Punching-in at an anonymous steep forest off-trail hike…lost in time and space for a short while, found prints, and a blue haven at the top. A windy, bracing hill walk. Memorable.
There is a place deep inside you can go, and through a window is a book, the book of life. There you will see the truth about you and why you are here. When all seems lost, when all appears hopeless and confused, go there to your personal desiderata without words and be renewed. There is no time or entropy there, and no corruption. The center of choice, of freedom is there. Energy beyond all energies, is there. Not destructive, but the Genesis. When the seed coat falls as a gift returned, there the ever future becomes present.
In the lyrics of this piece, I see translated in a few words what the above says.
Whether earthen or architectural the Mountain dimension awaits your training life to let it in.
Inclines are everywhere to be found, and in death valley is there not a heat mountain to scale as some try their constitution and thermostat in that crucible of temperatures?
Mountains too, are icons of your goals. Each has a higher purpose than its own summit. Have a look at this pilgrim’s training incline called the Manitou Incline highlighted in Military Times:
From the website of the Army Wellness Center-Fort Carson at Forrest Resiliency Center:
We assist in the facilitation of healthy lifestyle programs for all ARMY component Soldiers and their families, retirees, and civilians. The clientele spans all ages from young adult to retirees. The way ahead involves working directly with units at unit locations as well as with individuals and group classes at the Wellness Center. Expansion of services includes sports medicine care, which will focus attention to readiness and rehabilitation.
What a privilege to sit down and talk with Federal Executive Institute alumni and friends last night. These professionals brought up a host of great topics. We talked gluten freedom, how eating, drinking, and sleeping are self-trainable behaviors, and how intelligent attunement can benefit us in every dimension of physical action as well as perception. These civilian and military public servants, technical, and knowledge workers spoke in ways revealing their high accomplishment, and by their intelligence had found the many packaged fitness offerings in the marketplace unfulfilling or unsustainable. We also discussed the texture of real life: traumas, shadows, and challenges in daily life. Being with intelligent people can be a good time, but being with intelligent, feeling people is the best of times, and that is what last night’s gathering was like.
We talked nuts and bolts: Muscle, Mileage, Mobility, Midsection/Core, Mountains’ Meaning, and more. Everyone in attendance had been athletic in their lives whether they considered themselves so or not, and I made sure to point this out first of all. We must be clear about our identities, that we are among other wonderful truths, mind-body entities capable of athleticism in physical sport, art, and work. Yes, the basic adaptive physical training pathways can expand to intellectual and for some, spiritual athleticism.
On the sheer material side, a la Steve Martin in The Jerk, needing to hold onto some possessions on an anniversary date when I had once felt I’d lost everything, I brought some self-comforting props for my presentation. Rip’s Fire Engine 2 (TM) Plant Strong cereal (my strength), and Toblerone (TM) swiss chocolate (my weakness). They seemed like the props to bring at the time.
Along with a box of books and a gym bag with all I needed, I walked into Breckenridge Craft Colorado, home to craft beers and LoDo Denver venue-name dropping. You may remember our former mayor and now Governor Hickenlooper owned a restaurant in LoDo (Lower Downtown), where rough-hewn, red-brick mellow-looking pubs and brewers fill old warehouse buildings near lofts where nearly everyone walking around down there looks like they do Pilates during breakfast, Yoga during lunch, and feed intravenously through a liquid food bladder while running long distances through dinner.
Well, that may be an exaggeration but I’ll tell you what is not: most people living in downtown lofts are single, young, career starters enjoying urban life to the fullest, and throwing their pliable youthful bodies into one or two training modalities, sometimes not really bothering with long range thinking. They live close to their white collar work. They’re busy on various levels, but many don’t yet know the change that comes with rising in the ranks of responsibility, having a family, and having more and more people they are responsible for (at which time they often move out of the lofts). That doesn’t make them lesser or lazy, they just fill more of their time focusing on self-development than other-development because of their phase in life. Logic says juggling a one bean bag business is easier than juggling and adapting to three or more bean bags’ businesses…
Leading me to the course of our discussions last night: How do those with hairy schedules at work and home, extra-curriculars in the community, and little time to themselves make changes that temper for them a sound, powerful training life with consistency, excellence, and purpose? How do they overcome the crushing, conflicting, Hoi Polloi of Expectation-a-Legal living and not become unhealthy?
That is what Farm Your Training Day was written to begin answering. It contains many specific guidances on HOW, not just statements and restatements of a vague vision. I couldn’t convey all of it in one sitting and standing. What I could convey are some of the broad brush adaptive training principles and dimensions, and suggest that the fullness of these is in the book. This includes illustrations, guidances, sources, stories, and some visualizable details over 276 pages and 17 chapters without pictures.
All I can say is, after reading the book, which is not a Polly-Anna Manifesto by any stretch, and which takes a look at the mundane and dramatic obstacles to a consistent training life that would wear us down and make us unhealthy, I think people find not only bedrock to stand on within themselves, but a process of remolding their bedrock again and again from the interior life. Their training lives spring out of this aquifer of intelligent, planned and unplanned energy and movement within that connects with the world around them. The book maps forward, not ‘out.’ I say forward, because every reader is invited to be the pioneer who adds to this map, innovates, and improves the book by going into other principles and dimensions of adaptive training.
I know something of what there is and wrote a book about it, yet part of that is seeing that I do not know the limits of what is possible.
Friday and Saturday yielded wonderful company on back to back afternoon family hikes above 10,000 feet. The trail was Herman Gulch trail. This trail starts at 10,332 feet and gains 1,655 feet in 3.25 miles to a high cirque lake at about 12,000 feet elevation. Friday we went about half way and back, totaling a little over 3 miles at the late hour. The steepest gain is in the first mile.
Saturday our family hike went further, about 3/4 way, with me running intervals, sprint intervals, and incline sprints then hiking back to the family and repeating. That is the way to work in more arduous speed-endurance when you have a crowd with mixed stamina levels along. I was able to sprint ahead, hike back down to my betters, then run back up again in repeat heats. It was humbling for me, and someone special got inspired and started joining in, taking the lead higher up! I was stoked by that I have to tell you. What a gem.
Whatever cold bug of seasons’ change we’d picked up during the week hit us after the exertion of Saturday’s hike, and for me, the trail running intervals. The running intervals were on a 40 degree slope and were at maximum sprint speed until I couldn’t do it anymore. Hiked the rest.
Photos share the vistas along the way. The Fall colors are fast emerging in the September Rockies, even in the mushrooms! Soon, I’ll have my Canon serviced and I’ll stop pushing these phone photos on you!