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From the Training Desk of Hans

The purpose of this newsletter is to be a resource of articles for people interested in leading a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. My reading material focuses on health and wellness with occasional instances of personal productivity, discipline, and habits.

3 Treads worth tapping into – Harvard Health

I love these three but my mindfulness has been achieved listening to my Apple Watch and the Breathe app rather than Buddhist practices.

Top Cross-Training Workouts to Tune Up for Spring

Tabata, HIIT, and yoga? Yes please!

Why Do I Think Better after I Exercise?

The question I try to address each week with clients struggling with exercise adherence.

Adopting these tough morning routines will make you exceptionally successful

Easy for the morning guy (myself) to say. Morning routines – always worth considering. Could this be a training area for you in 2017?

From the blog:

One week with Apple Watch Nike+ TL;DR this device is fantastic

Love This Book: the vlog (first four episodes)


Starting 2017


As we ended the year last week I talked with numerous clients about reverse engineering 2017. I encouraged them to envision what they wanted their health to look and feel like at this time next December. It's a poignant time of year to look back but also (I would argue) look ahead. What does that look like? What have you built? How have you gotten stronger, faster, healthier? So you have your goal for 12 months down the calendar. What's next?


I know what you're thinking: "I'm scared to start because I am afraid I won't keep it up." Or worse, "Everyone's starting their New Year's Resolutions, and I'm not into those. If everyone's doing it, I'm out." Let's all put down our device and realize it doesn't matter what other people are doing. You, my friend have a goal for 2017 and it's time to start. But starting is probably the toughest part of this whole thing. I know because I'm right there step-for-step with you.

What am I starting in 2017? First off, I'm starting with less. I did really well reading devotionals last year, beginning each day reflecting on portions of the Bible or topics to become a better man, husband, father. Over the years I've gathered multiple devotionals (most of which are fantastic) but what I've realized is that by not focusing on one, I've watered down the messages and concepts. I've essentially robbed myself of the full impact of a single entry. This year I'm down to one entry per morning. I haven't decided on which one or even if I'll switch throughout the year (month-to-month?). See that? The plan doesn't have to be perfect. But I have to start.

I'm reading less. That's not completely accurate. I'm reading less of the tech Twitter stuff that I absolutely lovereading. I'm refocusing my daily Twitter news to actual news first and my exercise science and fitness news second. As I've reflected I've the last couple weeks I've realized a clear fork in the road when I sit down to read: I could go left and read to make myself better professionally or I could go right and read fun tech stuff that is useful but does not help pay the bill or feed me in any way other than as a hobbyist. Reading less of the tech stuff will be an intentional disciplined move to reading what matters to me.

These are just a couple ways I'm starting with less. But I'm also starting things new, and yes starting today. A big part of what I want to accomplish in 2017 includes writing publicly more. Each year I typically write more than the previous year, so as a writer I'm improving. Win! I am a big proponent of writing every day even if it's just in a journal or something that never gets published to the world. At the same time I believe that putting public posts like this on the internet force me to be at the top of my game, continually get better, and punch fear in the face. It's not easy to write in public. But the successful people that I read were one day in the same boat: they had to start writing and hitting that publish button. One of my main goals for 2017 includes writing more on a weekly basis. I ended last year with a new writing project, Tech Trainer, which I am very proud of. I will continue this project in 2017 – it still feels like I'm "starting" this one.

Finally I'm not starting new health and fitness but I am starting a new training focus this year: I'm calling it TriForty. Again, the goal here isn't to list out all the details of what I'm starting but rather make the case that starting is one of the hardest part. Yet we all can agree that there can be no finish, no journey, no struggle and victory if there is no start.

1/1/17 and it's time to start.


S3E9 Packers vs Vikings

Hans’ trip to Lambeau.

This week includes a special story as Hans got to see a divisional game in December, Christmas Eve of all days!!! Huge tha katie schiefelbein to Katie for the best surprise Christmas gift ever!

Below is my view of Rodgers’ TD run. 

What a play by the QB #12


One of my favorite weekly routines

My work typically starts at 5:40 every morning. Don’t feel sorry for me; I’m a morning guy and I’m doing work I absolutely love. Lately my Friday client load has been starting later, 7:20 to be exact. This has allowed me to get to favorite coffee shop first thing in the morning. They open at six and there’s only a couple regulars that sometimes beat me to the register.

Why get up early when I could instead sleep another hour? Two reasons. First, I have found that if I get up at the same time every day I’m much better off. Second (and much more importantly) it gives me space to get my head right. By Friday there are usually unfinished tasks, new duties and ideas to process, and limited time to wrap it all up. The Firefly at 6am Friday helps me finish well.


Christmas Music 2016

Music has always been a big part of my Christmas season. In high school I loved decorating Mr. Brooks’ choir room while listening to Christmas music starting the Monday after Thanksgiving. For as long as I can remember singing Christmas carols in church has always warmed my soul. My dad often sang a solo of Oh Holy Night at our Christmas Eve service. Christmas is way more than music, but songs get my heart and mind ready for the season.

Giving Gifts: Our Talents

Since becoming a Christian in 1998, Christmas has grown deeper in meaning to me and to my family. And songs have played a big role all along the way. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about gift-giving and gift receiving. I’ve leaned heavily on my faith as I’ve learned what it means to give a great gift. It was in this spirit that I wrote one of my favorite blog posts as I contemplated the full breadth of Little Drummer Boy. It ended up being a four-part series including the introduction based on my favorite rendition of the song by Jars of Clay. If you only have a couple minutes, check out Scene 2 and Scene 3. With that commentary as a backdrop, gift-giving has a new meaning: we can bring ourselves and our talents.

Giving Gifts: “The Christmas Album You Need”

This past Sunday I posted:

I got a bunch of responses, some expected and some I never saw coming. I proceeded to take each person’s comment and create a Spotify playlist: I offer you 2016 Friends Christmas album.

Late on Sunday I got a text from my friend Todd. He saw my Facebook post and wanted me to know that he had bought be “the Christmas album you need.” Monday morning I downloaded it and by 5:30am I was listening to a brand new album because of the generous gift of a friend.

It takes me back when I think about the role of music this Christmas season. The Spotify playlist is nothing special except it is! There is nothing unifying that playlist except they are the 16 friends who decided to share with me their songs and it turned into a collaboration. There is nothing special about Todd’s album that he gifted me except there is! It’s new, it’s good (!), and it was as genuine as it gets; I asked for song suggestions and a friend who really likes music picked out an album that he thought I would like.

I want our gift giving could be as simple as these two examples: a friendly collaboration and a simple $9.99 iTunes purchase. I hope Christmas music the next four days can take us to such rich and warm places as this.

Merry Christmas!


Romans 12:19

Memorizing Romans 12 has been a great experience thus far. It has taken a lot of work, showing up every day and giving it five minutes. But I have seen the progress week after week.

The end is near. Verse 19 has been a challenge for me so here it is all by itself. Everything up until this point is going very well, only a couple mistakes here and here.

If you aren’t taking the memory challenge I understand. Even if you don’t believe you can finish at this point, pick a couple verses and commit some of the passage (v. 9–21) to memory. Having Scripture in your mind and on the tip of your tongue is always a good thing.

Romans 12:19
Romans 12:19

Pheasant Hunting 2016

We are driving through Minnesota on the way back from pheasant hunting in South Dakota. It’s the second time I’ve been in this trip and it is so good for my soul. Anyone who know me know that I am not a hunter. But I am turning into an avid bird hunter, so I guess I am a hunter. 

Let the hunt begin!

Steve and Paul have been on all six trips. John Paul and Chris have been on four. This year they invited Pat McGelligot and Paul Ziolkowski. What a great time spending more time you Pat and getting to know Paul more.  

With John Paul and Paul

In typical Robertson fashion we ate very well; Steve did all the cooking. We couldn’t hunt until 10am, so after a casual breakfast we prepped lunches and gear for the day and were in our way. We hunted hard until sunset, logging 9-11 miles (thanks Fitbit) each day. Back at the cabin we had to clean birds and help Steve prep dinner. It was 10pm or later by the time this was finished and we were all very tired. I haven’t had five days of sleep like this in forever. Literally. 

Lunch at the Simon Farm

Lunch at the Simon farm

On this trip I have build wonderful, strong memories with family and friends. Cultivating these relationship is critical to my life. They are built with these six men but it also prepares me for other trips I will lead in the future with other men. The Roberson family is all about relationships, legacy, life experiences and adventures. 

With my new friend, Chris

I am so excited to get home. We all are. Men are great but family is better. Both are necessary. We all serve the same God and thank Him for the blessing that has been pheasant hunting in South Dakota. 


Back to Two

I have had a surprising amount of success memorizing Romans 12. As I’ve built the passage up to verses 9–16, I came to (what I believe to be) a natural break in the text. So I decided to start over with just two verses this week.

Verses 17-18
Verses 17–18

After just a couple days I was already trying to add this onto the first section. Certainly still a challenge but worth the effort.


Memorizing Romans 12:9-15

At Blackhawk Church, our current series is called Romans: The Gospel for a Divided World. I have accepted the challenge from our pastor to memorize Romans 12:9–21.

This week as I’m going to ask you to trust me and this keyboard. I’m going to write out what I’ve memorized thus far and even though you can see the image below, It wasnt’ there as I was writing these verses from memory:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourself. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, always serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Serve the Lord’s people who are in need. Always be hospitable. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.

How did I do? Are you taking the challenge? I am finding tremendous value in memorizeing and reciting each morning on my commute to work.

Romans 12:9-15
Romans 12:9–15

So excited for the first day of school (not the way you’re thinking)

I love the first day the kids go back to school. But it’s not what you think. It’s not because “they’re back to school, we get our life and freedom back.” No, kids going back to school has always been special for me, for many families for sure.

This year Sorin starts second grade and Norah first. Last year I was able to arrange clients such that I could see them both get on the bus (together) for the first time. I couldn’t do that this year but I was there when they got off. After morning clients, I came home to get some yard work done. Yard work, you say?! Yes, as a new homeowner I am still very excited about house and yard work. We were gone last weekend so the lawn was a little longer and so cutting it felt extra rewarding. The weather was 65 degrees with a cool breeze. It was exactly the kind of weather I remember about back to school weather as a kid when we would play football in the front yard at Matt Keefe’s house.

As I’m mowing I’m thinking about what the kids are experiencing the first day of school. They have friends from last year, some in the same class but they know just about everyone in their grade at this point. Their backpacks are filled with all the school supplies we bought and labeled – easily my favorite part about back-to-school. I just feel bad that their lunch boxes aren’t nearly as cool as our were. They have a fresh start at school. Much like my yard after a week off – all things are new!

Early afternoon Katie came home from work and we were getting ready for some house guests doing a little more cleaning. We were reflecting on how much we enjoy our house, enjoy hosting, and excited for all things feeling new at the start of school. That’s good living right there! Our house is bright and full of life. Christian is running around with a neighbor friend while older brother and sister are on the bus ride home.

What will this school year bring? What new routines do the kids need to learn? How will each family member grow as an individual and how will the family grow as a unit? A lot of that is up to me. I am a significant leader in the lives of these kids and this family. Leading by example I can show them that the excitement of a new school year means things are new and possibilities are endless. We shape the next nine months and I can’t wait to get to work.


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