An hour hike yesterday…
Make one rule.
Make it no more complicated than this.
Stand up every time you feel like it, and sit back down.
Do it 100s of times a day and make it an art to keep working when you do.
Want to add something? Go ahead. Make each one a proper form squat. Two lunges. Ten calf raises.
Take as needed, get up easier the next morning.
Plant your training efforts in time and space, and watch yourself grow. Nurture these actions with good eating, sleeping, and drinking habits as you would water and feed crops. Harvest the bounty when the time is right, by executing your sport, art, or work better than before. Share the yield and nourish others with your gains.
Two posts ago, you may have watched Rocky Marciano kicking a medicine ball back to a trainer who threw it at his feet, doing a modified, repetitive rocking crunch at a fast clip for some functional impact, timing, muscle, and perhaps plyometric work. The cardiovascular benefits no doubt would track tempo, duration, and force.
Let’s take a soft medicine ball into a new context. We begin with a weight right for us. We take the medicine ball to a wall or pillar, where we will hold it against the pillar or wall with our upper back, head, neck, chest, well, really, any part of our body we want, with the objective of not letting it fall to the ground.
Go for time. How long can we keep it moving without it dropping? As it rolls up, sideways, down, diagonally, in curves, and countless configurations, our bodies must adapt to keep it there.
This is one way to stay interested in your strength training life.
One way to train inspirationally: 650 muscle movements with bodyweight resistance and watching an inspirational training documentary, going back to the days when athletes were not afraid to train and compete all-natural:
The depthless, fathomless, soaringly timeless, state of being arising when a person digs deep enough to leave body and mind behind and achieve what those two weaker vessels could not on their own.
An example, the night raid at Riva Ridge by the 10th Mountain Division in 1945, and digging deeper the next day against stiff resistance to take Mt. Belvedere:
This is relative to mental and physical conditioning, for the person with lesser conditioning, if their body then mind gives way earlier than those more advanced in body and mind training, the spirit kicks in sooner. And for the advanced athlete, warrior, whatever…later, perhaps.
Will we ever come to the point where we run, perform, act, compete, work, and achieve from this state of being from the beginning of the effort, mind and body moved efficiently from this zone in our being? That would be a breakthrough. What endurance, strength, and other qualities would be possible then? Where are the limits? I guess we really don’t know yet, and that is an exciting frontier that those of us in a boundary set world can escape to every day.
The mind and body become attached to many things, some of which are not good to be attached to.
The spirit, however, has the power to withdraw energy and desire from these attachments, and order the body and mind to be still.
The spirit can withdraw power and consent from the grasping mind and body. You thereby, “let go.”
The spirit also has the impelling power to strike out with decision. It can brace our minds and bodies to follow a wise path.
The spirit has the innate power to await the whole truth, to suspend judgment, to gather information, and to withdraw energy from fearful reactions to anyone, everyone, and everything.
The spirit has the power to be clear and precise.
City lights, warmth in the body, and temperate breezes threw off the shackles from sedentary vigils in antiseptic rooms over the break.
Cycles surround us. Yet sometimes chaos forces us into fast waters, whipping us about like a leaf in a flash flood…
As when a close family member is hit by a car in a parking lot while walking into the grocery store. In a moment of chaos, of disordered mental and physical operations, a driver strikes down the man who raised you. And that man makes it, but his many decades mean he faces a big recovery challenge from that broken hip. And as his adult son or daughter, all of your plans change. Your duties call, honor calls, love grounds you. You turn to the task of caregiving, arranging, and spending some mind-body numbing hours on hard surfaces attending, watching, listening, and learning what is needed to prepare, transfer, and make in-home care a reality so this VIP of yours can get some sleep, recover faster, and be among loved ones. Here the stress adaptivity of your training is tested.
So it is with all of us. Our training lives morph into something completely different during this time. They move from a training life to a doing-life, as the physical things we do in caregiving become the top priority. This is not likely what we trained for in previous days, however, with a well-rounded training approach in more orderly times, the fringe benefits feed these unexpected efforts we face.
We work in sustaining intervals of what-exercise-we-can-get to sustain our ongoing effort: as when a simple swiss ball can help us redistribute life-giving blood, energy, electric signals, and physical force through out muscles, connections, and body in a small fitness room on the road to retrain ourselves from the sitting, leaning, and waiting of institutional buildings and unnatural light.
These can be the times that training comes to the front and stands by us when the chips are down. There is going to be a price for taking on duty. There usually is. That is the way the world works. Yet by decisively embracing it we may seize the purpose of our training lives on a different level of motivation and performance, where one real event and experience is not a training drill, but itself an opportunity to set new precedents and become open to new dimensions in our future goals.
Fortitude, Determination, Face-it, Remember-what-you-train-for, Let-go-and-Let’s-Go, Dauntless, Focus, Rise-Again, Up-a-beat…are but a few things to chant to ourselves when we are about to quit something too important to quit, and wisdom does not dictate quitting for a greater need.
1. Clouds change shape but keep moving, albeit sometimes very slowly. We can too. It is one of the qualities of adaptive training among crazy-busy pressures that would stress us into inactivity.
2. Clouds transport water, a resource to the lives of others. Training our bodies and minds builds physical courage that can support other acts of generous, giving courage.
3. An otherwise bright white cloud can have very dark, very water-dense little clouds nearby (see the banner). Suppose you are in one of those small, dark, water dense clouds. You’re likely to see all grey, all gloom, and feel all wet. Yes, until a beautiful, white sunlit cloud expands and engulfs you and you find that many of your problems were perceived right there within your own tiny individual cloud. You also realized how much water you have to give among others.
4. Clouds get out in the other elements, indeed, bring them together within themselves, contribute to them. So do we when we train, exercise, work, compete, and apply our physical training to something worthwhile.
5. Clouds make their own view by starting out light, rising, gathering, then supplying. A thunderstorm or snow storm is quite an exciting gathering, maybe even a competition, with lightening clashes, the refreshing ozone, and every gathered cloud a part in that great event. Gatherings of clouds bring out the best in each.
6. Clouds have training partners that truly inspire them with their energy, warmth, and mastery at conducting the weather as if it were a symphony orchestra: Mr. Sun and his band the Stars.
7. What shape will your training take today?
There is giving thanks and there is thankfulness as a path to giving.
Thanks follows receiving, and receiving teaches giving.
Giving and receiving, receiving and giving, creates a life flow of relationship to others.
Flow of life washes away impossibility thinking, connecting possibilities to and among our moving selves.
That is a snapshot of the training life, a life flow discipline helping us anchor our energy for giving and receiving, recovering and thanking, loving and working for others’ well being.
When a wall daunts us, adapting, we find a way. Believe there is a way and go, and a way will emerge in the wilderness.
Holiday breaks bring windfalls of time to establish new disciplines to develop and nurture in smaller increments in busier working times. Use the windfalls, and feast on new disciplines for your wellness and new capabilities.