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Archive for the ‘Self-Improvement’ Category

Horoscopes Aug. 25, 2020: Blake Lively, be open to suggestions – Vacaville Reporter

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CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Blake Lively, 33; Tim Burton, 62; Elvis Costello, 66; Sean Connery, 90.

Happy Birthday: Positive change is heading in your direction. Be open to suggestions, but only follow through with the ideas and plans that you feel passionate about. You are in control, so dont give the throttle to someone else. Be the one to come up with a plan and to follow through. Love, romance and success are all waiting for you; follow your heart. Your numbers are 6, 19, 25, 27, 32, 36, 41.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Meditate, retrace your steps or talk to a trusted friend about something that has been weighing on your mind. Assess your situation, and break away from whatever is holding you back. Get rid of what you no longer need. 5 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Pay close attention to your relationships. Someone will disappoint you if you put too much faith in him or her. Take control, and dictate what you want to happen. If you exude confidence, you will come out on top. 3 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Taking a risk or making an unexpected change will not go over well with the people close to you. Walk away from people who prompt you to do things you shouldnt. Truth matters; dont believe everything you hear. 3 stars

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Use your persuasive powers to get others to think your way. A last-minute arrangement to do something with someone you enjoy working with will help you get ahead. Generosity and thoughtfulness will pay off. 5 stars

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Plan to improve your surroundings or take care of unfinished chores. Set a strict budget, and do the work yourself to avoid falling behind financially. If possible, work extra hours to subsidize unexpected costs. Use your skills effectively. 2 stars

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Speak your mind. You may not like every response you receive, but it will help you put things in perspective and head in a direction that makes life easier. Trust and believe in your ability to excel. Romance is favored. 4 stars

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you shirk your responsibilities, someone will overreact and make life miserable. Take care of business, and the freedom to do something you prefer will result. If you stretch the truth, expect to be caught and questioned. Play it safe. 4 stars

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Let your emotions dictate what you do next. Once you share your thoughts, you will have a better idea of where you stand and whats possible. Change is good, and you should welcome any opportunity that comes your way. Worry less and do more. 3 stars

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Keep moving, and do your best to avoid emotional situations that put you in a vulnerable position. Expect someone to leave you with added responsibilities. Dont evade issues; deal with matters swiftly to avoid repercussions. Say goodbye to an undependable friendship. 3 stars

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Do what makes you happy, and enjoy the people you like being around most. How you handle personal and professional affairs will encourage you to make healthier and more productive moves. Romance is encouraged. 3 stars

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Remembering the past will help you avoid making the same mistake twice. Size up whatever situation you find yourself facing, and make adjustments to counter any negativity that comes your way. Focus on your strengths, and work on your weaknesses. 4 stars

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Stay mellow. If you overreact or let uncertainty get to you, it will be challenging to handle the emotional fallout. Focus on what you know, what you want and how best to reach your objective. Self-improvement is favored, and romance is encouraged. 2 stars

Birthday Baby: You are precise, opportunistic and ambitious. You are resourceful and dependable.

Visit Eugenialast.com, or join Eugenia on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn.

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Horoscopes Aug. 25, 2020: Blake Lively, be open to suggestions - Vacaville Reporter

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:52 pm

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Your stars August 24 – News from southeastern Connecticut – theday.com

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Avoid taking on too high a financial burden or giving the impression you are capable of doing something you cannot. Take a moment to rethink your strategy and the best way to keep the peace with someone who has a different opinion. 3 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Don't let someone's flirting or poor judgment lead to a wrong decision. The more hands-on you are when making decisions, the easier it will be to control the outcome. Reassess a partnership that is not living up to its expectations. 3 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't let your personal life interfere with your work responsibilities. Recognize when someone is taking advantage of you. Your most significant effort and contribution will lead to advancement and a better future. Focus on getting ahead, not pleasing someone who doesn't deserve you. 3 stars

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A hobby or self-improvement project will push you to pursue a unique and exciting path. Reconnect with old friends, and plan a virtual reunion. Bridge the gap between your past and the present. A forgive-and-forget attitude is favored. 5 stars

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Finish what you start, and honor promises you make. A lifestyle change will improve a relationship you have with someone special. If you have doubts, say what's on your mind and find out where you stand. 2 stars

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A virtual journey will lead you in a new direction. A chance to use your skills differently will encourage partnerships that can change the way you work or do things in the future. Reconnect with someone you haven't seen in a long time. 4 stars

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Don't overspend or let anyone take advantage of you financially. Unfinished business will leave you in an awkward position. Don't let ulterior motives lead to a problem with someone you need to work alongside. Damage control will be necessary. 3 stars

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Use reason when dealing with people offering ultimatums, and you will find a way to get them to see things your way. A change is likely to happen quickly. Go with the flow, and the result will be better than anticipated. 3 stars

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Helping someone who has assisted you in the past will make you feel good. A sales pitch may entice you, but before you decide to dole out cash, consider if your budget can handle the pressure. Stick to what you can afford. 3 stars

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Listen, but don't buy into someone's plan. Concentrate on personal health and emotional well-being. The ideas you come up with will far exceed what someone is prompting you to do. Don't hesitate to do your own thing. 4 stars

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Being observant will keep you out of trouble and allow you to make a wise decision. Distance yourself from a situation that is causing confusion or making you feel bad. Protect your heart and your possessions. 2 stars

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You can repair a partnership that experienced troubled times if you are willing to accept half the blame. An exciting new interpretation on something you've always wanted to do will encourage you to take a chance. Love and romance are favored. 4 stars

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Your stars August 24 - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:52 pm

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Losing weight, gaining dreams: How Mike Breedens transformation turned into an MMA career – MMA Junkie

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If Mike Breeden wasnt a fighter, theres no question what hed be doing instead.

Breedens family is in the restaurant business. Growing up, all signs pointed to Breeden being the next member of the bloodline to follow suit.

(My family) is either running a restaurant or they own their own restaurant, Breeden recently told MMA Junkie. Id probably be doing that and Id still be pretty hefty.

During his youth, Breeden didnt have any interest in pursuing MMA greatness or any athletic greatness for that matter. He was content doing his own thing.

As a kid, I really didnt have any desire to become a fighter, Breeden said. I watched old kung fu movies and Id play around with my friends and stuff. I had no desire to become a fighter.

How hefty was Breeden? Breeden, who is currently listed as being 5-foot-11, estimates he weighed upward of 265 pounds around the time of his high school graduation.

Through his high school days, it seemed like Breeden would be going down that path until his uncle suggested he try martial arts. Breeden said he initially voiced his interest, but like many other potential hobbies he stumbled across, he didnt have the get-up-and-go to turn words into actions.

I just really didnt enjoy working out, Breeden said. You couldnt get me to run. You couldnt get me to lift. You couldnt get me to do anything if it didnt have to do with food.

Seeing his nephews lack of action, Breedens uncle dragged him into the gym. The rest was history, to which Breeden says he owes his uncle a lot. From the time he signed up for classes, Breeden focused on physical wellbeing and self-improvement a rare occurrence at that point.

As Breeden grew as a fighter, he slimmed down in weight. After one year of training, Breeden estimates he lost about 100 pounds. The tremendous weight loss is unusual by pretty much every standard. Breeden thanks his coach, whose unorthodox methods tricked him into slimming down.

How (the weight) came off was that my coach kept tricking me, Breeden said. He was like, Hey, you want to fight? Im like, Sure, I think Ill be pretty good at it. At this point I was in the low 200s. OK, well go 185. Well schedule your first fight (at middleweight). I got to 185 and then after that, Im like, Lets do this. Lets start looking for another one. Hes like, We can get you down lower. Then, I got to 170. Hes like, Nope.

Then, I got to 155 and again, hes like, Nope. At this point, I was like, Nah, nah, nah, nah. Ive been at this for so long, I need something to reward myself for all the hard work. 155 is where I ended up starting my (pro) career. He just kind of tricked me into it, I guess.

It all seems to have happened so quickly. When Breeden, now a 155-pound fighter with an 8-2 pro record, takes a step back and reflects, hes blown away. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, Breeden is astounded by the improvements hes made.

I still cant believe it because of the mindset I had back then, Breeden said. I was just happy with being big. I found something I enjoyed doing and I fell in love with: the art of MMA. When you enjoy doing something, its pretty easy to get the weight off when you stay active doing your workouts.

Its so much better. Im just way healthier.

While hes winning his battle to maintain a healthy lifestyle, he hasnt won the war. Temptations to eat tasty foods still exist as does his loving family, who is always looking out for his tastebuds.

(Even now,) its still a struggle, Breeden said. Its tough. Everybody in my family is in the restaurant business. Any time Im around them, theyre trying to feed me, Oh, youre too skinny. Lets eat. Lets eat.

On Tuesday, Breeden will fight for a UFC contract when he takes on Anthony Romero (7-0) at DWCS 30 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Having endured the long journey up until this moment, Breeden understands the importance of capitalizing. His dream is one impressive win away.

It would mean everything all the hard work over the past 10 years is paying off, Breeden said. Im showing everyone that everything is possible if you stay on your grind day in and day out. You can accomplish anything.

Inspiring others isnt what Breeden set out to do when he got off the couch and into the gym over a decade ago. However, now that the platform is there, hes willing to be someone others look up to. Its all about finding what works for each individual.

With dedication, anything is possible, Breeden said. Weve just got to find whatever works for them. Not everybodys journey is the same. Some people can get up, head to the gym, and lift some weights. They get like a runners high. I just had to find what got me going and it was martial arts. It could be boxing (or) kickboxing even lifting weights.

Youve just got to find the one thing you truly enjoy doing that helps you relieve stress and makes you happy. Everything will take care of itself.

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Losing weight, gaining dreams: How Mike Breedens transformation turned into an MMA career - MMA Junkie

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:52 pm

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Explore hidden treasures of the Freemasons at Cedar Rapids Masonic Library – The Gazette

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By Joe Coffey, The History Center

CEDAR RAPIDS Hidden in plain sight at 813 First Ave. SE are world-class collections of books, artifacts and art. The Iowa Masonic Library and its museums are not advertised on a sign out front. Instead, the facade says Grand Lodge of Iowa, AF & AM. It might sound off-limits to non-Masons, but the treasures inside are there for everyone.

The white Vermont-marbled edifice was dedicated in 1955, replacing the original library building that occupied the same spot. The original building was the first Mason-specific library in the world, built in 1884 and eventually replaced when its collections grew too large.

Librarian/curator Bill Krueger has given tours and guidance to Masons, historians and anyone curious enough to walk in for nearly 22 years. There are 150,000-plus volumes of literature, many of which predate the countrys founding. Among the artifacts are Babylonian tablets, a suit of samurai armor and a Civil War battle flag.

I asked Krueger to identify the five most significant items in the building, a difficult task for a historian who sees value in every scrap of paper. Heres what he said hed prioritize grabbing in the unfortunate event of a fire.

Built in the early 1900s by Cedar Rapids Mason Philip J. Sargent, this stunning marquetry table features 37,000 tiny pieces of inlay from 100 kinds of wood.

The wood is said to be from a significant collection of sources among them, the first dam built across the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, the Old Capitol Building in Iowa City, Thomas Jeffersons Monticello home in Virginia, the elm tree George Washington stood under in 1777 when taking command of the Continental Army and the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem.

The functional drop-leaf table features many well-known and secretive symbols associated with Masonry.

In 1921, early in his short tenure as a Mason, Grant Wood accepted a commission to illustrate the first three Masonic degrees. Executed as an allegorical triptych, the work borrows from famous sculptures to show the creation, utility and decline of the Temple of Solomon, a story many Masonic rituals are based on.

Symbolism abounds in Woods depiction of the progression from youth to old age. The painting left Iowa for the first time last year when it appeared in a Grant Wood exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Despite having an original 1723 copy of James Andersons seminal text of Freemason history and rituals, the library is especially proud to own a rare 1734 copy of the book reprinted by Benjamin Franklin, a Mason himself. Known as The Franklin Edition of the Constitution, the artifact was one of the main attractions in the librarys recent exhibition celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa.

Theodore Sutton Parvin founded the Masonic Order of Iowa and served as the states Grand Lodge master and grand secretary. In 1842, just six years after arriving as territorial governor Robert Lucas private secretary, Parvin started the Iowa Masonic Library with a $5 gold piece that yielded the librarys first batch of books, magazines and pamphlets.

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Parvin would become a District Court clerk, a district attorney and a probate judge. He literally helped shape Iowa as the states first land office registrar. He launched the first official state library as well as the Iowa State Historical Society. He also was one of the first trustees of the University of Iowa and taught natural history there for 10 years.

Known more for founding the Mormon religion than being a Mason, Joseph Smith helped found a lodge in Nauvoo, Ill., where he ran a store.

This ledger, or daybook, is the very register he was keeping at the time of his assassination by a mob in 1844 in Carthage, Ill. Hundreds of accounts of goods bought and sold are documented in what could be Smiths own handwriting.

The artifact is a snapshot of what things cost in Nauvoo from 1842 to 1844, which is why an economic historian was recently at the library poring over the artifacts many details. Mormon pilgrims from across the country also have stopped by and found familiar names in it.

Krueger described Masonry as an education-focused self-improvement society and delighted in the notion that Masons are all around doing good things without hoopla.

Theres more around us than what we actually know, Krueger said, drawing on the connection to the treasures in the Iowa Masonic Library.

See them yourself, theyre hidden but in plain sight just like Iowas Masons.

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Explore hidden treasures of the Freemasons at Cedar Rapids Masonic Library - The Gazette

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:52 pm

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Aaron Rodgers Has Been Sharp in Camp and He Explains Why Sort Of – Sportscasting

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Aaron Rodgers is a two-time MVP and a Super Bowl champion. He helped guide the Green Bay Packers to the NFC title game a year ago, and he hasnt shown any signs of slowing down. The Packers quarterback has been very sharp during the early part of training camp, and without getting into specifics, he says he knows why.

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The Green Bay Packers were one game away from a Super Bowl appearance last season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers again threw for more than 4,000 yards. He tossed 26 touchdown passes and had just four interceptions. His receiving corps consists of Davante Adams and not a whole lot more.

So when the 2020 draft rolled around, it was expected the Packers might provide Rodgers with some receiving help. Instead, they immediately drafted Rodgers future replacement. The Packers drafted Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round and traded up to do so. In seven rounds, Green Bay never drafted a wide receiver.

According to The New York Post, Rodgers said when the Packers traded up, he felt it might be to grab a receiver. Instead, they took his backup. When they traded up, I definitely perked up a little bit, Rodgers said. And then I got a text because everything is so delayed. I got a text from my agent, my marketing agent who I love and he just texted quarterback. I was like, Oh, wow. OK.

Aaron Rodgers has been there before. Jordan Love didnt ask to be a member of the Green Bay Packers. The team is simply taking a quarterback they love and building for the future. Its a baffling move since the Packers were one game away from a Super Bowl berth and chose to build for the future instead of plugging up a few holes.

Rodgers was in Loves shoes before. In 2005, the Green Bay Packers selected Rodgers in the first round when they have three-time MVP quarterback Brett Favre. Favre was still playing at a high level, but the Packers saw the potential in Rodgers and snagged him. The move was repeated when they drafted Love.

Like I said, I wasnt elated by the pick especially being one game away from the Super Bowl and feeling like were a couple players away, but at the same time I understand its a business, Rodgers said, according to The New York Post. I know thats the reality.

According to various reports, Aaron Rodgers has been extremely effective in camp. Is it because he has something to prove to the team? That doesnt appear to be the case. According to Packers.com digital reporter Wes Hodkiewicz, Rodgers looked back at some of his own film and found something. Without getting into specifics, Rodgers said he saw something from 10 years ago that has helped him.

Actually, its interesting, Rodgers said. We were watching some old film of some of the cutups. As we do the installs, well put some film alongside it. I just noticed something from a clip from 2010, actually. It kind of hit me. And I know it was 10 years ago but the next day I went out to practice and started working on what I saw on the film, and the last couple of days kind of happened.

In 2011, Rodgers won the first of his two MVPs. If he can put up a third this year, the Packers might get that Super Bowl berth they fell short of last season.

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Aaron Rodgers Has Been Sharp in Camp and He Explains Why Sort Of - Sportscasting

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:52 pm

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Your stars August 22 – News from southeastern Connecticut – theday.com

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Emotions will take over, and your temper will flare up if you jump to conclusions regarding a situation with someone you love or work alongside. Take a moment to think matters through before you say or do something you'll regret. 3 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Get involved in a project that moves you. Use your imagination, and you will discover new ways to use your skills, knowledge and intelligence. Romance is on the rise, and discussing plans with someone you love will lead to a positive change. 3 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Set your sights on self-improvement projects that will make you feel good and look spectacular. Take the initiative to do something physical; it will pump you up and encourage you to make positive adjustments to the way you live. 5 stars

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Use discretion when discussing personal matters. Listen attentively to what others have to contribute; it will give you a sense of what's doable. You'll be offered information that can help you make a profitable decision. 2 stars

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Look for the positive in whatever situation you face. How you handle sensitive issues will make a difference in the way things unfold. Put your time and energy where it counts. Establish what you want to achieve, and prioritize your day. 4 stars

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Go over any changes you want to make, and size up the expense involved before proceeding. Sticking to a tight budget will put your mind at ease and gauge the best way to get the most for your money. 3 stars

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Don't give in to manipulative people. Spend less time bickering and more time engaging in pastimes that are energetic and competitive. Keeping busy will help you avoid letting others take advantage of your kindness and propensity to give in to maintain peace. 3 stars

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your secretive nature will pay off. Make changes discreetly, and you will avoid interference. Make plans with someone you love, and focus on romance and the lifestyle changes you want to make. A physical improvement will boost your confidence. 3 stars

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You'll face opposition if you are too vocal about your likes and dislikes. Don't expect someone to play fair or give you an honest opinion. Stick close to home, and make adjustments that will add to your comfort and convenience. 4 stars

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Discuss the changes you want to make, the cost involved and the help you will need with someone who plays a significant role in your life. The response you receive will encourage you to collaborate and spend more time together. 2 stars

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Check personal papers, and update any documents that are about to lapse. Putting your finances in order will give you a better understanding of how best to spend and save your money. Aggressive action regarding such matters will pay off. 5 stars

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Pay more attention to the way you look and feel and to the people you care about and want to help. A change of attitude regarding work will encourage better relationships with the people who mean the most to you. 3 stars

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Your stars August 22 - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:52 pm

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This trans woman served her country. Now she may be banned from rugby – Outsports

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This article is part of a series highlighting the lives and perspectives of trans people in rugby, in partnership with International Gay Rugby.

Captain Shoshauna Gauvin has served her country in the Canadian Armed Forces since she was 16. Next week she officially becomes a veteran, having served nearly half her life in the military, as she is leaving her post as an engineering officer and looking forward to life as a full-time civilian again.

Shes been playing rugby for about as long. And if the rumblings coming from World Rugby are any indication, her rugby career could be headed in the same direction. Gauvin is a trans woman, and as many policy makers in the sports world find ways to build trans inclusion, her sports international governing body may ban her and other trans women from playing the sport she loves.

Gauvins experience through the sport before, during and after transition speaks to the very heart of why banning trans women from sports does not make sense on issues of safety, fairness, science and so many other arguments people use to attack trans women.

Gauvin entered the military and rugby before she ever imagined transitioning. She made her way onto the mens rugby team at St. Marys Univ. in Nova Scotia, where she said she played in every match and started in most of them.

As her need to transition grew, it was in rugby that she realized she was playing the right sport, wrong team. She just shouldnt be on the mens team. She was a woman.

As she transitioned, she wasnt sure she had a future on any pitch. Yet after several years away from the sport, rugby called to her again, and playing on a womens team post-transition became a dream. When she landed at Queens Univ. in Ontario, she charted a course back into the game.

She called the teams coach and got a tryout. A conversation with the director of athletics explained why the St. Marys mens rugby team was on her athletic records. While policies werent clear, Gauvin knew she met the International Olympic Committees trans policies to compete. With some hard work she earned a roster spot and was finally in the right sport and on the right team. When inclusive policies from Rugby Canada and U Sports followed, she began competing again.

Yet her transition had effected her game. One of the hallmarks of her pre-transition reputation both in the military and in sports had been her strength. Now post-transition, this was a whole different ballgame.

I was very strong as a soldier, Gauvin told Outsports. During my deployment I was routinely bench pressing upward of 315 pounds. Very few could match what I lifted. Now as a woman athlete, I have had to rebuild a ton of strength. I came into tryouts after transition underpowered. Even now after two years of training I am not the strongest woman on my team, I struggle to lift half the weight I used to. Ive been benched this past year for several games, simply because there are more skilled, fitter, stronger women than me.

Half the weight. Its an anecdotal observation weve heard from many trans women, that their loss of strength isnt just measurable, its impactful.

While she played in every match and started most of them on her mens team, she now has to fight to earn playing time on the womens team. Shes been benched for several matches.

If I had some distinct advantage, I would have at minimum retained my positional equivalent and not gone down. And in many ways, Ive been spending the last two years working to fill the gaps.

Gauvin looks at the proposed trans-women-ban policy currently being considered at World Rugby as misguided and destructive.

There are plenty of trans women who are 145 pounds and can only lift 85 pounds. By being trans, it doesnt make you automatically stronger.

Gauvin also points to measurable differences within mens sports that are heralded, while differences in womens sports are looked at with suspicion.

In mens sports nobody questions when a linebacker lines up a wide receiver, despite there being a huge difference in height, weight and strength, she said. We put those hits on a highlight reel. To now claim that these differences when involving a trans athlete are somehow unique is disingenuous.

Gauvin said she has never been the cause of any serious injury in womens rugby.

Still, she acknowledges that a transition period for trans women is justified before participating in womens sports.

Given the social landscape, I am in favor of reasonable restrictions for competition, particularly around contact sports, she said. I have relied on these guidelines to help dispel myths about the safety and fairness around trans inclusion. Trans women should be able to train without restriction and compete, without the need for disclosure, in competitive contact womens sports after a reasonable period of taking hormone replacement therapy.

On the verge of retirement from the Armed Forces, Gauvin now hopes to lean on the sport of rugby to continue to build community and a sense of place. These avenues can be difficult for LGBTQ people to identify, and in particular trans women in the midst a worldwide cultural battle over their belonging.

What is the point of sport? To me, its not just to win a championship. Self-improvement, community building and other purposes are all important. For me, mental health is significant particularly as a soon-to-be veteran. Its problematic to remove those benefits from someone based on faulty evidence.

You can follow Shoshauna Gauvin on Instagram @shoshigauvin.

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This trans woman served her country. Now she may be banned from rugby - Outsports

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:51 pm

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Self-charging, thousand-year battery startup NDB aces key tests and lands first beta customers – TechCrunch

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Pleasanton-based green energy startup NDB, Inc. has reached a key milestone today with the completion of two proof of concept tests of its nano diamond battery (NDB). One of these tests took place at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the other at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University, and both saw NDBs battery tech manage a 40% charge, which is a big improvement over the 15% charge collection efficiency (effectively energy lossiness relative to maximum total possible charge) of standard commercial diamond.

NDBs innovation is in creating a new, proprietary nano diamond treatment that allows for more efficient extraction of electric charge from the diamond used in the creation of the battery. Their goal is to ultimately commercialize a version of their battery that can self-charge for up to a maximum lifespan of 28,000 years, created from artificial diamond-encased carbon-14 nuclear waste.

This battery doesnt generate any carbon emissions in operation, and only requires access to open air to work. And while theyre technically batteries, because they contain a charge which will eventually be expended, they provide their own charge for much longer than the lifetime of any specific device or individual user, making them effectively a charge-free solution.

NDB ultimately hopes to turn their battery into a viable source of power for just about anything that consumes it including aircraft, EVs, trains and more, all the way down to smartphones, wearables and tiny industrial sensors. The company is currently now at work creating a prototype of its first commercial battery in order to make that available sometime later this year.

It has also just signed its first beta customers, who will actually be receiving and making use of those first prototypes. While it hasnt named them specifically, it did say that one is a leader in nuclear fuel cycle products and services, and the other is a leading global aerospace, defense and security manufacturing company. Obviously, this kind of tech has appeal in just about every sector, but defense and power concerns are likely among the deepest-pocketed.

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Self-charging, thousand-year battery startup NDB aces key tests and lands first beta customers - TechCrunch

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August 25th, 2020 at 8:51 pm

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Former Robins boss giving back to the community and helping the homeless – Gloucestershire Live

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Steve Cotterill has five promotions on his managerial CV, but there is still one he craves to complete the set.

Neil Warnock has eight and Id like to equal that, he says with unflinching self-belief.

He also has the one from the Championship that I havent yet.

Cotterills desire to reach the Premier League remains as strong as it was when he was transforming home club Cheltenham Town with three promotions in his early 30s.

He has subsequently taken charge of Stoke City, Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Birmingham City.

He has dedicated his time since leaving St Andrews preparing for his return to the dugout.

The focus has been self-improvement, learning and investing in himself, but also on giving something back to the community.

Chatting in the Clubroom at the David Lloyd Leisure Club in Long Ashton, Bristol, Cotterill is in relaxed mood after an intensive two-hour gym session.

I am here three times a week because I very much believe in healthy body, healthy mind, he says.

Cotterill is known for his high standards and meticulous attention to detail through more than 700 games on the touchline.

Beneath the tough and sometimes intimidating exterior there is a softer, compassionate side to his personality and this is clearly on show midway through the interview.

It becomes evident that he has used his motivational skills at the gym, where he is well known among members and 68-year-old Tony Green has been taken under Cotterills wing.

Green was on the books of Bristol City as a young left winger, playing with Ray Cashley, who went on to play in goal for the senior side throughout the 1970s.

We dont talk much about football because Im more interested in Steve Cotterill the man and we get on really well, Green says.

He is as hard as nails on the outside, but on the inside hes a softy and hes looked after me, big time.

Hes bought me trainers, T-shirts, even this Adidas hoodie I am wearing now.

He found out when my birthday is and there is always a present then and at Christmas.

I remember walking through town one day and I bumped into Steve and started chatting.

My trainers were ripped and he took me straight into a sports shop and bought me a new pair thats the kind of person that he is he cant do enough for people.

He even took the coat off his back on a cold day and gave it to a guy sleeping on the street in Bristol.

It transpires that Cotterill is on first name terms with several of central Bristols homeless population, regularly providing them with hot meals and drinks.

Green, who lives near the Downs in Bristol, is full of praise for Cotterills generous nature and has also greatly benefited from his encouragement in the gym.

We have some good banter and last week was my first day back since lockdown and it was like I hadnt been away, he says.

Hes so encouraging and will say things like come on, one more, one more and hes improved my fitness no end.

I never used to do any upper body work, but hes added different exercises into the circuit we do and he was on the phone telling me I needed to get myself back into the gym.

One day we were walking up and down the pool and being Steve he kept saying just 10 more and we got to 75 before he let me stop, but he does it in a kind way and doesnt get irate or try to humiliate you.

He gently pushes you, which you need with your training sometimes and I really enjoy training with him he even shares his shaving foam with me!

Cotterill and Green are regularly joined by Brislington-based City supporter Rich Gunningham, the newest member of their gang.

Ive been a City fan all my life so I knew of Steve and wed be in the gym at the same time so it started from there last October, the retired 58-year-old said.

We had some great times at Ashton Gate under his management so it was good to chat about those, but blimey he knows how to train!

There is no hiding place with Steve and the intensity is unbelievable. He has his Pro Licence coaching qualification and you can see why.

I was very heavy, but I started with him three times a week and it makes you discipline yourself.

Gunningham, who lives in Brislington, lost 12kg before lockdown.

Its been a life changer for me and I am the fittest Ive been since I was about 20, he says.

You know who is boss and he keeps you on your toes. If you are not doing something right, hell let you know, but he wont ask you to do anything he wouldnt do so hes fantastic.

We have a laugh as well, which definitely makes time at the gym more enjoyable.

When Steve returns to management, Tony and I will carry on doing the things hes taught us.

Hes shown me that if you do things properly you can do less, but achieve more so I really appreciate all hes done and weve got to know each other well along the way.

Even outside of his training group, Cotterill makes time to help out other gym goers.

Every other passer-by stops to say hello and ask how he is doing and one of them is Jo Bartlam, a great grandmother who has been a regular since David Lloyd opened 25 years ago.

She was persuaded by Cotterill not to cancel due to concerns over post-lockdown safety.

I first chatted to Steve about four years ago, she says.

I asked his opinion about a particular piece of machinery and he was happy to show me.

I also mentioned Id been getting cramps in my legs at night for years and he sorted that out, showing me the foam roller he uses.

You can tell how disciplined he is during his training, but he is always willing to help anyone who asks.

I came back to resign, but I saw Steve who took the time to walk me around the gym and go through any safety concerns I had I must admit I wondered if he had gone onto the payroll!

But hes just a good ambassador for the club and I am still a member here thanks to him.

Cotterills own regime was disrupted last year by a neck operation to repair a ruptured disc an old battle wound from his playing days with Wimbledon, Bournemouth and Brighton.

The surgery was a success and his recovery smooth, meaning he has long since regained fitness levels at 56 that would put many two decades younger to shame.

His eyes light up when the conversation moves to football, which is what he loves and what his world revolves around.

There wont be many teams I dont see live at least once throughout the season, he says.

I watch all levels from Premier League to League Two and take the opportunity to watch games abroad when I am not working because European football in particular interests me.

Cotterills first experience on the continent was with Irish club Sligo Rovers, who he led to the Uefa Intertoto Cup in 1995/96.

They claimed creditable draws at home to FC Nantes and SC Heerenveen, also making trips to Lillestrom in Norway and Lithuanian side Kaunas.

Those early European adventures lit a spark that remains 24 years on.

Some of their passing and movements were real eye openers, he recalls.

I regularly use the Eurotunnel, base myself in Lille and from there drive to watch games all over.

Football is not a job for me, its a career and a passion and by going abroad and watching games and training you definitely learn more because there are always modern and new ways of playing going on.

Cotterill was able to discuss tactics and formations with former France international Rene Girard, who led Montpellier to their first Ligue 1 title in 2011/12 and is now in charge of Paris FC.

Back home, name any player in any of the four professional divisions of the English game and Cotterill will be able to list their position, former clubs, strengths and weaknesses without hesitation.

Cotterill became one of the youngest holders of the Uefa Pro Licence in 2000/01.

He has also kept all his qualifications up to date through the League Managers Association.

But he has been happy to bide his time before accepting his next job.

One of the benefits of not being a first time manager is that when you are not working, you dont need to jump into anything.

Thats why when I am out, it can be for quite a while because I put a lot of thought into job vacancies.

I have to feel as though there is a connection and that I am going to be successful with that club.

Thats what I want to be: successful. Once youve had success and you know what it feels like, you want more of it. I have a great thirst for that and a great thirst for learning.

Cotterill was offered a top six League One job three weeks after leaving Birmingham.

Sometimes jumping back in that quickly if your last one has not gone as well as you anticipated or wanted, you need time to reflect and I wanted time to reflect so I turned the job down.

I needed more time and I wanted to think about what went on at Birmingham.

Early in the 2018/19 season, Cotterill was in dialogue with a club awaiting a takeover.

I wasted eight months with that one. I knew about the budgets and the players and thought it was going to materialise.

Other jobs came up during that period that I didnt apply for because I was waiting for another one and didnt want to pull the rug from under them, but in the end it didnt happen.

Since then Cotterill has been in the final two and the final three for two separate jobs in the Championship.

He was then forced to take some time out due to the neck injury, giving him a chance to take stock and plot his next move.

Thats all fine now and there have been two or three job offers, but not what Ive wanted.

I can take my time, but I want something to come up soon hopefully.

I want to get back on the grass and improve players and teams, which is what I believe Ive done at every job Ive been in and I am looking forward to the one and I am excited by it.

Cotterill has spent the majority of his managerial career in the Championship, firstly with Stoke City in 2002.

He was then offered a chance to join Howard Wilkinson at Sunderland in the top flight, with the plan for him to become manager the following year as Wilkinson moved upstairs to become director of football.

I wasnt fortunate enough to have Peter Coates as my chairman at Stoke, he says.

The Icelandic owners were a completely different kettle of fish to having Peter and if his takeover had been completed I was signing a new contract there.

I still speak to Peter, who is a gentleman and that was an extremely tough period for me in my life because during my time at Stoke my mother was dying. She eventually died when I was at Sunderland.

He regrouped and bounced back at Burnley, putting in place nine out of the 11 players that eventually secured a first promotion to the Premier League under Owen Coyle 18 months later.

He then dragged an underachieving Notts County side that were 14 points adrift of the top of the table to the League Two title in 2010, winning 14 out of 18 games in charge, with three draws and one defeat. They went on to win the league by 10 points.

Cotterill had three job offers that summer and chose Portsmouth in the Championship, but his reign there was littered with off-field instability.

The club were relegated three years out of four and the only year they didnt go down was my year there. I didnt realise that until a sports journalist in Pompey told me during lockdown, he recalls.

Its a great club with passionate fans, but we had three different owners and two lots of administration in under two years, so I am not sure what you can really build in that time.

Every time I plugged a hole in the boat, another one would appear.

He was offered the chance to take over from Steve McClaren at Nottingham Forest in October 2011.

I really thought that was going to be the break to get into the Premier League, he says ruefully.

To get them into just below mid-table from being at the bottom was a real hard graft because I didnt have Dexter Blackstock due to an ACL injury.

We also lost one of the best young strikers coming through in Patrick Bamford, who I watched playing for the youth team and gave him his first team debut before he moved on during the transfer window.

We had to sell Wes Morgan, who had been missing for the first time in his Forest career for about three months with knee and ankle injuries. For me he was the best defender in the Championship for a decade.

The sudden death of owner Nigel Doughty was a devastating blow for Forest and spelled the beginning of the end for Cotterills time at the City Ground.

There were two consortiums, one was Saudi Arabian and they wanted me to stay.

With the consortium that did take over - the Kuwaitis - I was the first of many managers they changed in their short time there.

It was an incredible club, walking past the bust of Brian Clough in reception. I remember watching him on TV as a kid and you could still feel his presence around the ground.

I have a great relationship with Nigel (Clough) and theres great respect there.

One of the highlights of Cotterills reign was a 7-3 victory at Leeds Uniteds Elland Road in March 2012, less than four months after losing 4-0 to them at home.

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75 Hard Challenge: Is It Healthy?All About 75 Hard Rules by Andy Frisella – Parade

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Wellness August 21, 2020 2:44 PM ByBrittany Vincent Parade More by Brittany

In the world of fitness, the craze of the summer is the #75HardChallenge, or #75Hard, which is particularly popular among TikTok users. If youve never heard of it, it may sound like gibberishand if you have, were going to guess youre nodding along knowingly.

So what is the #75HardChallenge, exactly, why does it appear to be taking over the internet? Whats more, is it a legitimate fitness endeavor thats worth undertaking, or is it just another fad with potentially dangerous implications?

Before you set out to conquer this challenge, its important to make sure youre armed with knowledge first. Not every workout or fitness plan is right for everyoneand according to experts, this particular challenge may actually be detrimental to the health of its participants.

The 75 Hard Challenge is a mental toughness program and a 75-day plan created by author, speaker, supplement company owner, and podcaster Andy Frisella. Frisella introduced the 75 Hard Challenge in March 2019 by way of a lengthy blog post on his website that claims his challenge is not simply a fitness program, but a way to change your life starting from the inside.

The lengthy doctrine lining out the 75 Hard Challenge asks readers to think of the plan as an Ironman for your brain, as its riddled with self-improvement mantras and imperatives to believe in oneself, persevere, and develop traits such as confidence, self-with, fortitude, and grittiness in ones everyday life. It urges you to challenge yourself and the way you think and feel.

The basic principles are innocuous enough:

Follow a diet.

Frisella does not indicate that you must eat specific foods, but does prohibit alcohol and cheat meals. There is no definition of what constitutes a cheat meal nor any other limits on what you may consume on the diet of your choice. Later on in the document, Frisella indicates that the 75 Hard Challenge was developed to run in-line with your current diet program no matter what it is.

Work out twice a day for at least 45 minutes.

Frisella notes that at least one of these workouts must be outside, though he gives no reasoning for the requirement aside from suggesting it can take place in your backyard or even the park.

Drink 4 liters of water per day.

Read 10 pages of nonfiction a day.

Take a five-minute cold shower.

Take progress photos every day.

Perform other unrelated tasks like a random act of kindness or talk to someone in person daily.

Its important to note that Frisella is not a licensed dietitian, certified trainer, or fitness expert. His qualifications include 20 years of intensive study and real-life experience. He offers before-and-after shots of individuals who have supposedly taken part in the challenge as well as testimonials from the people who have tried the plan and found it beneficial.

Related: Yoga Poses for Two People

Determining whether following the 75 Hard Challenge is appropriate for you depends on multiple factors, such as the diet you choose to follow, whether youre in good enough physical condition to work out twice a day for the required 45 minutes (with one outside), as well as your overall health.

Additionally, Frisellas plan does not account for the minute details that a fitness plan developed for you by a clinical therapist, dietitian, or doctor and as such youre left to make your own decisionsand those may not be the right ones, even if you mean well.

Related: Jillian Michael On How To Get Six Pack Abs

Keep in mind that the titular 75 refers to following a diet and adhering to these principles for that exact length of time. This time period alone makes the challenge a potentially harmful path to follow, as there are too many unknown variables here to properly track, and so many elements of it are vague.

Hannah Daugherty, CPT-NASM, ACE, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living, believes the plan is anything but healthy. This challenge can lead to disordered eating, unsafe exercise routines, and is not sustainable for a long period of time. It is very unstructured, with many details left open-ended. For instance, what exactly is a diet? This word canand willmean something different to everyone.

Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Jillian Warwick at Back 2 Normal has similar concerns. The inherently vague principle to follow a diet leaves the nutritional basis as lacking in both specifics and substance, and begs the question, whats the point of including any dietary component at all? Warwick expresses similar concerns with the plans other important tenets, such as the need for exercising outside and taking regular cold showers.

Some of the other main principles in the challenge are seemingly random and have potential adverse effects in regards to improving overall health, such as the potentially excessive amount of water which could result in mineral depletion, the unnecessary and likely unhealthy amount of physical activity (especially if performed outside in the heat), or the possible risks associated with cold showers for those with weakened immune systems or serious heart conditions.

There are also potential issues with the sustainability of the plan, especially the ideology that you need to start all the way over if you happen to fail.

This plan is an example of letting perfection be the enemy of the good, adds Rachel MacPherson, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Exercise Nutrition Coach. If you fail one small aspect of the plan you need to start back at ground zero. This is overkill. Its much better to accept that some days wont be perfect but as long as you are making strides towards your goals, you are on the right track.

Though certified trainers and fitness experts do agree that the 75 Hard Challenge can be harmful, it can also be beneficialat least, portions of it used in moderation and in the context of your own personal fitness regime.

If you commit to the program for the full 75 days, you will almost certainly see results, says Glen Wilde, CEO of personal training and nutrition coaching company Diet to Success. The two daily workouts will result in more calorie expenditure, as will refraining from even a single cheat day. After the 75 days, though, any weight you lose will likely return if there is no maintenance plan in place.

Its all about sticking to your plan, which the 75 Hard Challenge admittedly can make difficult.

This plan basically recommends keeping active, sticking to something for the long term and not switching diets every few days as many people do, says MacPherson. Theres a lot to be said for consistency, it just doesnt have to be so rigid in my opinion.

Related: 75+ Free Streaming Workouts

If youve determined that the 75 Hard Challenge isnt for you and youre still looking for a plan to follow toward self-improvement and a healthier you, there are plenty of options out there you can pursue instead.

If youre up for a health-related challenge, try setting reasonable, attainable goals, and track your progress using something more definitive than progress pictures, advises Warwick. Consider following the SMART criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.

Of course, as with starting any potential new fitness regimen or diet plan, be sure to consult your doctor, dietitian, nutritionist, or health support team first. And if youre still dead set on trying the 75 Hard Challenge, at least consider making some alterations.

If people are looking to follow this challenge anyways, I recommend making some alterations, suggests Forristall. When choosing a diet to follow, dont choose something restrictive or extreme. Instead, choose a sustainable habit that will benefit you in the long run such as including a vegetable with every meal. These changes can help you make it a more palatable and healthier experience in the long run.

Celebrity interviews, recipes and health tips delivered to yourinbox.

The best element of a good fitness and nutrition plan is something that is sustainable for you individually. The changes you make should be changes that you are able to continue with long-term and that direct you towards your goals.

Next, here are the 20 best workout apps of 2020.

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75 Hard Challenge: Is It Healthy?All About 75 Hard Rules by Andy Frisella - Parade

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