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.

Prevention versus Reaction: Ebola, Airports, and WHO

There is an outbreak of the Ebola virus (Zaire strain) in West Africa affecting Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone. Reportedly, one early patient was brought cross country on a crowded bus to Conakry, capitol of Guinea, before it was identified what he carried. Conakry’s airport services international flights. There have been two Ebola scares tied to flights out of Guinea: one in Canada and one in France.

The French Organization “Doctor’s Without Borders” called the current 2014 Guinea outbreak “unprecedented” in that it popped-up rapidly in disparate locations following its initial detection. Also unprecedented is the outbreak in a city of over 2 million, Conakry.

Speculations as to how the virus may have reached disparate areas:

(1) the virus had already been on the move under the radar before it was identified, and / or;

(2) it could be that a bush meat hunting or trapping operation culled a population of infected bats or monkeys and sold the meat on the road, or;

(3) somehow the virus was intentionally spread.

One and two are the most likely, but it may pay to see if any nation-state’s flight services ceased flying to and from the affected areas in the recent past, or, if there was a recent departure of a political adversary vying for leadership over the regime.

In any case, it seems irresponsible to continue to allow flights out of Conakry or other hot zones without fully screening would-be passengers on the ground before they ever enter a plane. Not to do so invites infection of flight crews and passenger rosters, not to mention the risk of spreading ebola to destination countries.

The time to discover symptoms is not during an international flight. Should word spread on a flight that another passenger is infected, panic could ensue on-board. That is not a good plan. Thorough screening must occur on the ground to keep Ebola (Zaire) contained.

Despite the rapidity of infection and spread, the World Health Organization has only downplayed the outbreak, and recommended that routine travel in and out of the region not be suspended at a time the virus had already reached Guinea’s capitol. Until verifiable disease control exists on the ground, WHO’s recommendation stands out as irresponsible.

Boost Raw Casserole

Washed, chopped organic yellow squash, broccoli, orange pepper, & gala apple in juice from fresh lemon and lime...

Washed, chopped, raw organic yellow squash, broccoli, orange pepper, & gala apple in juice of fresh lemon and lime…

Hit the Road Jack

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.

So hit the road. Renaming yourself Jack is optional.IMG_8282

Sea Beans or Salicornia can lend diversity in your healthy kitchen

Hat tip to Hank Shaw at Hunter-Angler-Gardener-Cook for a nice essay on ‘Sea Beans,’ a coastal, marshy plant reminiscent of ice plants, and nutritious for sure. I emphasize their variety-nutrition value here, because they were expensive…

Here’s what I did with them several weeks back (Sea Beans at left in first photo). I photographed this because it was my first time enjoying sea beans:

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Mixed in with the risotto, garlic, potato mix, Ghee, organic vegetable broth, and less cheese than the color suggests. The other ingredients were a mixture of diced greens and onions I had on hand.

Country Road Take Me Home, OR Five.Oh.2 after Week of Adaptive Immune System Training

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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.

Water

There are times you may not consciously realize that you need or want to renew your relationship to water in your training life.

Yet water and its properties are forces of nature that are part of your physical, mental, and if you will, spiritual being.

My Denver Half Marathon Half Rainbow

follow the path of movement

Take time to recover

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Lake in a snowstorm

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The Story of an FEIAA Meeting and Book Signing

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.

‘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!

Understanding Obesity

Understanding Obesity.

via Understanding Obesity at A Handbook for Fitness & Wellness Professionals by Laura Kennett.

A strong, strong summary that helps create a pathway to healing and change through understanding, empathy, and seeing the hurting person. Wisdom helps us withdraw judgment and make pathways to connection and friendship for those suffering from the afflictions that are obesity.

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.

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.

Movement with Forces: Vehicle Training (2:53)

Movement with Forces (inertia, velocity, momentum, gravity, etc.) training is one of 7 dimensions of training set out in my adaptive fitness book “Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness.”

Here, vehicle training is a form of Movement with Forces training. The purpose of this training is a functional encounter with one or more physical and energetic forces at once, not mere weight lifting primarily engaging gravity by loading joints from above. With vehicle training you can train as with a blocking sled on the football field, emphasize pushing the vehicle with calves; emphasize lunging the vehicle; emphasize a hack squat / backward walk by engaging the bumper with the lower back, grasping it from beneath and walking backward, pushing it. You can pull it from the tow hook as well as shown in the clip. Just be certain to stay clear of wheels and use a flat area in which the vehicle cannot roll away. You can also execute various levels of presses with the upper body. These exercises should be slow going. Let up after feeling a significant new challenge. Train muscle gradually over time.

With vehicle training, physical forces and properties undertaken include inertia, gravity, isometrics, friction, momentum, and velocity among others. The benefits of vehicle training include engagement of major muscle groups, affordability, accessibility, natural Vitamin D, and multiple force training of the body.

When you overcome the stationary resting force of the vehicle, and train your body with inertia / gravity. Momentum/Velocity: You cause the vehicle to have velocity, and momentum when you move it. Then, to stop it, you must overcome the vehicle’s Momentum/Velocity, returning it to its resting, inertial state. There is a point within your stopping the vehicle’s momentum that you meet with yielding isometric forces since the vehicle acts as a fixed object, i.e. you push on it but it is not moving with your force. Its momentum / velocity is clashing with your personal force, slowing the vehicle and reducing its velocity / momentum. When getting it going again from a stationary position, there is a moment of fixed isometric force your body feels.

WARNING: YOU MAY NOT BE READY FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING OF THIS KIND. IT REQUIRES COMMON SENSE PRECAUTION AFTER CONSULTATION WITH YOUR PHYSICIANS OR TRAINERS. DOING SUCH EXERCISES COULD CAUSE INJURY OR DEATH. IF NOT WILLING TO UNDERTAKE SUCH RISK, DO NOT DO ANY EXERCISES DEPICTED ON THIS CHANNEL. CLEAR ALL PLANNED PHYSICAL TRAINING WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, PERSONAL PHYSICIAN, AND / OR SPORTS PHYSICIANS / COACHES / TRAINERS. DO VEHICLE TRAINING WITH 2 SPOTTERS, one to help you and the other to keep the vehicle path clear and the scene safe. IN A FLAT AREA WITH NO CHANCE THE VEHICLE WILL ROLL AWAY, AND STAY CLEAR OF WHEELS WHILE ENGAGING, PUSHING, AND PULLING THE VEHICLE. IF YOU FEEL THE VEHICLE’S TIRE CONTACT A FIXED OBJECT LIKE A CURB, LET OFF YOUR PUSHING FORCE TO AVOID BLOWING A JOINT. CLEAR THE WAY FOR THE WHEELS TO ROLL SMOOTHLY BEFORE PROCEEDING.

Overview and Table of Contents: Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

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Overview and Preview as Seen at iBookstore, Lulu.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon (with some formatting changes here).
Overview
Adaptive fitness doesn’t revolve around someone else’s contract, facility, and schedule.

With this guide, you can take ownership of your physical training life and leave behind co-dependence on unsustainable, packaged dieting and fitness hype.

Here you will learn ten principles to help you rewire yourself to train adaptively, more consistently, and thoroughly. Seven training dimensions encourage you to train often, in more places, with more choices.

Table of Contents

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………. vii
Organization, Content, and Safety Notice ………………………………..ix

Part I. Principles of Adaptive Training ………………… 1

Chapter 1. The Training Day Principle ……………………………………3
Chapter 2. Interval Farming Principle ……………………………………..7
Chapter 3. Adaptive Journal Principle ……………………………………40
Chapter 4. The Working Principle ………………………………………..45
Chapter 5. The Gradualism Principle …………………………………….60
Chapter 6. Windfall Principle ………………………………………………71
Chapter 7. Attunement Principle …………………………………………. 74
Chapter 8. Adaptive Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping Principles….90
Chapter 9. Objective Principle: Identify & Excel in Your Sport,
Art, and Work …………………………………………………. 107
Chapter 10. Navigation Principle …………………………………………. 111

Part II. The Seven Dimensions  of Adaptive Training …127

Chapter 11. Dimension One: Muscle …………………………………….130
Chapter 12. Mileage ………………………………………………………….. 155
Chapter 13. Mobility …………………………………………………………. 173
Chapter 14. Midsection + Core …………………………………………… 183
Chapter 15. Mountain ……………………………………………………….. 192
Chapter 16. Movement with Forces (MWF) …………………………..206
Chapter 17. The Seventh Dimension: Mind-Body Training via
Sport, Art, Work ………………………………………………254

Acknowledgements

Incoming! A dust storm then T-storm with Tornado Warnings Interrupts Hike & Bouldering

One

One: A dust storm hits Boulder, Colorado?

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Two: Closer…

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Three: Advancing

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Four: Just before blowing into the forests and foothills of the Flatirons over Boulder, CO.

Five

Five: the storm cloud exploded upward after the dust storm arrived at the Flatirons…

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)

Fueling, Hydration, and Management of Forces Training Dimension: Follow-Up Post

surivivor of heat

Policy on Heat Injury: Prevention, Early Detection of precursors, Awareness, Quick Response. If it happens to you once, as it did to me 21 years ago, you will want to adopt another policy. No Repeats! Adaptive Training has 7 dimensions, and one of them is Forces Training. Forces Training is about intentionally encountering the natural forces, physics, energies, and elements of our training, sport, art, or work environments under controlled conditions for the purpose of acclimation, adaptation, increased capacity, and performance.

This post follows up on the last post, “When a Run Is Not a Run,” thanks to a question from Simone, whose blog is at http://meltdowntoironman.com/ and whose training targets the 2014 IMOZ or Iron Man Down Under. I was laughing as I wrote this because I’m betting Simone knows more about this than I do, but here is my expanded answer anyway. Anyone have wisdom to add? Please chime in.

There are excellent multi-sport resources for fueling and hydration. I’m posting those below. After that, I post my own suggested lessons-learned from the summer weight-bearing running and hiking perspective.

Professional Multi-Sport Fueling:

Master Race Day Nutrition:
http://www.ironman.com/triathlon-news/articles/2013/06/race-day-fueling.aspx#axzz2aAEqlXGN

How the Pros Hydrated At The Hawaii Iron Man:
http://triathlon.competitor.com/2011/10/nutrition/how-the-pros-hydrated-at-the-hawaii-ironman_41584

Fueling for Open Water Swimming (underlying science & practical detail included by USA Swimming):
http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/b9df2f1a-cf51-411d-b50d-76aaae75b9ae/Nutrition%20Strategies%20for%20Open%20Water.pdf

Our fellow WordPressers you may already know have lots of practical posts on the swim:
http://waterbloggedtriathlete.com/

http://owswimming.com/

My running hydration lessons learned:

1. Hydrate with electrolytes;
2. sipping not gulping;
3. steady sipping;
4. steady nutrition bearing in mind your temps, climbs, and humidity as they will impact your calorie burn rate (your thermostat and cooling system needs fuel to work efficiently);
5. seek cooling opportunities during runs, i.e. shade, cool presses, ice to rub on your head, whatever’s legal, efficient, and doesn’t overly distract you;
6. use an SPF rated, moisture wicking hat if allowed;
7. use proven moisture wicking training wear (in my book I cite research that such garments have a micro-wind tunnel effect surrounding the skin);
8. if thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so sip at first sign your mouth feels dry, and boost frequency;
9. recognize climbs or changes in running surface resistance may boost your need for replacement fluid;
10. Have a plan and method for hydration, fueling, transition and practice / perfect them during training and races;
11. Occasionally train yourself for short intervals without adequate nutrition and hydration in arduous conditions to practice adapting to unexpected circumstances, practice distinguishing signs of trouble in yourself early, and to become a more perceptive self-trainer. KEEP THESE TRAINING SESSIONS SHORTER THAN THE NORMAL TRAINING SESSION — you don’t want “authentic battle damage” in training, BUT you do want to very gradually increase your capacity and tolerance for hardship; unexpected snafus, changes in conditions using intervals. Also practice your remedial counter-measures during these sessions, and gauge their effectiveness, try different salves, etc. WARNING: GET YOUR PHYSICIAN’S CLEARANCE TO TRY THIS, AND TO WHAT EXTENT.
12. If you show symptoms of dehydration (thirst, urine darker than a light yellow) boost your continual sipping of electrolyte fortified fluids, redouble your focus on efficient form in your sport; seek cooling opportunities (shade etc.); and be sure you’re breathing as efficiently as possible. Watch for symptoms of heat injury developing (cramps, exhaustion, or stroke), which may be found here:

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/survivalist/2013/07/survival-medicine-signs-and-field-treatments-heat-illnesses
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heat-stroke/DS01025/DSECTION=symptoms

There are myriad forces, elements, factors, and related circumstances you may encounter to modify your sport, art, work, race, event, expedition, or training day: heat, cold, wind, rain, humidity, pressure, altitude, lack of shade, UV rays, reflection, water, fire, disaster, weather, lightening, mud, bugs, animals, inclines, navigation errors, forgotten supplies, contaminated supplies, and more.

Adaptive Forces, Movement with Forces, and Management of Forces training intentionally encounters these elements and natural forces in controlled conditions as primary and secondary training factors to reduce their impact on the outcome of your effort, and if possible, to find ways that these can help you become better. A more detailed, long treatment of this customizable training dimension is an entire chapter in my book Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness.

When a Run is Not a Run, But an Encounter with Physical and Energetic Forces and Conditions

Force of Heat

Force of Heat

Yesterday I did not hydrate to prepare for a run.

Yesterday I did not eat much at all.

Yesterday was not a running training day. And although I ran, I did not run.

At the height of the late day heat in the 90’s, in full sun, underfed for the day, and poorly hydrated, I strapped on a hydration system, downed a Gu (Trademarked name) and took off running. I had no distance or pace in mind. It wound up at 4.21 miles.

My sole goal was to encounter heat and full sun while feeling unprepared for my run. I had planned with the Gu shot, and the hydration system, for my own safety net after the halfway point. The Gu shot would kick in after about 20-30 minutes, and I would feel lousy for over half the exercise period.

During the run I purposely ran on several different surfaces, regular and irregular, to do something against my expectations. I ran on river rock, broken granite, asphalt, dirt, deep grass, groomed grass, concrete, and on a few mulch areas. The route was mostly flat with some subtle rises, but it was all in the open sun with no shade until the end stretch.

In the first 30 minutes of this run, I felt very hot. My skin felt hot, my head felt hot, the air felt hot, I was thirsty, and there was very little or no breeze. When I felt a little lightheaded at one point, I recognized it coinciding with that hollowed-out feeling of stomach emptiness during exertion without blood sugar. I slowed down to adapt to the energy drain, reduce heat build-up, yet still keep running by a purely technical definition, no matter how slowly. I began sipping water when I felt lightheaded to make this a training interval, not self-immolation.

When the Gu finally found my bloodstream I felt the boost and picked up my pace. My stomach emptiness eased, and I  found some tree cover for the last half-mile of my encounter with the heat and my own deprivation. I could have become a treehugger for shade.

Did I train? By someone else’s definition, perhaps not. But the definitions I set had to do with addressing obstacles I have run into before in my training life, not adopting someone else’s focus, but my own, in the present moment. By encountering and adapting to:

Heat

Hunger

Thirst

Finishing determination

and

my thoughts and feelings about it all…

..the goal was to train my mind to adapt to all factors and conditions to continue, not quit, and not fall to a heat injury. You see, long ago, I did reach dangerous temperatures while running hills in a 100 degrees-plus, humid, still forests of Virginia wearing pack, boots, helmet, and carrying a rifle. My temperature was 106.4 degrees Fahrenheit before a pugnacious young Staff Sergeant from San Diego pulled me down, and started pouring gallons of water over my head. He saved my life and I’ll always be indebted.

I do not recommend anyone else do this particular heat / hunger / thirst forces session. Perhaps you would never feel the need. I recommend training on full hydration; after adequate nutrition; being judicious about training times and types given your own personal, physical history, profile, needs, and objectives. In other words, a run is a run, a training run is a training run, but your intention in training, your focus can change the interval into something else.

For me, this was voluntarily facing a convergence of forces to train to adapt to them despite having fallen to them in the past. The purpose? To gradually increase capacity to deal should unexpectedly arduous conditions be imposed on me at some future time. Next time, I’ll go slightly further, and so on under similar conditions. This also trains mind and body to appreciate and stay aware of hydration, nutrition, and preparation. It also helps train my mind to adapt and function when those elements are lacking — to push the envelope back and retrain my body’s capacity to adapt, endure, and do so functionally.

Had I wanted to enjoy the feelings of a “run in the heat” I would have prepared properly for it and billed it as a run. A run it was not. A forces training day it was. So if you are a runner, always prepare. Always adapt with as much preparation as possible. You will train longer, with fewer interruptions, and less wear and tear on the body with excellent preparation.

Think of the many times you have said or read about someone having a “bad day” training. A low energy day. Preparation would likely solve a healthy percentage of those days. Adaptation, a survival and enhancement skill, is the follow-up to preparation when unpredictable things happen.

Train prepared friends!