Weight loss and the athletic spirit

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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.

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Whoa: The Blog that Fell Off of a…that Adapted

Cover the big rocks first in your priority flow...little ones will follow on soon enough.

Cover the big rocks first in your priority flow…little ones will follow on soon enough.

I’ve seen the apology and non-apology posts for no blogging. Remembering those, and remembering that I was not terribly worried that someone had not blogged regularly enough (unless maybe I knew they had a health challenge of some kind and there was a sudden change), I’ll not make a big deal out of my down-tempo in blogging.

That is consistent with the principles in my book for remaining consistent anyhow.

One of the principles of adaptive training, i.e. Farming the Training Day, is adaptive journaling and recording of the training events and training days we undertake as adaptive athletes.

Recording results is more or less data keeping and tracking progress using training metrics that matter to your goals. Still, bear in mind that if you’re crunched on time because life demands it, it’s more important that your body absorbs training of the quality needed at the moment than that you record every detail, or train in accordance with what you want to record. You may later catch up with estimates. That is not a problem so long as self-honesty guides your estimates.

Journaling is different. Journaling is more of your own personal sense and prose-flow-think-through about your training quality, experience, and the state of you. That too may be embraced or shelved, but let’s not let the recording and thinking about what we do be a prerequisite to freely doing what’s good for us and others. So, if being with others who need me is more important than thinking-through my training experience this day, I’ll shelve the journal or the blog or the data checklist, training, and then get back to my people.

That is what adaptive training does from my humble perspective. Can we be flexible enough to admit to ourselves that everything material and energetic in and around us changes, moves, and many of these states of being are temporary? When we do, we get a better sense of the value of completing our training, and sustaining the quality of life it was meant to support by keeping balance.

A kind of humorous skit could be made to illustrate this by imagining an action movie where the hero is training like a champion. A speeding train is heading for a broken track and the hero is called. “Not now,” he says. “I’m in the middle of a training routine, can’t you see that?”

So that is a comical illustration of what it might look like if we put off someone we love or someone who depends on us so that we can complete our training day according to some kind of inflexible regimen we establish, but that does not necessarily serve the best interests of our lives.

Training through the Narrows

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There is an old adage as true today as ever: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle.”

A great battle in a relatively affluent country is being jostled and pulled in too many directions. We become acquainted with deciding what not to do instead of what to do. As many opportunities morph into ‘needs,’ it seems that some primordial, upstream-salmon gene activates in our brains and bodies, pushing us to grasp for more than we can do.

Many opportunities may knock, and when they do, be on the lookout for Mr. or Ms. Burnout at your door. This solicitor has bad teeth, dark circles under his eyes, a dehydrated look, burning flames of ambition receding in the irises, and a smoky smell – not cigarettes – but the reek of the grinding, engine-melting residue of neglect. For if we are not paying the insurance premium of exercise regularly, and descending from healthy habits because of it, succeed as we might elsewhere, we may not be around long enough to enjoy it.

One way to guard against a visit from this phantom of temptation is to adapt to it by physically training during his visit. This ends-justify-the-means ghost grasps at the wheedling, whining frustration of our unfinished goals; our haunting imperfections. It would ride them as your horses, pulling you and your life behind, clinging to uncertain ropes.

Imagine yourself answering the door as he or she knocks, earnestly beseeching you to listen and pointing to the pale horse out front; asking you to get behind this high-functioning stressor.

And you answer wearing your running shoes, shorts, and t-shirt. You tell the ghost you are going for a run, and you would love to listen to the pitch along your running route. As you establish your cadence on the asphalt, on the trail, and through the physical world of sunshine, air, seasonal scents, and sweat, you notice that he is having a very hard time keeping up. It seems you have come down to earth, and by doing so, entered a state of peace that cooled and moistened your brow, eased your mind, and helped you find your heart. Gratitude for what you have dawns in your heart, and you realize how much better you could devote yourself to what you have.

What is most important? Your run gives you a real opportunity to meditate on that. As you let the run go through your body, making you stronger, you let your mind drift over the topography of your life, and realize what are the tectonics, the foundations of your peaks and troughs. Soon you can distinguish between what is wise for you and what is not. You have outrun the pressure sell.

And that is a mighty fine pace for anyone to make.

Prevention versus Reaction: Ebola, Airports, and WHO

There is an outbreak of the Ebola virus (Zaire strain) in West Africa affecting Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone. Reportedly, one early patient was brought cross country on a crowded bus to Conakry, capitol of Guinea, before it was identified what he carried. Conakry’s airport services international flights. There have been two Ebola scares tied to flights out of Guinea: one in Canada and one in France.

The French Organization “Doctor’s Without Borders” called the current 2014 Guinea outbreak “unprecedented” in that it popped-up rapidly in disparate locations following its initial detection. Also unprecedented is the outbreak in a city of over 2 million, Conakry.

Speculations as to how the virus may have reached disparate areas:

(1) the virus had already been on the move under the radar before it was identified, and / or;

(2) it could be that a bush meat hunting or trapping operation culled a population of infected bats or monkeys and sold the meat on the road, or;

(3) somehow the virus was intentionally spread.

One and two are the most likely, but it may pay to see if any nation-state’s flight services ceased flying to and from the affected areas in the recent past, or, if there was a recent departure of a political adversary vying for leadership over the regime.

In any case, it seems irresponsible to continue to allow flights out of Conakry or other hot zones without fully screening would-be passengers on the ground before they ever enter a plane. Not to do so invites infection of flight crews and passenger rosters, not to mention the risk of spreading ebola to destination countries.

The time to discover symptoms is not during an international flight. Should word spread on a flight that another passenger is infected, panic could ensue on-board. That is not a good plan. Thorough screening must occur on the ground to keep Ebola (Zaire) contained.

Despite the rapidity of infection and spread, the World Health Organization has only downplayed the outbreak, and recommended that routine travel in and out of the region not be suspended at a time the virus had already reached Guinea’s capitol. Until verifiable disease control exists on the ground, WHO’s recommendation stands out as irresponsible.

700 Weight Resistance Movements 75% Bodyweight 25% Iron and an Adaptive Training Cure

Yesterday was a sound strength training day, and I found myself reflecting on this thought stream from a recent hike, simplified below:

Truth is so effectual, it needs no anger, pride, fear, or weaponized delivery to be heard. It only needs the telling absent those things, and if possible in love and humility, to resound, reverberate, be received, taken to heart, and possibly passed down for generations.”

As I reflected on this, I realized it has great potential for adaptive training, that is, slipping the punches to self and others that come with anger and fear attached to:

(1) the avoidance of some truth about self, or

(2) fearful or vengeful anger at those who are a source of injustices toward others, self, and worst of all, those we love.

How often does truth go untold or told to shut-ears because the mixture of fear and anger allowed to crowd out the simple, powerful, healing, even nucleus-changing truth?

The truth in matters of all sizes may be scorched, burned, or concealed in the fire and smoke of passions that crowd it, from fear to anger to pride to disgust.

And yet, the simple truth, said, in love and humility, will free the teller as much as those who can hear that truth told. And each one of us will be able to hear it when this untarnished, nourishing truth arrives.

Imagine what energy comes from a body, mind, and spirit un-fettered by fear of the truth, embracing the truth, and working truth through the whole being with every footstep, movement, and every labor.

Look at how truth-to-self was able to do the unexpectedly unthinkably powerful:

By writing this post, I am not claiming I could do what these two women did in their grace and forgiveness, in part imparted through many, in both cases from higher places spacious enough to deliver freedom from the intrinsic assault of traumatic injustice.

I don’t claim any foresight in the field of forgiveness, but I do see a simple truth  grasped personally by these two women which makes me wonder…

If much simpler truths about self, or what we witness in the misuse of power were not sources of fear, were unburdened by anger, and unpolluted by pride; if simple truth were told in love however love would wisely tell the simple truths, how much harm, hurt, suffering, and injustice could be extinguished, prevented, and instead nourishing relationships  and virtues grown instead?

Meaning of: “Let Go”

oh say can you see?

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.

To Poets in Motion or Not

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Events conspired

chances were-

collusion collided

with our

busy battles

of self.

We missed

the convergences.

The movement around us

conjured visions and passions

that we were moving.

Yet we were as idle

as burning engines in Park.

Motion heats, yet also cools

the wind in our sails disperses

the over-concentration

of all that

we did not do

but expected others to.

Entangled, unfree, incomplete

as an Example

to lead on our feet.

Adaptive Strategies: Boost Your Immune System & Solving the Paradox of Success

The change of seasons puts the micro-bugs into overdrive. Are our immune systems ready?

For those who have undertaken the training life, this is an important, if confusing question.

It has to do with the Paradox of Success. When we feel fit and well, we become susceptible to undermining the behaviors we lived to get there: exercising, eating right, sleeping well, and feeding relationships (filling buckets).

Success invites a temporary sense of immortality mania. In this state, we tend to over-extend ourselves at the expense of sleep, rest, exercise, downtime, relationships, and soon, wellness. Then we get sick.

If we can early-detect our sense of mania after successes, this is our first sign of coming under a spell of over-extension. So it is with our successes.

Here are some WebMD pages on positive immune system boosting routines — followed by some counter-intuitive surveys of findings about immune boosting — as linked-to below:

Immune System Busters & Boosters

Super Foods for Optimal Health

How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy

Guide to Ginseng as Immunity Booster

Can Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Catching a Cold?

Ten Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

Exercise After Chemo Helps Patients Ward Off Future Cancer

Yet when you consider that inflammation and upper-respiratory mucous generation (mostly against nasal passage infecting viruses) are immune system responses, some survey reviews of a few years ago suggest that bolstering the immune system will only increase inflammatory, super-charged immune systems. Is that bad, or good? More research is needed, but consider the following perspectives:

How Not To Fight Colds

Why everything you thought about colds is wrong! Scientists have finally separated fact from fiction about those sniffles

Our Immune Systems Were Built for More Challenges Than They Get

Given the above contra-pieces, here is a summary of useful takeaways:

1. Let go of unnecessary stressors and poor stress response habits, then burn-off, let loose, and heal from inevitable stress with the following;

2. Bolstering human relationships;

3. Consistent exercise;

4. Healthy, nutritional, natural eating and drinking with little or no refined, processed sugars, MSG, etc.;

5. Put our children’s well being first. (for parents, and for those without children, someone else’s needs).

There is more to this topic than a blog post can touch. Researching and reading up on the latest using article alerts from trusted sources, and weighing, comparing, and testing them is sane way to continue navigating.

Please don’t go …

I’m re-blogging Lyle Krahn’s essay and photograph of a ruffled grouse here on Farm Your Training Day because this illustrates to me a person who is highly attuned to his outdoor experience. Of course he is tuned into the nuances and shades of wonder: he’s an outdoor photographer, right? That is exactly why I reblog him here: each of us has the capacity to develop that greater level of attunement for all that is around us each time we are training outdoors, whether spotting natural wonders in the city, rurally, or in the wilds. Such attunement to the natural is a powerful motivator to return to outdoor training opportunities wherever we may be.

Thanks Lyle Krahn at Krahnpix for sharing his attuned perceptions in the blogosphere so we can take it beyond into the three plus dimensional world.

Best, Mike