38 Special Fix for the Loop Flop: Compelled to Obsess, Obsessed to Compel

Forbes entrepreneur blogger Eric Schiffer writes about breaking free of obsessions to reach goals, here.

Obsessing focuses not on what you are doing or even what you want, but on ill-timed imperatives. To set a summit goal then obsess on each stepping stone will tire out the best of ascendants, leaving them on the mountain in the dark, taking forever.

Focus and obsession aren’t the same thing. Focus sees something as it really is in its context. Obsession loses track of what something actually is in favor of processing it, and fears that if it isn’t done now, the sky will fall. Too much tension blows energy, forgets priorities, and trends in error.

A good way to memorize this principle is by singing to yourself the following 38 Special song, or at least the lyrics:

Fitness that adapts stays with you.

Best,

Mike

Take Flight — a Memorial Day Reflection

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Dedicated to those who are here who can hear for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their fellows, their country, and principles for which this nation must still stand.

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.

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?

spirit

spirit: a breakthrough word inspired by a post at Triathlon Obsession encouraging selection of a word to focus on for the New Year...

spirit: a breakthrough word inspired by a post at Triathlon Obsession encouraging selection of a word to focus on for the New Year…

spirit

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:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14594652

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.

Meaning of: “Let Go”

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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.

Thanksgiving

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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.

 

personal genesis

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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.

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In the lyrics of this piece, I see translated in a few words what the above says.

‘Farm Your Training Day’ Book Signing Event Downtown Denver at Federal Executive Institute Alumni Gathering

Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association

The Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association (FEIAA) consists of graduates of professional education programs of the Federal Executive Institute, serving federal government executives building on their talents, skills, and abilities for public service. It’s area alumni are gathering in Denver for a reunion and refresher tomorrow.

As part of those FEIAA proceedings I’ve been privileged to facilitate a conversation about my book Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness. I will also sign-off on copies of the book for those in attendance who add it to their training libraries. I am looking forward to learning more about the adaptive training needs of these busy professionals.

I have Michael Anderson to thank for the privilege of meeting with his fellow alumni, and hope that everyone in attendance will come away with something permanent on which to build and improve as leaders of their own training lives.

After the event I’d like to post what I learned from a discussion of adaptive training with a group of dedicated professionals whose lives are quite busy. Public service can be an intense challenge, and work-life balance will figure into our conversation. More soon!

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.

Your Adaptive Training Life is a Genesis

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Each moment is yours to begin moving.

Moving can turn into so much, usually positive. Try it unplanned. Where does it lead you? Do you end up putting on shorts, gear, training apparel, or loose, functional clothes for a physical interval in your day?

Don’t think about it, just start moving. When you’re done, you will have discovered what your training interval was to be.

Journal about it and be grateful for the gift of movement, health enough to exercise, and the ability to breathe.

Suppose you are pinned down with obligations and training feels impossible.

Begin with taking every tense thought, tensing muscle, tense feeling, ill-reaction, curse, fear, anxiety, and angry thought and placing it squarely between the rocky abdominal muscles within you and and crush them all to dust. You can do this while you prepare for your day. In the middle of your day. As you drive to work. As you fix a meal.

Melt the dust down with the fire burning in your belly as you tense your core muscles, draw them in, adjust them, and condition them while destroying your negatives there.

Boost your posture, breathe soundly in and out, and let that fire in your belly muscles be a kiln into which the impurities of your mind and body are tossed, burned, purged, and utterly destroyed.

What do you replace them with? Silence, the prayer of listening. As long as possible. The sound of settling peace, unifying and calm. Before long, understanding or wisdom you need may dawn in the clarity and focus of your calm.

Peace with strength, you have trained adaptively.

Updated: Remembering September Eleventh

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On September 11, 2001 a relatively small band of traveling criminals pushed history toward evil times. That so small a number could do this should inspire us that historic change in the positive can also take place because of the good works of a small number.

It is the truth. In this truth I believe many may find the purpose of their adaptive fitness lives. To prepare their bodies and minds for what they know, and for what they cannot predict, and so be ready to put in a sound response to the challenge of any given day.

It could be any ordinary day, to set in motion extraordinary change, or, to avert negative changes. Adaptive training goes beyond fitness to excellence in functional capability for the many who would improve their service to others wherever and however they serve the good of humankind.

Adaptive fitness expands the definition of athleticism to go beyond sports, games, and races and into whatever challenge may come.

Inspiration for Sunday

Take the windfall today and make peaceful silence, quiet words of calm, and simple warmth for those you are with.

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M7 Missive: Envy is not a regenerative green for athleticism

Credit: Matrix Wiki website.

We all know envy, a vice, has become a lucrative marketing emotion, including within the fitness industry. Certainly this is not so in all venues, under all coaches, or with all players. Yet where it is, it corrodes.

Envy is tied to what another has, or is perceived to have, and is moved by their possession of it. Usually, the outcome of someone’s hard work is coveted, not the work itself. In this emotion the seeds of hating the actual sport, art, work, or conditioning mode are planted.

When the training life becomes a mere means to a visual end, the end of it is planted in its beginning — there is an expiration date on that inspiration.

Also, to envy someone else’s fitness is to tie ourselves to someone else’s performance, not lead ourselves by our own performance to ever excelling levels of capability and potential. Envy makes something old from the beginning, and so limits excellence.

To praise the beauty or performance of another and desire a like-experience to theirs is different. This is not tied to the person, but to the person’s example, the process, the sport, the training path, and focuses on their work ethic and character. It lauds them in a dignified way without attaching to them in a co-dependent twist. This is not envy exactly, but it is admiration of the character of another to the point of applying its principle to ourselves. It is recognition of something greater than both on which all may climb. It is participatory, and therefore, team building, community building, social, and fun.

Worse than envy is a kind of pride that begins with envy then morphs into the denigration of what another has with the implication that our experience must be better, will be better, and is already better than the other. Again, this is not about being the best we can become, but about bettering another. Here the sky is exchanged for exultation over someone else’s fall to earth. Such a morbid thought process misses the finest traditions of sports.

Where envy has infected sports, fitness, and physical arts, we can all do better if we extinguish it with grace. We must do better as a nation of competitors and lovers of sports.

Combatting Loneliness By Training Life

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Loneliness does not discriminate. Probably everyone knows what kind of life events, states of being, and physical burdens correlate with it. Whatever isolation and loneliness comes from, those who suffer from it know why solitary confinement is one of the worst punishments prisons dole out.

A training life can move you out of the lonely place into a new life.

Growing your own training life from the ground up will lead you into short, manageable social interactions that begin slowly and gently to drain away the loneliness with each outing. You’ll have time to think, to hold problems up to the sun in your mind and heart, and to subject them to the light that dawns as you move.

The sunshine can boost you up some more.

Start simple: a walk or hike. Go to a nearby running track, a trail you know, or a park with long sidewalk pathways along a lake or river. Or just make the city blocks in a familiar area your training scape.

It is training, and retraining your brain, nerves, muscles, and body chemistry simply to get out and move in the outdoors. So much happens when you do this, there is an automatic element to outdoor outings.

Dress in what’s comfortable, do what you need to do to feel comfortable to get out the door. Then soak up the world’s outdoor riches as you journey.

Rocky Mountain Photo Journal: Seven Miles Dedicated to Snoopy’s Citadel

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Part II Internal: What Injury Did

copy-cropped-img_6270-e13762827104731.jpgAt launch, I was driven. I’d made the twisty-turning, detoured road to the trail head at about 10,600 feet. I started briskly, moving with intent to make a fast outing of it. I felt good. I was mildly irritated with the many distractions that had me coming out for an afternoon interval hike and run. Time is scarce these days.

I slipped, caught myself, and hurt my foot. See my previous post for that story and what it did externally.

Afterward, I was exasperated, scorning the decisions of fate.

Then I asked myself: what am I so attached to that I am upset about this?

As I tenderly hiked and occasionally ran along another six miles, I thought about that.

Is being “driven” healthy? Slaves are driven. Oxen are driven. Unloved horses are driven.

And yet, I’d been driving myself.

The injury stopped that with punctuation.

I was attached to ownership of myself, my day, my training, my business, my goals, my aspirations, and my expectations. All mine in Me-Myself-and-I-Ville. Forget my context, my purposes, what I was doing all of this for, and what I have dedicated myself to that is beyond me.

Yes. Subtly through growing impatience with delay after delay getting out there, I became more the slave driver. The Owner of everything. The hard-to-please judge of every little thing and how it was going. I allowed frustration to turn my day into a driven drought.

Then I hurt my foot and arrived at what I needed to do.

Let go and move, hike, and run free.