1. Make a list of the factors that interrupt your physical training life, your positive mental attitude, and your breathing, i.e. what makes you hold your breath?
2. Make a list of adaptive responses that achieve a quantum of training time, movements, or objectives; halt the factors damaging attitude; and reset your continuous breathing.
3. Consider your list of adaptive responses as athletic training objectives, that is, trainable behaviors.
Implement and practice as needed or desired.
It was 88 degrees out today, and with the smell of firework gunpowder still with me, I ran gentle hills on asphalt in the hot summer sun. I put in two sprint intervals, both uphill. I loaded enough water before starting.
I love our country.
Happy Fourth of July!
In the darkest nights of the soul the fuel for your Phoenix bubbles and boils around your spirit. From the ashes of some future ignition, burn, and flight, win or lose, you will rise again and be better than ever before; more capable in some way, known or unknown, to break through and see done what must be done as the reason for your being here. The darkest nights are never so dark as the dawn is light.
As the Marines say “pain is weakness leaving the body,” so the dark nights of the soul are selfishness of the past leaving the spirit, to be ignited in future service to those in need. These flammable drops may provide fires with which to liberate captives, empathize with and put sinners back on their feet, melt barbed wire, and elevate our human race just a little more before you die. No earthly reward could be better than simply completing our purposes for being. Each of us is given such a purpose, known or unknown, yet accessible more purely through standing again and believing.
The big picture is in our hearts, the sky within, from a vista point that can consider all people, all events, and all that must come with the indomitable commitment of a dedicated, singular spirit behind humble eyes, trafficking in the divine energy of love for all.
To those who want to expose more muscle anatomy features through their skin:
And run more.
And when your body and mind tell you that you can eat extra-extra helpings because of your up-tempo, allow only extra-extra helpings from the fresh produce section.
Everything else, reduce to the high-yield, lean, non-processed versions, and eat less than usual.
Keep it up for at least a month and a half to see how this suits you.
IF YOU HAVE DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR ANY PHYSICAL OR MEDICAL CONDITION, OR NEED QUICK CALORIES TO KEEP HEALTHY AND FUNCTIONAL AT CRUCIAL TIMES, DISREGARD THESE SUGGESTIONS AS NEEDED. MODIFY ALL SUGGESTIONS ON THIS SITE TO SUIT YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE AS ARRIVED AT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN AND OTHER HEALTH CARE ADVISERS WORKING AS A TEAM.
If you delve into your least favored training areas, be it endurance, primary muscle strength, core strength, or application in sports, arts, or work, you will be raising the level of your foundational condition.
Let tedium become self-training in the gift of focus.
Let hardship be your elevator.
Let slowness be your path to thoroughness in preparation, and prevention.
When I bought the book by fellow blogger and authors Reeves, Paglini, et al. Triathletes Swim First: 100+ Beginning Swim Workouts for Triathletes, I had planned at first to buy a hard copy.
I changed my mind and downloaded the e-book instead. The reason: I use the book by these athletes for one of many options to train the core muscles, and for mobility training of all muscle groups with cardio, breathing, recovery, and buoyancy benefits included.
Takeway Training Tip: With the book on my desktop, I can print-off one of the workouts from one or more pages, and bring it with me to the pool for guidance.
This is also true for all of those fitness, training, and health books that tend to get lost on your bookshelves with workouts, pictorial how-to sequences, and instructive tips in them. If you buy them in e-book form, you can easily print-off the pages with the content you want to work on, and take them with you.
You can even laminate them, create a card folio, and re-use them to save paper, and increase your fluency in variety training.
This is very much a simple way to put all of those sport, training, and fitness books to good use in your adaptive training life.
It also helps the athlete or wellness author to sell an e-book instead of a hard copy, as there is less production expense. Here, the green of the trees and the green of author profits come together.
Three minutes can make a difference, fuel some inner heat, and force better breathing to keep on…
If you do this get cleared by your personal physician for it and get a tutorial on wrapping your hands. Have fun!
Note, the round timer has a clip on the back, suggesting it can accompany and time you at whatever kind of interval training effort you would like, except underwater:
Like Smaug the Dragon, the eyes of my road running shoes open at the breath of Spring in the air, fair winds blowing upon the great icy mountain of doubt. Stand to train again.
An hour hike yesterday…
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?
Many know the relaxation technique of tensing the body’s muscles, head to toe, and releasing them, in a wavelike sequence.
It is a great relaxation technique, yet it is also a superb warming-mobility approach as well. As you well may know, static stretching of muscles without warming up, is now out.
Tensing muscles even more in their tighter states of unreadiness (i.e. when you feel tension binding your body, movement, and coordination), will bring the warming blood flow increase to the targeted muscle or muscle group. Relaxing then, the muscles loosen. Progressively, tensing again, and releasing tension again, brings yet more looseness and pliability to the muscles.
A good example to illustrate is that of leaning over to touch our toes, and stopping at the point of felt-tightness, hanging there a few moments. Feet are flat on the ground. From the ground, from feet through the lower back, including all hip girdle muscles, we tense all of our muscles that we can and hold that tension a few seconds. Then we release. We should then feel our fingertips and entire upper body descend more easily from the waist toward the ground, feeling a bit looser. Repeat the process and see how low you can go.
Remember to breathe, either exhaling or inhaling during tension and the opposite during release, and keep that going. Shake out your body when done.
If you feel dizzy doing this, touch or grab a fixture for balance and slowly recover the upright position. An alternative is to touch the ground, and if loose enough to sit down, sit down and rest until the dizziness is over. If the dizziness is major, you feel you are going to faint or blackout, or if you repeatedly get dizzy doing this, stop exercise and schedule a physical with your doctor and tell your doctor about your experience.
Otherwise, think of the many formerly static stretches you used to do by warming up more generally, and add this specific and gradual tensing, releasing, extending, and repeating process to build flexibility, pliability, utility, and strength in the many, many supporting and dynamic muscles of the body.
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.
Mountains catch light and shadow so subtly and differently from moment to moment, their beauty brings enough surprise to feel transportive. There is a sense of renewal given by myriad conditions.
It is the same way when you hit the road for a walk, run, or cycling. Part of the reason for hitting the road is to put variety in your life. There are so many roads, routes, directions, and orders of taking them that hitting the road will often have reset value for you.
With subtle rises and downhills, fenced horse ranch properties, and long, quiet country lanes, I enjoyed this first mid-range (for me) run on my new Altra Torins. I was looking for any unusual feedback from feet, ankles, knees, and back with the new shoes. Turns out the only feedback I get is from one of the horses I run by in these parts.
When I ran alongside two beautiful brown horses, one trotted alongside, and I am almost sure this horse was on the edge of laughing at me. I’ve heard whinnying and that wasn’t what this horse was doing. And that smile, the one that says, “how can anything go that slow and sound like it’s running?”
I said, “Well, of course. You’re a big beautiful horse, built for running. You must think my pace is a hoot.” At that point, I was glad that this was not Mr. Ed.
Once out of view of the horses, I finished my run with dignity, working on a more efficient form. I had put a full water bladder on my back initially planning to run much longer, and that threw me off a bit.
I am planning to put in a sprint interval next time I run by that fence with those two smart ass horses.
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:
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:
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.
Ran the fine country and ranch roads of Northern Colorado in the cool, sunshiney air and logged 5.02 miles.
The run felt humble in phases, especially during intervals in which I stepped up my pace, however, finishing I felt immediately better and recovered quickly. I think this bug is about gone.
You know how it is when you think it’s gone, you’re trying to tell someone something, and the mere intake of air to speak draws a cough, and you feel like your 400 years old because of it. Still, it didn’t make me feel like staying home today and eating gobs of hot salsa with chips and drinking 400 gallons of water.
Yesterday, though, it did make me feel like eating medium hot Thai fried rice, a veggie spring roll, and a pot of hot green tea. Later, invited out yet again, dinner involved Miso soup and a small flask of hot sake. These are comforting substances at the end of a virus.
Also comforting was letting garlic flakes sit on the back of my tongue, and sort of marinate and waft through the upper respiratory tract with the believed knowledge that garlic is a natural antibiotic. Anecdotally I felt less inflammation around the cough zone in my throat after trying that.
I think we both know you’ve heard enough. I’m just glad you stop by from time to time. It’s a privilege for this writer.
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.
To catch up on my periodic journaling of training experiences:
Vancouver, BC. Be it known that I skipped the hotel fitness center in Vancouver BC, and opted for family whale watching, walks in the rain, and bicycling in the sunshine.
On the whale boat I could have sat the entire journey and monitored the Pacific waters for sea life. But I spent some wonderful time holding my child and working on fixing on distant, relatively fixed points to avoid symptoms of motion sickness as we motored over the waves to where the whales were spotted off the coast.
Going up to the boat’s viewing roof, I found that riding those waves in a rain coat afforded me a nice, standing core exercise trying to stay balanced on the boat, minimizing dependence on the rails.
Movement with Forces training came into play staying out in the rainy, windy sea weather and exposing myself to the wet cold for a time. Cold, wet sea weather is a force.
Another force encountered was the motion of moving in circles on my feet on the top deck relative to the boat’s forward, swell-riding motion. The circling was to scan the ocean’s surface for whales and other sea animals, while keeping balance, orientation, and trying to mitigate motion symptoms. This was a unique experience. I might have slogged through it, jetting along with the experience incidentally, and trying to avoid the elements as sources of discomfort instead of sources of mind-body training.
Instead I decided to consciously engage the ride as a crossing of training dimensions, and I thoroughly enjoyed it while witnessing the stunning beauty of the NW coasts and isles. Along with others I got to share ocean air and space with killer whales, humpbacks, sea lions, porpoises, and varied seabirds. The salt on the air, the relaxing of the boat’s fellow riders, and the graciousness of the husband-wife captain-naturalist team really enhanced our day.
Our walks in the rainy city gave us many chances to negotiate the architectural inclines, hilly city blocks, and wall tops as we used our feet to move through the concrete, glass, and steel mountains. The sea air blowing between them was a bonus. After much cool weather walking about, you can imagine that fish and chips, coffee, and hot chocolate called out to us a time or two. Let me also recommend the practice for parents of safely holding hands with your child in the city, and swinging him over the lines, manhole covers, sidewalk designs, and props found along the city course. I think switching sides and getting both arms in on the child swing is a good practice. Teaching city safety and enjoyment awareness at the same time is a bonus. During these walks, sudden footraces are known to break out, too. Race you to that monument — to that hydrant — to that vent – to that tree…
Our bicycle outing was just plain fun in the sunshine viewing the mountains we hadn’t been able to see for the clouds for three days straight. And walking some sandy, shelly, mossy, and very clean inner beaches came with the cycling trip through Stanley Park.
We had no time to hit all the most advertised destinations, but we saved a list for another time if it comes available.
To counter the experience of sitting on planes, trains, and automobiles, I used the symmetrical carrying and lifting of luggage, treating it as if I were carrying kettlebells, and keeping the exercises with it closer-in and less conspicuous so as not to embarrass family too much. This included lunging it, squatting to lift it, shrugging it, variable one and two armed rows, curling it, shouldering it, and the like. Same with the carry on back pack. Luggage that I carry is often between 35 and 40 pounds, and serves nicely as a clunky kettle bell by the top handle. I also kick it up with my foot when putting it on wheels and pulling the handle out to pull it. Sitting in airport seats I am able to do wrist curls with my luggage, propping wrists on knees and grasping the top handle.
Trips can afford more than in my laziness I took advantage of.