Observing Cloud for Training Wisdom

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?

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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.

 

‘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!

Adaptive Labor as Training: Aid to Martin Acres subdivision of Boulder

For two and a half hours this morning I had the opportunity to work on flood remediation efforts with some wonderful people volunteering with DonateBoulder.org. We worked in the Martin Acres subdivision.

For those who are medically cleared for this kind of work, I highly encourage volunteer physical labor for those who cannot do it themselves, or who are overwhelmed.

Among the training benefits are asymmetric muscle work, pulling, lifting, carrying, hacking, breaking, dragging, stacking, leveraging, maneuvering, prying, throwing, and tossing. Working with tools with your hands is a bonus, as hand tools benefit your connective tissues and fine motor muscles in ways merely lifting weights cannot.

The best thing about training this way is that you get to work with some special people: other volunteers. You get to help someone in difficult circumstances. And, you help free up another wave of volunteers for the next effort by knocking one out.

You may only have a morning to work, or a whole day. We all have different obligations and time sensitive items any given day. Yet if you put in what you can, and others do too, this expedites humane relief and mitigation of adverse health conditions.

The must have tools and qualities: (1) mask that filters out airborne dust, molds, and noxious building materials such as asbestos; (2) tools for pulling up baseboards and tearing out sodden drywall, i.e. crowbars, wood chisels, hammers, dustpans, shovels, brooms; (3) approved anti-mold and mildew spray product; (4) first aid kit; and (5) safety sense.

Volunteering, like group training, builds camaraderie, dispels loneliness, and strengthens community. Those intangible fringe benefits are as valuable as the physical mission and physical training benefit. Yet the training benefit also helps give the person helped a better feeling that someone is helping them, yet getting something out of it.

That is all true of course, so long as volunteers take the necessary safety precautions, such as an updated tetanus shot and the equipment listed above.

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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Handling Victory and Defeat with Grace

If in our hearts we thoroughly prepare for lifelong grace after victory or defeat, neither victory or defeat can undo us.

Updated: Vying for the Heart of Athleticism in the Big Picture: Pride for Glory-of-Self or Service for Glory of the Team?

In succeeding, pride divides, while service, succeeding or not, unifies. Service brings glory after all seasons for one and for all. Even teams who lost fair and square to a team playing from the service ethos improve because of it.

The team that cries out of burst pride when it loses is less prepared to prevail in the greater competition against evils and injustices in the world. The team that wins in pride is even weaker, as they are deluded by self-legend.

Competition is best that tempers us toward excellence to be able to dissuade, dispel, and if necessary, defeat and heal injustices and evil processes plaguing humankind. Sports are fields of preparation for work and art, and contain them both. Play and the joy of play are part of the game of betterment.

The aim of sports was once to make community better, purer, truer, stronger, wiser, and in doing so raise every person to communal roles of glory from time to time. Instead sports in our great country have been struggling with the error of elevating pride as their driving spirit. That error has spawned a Pandora’s box of symptoms.

The team service ethos in sports unifies us, and makes us a team whose glory feeds those who witness and participate with it. Unfortunately we see this zone of service ethos in sports, art, and work waning, as the burgeoning prideful self, by self-glorification or self-esteem, sucks away rather than multiplies the spirit of personal excellence.

By character, determination, and service, success and failure are cumulative toward ultimate successes. Service success doesn’t admit the virus of tomorrow’s division. Today’s victory does not contain the DNA of tomorrow’s defeat with the ethos of service to the team. Failing to heed the law of the cosmos that pride comes before a fall is itself a delusion of pride in practice.

You may have noticed the shift in American sports as the word pride has replaced the word teamwork, love of team, and team spirit. Pride is the driving passion of despotism and fascism. Even the term “school pride” is a sad misnomer where well-intended, and a sickness where it dominates.

School is an institution part of a government that is supposed to be “by and for the people.” Such institutions, bureaucratized, may or may not run on people-oriented values. When there is a tradition of people-oriented leaders in that school or its system, they tend to feed students’ overall development, working as a team seeking excellence in doing so.

With such leadership, the bureaucratic addiction dissolves and the person-building institution arises. Perhaps we’ve forgotten that institutions and industries were at some point meant to help us develop ourselves as persons whose innate virtues obviate the need for heavy-institutionalism and industrialization in the first place. Freedom with behavioral trust was the objective. Remember “for the people, by the people?”

Yet where do we see many MVP’s go today? The pride-principle has morphed sports into a self-glorification machine, a scandal machine, a materialism machine, and a discipline in service to vice. See how ethics and character have fared in university and professional sports? Workplace and industry ethics seem to have followed suit. Drug and performance enhancement testing is required because lack of trust has taken hold. Thorough background checks exist because the we don’t trust each other anymore. This is a deep pathology unlikely to bring a unified republic and it is largely pride’s cancer, for which the opportunity cost is love of one’s fellows.

Protestations that “everybody’s cheating,” or “everybody’s doping” does not fix the problem any more than such an explanation justifies the erosion of character leading to the 2007 mortgage crisis and 2008 financial crisis. Attacking messengers of this truth is like a drowning person attacking a lifeguard or coastguard swimmer trying to help them.

It makes little sense to have a social net if every individual is so narcissistic that he or she thinks teamwork is for their own ascendancy or self-esteem, but not for each and every one else. Selfishness is fueled by fear of loss. Yet the major wisdom traditions of most religions, corrected for political and racial incursions on same, teach that fear of loss is a wasteful, useless state of mind.

Fear will dissolve in each of us as we willingly give up our passionate attachments to seeking blessings, and dedicate our lives to the love of our brothers and sisters no matter their appearance. How many times have I forgotten this through many, many falls to repeated delusions? For those who purpose good can also twist that motive with the lie that they must first be rich, ascendant, or powerful to do significant good. They forget that good done can have cascading, unintended effects far into the future.

Out of fear of lost face keep we must not let our errors keep us from witnessing what we can see by having fallen down enough ourselves. For when I fall, when I open my eyes, I can see under the fog to identify what made me slip. And by writing this, I am merely getting up using words as handholds, having not mastered fear, or loved as I should, but merely having become a practitioner at getting up to train at those high goals yet again. Truth: if each one of us cannot confess truth and get up again, then we cannot help message others about pile-ups around the corner. However, if we get up and do good anyway, and speak the truth, we can help the greater team live well.

Our first three obstacles to master for the good include our responses to error, entropy, and change. The answer to our own error and weaknesses is not that we must become masters of what we fear as some morph themselves to try; or that we despond in resignation; or that we get lost in an extreme ideology not fit for all that our hearts know is too rigid. Instead, we must learn to love others and master ourselves for that goal despite fear, and perhaps, extinguish fear with love’s inherent, creative grace.

From love’s grace teamwork is sustainable into infinity. This is true for every form of athleticism: work, intellect, spirit, and body. All of us seek excellence together to help us beyond the deceptive mortal futility and insanity of the mortal zoo cage. That transcendence is the truest possibility, and all innately know it. I am a believer in the authenticity of the foxhole conversion: for it is in crucibles that we cut to the chase, not in the luxurious salons of rhetorical exhaustion. In this, the edge of service-led competition in sports can be wiser than what passes for intellectual, and exponents more effectual.

Freedom from Fallen Fear Gurus

We are not free so long as we allow fallen gurus to be our masters, and you can tell a fallen guru by his or her quest to control others and everything. The controlling guru, whether by charming deceit or drill sergeant drive, is down deep afraid of losing control. For every person born on Earth, this is a false persona.

We are not free even if we are our own fallen gurus, ruling ourselves by fear of loss. Fear invites control, and control uses pride, prejudice, anger, covetousness, and hatred to sacrifice humanity to fear, as the person so addicted swells in self-importance that they believe only others should be sacrificed in life’s races, not the emperor (afraid) self. This is even done in the name of spoken ideals. The ideals, when fear is the path to them, burn-up in cruelty along the way. I have felt this inclination in myself, but it is not me. It is a temptation of passionate, over-serious attachment to temporary things instead of giving of self for the love of my fellow forever-beings, the fellow travelers well being at the center of my heart’s reason for being.

It is a true saying, “Fear is the beginning of wisdom.” But no one completes a series of races or a great race toward greater wisdom by staying on the starting line, that is, remaining in fear. One can leave an earthly starting line motivated by fear of loss, finish the race, and never have won a victory over fear. And yet, the analogy of starting that race despite the butterflies, can help bring awareness if light dawns. To let fear rule is to become an adrenaline junkie, and jettison intelligent holism in the many races in our lives. Too much adrenaline applied to too many things makes a fight or flight of everything.

Awareness of fear awakens the wisdom of facing fear to dispel it and move forward with grace born of gratitude.  You might even say the word grace is short for “good race.”

Another true saying, “Perfect love casts out fear.” The more we love others, giving of self, the closer to perfect love we go, and the more graceful we become. We trust in what we already have within us: love. And giving this love we already have only generates more than ever before, and is not really a loss at all. In perfect love there is no urgency to control or to be a guru of others, or even ourselves. We need a whole lot less adrenaline this way, and save it for when it really is needed. We would follow and lead in love instead, tapping into a great mystery in the Cosmos.

We seek to walk, hike, run, swim, compete, and if possible, fly, in the greatest race there is: to acquire perfect love within and be one with uncontainable perfect love spilling over by example to everyone we meet. It is a life long workshop within and without. We are spiritual and we are physical.

The example and wonderful life of perfect love is enough to inspire others to the same freedom, and so is inherently free and democratic. And it is so great a race, so boundless and wondrous, that it takes our whole lives in the running, well beyond this body’s ability to hold out with its contrary chemicals, habits, and flaws. Therefore, none of us who is putting in a worthy focus on the race of love can sit on a throne as guru over others. The worthy focus on love makes it impossible.

And this is why it is possible to advance in a greater race even if we are never noticed doing so.

In my book, I invite others to improve and customize from whatever is useful there. I am a fellow traveler, and if you walked side-by-side with me you would see my falls, my flaws, and my failures. It is from these that I compare notes with you on this blog. When I write about soaring things as above, I borrow from the wise, and write of aspirations of my own, not of my arrival.

Help me to arrive by sharing your wisdom and reminding me of the good race. Let this blog be an expression of cheer, to cheer you onto advancement in all of your great races!photo(3)

3.6 Twilight Rainy Running Interval Fit Into Family Camping Debut

Twilight Running in the Forest

Twilight Running in the Forest

Fitting In

Fitting In

Setting

Setting

Terrain: Mountain

Elevation: 10,000 Feet

Distance: 3.6 Miles

Time: Twilight after Sundown

Conditions: Rainy

Temps: 40’s Fahrenheit.

Priority: Last. Family-firsts came first, and therein, this writer’s personal, adaptive training purpose-growth.

Special Occasions: First family camp-out with our girl, first-time fishing with her, first-time rainy camp-out, first-time camp-out for dog, and first tent construction and fire build with my daughter, and first tent take down in the rain with my better half. Joyous experiences.

Tag-Team Family Training Principle: Covered for my spouse, enabling her time to hike and run without distraction, a rarity for her. In a setting away from home (absent the familiar rationales) one who writes about accessible training for others, for self, and tests these principles, faces own selfishness. The practice emerges with greater focus away from home, evangelized by reflection in a tent, and by a fire, symbolizing the burning away of my rationales.

Team Member Check: Ceded nutrition lead to spouse, whose professional vocational training, research, and intrinsic discipline better fills the nutritional knowledge role between us, as I pursue the adaptive personal fitness focus. Teams and their members share ownership. A family must choose teamwork, every member contributing, and every member respecting the others’ contributions. A dedicated zone of listening to the expertise and role, an area that calls us to expand this mutuality, and harmony.

All in all, a wonderful weekend, a wonderful place, and joy in the rain.

Mother Teresa: Personal Trainer

What? This:

By internal and external silence, we may bypass barriers, snags, and diversions from purer, more efficient training, study, and accomplishment.

How often does inner or outer chatter delay movement, and this delay, like gum on our shoes seems to swallow time.

I take this inspiration from my a current book in my reading list, entitled, “No Greater Love,” by the late Mother Teresa, a saint.

 

She also wrote that you can’t learn humility by reading about humility. Only by undergoing humiliations (which are guaranteed throughout our lives) do we learn humility. I wonder if typos are included?!

How do we deal with Aging and Training?

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the ascents…

How do athletes deal with aging? Answer may differ for each of us.

Something helps me. Remembering what I’m training for besides the immediate feel, look, and function. Or besides the next race, competition, game, event, or expedition. I wanted to share this:

If I find myself running one day with a gait that looks like my knees and ankles have been tenderized with hammers, what will I then be training for? I will be training with the goal that every person who looks into my eyes finds the peaceful warrior’s ageless resolve.

Angela’s Promise

Angela's Promise

That’s what I’m calling this one. Click on the photo to read her latest update. She’s a fellow WordPresser to all here whose ultra running blog Run Nature and reflective blog Mind Margins inspire many. She also happens to have taken the gloves off to fight with cancer at present, and I encourage everyone sharing community here to visit her blog and sound off their support and heartfelt encouragement for ultimate victory and much peace and goodness despite the hardship she is shouldering with a smile every day.

Cancer: And So the Story Begins

Throw down prayers, good thoughts, and messages of love to Angela whose great blog I reblog…

Mind Margins

I am one of those people who probably tells more than they should. If I were a celebrity the tabloids would love me. I can be brutally honest, and I don’t care much what others think of how I live my life.

Last week something happened to me, something you might consider a “life changing event.” I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

This is my story. It’s long, so I’ll be telling it in segments. And stay tuned. Despite the inevitable ending (the same ending you will have one day as well, my friend), I plan on being around for a long time:

5/29/13, Wednesday: THE BEGINNING

I turned over in bed and felt a sharp twinge of pain in my abdomen. It was Tuesday morning. It was as simple as that.

I got up, ate an early lunch, and felt nothing the rest of the day.

The next morning…

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Ten Principles, Seven Dimensions

Make a sea-change in your training life approach, and reach for the sky:

sky shadowed light

Internalize the Ten Principles, Train the Seven Dimensions, and Live a Sustainably Free Training Life for the Long Run.

Today, Now…

img_2945.jpgAs the night cools the path of the spartan sun, a hot day’s light drifts into space as I contemplate sleep.

Now is the best time to reach beyond the solar system of my small life and share a few observations from this week.

Health, wellness, and functional strength are like a land grant to each person to farm.

There is no guarantee the farm will not be beset by pests, drought, or fire, yet we farm what we have.

And yet a farm is a foundation for living. What is the purpose of living?

The good purpose of our lives is so simple, so central, so much who we are, it is easiest to miss for being right in front of us.

Today, now, I simplify, letting go of my ambition, letting go of the wants I have dressed as needs, and I want to gaze wordlessly into my own heart to weed this given field; to make it fertile; and to grow all I can to hold with soft hands and distribute whatever I may be given to give. Truth told to self is a calmer of all faculties before sleep.

As I descend, I trust sleep. Sleep is rain, dew, cool, and recovery. Sleep is part of training. The heat and pace of the day will return tomorrow in which I will work my field. Peace.

the sun inside

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The Sun Inside

in morning stillness

my fingers slowly pull

a shoe on-

onto a porch a

door swings wide

to mottled stratospheres

pink-blue, high

vapors hang, plant-breathed

so fresh their mist is silver

gold-seared sky’s edge

butters the Earth toned bread

as I start to run

friends chirp

melodies

to the risen sun

Burst

Light within my heart

Genesis you

timelessly shine

from my he(art)…

Offering a Book Discount in Honor of my Fellow WordPressers

Feel free to check it out! Use the link below:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Now Available at Lulu.com: Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

It’s official. Click on the book cover icon at the upper right side of this screen, and you can go there. The E-book will be available in about one week. For now, it is print on demand, with some extra cost of production. I tried to set as reasonable a print price as possible considering all factors. You can also click here:

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

What Is Adaptive Fitness Training?

Sticky note for the peak register at Mount Parnassus, CO. A favorite photo because someone dedicates the summit hike “to Kristen who has never hiked above tree line.”

Soon it will be time to release the title, cover, and the book on adaptive training principles and dimensions.

Once the book is released, please feel free to share the book with your friends, family, and anyone you believe may benefit.

Adaptive training principles and dimensions can help anyone create their own best foundations and pathways to new levels of training consistency and fitness.

Afraid to Change

This is a very important post. Here is a wonderful human being, a brother or sister, a son or daughter, a father or mother, a friend; standing at a lookout near the front after fighting a day’s battle. Good for the writer.

On fitness, health, and training, here is the truth: we will face the battle of the day whether we are fit or not. We will be subject to it whether we fight or not.

The proposition of lifelong training discipline is to adapt to the battle of the day so we improve and excel at meeting objectives that matter to us. That we would be more present and capable to serve loved ones, friends, neighbors, and more, because we are fitter.

It is harder when one is alone, without a purpose in mind, to find a reason to stand and participate in the battle engaging both body and mind. When someone we love becomes an important reason to train, exercise, and improve, we get traction and toughen-up. It seems paradoxical that something so soft as love toughens us to live well.

blaze trails together

back up your people by training yourself

tiredofbeingoldandtired

I’m really–times 500–afraid of change. Why is change necessary? Here I am, tiredOfBeingOldAndTired, needing to lose  30–40 pounds or suffer and die, and I won’t change! I always say to myself: After this candy bar, I won’t eat candy bars anymore.  Uh humm. Right.

I read something last week, which totally applies here:

Pain is part of Change, Change is the price of Progress, and Progress is the Purpose of Life.

So today I made a few small changes: I only overate at dinner; I ate veggies and fruits on purpose; I drank loads of water; I exercised for 30 minutes. If I did that every day, over time my body would change?

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