To Poets in Motion or Not

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Events conspired

chances were-

collusion collided

with our

busy battles

of self.

We missed

the convergences.

The movement around us

conjured visions and passions

that we were moving.

Yet we were as idle

as burning engines in Park.

Motion heats, yet also cools

the wind in our sails disperses

the over-concentration

of all that

we did not do

but expected others to.

Entangled, unfree, incomplete

as an Example

to lead on our feet.

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!

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.

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

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.

The Replacement

When I kick a habit I kick it now;

Unless I replace it with decision,

The kicking is for show.

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Train Your Children Well…

More than ever, children need daily exercise, a sense of purpose, and adults to lead by example in getting, and staying fit, functional, and capable of taking on new endeavors. In a word, adaptive parental leaders.

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