Weight loss and the athletic spirit


When you’re overweight: there is the you that tethers your mind and emotions about your body to your body, holding it down, and vice versa.

Then there is the you capable of sensing your separateness from your own body that respects what the body can do if allowed.

This is your spirit that can untie your body from the current emotional state to let it move. It’s kind of like taking your dog for a walk when you feel half asleep. Or letting the parking brake off of your car. Or stepping up during an emergency.

The part of you who rises above the emotion-shackled body and body-shackled emotional state is the athletic spirit, the worker’s ethic, and the artists inspiration. This you is capable of adaptive training.

Turns out, freed from the body-mind and its every notion about the body (from aches to analyses) the emotions will serve the athletic spirit. Once moving, these two will lead the mind and body to freedom and greater well being.

15 thoughts on “Weight loss and the athletic spirit

  1. Love this, Michael. “The athletic spirit.” It carries over into everything. We were created for motion, activity, proactivity. I gave your book to my son and look forward to hearing how he liked it.

    • That’s most kind of you Jean, and thank you for taking time out to say so. I know you’ve been busy in your professional writing life and look forward to following your projects. The beleaguered body is delayed, but the spirit flies ahead to catch up in the future; or prayers to you. Does that make sense?

    • Thanks Eric. There are more possibilities with small changes, altering an angle, simple subtraction, or addition, to gain momentum.

    • There is movement, freedom of function, motion, m multiverse of context for movement, fresh air, sun, etc. and then there is pacing, catatonia, and defaulting to the lowest common denominator workout, whatever that is to the person. We move through, and the outdoor world moves through us, the sport, art, and work of running, goes through us, we don’t just do it. It changes us uniquely each time. I guess these words fall short, but I believe you already know what I’m talking about!

      • No, your words don’t fall short, Mike. They intrigue and they inspire. I love your simple reference to “..the sport, the art, the work of running…” I do know what you’re talking about as the work I do with people is also part art and part science.

        More specifically, what my cryptic comment was about, is: How does the athletic spirit play into those who cannot gain weight and have tried endless approaches, lifestyle changes, and techniques (mental and otherwise)?

        See what happens when you invite comments. 🙂

      • Oh! Right over my head. I see. Gaining weight…

        If otherwise healthy and clear to train, the best weight gain would be muscle, and that would mean power, strength, and burst / sprint training.

        One may say that a person who does not easily gain weight could “eat anything” training or not, and it would be OK. But for healthy weight gain, external and body weight lifting, and perhaps even bodybuilding have the highest yield when lean, complete proteins precede and follow workouts during recovery.

        This may have already been tried. Endurance training, while normally good for a person, may well need to be limited to keep the muscle mass growing and maintained.

  2. “It’s not a workout. It’s a training and doing life.” So true. Do you see clients struggling with this when they begin and then coming to the realization of it later? Or is it a difficult thought for people to accept/grasp?

    • In researching my book I observed the mechanical nature of the urban gym workout, people inside a multi-story windowed building, running on treadmills, and striding on ellipticals…and I thought, many are in a box all day, then go to another box, to watch a box, while they train. That’s one example. A runner could run himself into a rut, changing and adding very little, not intentionally staying the same, but just defaulting to the same — cramming in that run before collapsing into bed etc. etc.

      It’s not just “a run.” This could go on for quite a while, but complaining about “the box” might make me fall of my own, LOL.

      • So true. I know for me, I was never able to train well on a tread-mill–my times were always slower. When running outside, my pace must have constantly been adjusting for my thoughts or scenery, yet in a positive way, since my times were better. I’d like to do better at getting better winter gear for SD to be able to do more outside in the winter. It would be good for me on so many fronts.

      • If you haven’t visited his site yet, you might check out this excellent winter mountain biking / cycling gear reviewer and rider. Check out:


        Scroll back for every conceivable gear type you can use in the cold.

  3. Hi Mike,

    I love this description of an “athletic spirit.” It perfectly captures the essence of exercise and healthy living. It’s not about being perfect or losing x amount of pounds, but of digging deep and doing your best.

    Thanks for posting such an inspiring piece.


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