really getting down, coming down from the day, especially when you're inundated with so much information, depending on the type of job that you do, you're kind of in this higher state and you need to come down from that to then get into a deep quality sleep. Um, you know, investing in a good bed. Uh, these are, you know, things we don't always think about. Good beds can be expensive, um, but you know it's an important investment in your own wellbeing. Um, but I would say those are. Those are probably two things.

Ryan Fahey:

I would say another thing that I'm trying to get better at and this is something I talk about one of my other books is I talk about the power of the yes no equation.

Ryan Fahey:

And you know, whenever you say yes to, you're inadvertently saying no to something else, and you you too well Di, with your expertise as well.

Ryan Fahey:

But if we say yes to this event on a Friday night and it's going to be late and there's going to be beverages and high-calorie foods, then probably that 7 am plan that you had of getting up and doing a high-quality workout before you start your day is getting shattered, and so it comes back to values, in a way. But also, you know, okay, if I say yes to this, here's the consequences. And if you're okay with the consequences, great, but just know that they're going to be there, and so you got to figure out for you what, what do you? What works for you? And um, and I've I've gotten better with and that's something I continue to work on but, um, just knowing that my energy can only go with so many places and I can only feel well when I'm putting that energy in certain places. So I would say. Those are some things that that have been a big part of who I am over the years.

Dai Manuel:

I love it. I love it, ryan, and I know it shows, but the consistency and the frequency has also been there and I think that's something that we have to all take to heart. You know, like I hear a bit, well, I tried working out for a month. I didn't see any changes. I'm like, huh, okay, well, fair enough. You know, like you only did it for a month, or you went to the gym twice. I mean, it's not, you can't go once.

Dai Manuel:

And idea of consistency and frequency and I do speak to that, and it's a lot easier when you do things that you naturally enjoy, which I think is important because that's really the sub context or subtext of what you're saying, ryan is you discover that you liked running, you enjoyed it. It became an activity where you recognized you could do one job. You know, go for one quick jog or a run, and you would always inevitably come back feeling better than you were before you had the run. And and I want people to discover that that's my invitation is go figure that out. And that's exactly what you just echoed. You know, it's like do your due diligence, try a bunch of things. Fine, what is that thing for you? Because it's amazing when you find it. We are so quick now to have a solution to get us to a better place mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, and it doesn't take very long to have that shift. But it has to align with the right thing, right, that right action. And because I think a lot of us, all of a sudden we hear these podcasts, we read an article, we see some impressive speaker, one of the gurus right, and we're like, well, that sounds like a great idea, but then it feels like we're trying to jam that square peg into a round hole.

Dai Manuel:

It's like they've said that they do like, like IE 75 hard, right, like great program. I've had a couple of clients that have come my way from people that have done that program, great results. But the majority of people I've spoken to you know they struggled with completing it the way it's meant, because it is. It's hard, it's a challenge and that's why it's called 75R. I mean they didn't call it 75Easy, okay, but but to that extent something that I'm reminded of with the running is you went one extra step, no pun intended, but said you know, running's good but I want to spice it up a little bit.

Dai Manuel:

And you went and got big into the OCR space and for those that aren't familiar with what OCR stands for, it's an acronym for obstacle course racing, so we might be familiar with Tough Mudder or Spartan. More importantly, because Spartan is an even bigger brand globally than Tough Mudder and actually, if you're not aware, but during the pandemic, tough Mudder had some financial crunching and Spartan acquired them. So actually Spartan and Tough Mudder are owned by the same entity now, and speaking of which, they've got a great podcast as well, if you haven't heard it with Joe, but I'm sure we'll get into that as well here. Ryan, but can you talk to?

Ryan Fahey:

me how did you come to that?

Dai Manuel:

How did you come to OCR and what's it meant for you?

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, absolutely, dai. And before I jump in there, I want to say something that just builds on what you were saying. There we touched on something so important and I hope listeners catch this, because one of my favorite authors is Robin Sharma, and he talks a lot about longevity. A hundred meter sprint at a hundred, you have virtually no competition, and so when we think about building healthy habits, that's really what it's about. It's about, you know, the goal in life is to reach death as slow as possible, right, and to feel well as long as possible, and if we instill these things, whether it's this or that, it's about getting there Right. And so, yeah, I just love what you said there and I wanted to echo that. But, yeah, ocr is, is, is, um, something I I've got. I've got into or I got into a few years ago, so it goes back to two, probably 2014.

Ryan Fahey:

I did a tough mudder in Virginia. Uh, didn't really know what I was signing up 20s and I thought, well, you know, I got a buddy, he's gonna fly over from Canada, we're gonna go have a weekend in Virginia and run around the mud, and so, uh, I had a blast. I, I absolutely loved it. I met some great people. Um, I think we're still Facebook friends from it. They pretty much saved me from the ice plunge, uh, because I was not prepared for that. Um, but that was my early days and then I went from there. I did this there, I did a stadium up in Milwaukee, then I did a bunch of courses in Canada and then ended up doing the trifecta. If folks follow Spartan, that's kind of the sprint, the super and the beast get you the trifecta. So, yeah, it's an interesting sport.

Ryan Fahey:

One of the reasons why I think I love it so much is because it's not always about your fitness, it's about how you approach things and every course is different. Like you can study and you can kind of, you know, get your head wrapped around one one event and then the next event is completely different. The conditions are different, the obstacles swap in and out, the terrain is different, and and how you approach it before and after can are different, the obstacles swap in and out, the terrain is different and how you approach it before and after can be different. And so you know it's really just a microcosm for our lives and that you know change is inevitable, it's constant, and you know it's not necessarily how strong we always are.

Ryan Fahey:

It's about our willingness to bounce back and our willingness to shake off failure, because it's going to happen and how do we move forward? And you know it's it's playing out real time and my wife and I we've done these and you know it's been so good for our marriage because we see it and, like you know, there's one obstacle. She was doing, uh, at our last event it was last spring or yeah, yeah, I think it was last spring, but anyway, it was the sledge, the sled pole, and they designed it. Of course, where you're now, you're pulling the sled uphill, so it's not just a sled pole.

Ryan Fahey:

It's a sled pole uphill. I mean, she's, you know, five, one very, very tiny, petite, strong woman and she was just struggling and struggling, trying to get this. And you know, I, I was observer and I said you just let me know if you want me to step in. And she was so resilient and determined to get it and she got it and it took a long time, but, like people were cheering her on, I was cheering her on and she did it and the you know the elation of overcoming that obstacle and like it's just again. It's just what we try to do in life. We're trying to break barriers, we're trying to push ourselves, we're trying to grow. And OCR is doing that for you in real time, whether you do Spartan or you do Tough Mudder, and that's why I love them, you know, and I just think they're great. So they take a lot out of you and you got to be ready for that for sure. I've learned a lot of hard lessons and I have some scars, but uh, but I also think it's uh, you know.

Dai Manuel:

I take those with me and I carry them with pride as I go. So, oh, thanks for sharing that. Right, I, I, you and I both jammed on this uh, quite a bit together already. But uh, you know, before we hit record, I'm a big OCR fan myself and I was disappointed this past summer. Unfortunately the fires up in the interior of BC prevented they had to cancel the Spartan weekend. But I was signed up to do the trifecta in the weekend, you know, like over the two days, and uh, I was all fired up and excited, but unfortunately the fire uh delayed that. So I'm I'm hoping to do that this year. So, uh, I might have to travel a bit because they haven't confirmed whether they're coming back to BC or not.

Dai Manuel:

But I can echo everything that Ryan said and then some from a standpoint. The one thing I love about Tough Mudder it is really focused on team, you know, and that community feel, and there's a great community with Spartan as well. But there is a lot of that also individual aspects, right, like it's just the way that the two events are run and how they track and they time Spartan, where they don't necessarily time tough mudder, unless you do the timed events which are especially, you know, separate from the main tough mudder events and, uh, and I, I just for anybody that's out there, it's a wonderful experience, it is challenging, but I, just just because I know there's gonna be people like, oh, I'll never do that, that's crazy, you know, I've seen what they do on tv. No way I YouTube that. No, not for me. And I've heard it like a million and one times.

Dai Manuel:

But we had one gentleman that did Tough Mudder on our team, you know one. One year we had Tough Mudder and we had about 80 people join us to do it in Whistler. And, uh, one gentleman in particular, hirsch, was someone that was about 40 pounds overweight in his late fifties and had a prosthetic leg, all right, and I'll tell you he had a smile on him the whole six and a half hours he was on the course, and six and a half hours is a long time to be out there doing a Tough Mudder. But me and one of the other guys stayed with him the whole time and it was just awesome, just a positive attitude. But I'll tell you, to speak to that elation point that you mentioned, ryan, that satisfaction, that feeling of fulfillment and that reminder that, wow, I did that. You know you couldn't wipe the face off, the smile off of his face, like, quite literally, like he was just like beaming, and the funny thing was, every opportunity to stop at one of the little stations where they would often have these first aid attendants, he'd stop and take his leg off and empty out the water and the mud, right, and? But his excuse whether he had to empty it or not didn't matter, cause there's always these pretty little nurses or first aid attendants and Hirsch was such a sly dude He'd always want to break the conversation. We're like dude, we got to get going here. Come on, man. Yeah, it was just a little you can do. You know, cause a little aside as well. Ryan, you'll appreciate this.

Dai Manuel:

I remember we were probably around the seven or eight kilometer mark, which is about the halfway point, and it was this. I forget what they called it. It was like terrible mile. It was basically up the ski slope that's part of the old um, uh, olympic grounds and Whistler from the 2010 Olympic, but where they had the big ski jump and I mean, obviously it is a massive hill and they had us going straight up this thing and, uh, I remember I was to the one side of hers and my buddy Kay was on the other side just to give him that extra support in case he slipped Right.

Dai Manuel:

And so we're walking up the hill and there was this couple right beside us just passing us and she was complaining like just nonstop, like I hate this, she was not having fun.

Dai Manuel:

Then she looked over, she saw her smiling and laughing, saw his prosthetic and she just her whole attitude changed in a fraction of a second. You know, she's like Whoa gives yourself a shake, because you're just like. It was just a great reminder that the limitations that we put on ourselves are awesome Often our own, you know, and it's, it's so incredible and I think OCR brings that out in us, you know. And so thanks for being such a great example and role model for that industry and sport. Right, because I know you speak to this quite prolifically and you know, I know we're sort of winding down now, we're getting close to the end here, but I'd like to give you some time to sort of speak about what's the future looking like for Ryan. You know what, what sort of some of those upcoming projects or maybe even new books that you have coming? Uh, please take a moment to share that with us, and then I'm also going to give you the last words.

Ryan Fahey:

Yeah, thanks, ty. Um, yeah, so what's next? Um, I just published my fourth book. Uh, the book was called yeah, I know, right, we should get some soda waters going but yeah, it's called Listen how to Be you in a World when you Can Be Anything, and so it really kind of, you know, focuses in on how can we thrive through all seasons of life, how do we ignite our careers, ignite our teams and move through career phases in authentic and harmonious ways, and how to just have an inner peace about what comes next. So I talk a lot about those types of things throughout the book. So, really excited about that. You know, it was a lot of work getting that one out and we recently bought a house. I'm a a dog dad, so there's a lot going on.

Ryan Fahey:

Um, but honestly, this next season is I have a couple talks coming up, one in toronto, a few, a few podcasts, but just kind of seeing where things go. I'm not, I'm not really. I feel like I've been hitting the gas pedal pretty hard, um, you know, making move to to our new home and publishing this book and continuing to grow the business and and and whatnot. So I'm just just going to kind of take some time here and I'm in that season that we talked about earlier in the podcast that.

Ryan Fahey:

You know, life is in different seasons. I feel like I'm in that season of I just had a big, a big uh uh push of creativity and productivity, um, and adding value to the market, and now I just kind of want to sit back for a little bit and just have great conversations like this and see what comes next. So nothing really crazy on the horizon. There'll be a few road races this year. I do a couple of 5, 10ks get to the beach in the summer, hang out with the dog, hang out with my wife Nothing too crazy, man, it should be good. So we'll see.

Dai Manuel:

Sounds like a fun next six months or so, so I don't know. I'll be looking forward to hearing the updates and we'll have to get you back on the show in about six months time to see how everything's gone and how things are progressing. But also as a quick reminder to everybody listening or watching this, in the show notes we've got links to Ryan's books, also to some of his content, specifically also around the wellness and remote work practices, because, man, when you start looking at it, it's a bit of a rabbit's hole. Ryan's got a lot of great content, got some great resources that are easily accessible to all of us. So if anything that you've heard today sort of peaks to your interest, I invite you check out the show notes, click on a couple of those links, go check out what Ryan's doing and get in on that conversation, cause I know Ryan loves receiving inquiries. So, you know, bombard him with some messages. You know, and and and quick note before we get to the last words, right? I know that. You know, come on.

Dai Manuel:

The online space is very noisy at times as well. I mean, it just is, and everything's fighting for our attention these days, especially these social media platforms, but I find that every guest I've had on has one platform that's their favorite. It's their place they go to, it's their happy place, it's where they're most consistent. They share content, they share conversations, they connect with their audience. Which platform is that for you connect?

Ryan Fahey:

with their, their, their audience. Um, which platform is that for you? Yeah, I would say honestly it, it it's LinkedIn. I, I love LinkedIn. I think it's uh, yeah, like I've been connected with a lot of other authors on there and I can just have real conversations with them about thoughts in their books, and there's a lot of good conversations about remote work happening on there. Some other great authors I can connect people with too that have great, uh, you know, research around productivity and whatnot. So linkedin is for sure at the spot.

Dai Manuel:

Yeah love it and that will definitely be in the show notes, hey, you know. So give us a great, great call. Today I got a conversation. I keep saying call, because it's a call for you and I, but it's a podcast for everybody else, but, but. But I've absolutely enjoyed just getting to know you, ryan, but also having these connection calls and connecting on social, on LinkedIn.

Dai Manuel:

It's just been wonderful and I'm looking forward to continuing to stay engaged, keep in touch and to follow your journey, because it sounds like there is an exciting year ahead there. It sounds like it's really a lot of clarity coming through some of the things you've been doing and the hustling right, the books, writing that, just out there, speaking man, you're making it happen and you're making an impact and, as a courtesy, I always like to give my guests last words before we go. Is there any last message that you'd like to leave with the listeners or viewers today to set them on a path there? You know, just continue progressing towards their best selves. Please take it away. Anything at all. Yeah, thanks, no pressure. Yeah, no.

Ryan Fahey:

I would say, I would say, honestly, it's just about it At the end of the day. It's just about the small nudges. You know like we listen to podcasts like this just for one or two things to nudge us in a in a good direction, and we read books to nudge us in a good direction. And you know, one thing might stick from what you said or I said here today for folks listening in. I think that's what it's all about at the end of the day.

Dai Manuel:

So you know, find what those pieces are listen to those nudges and and and take action on them. I think that would be the final say Drop the mic, but don't really drop it. They're expensive, but you know what I mean. That was great, ryan. You're awesome man. Thank you so much for being here today. All the listeners, I'll see you in the outro. I'll recap what we talked about, but also include some of those links again in the show notes. Do take action on that. You know Ryan's a great guy, great information, and I know I'm excited to check out a lot of his books, especially this new one. It sounds super interesting. So thanks again, ryan, for being here today Absolute pleasure and look forward to having you back in six or seven months. Then we'll see how the year's gone.

Ryan Fahey:

Sounds great, Di. Thank you.

Dai Manuel:

Sounds great, di, thank you. Into life lessons, ryan has left us with actionable nuggets that'll have us sprinting towards our wellness goals, if it's just from the home office to the fridge and back. Ryan reminded us that small changes, psychological cues, like a lamp signaling the start and end of our workday, can create the grandest of shifts in our lives. It's not about turning our lives upside down. It's about those tiny tweaks, those 2% changes that make all the difference. Boundaries are not just for maps, my friends. They are the unsung heroes in our daily wellness saga, especially when working from home. And let's not forget Ryan's gems about the power of connection over communication. In a world where we ping more than we chat, it's vital to remember that a Zoom call with your team, sharing weekend tales, can bridge the gap that remote work sometimes creates. If today's conversation has your mind running faster than Ryan in a Tough Mudder race and you're looking to shift gears into a healthier, more productive lifestyle, hop over to the show notes. Click on those golden links to Ryan's world and connect with him on LinkedIn, where the conversations and connections continue to thrive.

Dai Manuel:

Before you sprint off to your next adventure, remember to hit that subscribe button. Share this episode with someone who could use a boost to turn their home into a haven of health and productivity. Leave us a review if you loved what you heard or didn't, because, hey, we're all about the feedback. And for your daily dose of motivation, remember to follow the 2% Solution podcast. This is Diamond Wells signing off, but not slowing down. Keep those wellness wheels turning and maybe I'll see you on the next obstacle course, or maybe just at the coffee shop. Both require a certain level of endurance, after all. Until next time, keep pushing that extra 2% and remember the only bad workout is the one that didn't happen. The same goes for life's little efforts towards wellness. Cheers to your health and happiness. See you next time you.

Wellness and Entrepreneurship in Remote Work
Challenges of Remote Work Well-Being
Challenges and Solutions for Remote Work
Habits in Health and Wellness
Staying Active, Sleep, Consistency, OCR
Obstacles Aplenty
Finding Balance and Wellness Journey

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