List the Factors

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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.

Run and Cut

To those who want to expose more muscle anatomy features through their skin:

Run.

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.

Coastal trails and fair ocean breezes

 

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Fri: Kite Adventure

high and far away...

high and far away…tree at left flies kite better than blogger; as did child Kite Master and a small dog.

art of kite flying exhibited by tree

art of kite flying exhibited by tree holding spool, kite in background obeying. A tree.

The wind was right Friday for the Kite Master to show herself.

Effortlessly handling the loyal dog-kite, she flew it on the swing; dancing twirls; and even tied it to her dog who also flew it flawlessly.

Dad crashed it three times.

Once, the wind was too strong, even for the Kite Master, pulling the spool and string from her hands.

The spool rose and fell, flying at about 15 knots in an easterly direction. Dad sprinted after it. It crossed a street. Then the kite pulled the spool high and stuck it firmly into the crook of a branch about 25 feet above the driveway of a home where no one was home. The tree flew the kite flawlessly, never losing it, never crashing it.

Using an extension rod fetched from home, I whacked the spool loose from the tree. Fail: could not wrap the string around the extension. Off went the spool again, dipping low, but moving at a clip across another street. I got a break. The kite pulled the string over a garage roof. The spool hung within my reach for about five seconds as I chased it down. As I reached for it, the kite jumped and the spool lifted steadily out of my reach, skittered across the roof and launched off the other side of this house into the adjoining yard on the next block.

Another sprint to locate it. There was the kite, flying true, bobbing and weaving and using all the string. But I could not see where the string was on the ground. Finally we saw the little shrub in a back yard that was now flying the kite. Flawlessly.

After knocking and ringing, there was no one home. We finally seized the spool, and walked the kite home. On the way, the Kite Master handed me the spool. I crashed the kite into a yard. We spent ten more minutes extricating the string and kite from a small spruce tree.

We were all smiling ear-to-ear. It was a kite adventure to remember. And it was a running kite adventure, with sprint intervals, timing, and of course, learning from the Kite Master.

The Contact Points of Functional Strength

Traditional weight lifting and even what are deemed functional training exercises do not do justice to hand strength as do manual labor or labor with tools. But not everyone has enough work projects with tools to make a difference for their hand strength.

Yet nearly everyone faces the following daily or weekly:

(1) Packaged goods, wrapped foods, and sealed containers;

(2) Fresh produce needing washing, peeling, processing;

(3) Goods that come shipped in boxes;

(4) And the old Charles Atlas standby, frequent yellow paged directories dumped on the doorstep from competing publishers.

With each of the above, most of us resort to tools, kitchen tools, or office tools to cut, unzip, peel, pry, snap, peel open, or otherwise process an item we must unpack or prepare. Because we have internet, many just throw the printed directories into recycling.

Yet here is food for thought: where safe and possible, can you devise a method to use your thoroughly washed, cleaned, and healthy hands to accomplish these tasks?

Think of all of the varied pulling, prying, separating, tearing, breaking, and other force- intensive functions you face with tools every week, and try to face them with your bare hands instead.

Use your mind and dexterity to unpack or process these products in a safe, controlled way that doesn’t send the contents flying all over the room or get you hurt. This often requires more thought, force, and functional strength to do under control. And this is why we normally resort to quick-draw tools without thinking.

Therein lies an adaptive training opportunity with our bare hands. Now add to that the use of hand tools in construction and yard projects, and this can amount to significant strength training for your points of contact with the material world: your hands.

Here’s to training mindfully and safely!

WARNINGS: Beware of some hard plastic encasements on hard goods in which the plastic becomes sharp on edges when pulled apart or cut away. DO NOT DO THIS ON ITEMS THAT COULD SHATTER, BREAK INTO SHARP PIECES, OR OTHERWISE CUT OR EMIT DANGEROUS CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. USE common sense to avoid uncommon injury.

Today’s Background and Banner Change in Honor of the Mountain Dimension & the Adaptive Vision of the Fort Carson Army Wellness Center

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.

Vancouver Boating, Bicycles & Rainy Walks / Colorado Eldorado Canyon Run & Rain Aftermath

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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.

To My CrossFit Friends: Try Adaptive Training for the Long Haul

Adaptive training is sustainable, body-wise, and freer compared to many manifestations of CrossFit. CrossFit has gems to offer, but I believe they were borrowed gems. Those gems were adopted from elsewhere and combined in a “Box,” or a “crucible.” The toughest gems came from elite forces training, that is, combat training. Do or die training. Still, part of military training, even elite military training, is readiness. And readiness involves recovery, and non-injury. If you’re injured, you’re not ready. If you don’t recover properly, injury risk spikes.

For some that may have temporary appeal, especially to younger people. Yet younger people lack experience, and seldom see conflicts of interest in business models that target them. Young people often appear non-conformist…all at the same time in the same way. It is a vulnerable time. And some people are lonely. Lonely as hell. The comradeship they lack they may seek in an intense, physical, shared experience. For that reason, they are less likely to see those conflicts of interest lurking.

Let’s think outside the Box a bit. What is a healthy versus unhealthy gift of individual power to a culture or authority for mind-body training? Some CrossFit groups may dial-in a healthy balance in their approach, especially after recent controversy. On the other hand, there are the other reports:

Getting Fit Even If It Kills You

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret

Idea Fit Discussion

Navy Times

How CrossFit Forges Elite Failure

And you can Google the rest of the negatives, of which there are many.

On the other hand, you will also find the positives and Google them too. Any CrossFit member or gym owner will be more than happy to tell you the positives. Yet others will say if you aren’t committed, they don’t want you. And I’d say you should be ready to respond with a laugh at that manipulation game. Just remember, not every useful wonder of chemistry is good to mix at the same time. You can get hurt or die from the ensuing explosion or gaseous poisoning. True it is also of training. Excesses are not consistent with durable endurance or sustainable fitness, and therefore excesses in training are not always consistent with readiness.

Military, sport, art, and work readiness is about fitness and conditioning, but training isn’t about getting injured, it is about proofing against it when the real thing trained for is going on. Studies in stress inoculation make it just as much about mindset, adaptive sleeping, recovery, and rewiring after traumatic experiences. The stresses are measured and periodized by time of exposure and response during training. Check out this summary of researched-supported points in the work of Lt. Col. David Grossman, specifically:

Section three describes the mental attitude necessary to be a warrior. The book goes into greater detail about stress inoculation and its importance to effective, realistic training. There are also some important training principles outlined.

Principle 1: Never “Kill” a Warrior in Training. Learners are expected to complete a scenario even if hit, stabbed or shot. As a trainer, tell them, “You’re not dead until I tell you you’re dead!” Don’t give up, always win.

Principle 2: Try to Never Send a Loser off Your Training Site. Have your participants go through a scenario as many times as necessary in order to have them succeed. Scenarios designed to make the trainee look foolish or fail just prove that the training designers are jerks.

Principle 3: As a Trainer, Never Talk Trash about Your Students. Don’t ridicule or try to tell funny stories about the last trainee who tried to complete your scenario. Your role as a trainer/leader is not only to pass along knowledge but also to inspire. You cannot do this when you are not respected. If criticism is to be given, give it in private. If praise is warranted, do so publicly.

I’m sure this could include: don’t give Rhapdo to your trainees. Don’t injure your troops in training so they are disabled for the real fight.

But are you training for combat? It is as much about mindset, and handling what your body does. Listen:

LTC David Grossman interview.

So to some extent CrossFit, run by those who are trained coaches, can achieve some of these training goals. Yet not everyone is training to be a warrior any more than every tool in a toolbox is a hammer. However, even military training leaves boot camp behind and graduates into a more sophisticated, measured, and periodized experience over time. It mixes individual control with leadership. Most individual civilians who are training for combat don’t have the rest of the training. They are not warriors per-se, but want to be ready for what this society teaches them to fear — which is about everything. Which begs the question: should training be motivated by fear? Or should training be inspired by the commitment to master fear?

For now, let’s discuss.

How to Train Hard with Family Along: Weekend Back to Back Hikes / Interval Trail Run

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!photo(35) photo(34) photo(33) photo(32) photo(31) photo(30) photo(29)photo(36)